Happiness in a bikini!

Last evening became a wonderful experience for me. After a terrible Monday effort resulting in nothing (the bath was closed!) we decided to give it a new try on Tuesday evening. We had actually talked about this last summer when she helped me buy my very first bikini. Then I had my surgery and in the end I guess I was not ready to face my fears back then. So this would be my first time in a public ladies locker room, first time public in a bikini and my first time in the water in 7 years or so. My wonderful friend P suggested that we went there together and she had arranged so her boyfriend was home to take car of her little baby. After playing a little with her little cutiepie we headed off towards a spa bath in the central part of Stockholm. I had been nervous all day and it became even more intense when we were getting closer. I don’t think I manage to talk much at all. I was so fortunate to have her beside me but I was very nervous if my wonderful new body would be nice enough. The last thing I wanted was some kind of scene that would hurt my self esteem.

The inside of the 109 year old spa was beautiful and the atmosphere was very relaxed as we slowly made it down the stairways towards the cashier. I was very nervous and I think my friend understood that and took care of all the talking and getting us a locker key each. The girl behind the counter then smiled and said “…and you find the entrance to the women’s department over there”. I smiled and it felt really solemn to walk through the passage. There were only a few other women inside and we both found our lockers at the end of the room. I looked left and saw that my friend was already undressing so I took a deep sigh and starting doing the same as well. Before knowing it we both stood there in our bikinis and agreed that the bikini I bought last summer before my surgery fit me really well. It was nice to get some words of approval and we headed of towards the shower room.

I realised that it wasn’t only 7 years since I had been on a public bath but also in public locker rooms as well (brief visit around Christmas at work though) so it was almost a little bit exciting being there again. I relaxed a little bit when the water was starting pouring down over my body and realised that noone seem to take any notice of us at all. Standing there in my nice bikini and feeling the water almost made me more aware of my body and that it actually was ok and nice. I worried a little bit that my wet hair would affects my looks a little bit but then it was time. We took our towels and opened the door towards the public areas and before I really had time to react I was walking beside the bar area in the entrance wearing a bikini. It was a great feeling to be that natural and not having to worry about makeup and extra hair but also not anything to hide or be ashamed of. There I was, a woman walking beside another women who was my best friend. It was actually a very pure feeling that I had dreamt about for a long time to just the average woman and not feeling different compared to my dear female friend. We explored the relaxation area and passed along the table where some people were sitting and drinking. The rest of the area was taken up by a big bubble bath pool and a equally large salt-water thermal pool.

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We agreed on that swimming a few strokes would be a good start and started looking for the swimming pool and after a while we found some signs leading to a stairway. In the stairway I whispered happily that nobody had stared at me and she smiled back almost like she had expected just that. The pool room was a beautfiul place with nice chairs and small cabins by the side of the 18m long pool. I almost felt proud as I walked along the side behind her. Proud that I was finally there, proud of my body and very thankful for her support without which I would never be there.

We slowly entered the water on opposing stairways and it was a wonderful feeling to feel the water around my body and my long hair floating in the water as I took my first swim strokes in years. We swam together along one side of the pool and I felt just wonderful and smiled a lot. After a few turns I realised that I was getting tired really quickly but it felt great to get a little exercise at least.

Back in the relaxation area we had look at the bubble pool but it was cleaning its water just then so we ordered orange juice and a warm sandwich to eat. Sitting there waiting was great, people were walking by and I was feeling just normal (for lack of better words). I don’t remember all details but I think my friend noticed that the bubble pool was bubbling again so we headed off to it to try it out. At the same time what seemed like a bachelor party discovered the same thing and decided to bubble bath as well. The pool quickly filled up and me and P slided in on the front-end and the pool was full. I have to confess that my tension level jumped a few bits then. Here I was sitting in a bikini the first time in a bubble pool together with 8 strange men. I think my friend also was a little bit worried if something could happen. However, they seemed happy about the female company in the pool and I felt just wonderful. After being massaged by the jet streams for a while we switched pool to the warm salt-water one. It was also a very nice and warm to just enjoy the warm water in the pool beside the bar.

After a long time our food was ready and we got some really tasteful sandwiches and I just tried to enjoy every moment of this experience. We were getting a bit cool and closing time was getting nearer so we then headed for the sauna department. We choose the dry nordic sauna and ended up laying on our backs without the bikinis and with hair balm in our hair. Lying there naked with other women and feeling a sense of belonging was just great. It was really warm (around 90 degrees Celcius) and it was a great way to end the bath experience.

We showered and changed clothes in the locker room and headed back home to my friend in a beautiful Stockholm with warm summer wind and a lovely sunset. She called her boyfriend and we decided to pick him and her baby up and find a place to have coffee. Sitting at a nice café with them and enjoying a Latte was a perfect end on a truly magic evening for me. I was definately back on my pink cloud when I came home.

Everyday fears and challenges

The other evening I was sitting down with my closest friends and her super-cute baby (sleeping) and was talking about life. I think we started by discussing how she wanted us to do a short getaway at a spa or a nice bath to make me do my bikini-debut. It is not just about the bikini, it is the whole thing of being naked in a changing room with other women. I am very proud of my new body but also scared that I will be stared and feel that I don’t belong in a place which I have fighted so long to be in. It is a little strange because some people could easily think it would be easier for me to finally have a womans body and it would be a breeze to enter and feel right at home among the women.

That could of course be the case if it wasn’t for the fact that no matter what I do with my looks there is always that someone who for some reason sees something that makes them see my background. In that moment I am not just a woman but suddenly that strange person. I should of course not really have to care what every single person think about me and I like to think I actually can disregard that sometimes. However, what I am scared of is that I will end up creating somekind of “scene” because someone feel a need to point some strangeness about me to me or most often someone else around them. In the worst of cases that could of course develop into one of those situation where you feel really uncomfortable (or even scared) and just want to run out of the room.

The strangest part is that I had thought (or at least hoped) that these feelings would go away by now. I mean I remember how scared I was just going downtown shopping ten years ago. In many respects my life is so much easier now but I have realised that these situations takes me much harder now because I am less prepared and it feels much more unfair. Back then every step outside felt like a political action of visibility and even if I longed to just pass as the average girl I know I sometimes did not and was prepared for that. Nowadays I feel just great about myself when I leave my house and then suddenly from nowhere I cause some reaction just by being there which makes it so obvious for me that I am strange. Sure a lot of this is just in my head and a girlfriend of mine did point out that I had to learn to handle that some men does not look friendly at women. Maybe genetic women has become more used to this than I have but the thing is that I feel that I am getting these reactions from a lot of women as well.

I remember the joy of finally going to the women’s restroom back then and it truly felt “right” even though I did not have woman’s body back then. Therefore it is a bit sad that I still can be a little bit nervous to open that door not knowing what kind of reaction I will cause in there. Sure, in most cases there is no reaction but sometime there are. Especially late at night in cramped places and where people have had something to drink. I am actually a bit scared for what a group of drunk young women could say to me in that situation. To me that is also the worst thing – to be questioned as a women by other women. In these situations it does not matter what my ID-card says or how my body looks beneath my clothes. Isn’t that rather unfair?

Well, so that is the reason why I need my best friend’s hands when I take my first swim strokes in 8 years or so soon. Wish me luck!