There Is a Naked-Networking Club in D.C.

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We had to hire actors to portray this. The reality was too hideous. Photo: iStockphoto.com

After Eric Massa told the world about the time a naked Rahm Emanuel accosted him in the congressional locker rooms, we had to wonder: "Is there naked deal-making that goes on in D.C., or was that just a fantasy that Eric Massa concocted — which in his mind ended in a playful, ticklish snorkeling expedition?" Initially, that seemed to be the case — but after sliding a few rungs down on the Beltway power ladder, the Washington Post managed to find a group of D.C. "insiders" who like to get naked and sweat together.

There is, apparently, a gang of mid-level lobbyists and bureaucrats who hang out in the big, scorching hot sauna at the Finnish Embassy. (It's twice as hot as the one at the Swedish embassy). From the Post:


"You don't wear your politics on your sleeve when you are not wearing sleeves," said Alex Conant, a former RNC spokesman currently working for Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. "Mostly you just talk about how damn hot it is." The society's founder and gatekeeper, [Kari] Mokko is a 43-year-old Tampere native, with a trimmed goatee and chiseled cheekbones. On hiatus as the anchor of "Silminnäkijä," or Eyewitness, a Finnish Broadcasting Co. current-affairs program, he is at home with reporters, delighting in the exchange of phone numbers, story leads and private information at the sauna. He believes networking in the nude to be an absolute moral good. "It became a great 'I scratch your back, you scratch mine' sort of thing," he said, flatly.

Back scratching does feel good when you are nice and sweaty. But the love fest that is these networking meetings sounds like it goes from fun and sexy, to, well, a little scary, pretty quickly:


The men picked out spots on the upper benches ("Whoa!" someone yelled. "Scorch them berries!"), and the sweating started instantly. Mokko added water, the stones shushed and the men groaned. The aluminum tops of the beer cans scorched their lips, and the surface swigs grew warm. The heat slowly slackened postures, and, after some serious-sounding talk about the current American-Israeli crisis, loosened tongues. Discussion turned to Donald Rumsfeld's socks, UFOs and things that cannot be printed in a family newspaper.

This just sounds like the lead up to a porno we absolutely do not want to see.

At Finnish Embassy, the heat is on [WP]