How to be a good gym sauna-going citizen

As a regular mixed-gym sauna-goer, I often get asked questions by my friends and family about going to the sauna. The questions are usually around etiquette. So I'll talk you through the classic dos and don'ts that Sauna newbies need to really wrap their head around.



1. Pour half of your water from your bottle onto the coal as soon as you get in. 

The room will get absolutely boiling. But, you must understand, that's how it was before you opened the door. 

You were the one that let the heat out when you walked in. So, you have to make the room hotter to make up for that.

Everyone in the sauna will appreciate you, and you might make some friends.

Before you do that though, make sure your water bottle lid is fastened on tight. You don't want the whole wet area stinking like melted plastic!


2. Tell everyone what sins from the weekend you're currently sweating out. 

Seriously, why did they invent the sauna other than for sweating out sins and telling everyone else in there exactly what sins you're sweating out?

Takeaways, whiskey, drugs, whatever.

There's always someone who shares that experience from the weekend that will be happy to share with you what they got up to.


3. You're in a sauna, it's hot, but the thermometers in there can't be that accurate.


Can they?

Make sure everyone else knows the temperature, too. They might not realise it's hot! 

Ripple your lips like a horse and say "it's hot in here". That's all you need to do.

By telling them, you're probably saving them from the dangers of overheating and dehydration.


4. Don't hesitate to tell everyone in the sauna your life story.


I, personally, was thrilled the other week when a colourful character filled me in on how he got from being born, to being sat next to me, sharing this story. And as I remember it word for word. I'm just going to write down what he said.

"I just paid £12 for 12 days, there. Decent deal that, like."

"Oh yeah?" I feigned interest, to be a polite sauna-goer.. 

"Yeah, proper good deal. I used to come all the time, our lass has just had the baby"

"Congratulations, mate." both my gym buddy and I said.

"She used to work here, on the desk. Ended up chatting her up, didn't I. Now we're playing happy families and she don't wanna work no more."

He's really pouring his heart out, here.

What are we supposed to do?

I decided to steer the conversation a bit. "Yeah, we just pay monthly. £30 a month" my mate nodded along.

"I don't do direct debits, me" our new friend says. "don't get into any debt (what?). Would rather pay more just to pay cash. Can't have cash in the bank, she just wants to spend it!"

"So, is she looking for a job?" my mate asks. 

"No, is she fuck. Wants to be a stay at home mum until the kid's 18! We keep fighting. Ended up getting her a house and I've got my own. It's better that way."

This got me thinking, how does someone get 2 houses?  He must be some type of dodgy. I start fishing. 

"2 houses? That must be a drain. What do you do, if you don't mind me asking?"

"I'm a chef. I worked at the Boro ground for years, 12 hour days 6 days a week. Got £800 a week." 

"Bloody hell that's good, might look into becoming a chef myself." I said. I turned to my mate "shall we become chefs?"

Our new friend told us that those hours are no joke.

I clicked on to the past tense of the Boro ground job and asked.
"So, where are you cheffing now?"

"Now? I'm not. I'm just loving life."

5. Even if there's only one person in the sauna, sit right next to them. 

Yeah, there's plenty of space elsewhere but you want to think of the people coming in next. You want to make it easy for them to find a seat. Also, refer to point 4. You need to make sure you're close enough for the person to listen to your life story.

I run a sauna etiquette helpline in my Twitter account @mjtucker, so if you have any questions or situations you think I should cover then do get in touch. I'm also happy to do a Q&A in the comments below.

The Reality We Deserve, my novel about a couple who accidentally find themselves in a parallel universe where their lives are how they'd always wanted them to be, is nearly finished. For updates on that and to find out when it's going to be released, follow me on Twitter or insta. 

 
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