Loss of manliness and effeminacy
January 17, 2007 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Victorian Turkish Baths - "Can the active, fox-hunting, cricketing, boating Englishman bear the same kind of treatment that benefits and gratifies the indolent, languid, luxurious Turk?"
posted by tellurian (12 comments total)
Wow, that's... that's very specific. It also seems to have a very strict idea of what a Turkish bath is. I.e., no hot water.

I had a great experience at a Turkish bath in Budapest. Cold, warm, warmer, hot, steam room -- by the time I did that cycle three or four times I never wanted to leave.
posted by gurple at 4:19 PM on January 17, 2007

Ooooh. I looooved my turkish bath experience in Istanbul. My hair has never been so shiny in my life & my skin was soooo soft. I felt like a little baby. That said, I was relieved that they had female bathers for women though. My friend Judy got 2 men as her Turkish bathers... that would've been kinda creepy & not as relaxing.

I still use the silk scrubber I bought there... it rocks!
posted by miss lynnster at 4:59 PM on January 17, 2007

It also seems to have a very strict idea of what a Turkish bath is. I.e., no hot water.

He distinguishes between the "Victorian Turkish bath", which was based on Roman baths in Turkey and the Maghreb, and the more-common-in-Turkey Turkish bath which is steamy.

It's his intention to document this sidetrack or fad, because it is usually treated less comprehensively amid material on the more popular steam baths.
posted by dhartung at 5:09 PM on January 17, 2007

Indolent, languid, luxurious? My kind of people!
posted by wolfsleepy at 5:21 PM on January 17, 2007

The quote got me to thinking - did colonial Westerners back in the day habitually accuse Eastern cultures of "indolence"?
posted by micketymoc at 5:24 PM on January 17, 2007

Mark Twain had a few choice words about Turkish Baths in Innocents Abroad (scroll down) ...

"It is a malignant swindle. The man who enjoys it is qualified to enjoy anything that is repulsive to sight or sense, and he that can invest it with a charm of poetry is able to do the same with anything else in the world that is tedious, and wretched, and dismal, and nasty."
posted by lekvar at 5:57 PM on January 17, 2007

Languid indolence luxuriously imagined: The Turkish BathNSFW, manfully painted in 1862 by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (when he was 82.)
posted by cenoxo at 6:15 PM on January 17, 2007

Enjoyed some of the old photos. This room looked scary! Contemplative solitude. Somewhat sinister looking massage.

Check out this Victorian attitude: Same location men's room, women's room.

Francis Francis and his eldest son, Francis.

Thanks tellurian.
posted by nickyskye at 7:32 PM on January 17, 2007

proper women's room link.
posted by carsonb at 9:51 PM on January 17, 2007

The Russian experience is similar, and probably influenced by the Turks. Just found out about this place in Seattle and have been meaning to try it.
posted by Araucaria at 10:26 PM on January 17, 2007

thanks Araucaria :)
posted by nickyskye at 11:34 PM on January 17, 2007

I work right next to Victoria Leisure Centre, which is listed on their now open list.

Unfortunately, when I walked past today, there was a sign saying that the hot rooms are currently closed, but, one day...
posted by Katemonkey at 3:43 AM on January 18, 2007

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