So the other night my dear friend invited me to a european sauna, she gives me a heads up that people there are generally naked. Right away uncomfortable thoughts came to mind like am I comfortable with that? what kind of people go to these? omg will it be co-ed?? ...so I ask my questions and I get my answers and yes more fears come to mind. Uh oh i'm going to be seeing naked men and women? I thought it wouldn't be so bad if it were just women, oh man penis I'm going to see penis? Mind you, after marrying my wife and only being with women since I started to date again I hadn't dated men in probably 5 years or so. Let's add that up it's been about 7 years since I've seen male nudity. Don't judge but I always thought the male penis was fugly....but I know it's something I've attached a meaning to it and to be honest I'm not ready to admit what that is right now. My wife calls me out and says you not liking the sight of penis is resistance to men. I come back to her and say well I also hate feet and of course she says well you have resistance to that as well. In my head I'm like I don't want to deal with this right now.....*end conversation* Anyways this was a conversation after my naked sauna experience so let me get back to the story.
I had a week to process facing nudity and facing penis. For the most part I didn't think about it much up until the 5 hours prior to the time I was suppose to meet my friend at the sauna. Man oh man did I go crazy!! I text my wife to ask some sort of simple question and any response I got from her I just went straight to being annoyed! and then to top that off her phone was sending me multiple repeated messages to me and I went to omg she is rubbing it in my face! Mind you, I did know not to blame her for the multiple repeated text and so I went on to blame the universe for rubbing it in my face for the multiple repeated texts! lol yeah...definitely not a proud moment for me. As time gets closer and closer I get more and more anxious! I can't sit still, my mind keeps feeding me stories of how awful this is going to be and I'm trying to tell it to just shut up shut up shut up! I talk to a couple more people about it and they try to comfort me saying you got this...it's not a big deal...nothing was helping me settle down. I got to the point where I just needed to get this over with so as soon as I left the house I told myself my mission and you aren't allowed to turn back!
I get to the sauna before my friend does and she tells me she's going to be late and proceeds to call me to give me instructions on what to do and the list she gave me seemed to go on and on and on and it was driving me more nuts!! I was standing literally just outside the doors of this sauna getting so anxious of just walking through them. I had to tell my friend okay I'm anxious as hell right now I can't talk I just need to go in!! Boom open the doors only to face a pleasant man greeting me at the door and it was quiet and calm inside. Okay first thing conquered I went in! Next mission get naked. I proceed to the change room take my clothes off put on a robe and now i'm like okay what's next? I was told I should shower before heading into any of the pools or sauna rooms...so okay done!...what's next...take that towel off and expose yourself and sit in the sauna with other naked bodies. Boom done! oh anddddd there's penis....meh not as overwhelming as my mind made it up to be. I settle in and start enjoying myself in the sauna, getting into great conversations with the people, expressing how silly I was being before this oh how I was making nudity such a big deal in my brain. It was great! just totally sharing where I was at! The people there were amazing and totally open and accepting, they absolutely added to my experience and making it a great one.
On the drive home however, I was feeling proud of myself and continued to be honest with where I was at and made a little comment to my wife saying "I still think penis is ugly" and go back up top to the first paragraph....lol So the stories started to build again...I didn't face my fear good enough. Now I have to learn to love penis...blah blah. Geezzz I had enough! Looking back at it now I realize I was looking for validation from my wife you in my mind should have been proud of me but instead she told me I am not going to pat your head for this it's not a big deal. Of course I got upset! but not because of her....because I had an expectation outside of me. You can never control your external world...and yet I always try too! A mistake I make over and over again. Finally I see where I went wrong...again. But you know what? I am fricken proud of myself for what I faced! and you know what? It's perfectly fine to be proud of yourself, infact you should always be proud of the victories in your life!! big or small they all count! And I also learned that I am awesome because I believe it...not because others tell me this but because I tell myself this! I am awesome!