The mind conjurs something wonderful at the thought of a naturist spa: beautiful bodies, reclining in a mixture of sensuality and healthy relaxation; subtle, suggestive sexuality and a discrete form of well-behaved voyeurism and exhibitionism intermingled. Far from the European model, where nudity in spas is expected and non-sexualised, or the somewhat prim and beauty-focussed high-price ambience of the fully-clothed UK health spa, Rio’s is almost the heterosexual equivalent of the gay sauna. So what does that actually mean? Is it a swinging free-for all with hot tubs? Is it classy? Is it seedy? I gathered together my most honoured entourage of sexy friends and headed there to see if it’s a good way to spend a Sunday.
My rather more sensible friend phoned them up to do some fact-finding first. Yes, everything is cleaned. Yes, the water is highly chlorinated. No, you can’t have sex in the hot tubs, or anywhere outside of the private massage rooms. No, we can’t have anything special for coming as a group. No, we can’t rent the whole place and host a party there. Before 10pm, couples are £25. Single men are £25. Women are £10. We therefore divided ourselves into couples in an act of solidarity and gender equality, and paid £12.50 each. So did I go as a single woman? Well no. Technically I went as a couple. But not a ‘coupley couple’. It’s all much of a muchness once inside anyway, when you are all sat in a hot tub together.
We arrived nice and early, just after 11am. It was the first 4 of us, and were only the second arrivals. At the entrance lobby wass a smiling lady behind a perspex- plate counter, where we paid and got our free towels. We came through to the unisex changing/locker rooms (there is a female only one, but my lovely lady friend was already changing in the unisex one, and I’m not about to be outclassed as an exhibitionist at my own event). We stripped down, put our things away and wandered out with just towels wrapped around us.
It’s definitely worth arriving early! I liked having the whole place to ourselves.Mr N
The building opens to a large room full of indoor sun loungers facing a large screen TV showing football, with a backdrop decorated with paintings and sculptures of beautiful bodies. Beyond the loungers was the bar, with seats and twinkling lights, a somewhat 70’s holiday vibe and a gorgeous young woman behind the bar, that one of my friends later speculated was Brazilian, with a very British approving nod.
We put our drinks behind the bar, where they were labelled to be reserved upon request in plastic cups, and had some of the complimentary coffee. The manager- a smiling, friendly, but clearly very strong, man- offered the newbies a tour of the premises if they wished. He also gave us some spare towels from behind the bar (all gratis) and we went to enjoy the hot tubs.
I’ve always been a naked hot tub fiend. There is just something about it that is both wonderfully sensuous, decadent, and somehow still incredibly naughty. It’s like skinny dipping but warmer. Nonetheless, in spite of our nakedness, sensuality and the promise of sexual gratification in little rooms just metres away should we wish, we chatted away with great British civility as though we were at Grandma’s garden party.
Loving the free tea!Lord T
Little by little through the day, the place filled with the rest of our group and the other clients of Rio’s. They were mainly single men, though there were some couples and a few women who arrived in pairs with each other. The men didn’t try anything with me. Apart from one or two who struck up a polite conversation, most of them just sat quietly and didn’t interact, or one or two seemed to follow us from place to place. Nobody tried to touch me though – and that is both important and rare. Largely, the vibe was very social and sociable, with a mixture of friendly regulars, some newbies, and probably a lot of people visiting who were just travelling through London for business or pleasure. It would be an okay place to attend solo, but I really feel like it’s much more fun as a friendly group. If you are attending as a couple or single man hoping to pick up a single woman, you’ll have very slim pickings. If you’d like a shy older gent, you’ll have a lot of choice. You’ll have to make the first move though.
So, what are my top tips for enjoying Rio’s on a Sunday afternoon?
-shave, apply fake tan, wear makeup and pearls- do whatever you need to do to feel confident naked. Looking hot is all in the presentation. Your age and body type doesn’t matter here. Your attitude does.
-Grab yourself a part-time party partner or bunch of fun friends to make it an awesome day
-Arrive with cash- they don’t take cards at the door.
-Arrive early for a feeling of luxury. It gets busier through the day, and evening
-Bring your beer, wine, mocktail ingredients and snacks with you, to put behind the bar. If you are a smoker, bring your cigarettes, and if you are planning to play in a private room bring your condoms or whatever else you plan on using- you can’t leave and come back without paying for re-entry. If you are vegan/dairy free, bring some soy milk for the free tea and coffee.
-bring moisturiser to apply before you go home- a long time in steam and heat can dry you out. If you are going to be a vain glamour-puss like me, bring makeup remover wipes and makeup to fix your face afterwards.
-If you do end up solo and feel in need of a human touch, you can arrange for a private massage when you enter, though you will pay extra for it. I didn’t try this service, though when I subtly dropped a hint that my back felt stiff after the steam to my three beautiful young male friends in the sauna with me, they took it as an opportunity to start comparing injuries like a bunch of retired sportsmen instead of rushing to my aid with a massage. I will have to be less subtle in future.
-The decor for the bar and massage rooms is fairly basic. Don’t take a first date there expecting to impress them with glamour and luxury. It’s a functional, good-value space, and the pool and large hot tub has a sort of roman bath house ambience, rather than a Bath Haus of Gaga ambience. Where else could you find a place you can have sex without being arrested for £25 between you? It’s a fun feel rather than extravagant and pretentious, despite the lovely hot tubs, and a lot nicer inside than it looks from the street.
😊 GUESTS ARE APPROACHABLE. IT has a very social feel and the number of areas (outdoors, hot tubs, saunas) put people naturally together into chatting-sized groups. People are largely friendly if spoken to. some initiated conversation. None were rude or pushy
😐 ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE -there’s a real mix at rio’s. when we first arrived it was largely empty, with a few single men, mostly age 50-90, wandering around. it’s a very body-inclusive and age-inclusive place. I brought my own crowd of hotties to socialise with, but there were also some conventionally attractive couples and single men. would be a great place to pick up a silver-fox sugar daddy who enjoys being naked.
😐 KINK FRIENDLY -It’s not really a kink place, though some light kink would be possible in the private massage rooms. there is no dungeon equipment or clothing.
😐 TRANS-INCLUSIVE. i didn’t see any trans-identifying people there, nor does it clarify the pricing structure or make any mention of trans-people on the website. i’m not clear on this.
😊 BODY SHAPE INCLUSIVE. everyone should feel welcome at rio’s and you need not worry about looking like an underwear model. everyone is naked!
😊 AGE INCLUSIVE (adults only, age 21 and over. ranged from LATE 20s to 90’s, average age PROBABLY about 40-50 on this occaSION)
😊 COUPLES – there ARE MIXED COUPLES – MAYBE 30-50% OF THE CROWD. There is COUPLES PRICING- £25 FOR A MALE-FEMALE PAIR (WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE OFFICIALLY ROMANTIC). THERE IS NO MENTION ON THE WEBSITE OF MALE-MALE COUPLES OR WOMAN-WOMAN COUPLES. ALL-FEMALE COUPLES WOULD BE CHEAPER TO GET 2 SINGLE WOMAN TICKETS. ALL-MALE COUPLES HAVE MANY OTHER ALL-MALE NATURIST SAUNAS IN LONDON THAT MIGHT SUIT THEM BETTER.
😐 SINGLE WOMEN – I DID NOT SEE MANY. THEY TENDED TO COME IN PAIRS OR WITH GROUPS, THOUGH ONE OF MY FRIENDS SAYS SHE LIKES TO GO THERE ALONE AS WELL. THE GENDER RATIO WAS STRONGLY SKEWED TOWARDS MORE MEN AT MY VISIT. £10 ENTRY
😊 single men -allowed, PAY £25 EACH
😊 AFFORDABLE AND VALUE FOR MONEY – YOU CAN THEORETICALLY HAVE MANY HOURS OF PLAYTIME, AS IT OPENS AT 11AM AND GOES ON UNTIL THE EARLY MORNING, HOWEVER IF YOU COME IN AFTER 10PM PRICES ARE SLIGHTLY HIGHER, AND IF YOU HAVEN’T PACKED YOURSELF SOME FOOD YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT YOU CAN’T LEAVE AND COME BACK, NOR DO THEY SERVE ANY. THERE IS FREE TEA, COFFEE AND LEMONADE, AND YOU CAN BRING YOUR OWN DRINKS (BEER AND WINE ONLY), WHICH GO BEHIND THE BAR AND THEY ARE THEN SERVED TO YOU IN PLASTIC CUPS. THE BYOB ASPECT CAN MAKE FOR A CHEAP OUTING.
😊 SAFE – it is completely secure, WITH A LOCKED DOOR, OPENED FOR YOU BY THE FRONT-OF-HOUSE STAFF ONCE YOU’VE PAID AND BEEN GIVEN TOWELS. INSIDE ARE NUMEROUS LOCKERS (£1 REFUNDABLE) OF REASONABLE SIZE. THERE IS A UNISEX CHANGING/LOCKER ROOM PLUS A WOMEN-ONLY ONE. THE WHOLE OF THE COMPLEX IS MONITORED WITH CCTV SCREENS, THE MANAGER WAS OUT AND AROUND THE ENTIRE TIME KEEPING AN EYE ON THINGS, AND THERE ARE BAR STAFF. THE BACK OUTSIDE AREA IS COMPLETELY SECURE WITH HIGH WALLS. THE PRIVATE ROOMS ARE FITTED WITH PANIC BUTTONS TO SUMMON HELP, ON THE OFF-CHANCE YOU FOUND YOURSELF IN AN UNWANTED SITUATION. THE SHOWERS, SAUNAS, STEAM ROOM AND HOT TUBS ARE ALL EITHER OPEN OR HAVE GLASS DOORS.
😊 SPACIOUS – THERE WAS PLENTY OF SPACE, WITH HIGH ROOFS AND AN AIRY FEELING. THERE WERE NUMEROUS PRIVATE MASSAGE ROOMS AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT MY VISIT, ALWAYS ROOM IN THE HOT TUBS, SHOWERS, SAUNA AND POOL, AND NO WAIT AT THE BAR
😊 swinging friendly – though not specifically a swingers’ event, sexual play is permitted IN THE PRIVATE ROOMS, AND THOUGH SEX IS NOT PERMITTED OTHER SPACES, HOT TUBS AND STEAM ROOMS ARE A NICE PLACE FOR SOME SUBTLE, DISCRETE (CONSENSUAL) LEG STROKES OR BACK RUBS
😊 WELL EQUIPped – 2 8-PERSON INDOOR JACUZZI HOT TUBS, 1 GIANT (20 PERSON?) INDOOR HOT JACUZZI POOL, 1 HEATED INDOOR SWIMMING POOL, 1 PLUNGE POOL, 1 STEAM ROOM (THE OTHER WAS OUT OF SERVICE), 2 SAUNA ROOMS, 2 COMMUNAL SHOWER ROOMS, AN OUTDOOR SHELTERED SMOKING AREA, AN OUTDOOR ASTROTURF SUNSHINE AREA FOR CATCHING AN ALL-OVER TAN IN SUMMER, A NUMBER OF PRIVATE MASSAGE ROOMS (i THINK 6?) WITH WIPE-CLEAN, LIGHTLY PADDED DOUBLE-BED SIZED MATS ON RAISED WOODEN CUBES, WITH PAPER TOWEL DISPENSERS IN THEM AND LOCKABLE DOORS WITH A PANIC BUTTON IN EACH, BAR AREA WITH SEATING AND TV SCREEN, A LOUNGER ROOM WITH MULTIPLE INDOOR SUN LOUNGERS AND LARGE TV SCREEN,SEPARATE MALE AND FEMALE TOILETS FOR WHICH THERE WAS NO QUEUE
😊 ROCK UP LAST MINUTE WITH A FRIEND? ABSOLUTELY! ONE OF THE FEW PLACES IN LONDON THAT DOESN’T REQUIRE PRE-VETTING, MEMBERSHIP OR ADVANCE TICKET SALES. YOU JUST PAY ON THE DOOR
😊 EASY TO GET A MEMBERSHIp? NONE REQUIRED!
😊 TRANSPORT- tHREE MINUTE’S WALK FROM THE NEAREST UNDERGROUND. LOCATED IN KENTISH TOWN, LONDON. PARKING AVAILABLE ON SIDE ROADS NEARBY DEPENDING ON TIME AND DAY
😐Accessibility – IT’S ALL ON THE GROUND FLOOR, THOUGH THERE ARE SOME SMALL LEDGES, NARROW DOORWAYS IN PLACES AND STEPS UP TO THE HOT TUBS THEMSELVES. i DID NOT SEE ANY HOISTS OR SIMILAR IN USE. I DID NOT SEE ANY WHEELCHAIR USERS AT MY VISIT
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