11/29/2011 05:55 pm ET Updated Jan 29, 2012

The Bath House

Written by Belle von Bonaventure de Bacon and Angora Holly Polo. For more Alternative Lifestyle Slumming, visit The Donnybrook Writing Academy.

The most important day in every young girl's life is the day someone takes her to the bath house. You might think Angora Holly Polo's September wedding (or finally punching Father Sarducci's v-card) would take the cake, but you would be wrong. Because nothing beats a large woman wielding salt. Nothing.

The idea came to me while I was inhaling eucalyptus-infused wet steam during a September visit to the baths. While I was melting in the heat of the sauna the first thought that came to mind wasn't "Oh thank you baby Jesus" but rather "Angora needs to know about this." Which is odd. Angora and I are friendly, friends even, but the kind that hang out in big groups at parties and social gatherings. Not the kind that hang out naked. Not typically. But still, the plan forged on.

I called it a lady-date. I decided it would be a surprise. A naked surprise. Surprise! In hindsight that might have been an unwise move with anyone other than Mrs. Polo-Sarducci. Lucky for me it was a successful move. She bought it and now thinks I not only have a keen sense of adventure, but also that I'm slightly mysterious. Which I do and I am. And she wants to be the kind of friends who get naked sometimes. Everyone wins. -- Belle von Bonaventure de Bacon

It must speak volumes to Belle von Bonaventure de Bacon's adventurous spirit that for our first one-on-one lady date, we would be totally nekked. For some, this would be a terrifying surprise, but I was thrilled. I am really good at being naked (I was even born that way), and I have always heard how relaxing the bath houses are in Japan.

Here's how it works at the Lake Steam Baths on Colfax and Lowell: $16 gets you in, Mondays and Thursdays for ladies and the rest of the time for the men folks. You deposit your stuff in your locker, and they give you a tiny towel and a white sheet to drape over you just like a Roman goddess or a homeless person. Most people forwent the sheets and just walked around nude, and I followed suit. When thrust into such an environment, it seems pointless to be coy.

The main room has a hot tub, two sauna/steam rooms, a bunch of showers, and naked ladies in all shapes and sizes lounging around. This isn't as sexy as it sounds. They have very strict rules to prevent sleaze from happening. Plus, even Alternate Universe Lesbian Me wouldn't want to get down with any of these broads. It has a city rec center feel, only way more naked.

The highlight of the experience was my second surprise: a body scrub for just ten bucks. This happens right on a bench in the common room, while you're nude, and it is done by a round middle-aged Mexican lady -- who is also nude. While you're getting scrubbed down, you are surrounded by ladies -- who are also nude. In such a state, something interesting happens.

If I were encountering just one of those nude factors -- say, I was getting a massage in the middle of a room filled with naked ladies, or I was naked and getting a massage in the middle of a room filled with ladies, or I was getting a massage from a naked lady in the middle of a room filled with ladies -- I would feel incredibly strange. But since there were so many strange, nude things going on at once, it somehow flipped around 180 degrees so that it felt totally normalsville. Salt Lady and I chatted in solidarity about the Occupy movement. I relaxed. It was nice, and I did happen to notice, when she brushed up against me by accident, that her skin was very smooth -- so the body scrub must do wonders!

And no, she did not avoid my lady areas, nor was it what you'd call a gentle scrub.

If you don't mind frolicking in your birthday suit, I would recommend the bath house experience. It was a good way to hang out with Belle, compare ill-thought-out tattoos, go on an adventure, and get all relaxy in the process. After being so detoxed and relaxed, we went to meet friends after, and the martini hit me like a ton of bricks in the best way ever.

But go with someone who has gone before. I would imagine that certain bath houses are more lax than the Lake Steam Baths on their no-orgies policy, and you don't want to be the one to find that out (unless you do). At the other end of the spectrum, "family-friendly" bath houses such as Lake Steam Baths have very strict rules, and they will yell at you if you don't follow them, which can also be anti-relaxy. And don't forget to tip the large naked woman wielding salt. -- Angora Holly Polo