Yesterday was a day just like any other..I scurried out of the office at a meant-to-make-you-feel-shameful 5:38 p.m. and rushed to Crunch gym for a 6:00 p.m. yoga class. Naturally I didn’t arrive on time, so instead opted to plug in one of those aerobic workouts on the elliptical and continue to work/ apartment hunt on my phone.
After 6:30 p.m. I decide it’s disgusting to check my corporate email, so I powered that down and decided to tackle my next in line, my Instagram DMs.
To tell you the truth I don’t know why I have so many so often. My following is menial, (in today’s blogger climate), but for some reason between DMs from guys asking me out, bloggers asking me for work, or girls asking me what I use in my hair, my queue is never at less than 5-10 to deal with at any given time.
Ah, another guy slidin’ on in, I thought as I opened Kyle’s, (let’s call him Kyle) message. He made an ever-funny (not) reference to my Bumble account, (remind me to delete that) and then continued to inform me that he swiped left.
O0o0Oo, badass, I thought, rolling my eyes so hard I almost lost my balance. But for the screenshot, I responded cleverly and we actually continued to engage in moderately funny conversation.
I have to be completely honest here and say that he is a male model. From his pictures alone I could tell that he was gorgeous and thus decided to further engage in conversation, which sounds shallow and IS shallow but hey, a girl’s got to vet somehow.
Really though it was our conversation that made me decide to continue our dialogue.
“Wanna go have the most awkward first encounter ever? The reason I’m on Bumble at the moment is because I have a two person pass to HigherDose tonight, so I’m looking for someone willing to strip down to a towel and sit in a sauna with me for an hour” he wrote, candidly.
At first thought I decided, no fucking way and was honestly amused that this guy thinks this would work, and that any girl would ever do that..
Upon further research though, I realized it’s actually a really boujee infared sauana experience in Manhattan, that is touted to be incredible for your health and wellness. Something I’d LOVE to go to if I had a spare, say $150 for an hour session.
Oh fuck it, I then decided.
Just like that I hopped off the elliptical and rushed back to Brooklyn to change for this extremely uncomfortable first date situation.
I was texting him rapid fire, because of course at that point we had to exchange numbers for logistical reasons, and thankfully he was responding to me quickly as well.
“I’m scared”, I said to him, upon receiving the knowledge that we will be naked and locked in a sauna together after only speaking for an hour or so over mobile-app.
“Don’t be scared it’s going to be hilarious, and think about the blogpost you could get out of this”, he encouraged, knowing exactly what strings to pull like a hot, tall, manipulative puppeteer.
“Okay I’m in an Uber now but I need a hug”, I texted him. The most vulnerable text I’ve ever sent in my dating life.
“Haha, I’ll give you a hug” he responded.
And he did.
The sauna experience, called Higher Dose, is on the third floor of a fancy hotel in Manhattan, and the whole elevator ride up I wondered what he could possibly be thinking.
I was told to wear gym clothes and no makeup. So I put on the only sports bra I have cleavage in and did that dewy, I-am-still-wearing-a-good-amount-of-makeup-but-you-can’t-tell look.
I felt cute.
I felt nervous.
When we got into the room I was actually through the moon excited.
It was this dimly lit hotel room/suite situation that smelled of essential oils and was illuminated deep red, like a 70’s sex club.
In the room was a small, (think 6×10 maybe) sauna that had glass doors and LED lights throughout, and there was a small table with water, one of those Himalayan salt lamps, and rose water spritz for you to use post-session.
There was also a full bathroom in the suite, which is where I opted to change after the young, hipster looking attendant gave us the run down.
“Here are your extra towels for your shower after”, she said almost smirking.. As if she assumed these two young kids would just fuck their way through this wellness experience.
I wonder how she would have reacted if I told her this was a first date….
I stripped down, put a towel on and joined Kyle in the small sauna room.
His body was the most Greek god-like thing I’d ever seen, and his blonde hair was boyishly messy from the immediate onset of extreme humidity.
Fuck, he’s goodlooking, I mused as I tentatively took a seat, inches from him in our violet-tinted, hot chamber.
“Here, read about why this is so good for you”, he said, handing me a pamphlet about the healing and health benefits of this 48-minute session we were about to embark on.
Thankful for the distraction, I began to scan, reading key points aloud only to have him confirm their validity.
How often does he do this, and with how many other naked girls?, I wondered, suddenly completely uncomfortable with the thought.
As if he read my mind, he told me that this was something he’d never done before, and that he only even felt bold enough to do something like this because he had just come off a weekend motivational retreat with some life coach that his aunt had paid for, and that it really inspired him to be bold and take bigger steps.
Aw, I thought, perhaps audibly, my icy exterior melting quickly, (maybe it was the 148 degree box I was sitting in).
Now let me tell you that this was no ordinary sauna. This wasn’t your go sit in it at the YMCA with your mom for 10 minutes after you attempt a Zumba class sauna. This was a heat box designed for cell health, detoxification and mood improvement, and to say that I was sweaty would be the understatement of the year.
I was drenched in sweat. We both were!
What a fucking first date, I thought, watching this beautiful boy stare at my slick, sticky collarbones.
“I can’t believe you’re really wearing a towel in here”, he said after the longest 13 minutes of my life had gone by.
“Really, asshole?” I responded, so quick to vilify and even quicker to initiate discomfort in the male species.
“Just saying”, he responded sheepishly, running his hands through his how-is-it-the-perfect-length-and-shape hair.
I apologized and then began to tell him about Annabelle, the demon who lives inside of me who comes out when I’m on dates and acting evil toward men.
Haley is great!! She’s down to earth, funny, playful and surprisingly sweet and thoughtful, but Annabelle is a real bitch who will seduce you, demean you, pull you back in and then repeat, oftentimes with the added step of emasculation.
“She sounds like Chad“, he responded casually, eyes closed, head resting back on sauna wall.
“Who’s Chad?”, I responded, in one of those casual, fine, I’ll bite, type of tones.
He then began to tell me that sometimes he acts like a real dick, a douchebag, an asshole, and that when he does, it’s not really him but instead his evil alter-ego Chad.
“I feel like he and Annabelle would like each other”, he said flirtatiously.
“Well she’d definitely fuck him”, I responded bluntly.
From that moment on I knew this would end up being an awesome first date..
We were already naked, sweaty and overheating, and already had the ever-nerve-wracking demon chat out of the way, so the only way this can go is up.
We continued our session and talked and laughed until inevitably I couldn’t handle it anymore and needed to get out.
We exited and he said to me, “now we have to cold shower”.
“Okay you go first”, I said with the stupid naivety that he was definitely not implying we shower together, on a literal first, after meeting each other only an hour ago.
“We only have this room for 10 more minutes”, he said, boyishly grinning.
“Plus it’s a cold shower so it’s not like..” his voice trailed off.
Well he had a point!
“Okay fineeeee”, I said, dropping my towel with one fell swoop.
“But I am growing myself out for a wax!”, I realized after looking in the mirror and nearly face-palming.
It was true. I had decided I didn’t want to be with anyone in Manhattan anyway so it was a perfect time to grow myself out and finally try this waxing place I had heard about.
So here we are, two profusely sweaty strangers with hardly-ideal genitalia hopping into a cold shower together, as if it were the most common first date practice ever.
We both tried not to look down, but seeing his face after he did was just the confidence boost I needed to get through this pleasantly frigid bathing experience.
After washing myself with the all-natural bath products provided and allowing him to attempt at flirting with me by way of splashing, I decided to hop out and wrapped my new, fresh towel around me.
“You’re getting out already“, he said, unable to hide his disappointment.
Knowing exactly what to say, I retorted, “well I wasn’t exactly having fun in there”, and just like that he pulled me toward him by my towel and pulled my face to his by my chin.
He’s at least a foot taller than me, which was highly stressful considering we were fully naked, soaking wet and standing under running water, but it was a nice first kiss, circumstances considered..
After a minute or two I wriggled out, feeling suddenly shameful, as if I shouldn’t be naked in the shower kissing this beautiful stranger hours after we exchanged hellos.
After that we got dressed. My face, now fully devoid of any makeup, was red and distressed looking, as if I had a chemical peel or something of that nature.
Oh please god let that calm down, I thought, as I made my best attempts at sexily pulling spandex shorts over my damp body. (You can imagine what a fail that would have been to witness).
From there, we decided to get a drink at the hotel bar downstairs, totally disregarding the attendant’s advice to not drink for three days because our bodies were just compromised and it’s super bad for you and etc.
We got down there totally sweaty and in gym clothes only to find it was a fancy lounge situation with important looking business men drinking scotch, and mean looking women wearing Louboutins. We exchanged glances and then shrugs simultaneously, as if completely aligned on how much better this makes the story.
I cozied up in a corner booth and he went to get us our advised-against drinks.
We sipped slowly and talked openly.
He told me about how he got his career in modeling completely by accident, and I told him about how I got my career in corporate essentially that same way.
We made reference to our hardly-ideal exteriors, (well to be frank he still looked like the picture perfect Calvin Klein model that he is while I looked like a skinny, sweaty, scary version of a potentially pretty blonde girl) and he assured me that I had nothin’ to worry about which was sweet and potentially, probably pretty damn true.
He enjoyed that I despised that he was a model, saying it was a turn on to him how turned off I was by his profession and frankly his pretty-boy-ness.
We finished our drinks and I decided I should really go home, considering I was completely lightheaded and unsure about how I would even walk up my stairs.
He put me in a cab, kissed me goodbye and as I sat in the Uber I felt surprisingly at ease with the night.
He texted me that night, saying he had an awesome time and asked me when he’d see me again, and I responded that I too had a surprisingly great night.
Will we see each other again? That I’m not sure about because I really typically stay away from models, but he was so sweet and definitely easy to talk to.
Regardless, it was an incredible experience to be so vulnerable with someone you don’t know, and felt truly empowering!
Never would I ever have thought I’d agree to go on a naked first date with someone, and definitely never would I have ever thought I’d have such a great time doing it…