Clothing Optional

Thursday night was a different kind of Date Night for us…but not in that way. 😉

I’d purchased a Groupon a few months ago for the Common Ground Wellness Center. I bought it for Michael’s birthday as something that could make his back feel better. I didn’t really notice the “clothing optional” comment on the website when I bought the Groupon. Whoops. But then I was like, “Well maybe that’s because we get private soaking rooms?” When I called to make the reservation for us I learned it was not quite that way.

“Our new facility features a large outdoor hot soaking pool with therapy jets, and a dry cedar sauna.  We are a co-ed and swimsuit-optional spa that offers a safe, non-sexual space to relax and rejuvenate the spirit. We also offer men-only and women-only hours during the week.”

I personally am not bothered by nudity and even when I was 250 pounds I was not self-conscious about my body (most of the time). Michael on the other hand is a little shy. Maybe it’s a guy thing? So I told him about the new development and gave him the option to opt out. He assured me he’d be able to handle it.

But first: food. For our Thursday night Date Night, we went out to dinner at La Bonita on NE Alberta. I had no idea the spa was over off Alberta (seems like over in that neck of the woods a lot lately).

The restaurant had great reviews online and it did not disappoint. I had the veggie burrito: bean, rice and cheese with a mild red sauce on top. It was HUGE.

I ate half of the burrito and had to take the rest to-go. Michael and I shared some chips and salsa too.

The place was very cute and hopping! We got there right before a huge crowd of people. The service was nice and friendly. Food was delicious. It was a winning dinner spot.

After dinner we went to the spa–with our swimsuits–and checked it out. The place was quiet and encouraged a relaxing, spa environment. It was decorated with beautiful tile and rock work, cedar plank benches, gorgeous showers, candles everywhere. It was very soothing. We checked in, got a tour and then went to the dressing room to change.

The dressing room was co-ed and basically everyone was naked. 😉 It wasn’t uncomfortable though. We got into our swimsuits and took a cleansing shower. The hot tub was in a courtyard outside.

It was drizzling a little bit and even though it was cold out, it felt really refreshing once we were in the hot tub. It was so relaxing! We sat next to each other, letting the salt water and powerful jets massage and soothe us. Several times the rain hit the hot water and caused huge fogs of steam around the whole courtyard.

It wasn’t uncomfortable being around naked people. It was very casual and non-sexual. It was pretty interesting, too, because I had kind of a revelation while I was there. I saw so many different body types: fat, skinny, young and old. The people there were completely unaffected by their sagging skin, cellulite or whatever “flaw” they had. It was a reminder that we are all different shapes and sizes and MORE than the sum of our body parts. It helped me honor my own body and stop feeling critical about my “flaws.”

We finished up in the dry sauna, showered and dressed. I was so exhausted and relaxed I immediately crawled into bed when I got home. Despite the initial anxiety about a potential uncomfortable situation, the evening turned out well. We both liked the Wellness Center but agreed that it was kind of a drive from our house. Since we made a night of it with dinner, it was okay.

If you live in Portland and are looking for a relaxing, therapeutic experience definitely give the CGWC a try. You can wear a swimsuit if you don’t want to be naked, there’s no pressure or weirdness. They also have other spa services like massage, acupuncture, nutritionists and Doulas. It’s also fairly affordable to use the hot tubs!

The next day I woke up and had no hip soreness or pain! The soaking tubs seemed to work!

QUESTION: Would you ever go to a spa like this?

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

4 thoughts on “Clothing Optional”

  1. This totally sounds like a spa that I went to in Germany except you were NOT allowed to wear your swimsuit b/c they didn’t want the ‘naked’ guests to be uncomfortable. haha. It was co-ed. I was naked for at least 4 hrs with a bunch of other people. It was awesome. I felt so relaxed by the time I left that I did not that I had been naked. 😉

    1. See that sounds nice to me! I’ve spent so much time with hippies in the woods over the years that I have no problem being naked! I remember being semi-naked in an amazing hot springs about 10 years ago. It was in the middle of the woods and there were these amazing natural hot spring pools. It was raining and it was a pretty magical experience.

    1. Woo hoo! I would totally be that way too, but Michael not so much. 😉 So I respect that and try not to force him into anything. I will confess that I did go topless at the spa after I got settled in. It was quite liberating, hehehe. And after a little bit I completely forgot that I was even around naked people.

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