Once you get over the initial hesitation and the shock of dozens of wangs flapping quietly around, you’ll find yourself relaxing more, both inside and out. The hardest thing is taking off your underwear for the first time. There’s hesitation, you fiddle around arranging things in your locker, you pretend you left something somewhere and you awkwardly try to avert your eyes from unsavoury sights. You wonder if you can really do it, then you tell yourself ‘fuck it, im getting naked’. You proudly strip off the last shackles of oppression and proudly strut out with your head held high and your willy hanging low.
Friends will go to jimjilbangs to hang out, even washing each other in the buff. Fathers will bring their sons, mothers, their daughters, all in the nude. Of course, there’s always that huge juxtaposition that Korea is also one of the plastic surgery capitals of the world. And there’s also the fact that I’m a westerner that’s coming to this experience with a completely different mindset. But I don’t care, I felt more comfortable in my body than I ever had been and no amount of juxtapositions can take that away!
For more, read my guide on jimjilbang etiquette.