It will it will depend on where you are, local laws and what not. But if the hospital has a sign that says a swim suit is needed in their steam room, then you need to wear a swim suit in their steam room.
If you want to be in an all male steam room naked, I suggest you try a nearby gay bath house, fun times.
I worked at a bath house in Hollywood, Ca, back in the early ‘90s. The things I saw.:eek:
A couple of years ago I was skiing in Austria, and the hotel had a fancy sauna/steam room/spa in the basement. Swimming costumes were totally forbidden. The locals happily wandered around the whole spa area naked, not just in the steam rooms and saunas themselves, but in my prudish British way I wrapped myself as best I could in the teeny-tiny towel they provided.
So I was sat in the steam room, on the towel, with the end of the towel covering my lap. One of the spa attendents peered in, opened the door, looked straight at me and said: “English?” I nodded, and he barked “No towel!” then leant forward and used the handle of his mop to lift my towel off my lap.
I’ve been a member of the local YMCA for 30 years and use the steam room and sauna. I would say 99% of the users are nude. We sit on a towel or our gym trunks so the nails in the wood don’t burn our rear ends. lol.
Don’t see the point of wearing something because you go to the shower after you leave the rooms. If you’re not embarrassed taking showers nude there is no problem sitting nude in another room.
In my health club, and every private club I’ve been to, almost all men use the sauna and steam room nude sitting on a towel. Some wrap towels around themselves. In an environment where it’s a little more public, like a community center or a hotel, people are probably more self-conscious and you would see more bathing suits. I don’t know why, you’ll have to ask a behavioral psychologist. I’ve never been anyplace where it’s required.
Once I was visiting a friend in Münster, Germany, and we visited her racquet club. To make a long story short, in the sauna there, nobody wore anything and there were men and women in the same sauna.
I have heard of some places where they require you to sit on a towel - after all, a stream room can be an incubator for bacteria if it’s not hot enough. (Plus the comment about nails).
In North America, people have different ideas about nudity than some European countries. Basically, if a facility says “swimsuit mandatory” and then says “rule WILL be enforced” my guess is they want people to use swimsuits. My guess is that a significant number of the guests are uncomfortable about nudity with strangers; since “gay bathhouse” is the stereotypical venue for that activity in this continent and homophobia is rampant. (or the YMCA - see an earlier thread about nude swimming in the YMCA, which I always wondered about).
I can see the health appeal of letting it all swing free, but not indoors in an all-male setting.
I’ve never been in a steam room where others were covered up. Presumably you’re in there to get exposed to steam. Covering up with a swim suit or towel limits that exposure. Plus, the towel would become soaked (with condensed water and sweat) after a while and disgusting to wear.
Just seems silly, like wearing a bathing suit while you shower. I guess you should be allowed to if you are really shy, but why require others to do so?
Like I said above, the towels become disgusting after a while. And men being men, are going to toss them into the corner of the steam room after they become sweat-soaked. The towel will become funky and stink up the whole room. With no towels, sweat and cooties can just drain away.
Most such places - spas, gyms, pools, etc - have a towel service; used towels are just tossed into a cart and laundered after one use. OTOH, wood absorbs water and its contents to some extent. Non-wood, painted or varnished wood can be painful to sit on, and will peel after a while. Plus, you have no idea how clean the previous posterior was (men being men). Yes, towel on wood is not perfect, but it’s a step above and also insulates you a bit from what may come back up from the wood.
Presumably places that do not require towels scrub the benches with some cleanser, not just hose them down. So you only have to worry what sat there since the last cleansing.
It depends upon the policy of the club. The “Y’s” and JCC’s I’ve been a member of did not require any attire. MUSC’S “Wellness Center” (actually the Harper Student Center) requires some kind of cover-up, except when showering, whether a towel or swimming trunks. I now belong to Gold’s Gym, and they have the same requirement. There’s always someone who believes he is above the rules and sits in the sauna naked. Not my place to say anything. Perhaps he is illiterate and cannot read the sign.