Naked at BlogHer

There wasn't a whole lot of sunshine or sandy beaches waiting for me when I stepped off the plane and onto San Francisco's soil.

What was waiting for me was even better.

Boobs. Holy lawd, a whole sea of boobs. I'm not referring to the conference either. That's a post for another day.

Nope this post is how I flew to another country to strip down naked and pretend not to ogle women's breasts. Except I gave up pretending and just started openly enjoying. It was all I could do not to ask to cup them.

As I sat there, with steam tickling my nose and dripping down in a river between my breasts, soaking in the naked joy before me, I wondered how the hell I managed to get here.

It's my damn Yankee friends. They can get me to do anything. Even strip publicly and flap the girls about.

What can I say? I'm Canadian. I'm easy.

I went to BlogHer with the intent of reuniting with my friends, making new ones and maybe even learning something along the way to help me become a better blogger, a better writer.

But it was hard to focus on sessions when I was surrounded by people I adored and I just wanted to suck in their presence. Their clothed presence.

So when Jess texted me and asked if I wanted to join her and Jen for a relaxing massage in the afternoon, I thought, what the heck. I was hung over and tired and a massage sounded great.

I should have known better.

Turns out there was no massage. Turns out the spa was more of a public bath house. A decrepit, condemned, old bath house. I turned and looked at my pals with a look of disbelief plastered on my face, but they seemed unconcerned.

Hmmm, maybe spas are different down here in Yankee land, I thought to myself as the woman who ran the joint gave us a cursory tour.

The smell of chlorine and mold permeated the air. I warily eyed the facility as the owner prattled on about the rules of the joint as she walked us through the main attraction, the hot tub.

I admit, I only half paid attention but when she said there was no clothes or bathing suits allowed, the hairs on my neck stood up. Still, my lady friends didn't seem troubled about this new development so I just kept quiet.

Standing in the wide open change room, the woman left the three of us to strip and I leaned in to my friends and said, "Did I hear her right? She said no clothes or swim suits allowed?"

They nodded yep, that's right.

"So we have to get naked?" I half screeched, half whispered.

Again, they nodded.

"Naked, naked? Like in front of one another?" At this point I was sweating and it wasn't from the steamy heat emanating from the hot tub just mere feet away.

My charming lady friends could do nothing but just howl with laughter from the look on my face. Oh, yuk it up ladies, I thought, laugh at your naive Canadian friend, but I don't do public nakedness unless I'm drinking. Which I wasn't. Yet.

I mean, I flew to San Francisco to try new things, but public bathing wasn't high on the list. Hell, I don't think it even made it to the bottom of the page.

"What did you think we were doing?" Jen laughed.

"Well, I don't know, I thought a massage where I would lay down on a table, stick my head in a hole, with a towel covering my ass and some swedish dude would come and rub the knots out of my back. No one said anything about naked hot tubbing!!!"

But I am no party pooper. In for a penny, in for a pound, I thought. (Or a whole lot of pounds as my friends would soon see.)

"I'll do it if you'll do it," I offered while praying fervently they would say no farcking way and we'd hot foot it out of that skeevy joint to hail a cab to the nearest bar.

"Oh what the heck," said Jess.

"Count me in," said Jen.

Shiiiiit. It was at that moment I knew I was sunk. I wasn't going to be the party pooper. I was getting naked. In public. In front of women I highly esteem and love. My husband would be so freaking proud. (And turned on.)

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For posterity. So I can remember what they look like with clothes on.

I'll never be able to look them in the eyes again, I thought to myself as I wiggled out of my underwear. I took my sweet time stripping. My heart was beating so hard I thought it might pop out of my chest. Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath and turned around.

Two pairs of boobs were staring back at me.

I admit, I momentarily forgot I was standing there naked with my boobs swinging by my ankles as I took in the glorious site of my naked friends.

"Um, Tanis," Jess said. "Eyes up here."

Oh right. Naked etiquette demands you ignore the beautiful bounty of boobs swinging before you and pretend like everything is normal.

Because it's normal to fly to another country, get hung over, find the dingiest spa in the city and strip in front of people you only know through words shared on a computer screen.

Totally normal.

As we climbed into the hot tub, the steam curling around our faces, we laughed and tried to relax. Just as I was starting to get past the whole "I'm sitting here naked with Jen and Jess and the world hasn't fallen off it's axis" feeling, I looked up to see the some woman's hairy bush not ten feet from where I stood.

A woman I didn't know. A woman who obviously believes in going au naturel.

I started giggling like I was a little boy peeping in the girls locker room for the first time.

"What? What?" Jen and Jess wanted to know.

"Oh my GAWD, you guys. We're not alone!!! There are other naked women here!" I giggled as beads of sweat ran down my freely hanging boobs.

"What are you worried about?" Jen asked. "You've got glorious boobs." Spoken as she eyed my sparkling boobs.

"Ya. Your tits are unbelievable." Jess agreed.

That's right people. Apparently, I have the best boobs of Blogher. Only fitting since I may have been the biggest boob there.

It wasn't long before a steady stream of naked women were paraded before me. I never realized how different we all look. I saw melons, oranges, flap jacks, beaver tails, and dimpled watermelons.

I was in freaking boob heaven. The problem with naked boob ogling at a spa with your girl friends who are decidedly much more mature that you are, is you can't hide your giggle fits when ever you see a good pair.

"We should just give you a score card and let you rate them when you see them," Jen joked.

Oh, what I would have given for just that privilege. Of course, then I would have had a small army of naked women chasing me down the street with their breasts flapping in the wind as they tried to wrap their hands around my neck and choke the life out of my boob-gazing ways.

Eventually, the heat from the hot tub became too heavy and we decided to go and sun ourselves on the isolated sun deck. It was for the best since it was about that time two other women decided to join us in the hot tub and I could no longer freely remark about the size and quality of nature's bounty.

Wrapping towels that have seen more action than I care to imagine around our bodies, we made our way up the rickety steps of the sun deck. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why this place was being condemned. You had to be careful not to get a sliver up your arse or hoo-ha when you sat down on the wooden bench.

The thee of us fell quiet, enjoying each other's company, long past the surprise and awkwardness that inevitably happens when you unrobe and bathe in a community hot tub with virtual strangers. We whispered and shared secrets and we formed a bond as the sun beat down on our exposed bodies.

(Note to self: Next time you decide to sunbathe naked please remember to put sunscreen on your nipples. Enough said.)

All was going well until a woman decided to stretch out on the sundeck by our feet and sun herself. What does one do if a woman's naked arse is almost touching your toes?

If you are Jess and Jen, you ignore it and pretend it happens daily. If you are a redneck from the wilds of Canada with a seemingly low i.q. you stare at the dimples on her ass and wonder if that's what your butt would look like splayed out on a wooden deck for all to see.

I'm pretty sure my arse wouldn't look like that.

I bend over backwards (literally) to make sure my ass hair isn't climbing up my butt crack and the lobes of my arse are silky smooth. This woman obviously didn't share the same concerns as me.

As Jess pointed out, we were surrounded by some wom-yn. Granola crunching, nature-loving- women-who-are-at-one-with-their-body-and-all-it-encompasses. Every hairy inch of it.

I developed a nervous twitch and in a fit of giggles I knocked over my now empty water glass. It rolled off the bench and towards the woman who lay at our feet.


I looked at Jess and Jen and they grinned. I was going to have to retrieve the cup. The cup that was all but touching a nude woman I didn't know but would surely recognize if I saw her nekkid in a line up.

Bending over, I reached for the cup. My nose was inches away from the hairy crack of this strange woman's arse. It was one of those moments you never predict seeing yourself in life. But there I was, with my nose up someone's ass.

Thankfully, the woman just ignored the redneck groping about her, trying to reach the cup that would roll further away every time I laid my fingertips on it.

Grasping the cup, I shot up right and vowed to make an appointment with my own waxer when I got home, and I grinned at Jess and Jen.

"This gives a whole new meaning to that naked blogging session, now doesn't it?"

Eventually, time stopped standing still and we knew we needed to abandon our nakedness and return to the conference, clothed.

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I love me some naked wommins. Especially these ones.

Looking around the dungy spa bath house I tried not imagine just how many naked arses had touched where we sat. I'm not thinking cleanliness was next to godliness in this establishment, I thought to myself as I pulled on my clothing.

Still, we were relaxed and refreshed as the three of us walked out of the twilight-zone and back to the pressing reality of blogging, sessions and life.

We walked quietly, our hearts full with joy at the unexpected intimacy we found that afternoon in the most unexpected of places.

"I think we are all going to walk away from this moment a little different than who we were before we walked in," Jen said smiling.

"Well, of course, we are," I agreed. "Now that we all just shared something really special."

I paused.

"Community herpes and all. Funny. It wasn't the souvenir I was looking to take home with me," I half-joked. "Gives blogher swag a whole new meaning."

Good thing Canada has public health care. I have a feeling I may need it.