Monday, 28 August 2017


When I was in my mid-teens, I downloaded a lot of porn. I wasn't aware how much could be downloaded - and was unaware that any porn existed which wasn't the softcore fare I saw on L!VE TV - until I started using, illegally, peer-to-peer networks. Yeah, I know. Most people used them, though - didn't you?

I had, during this time, occasional forays into hardcore territory, which generally isn't my jam, although there are some scenes I can get on board with. One scene I managed to find - although which keyword I used I'm not sure - was called something like "Swedish teens first time fuck in sauna", which did exactly what it says on the tin, although RonSeal may not have approved of the fact that these porn actors almost certainly weren't teens. And, judging by the fact that they were speaking English with English accents, probably not Swedish either.

From my limited experience with saunas (saunae?), I'm not exactly sure why they're so inextricably linked, in my mind, with sex. I've certainly never had sex in one; I've rarely ever been in any (the scented steam rooms in the thermae don't count, probably); the one experience of being in a sauna I have mostly involves being leered at by very old, very large men and feeling very uncomfortable about it. Movies - softcore, hardcore and mainstream - often depict them as magical places, full of billowing steam and with braziers full of hot coals on which one tips water for whatever reason.

I've never seen a brazier of hot coals in a sauna.

And then there's the fact that having sex in a sauna is probably incredibly dangerous. They're very hot environments, with the top-level benches warmer than the ones below. The wooden things to sit on collect heat during the day, so they can cause a little burning if one is less than careful, and the amount of sweat you generate from the heat is probably not going to be helped by the sweat you generate through sex. The hot, heavy action of sex - even the lazy kind - increases your pulse, alters blood flow and decreases intuitive reasoning, all while raising your temperature. It's incrediby risky to do so when all those things are already happening!

It's sex, not a suicide mission!

Despite all this, I still thought it might be kind of fun to have sex in a sauna - particularly one of those fictional ones filled with steam where you can't see anyone or anything (or maybe that's just Antony Gormley's Blind Light...). It has the illicitness of "sex in a public place" about it, plus the natural effect of wood in a setting (which, as an environmentalist, I like), and the amount of sex scenes that take place in one has got to count for something, right...? Right...?

Today, as part of the gym membership I apparently still have, I stepped into a sauna following half an hour's swimming. Maybe, just maybe, this experience would go some way to explaining the connotation in my mind.

Needless to say it didn't do that. But it probably did boost ice cream sales a bit.

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