Mixed bathing is the sharing of a poolbeach or other place by swimmers of both sexes. Mixed bathing usually refers to swimming or other water-based recreational activities in public or semi-public facilities, such as hotel or holiday resort pool, in a non- sex segregated environment. In ancient Romemixed bathing at public facilities was prohibited at various periods, while commonplace at others.
Mixed-gender bathing has a long and rich history in Japan, but it is also difficult to find English information on many of them because they are rather traditional. Fortunately, GaijinPot Travel and GaijinPot Blog have guides and listings of where to find a natural hot spring where men and women can bathe together. Some places are mystical hot springs outside in caves or rivers, others are simply private baths you can rent out, which are certainly not your traditional mixed-gender onsen but do offer a more intimate onsen experience.
A common problem foreigners run into while in Japan is not knowing the endless cultural rules and taboos. In particular, I have had many questions and concerns about konyoku onsenor mixed-gender hot spring, bathing etiquette. The concept of a konyoku onsen may sound like a cultural taboo itself, but it has a long history that is often overlooked.
Nothing new about being told off, as even liberal Berlin, to which I recently moved, is full of baffling rules. For the Germans, this is as normal as a trip to the supermarket. As in Scandinavia, saunas are revered here for their relaxing effects, circulatory benefits and power to make you sweat a pint in 10 minutes.
Fudo no Yu was a community bath, meaning anyone was free to use it, and until last year it was left unsupervised. It was also one of a dwindling number of onsen in the Kanto region that allow traditional mixed bathing, known in Japanese as konyoku. Although Fudo no Yu ended up reopening a couple of months later, any opportunity for licentiousness has been strictly curtailed.
Unisex changing rooms are more dangerous for women and girls than single-sex facilities, research by The Sunday Times shows. Gender-neutral changing is growing as councils seek to cut staff costs and cater to transgender people. At least two-thirds of all sex incidents in public pools and leisure centres, whether inside or in the grounds, happen in unisex changing areas.
The vast majority of reported sexual assaults at public swimming pools in the UK take place in unisex changing rooms, new statistics reveal. The data, obtained through a Freedom of Information request by the Sunday Timessuggests that unisex changing rooms are more dangerous for women and girls than single-sex facilities. Just under 90 per cent of complaints regarding changing room sexual assaults, voyeurism and harassment are about incidents in unisex facilities.
The term unisex public toiletsalso called gender-inclusivegender-neutral and mixed-sex or all-gender toilets, bathrooms or restroomsrefers to public toilets that are not separated by gender or sex. Unisex public toilets can benefit a range of people with or without special needs, for example people with disabilitiesthe elderly, and anyone who needs the help of someone of another gender or sex. They are also valuable for parents wishing to accompany one or more of their young children needing a toilet facility.
This open-minded attitude to the naked body started in the 19th century, when Scandinavian-style steam baths became popular; then, in the late 20th century nudity became widely accepted on beaches, in city parks and on walking trails. Recent years have seen a decline of nakedness in such outdoor settings, but the unadorned body is still the standard at bathhouses. Each bathhouse, generally containing the German word bad bath in its name, will have a clothed area centred on a swimming pool, much like any municipal fitness centre. In a separate area, accessible for an additional fee, will be a spa facility of saunas and heated pools.