Completely alone, at the witching hour, in the middle of nowhere, I might briefly consider dipping my toe into a sauna.
But at a city health club, surrounded by hairy strangers, there is not a hope in Hell I'm going anywhere near the steam room. I'd rather sit by myself in a freezing toilet.
If you ask me, communal bathing was the number one reason for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, despite what Edward Gibbon says; and Gibbon is exactly the sort of tiresome, sweaty, close-talking conversationalist you'd be stuck beside in a sauna.
How can you expect to maintain Pax Romana while spending all day lounging around in other senators' old scummy water? I don't recall Gibbon's endless tome covering that aspect of Imperial decadence and languor. (Although, to be fair, I only read the lurid chapters of his endless book and skimmed the rest, so he might have)
Speaking of personal hygiene and antiquity, it has long been my contention, much disputed by conventional archaeologists, that the great stone monoliths of Stonehenge are actually a set of individual shower stalls.
Alas, I have zero evidence for this assertion except for a small piece of calcified soap-on-a-rope I found near the site in 1973. "Look at this ancient artifact I've found," I said to my mother, who ordered me to throw it away immediately. Consequently, an important part of the Stonehenge mystery was lost forever.
Nevertheless, I still hope to prove that Stonehenge was, in fact, an expensive spa reserved for the use of pampered Neolithic fashionistas. Until then the windows of history will remain fogged by the mainstream academy's sauna of orthodox hot air.