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Date night: try a sensory deprivation tank at flōt on Kettner

Avoid having to manage the usual workings of gravity or the hassle of clothes

For when you’ve seen and heard enough.
For when you’ve seen and heard enough.

On the two date nights a month that we customarily keep, my wife and I typically go out to eat, drink, and talk. But recently, we decided to take a break from that routine and do a different kind of activity. No eating, drinking, or talking. Also no seeing, hearing, or having to manage the usual workings of gravity or the hassle of clothes. We went on a sensory deprivation tank date — same float spa, separate tanks. This must not be that unusual: most local flotation centers seem to offer couples deals, and that includes flōt, which has two locations in San Diego. We went to the one on Kettner Boulevard in Little Italy.

Place

Float Spa San Diego

1202 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego

After a simple orientation from the kind lady at the front desk, we waited for a few minutes in the lobby, occupied only by us and a blissed-out young man with his eyes closed, soaking up the after-effects of his float in lotus position on a chair.

Soon, we were escorted to our rooms, where we were to shower before getting into the tank. But I did not simply hop in after my shower. First I needed to confirm that there was indeed no lock on my tank’s door, so that I could put to rest the various horror-story scenarios my mind was producing. Even so, I began my time in the tank with the door cracked slightly — adjusting, getting used to my enclosure. Finally, confident in the fact that I was at liberty to get out anytime I might want to, I went all-in and let the door close on my little womb-tomb.

My body was soon covered with a silky coating of epsom-salty water — about 1000 pounds go into each tank. It felt great on my skin, and is supposed to be good for you as well as providing the necessary buoyancy. I floated on my back in the dark, my arms and legs spread out. Opening or closing my eyes made little difference; it was that dark. My sense of my own body, and of the space surrounding me, came more from tactile information than normal. A little splashing. A gentle squeak from my skin rubbing against the hard plastic material of the tub. When I reached towards the spot where I remembered the door being, I could feel a little white towel that I had brought in with me. Whenever my fingers or toes touched anything, I noticed that the sensation seemed more intense, in the same way that people are supposed to taste food more keenly while blindfolded. I also had ear plugs in, though one kept wanting to squeeze out of my wet, salty ear; every now and then, I had to squish it back into place. Those plugs, combined with the tank itself, made my breathing and heartbeat the only things I could hear, which was itself sort of interesting.

While I had none of the more profound experiences that many flotationists report, I left feeling refreshed, more sensitively attuned to the world around me. Not bad for a first try.

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For when you’ve seen and heard enough.
For when you’ve seen and heard enough.

On the two date nights a month that we customarily keep, my wife and I typically go out to eat, drink, and talk. But recently, we decided to take a break from that routine and do a different kind of activity. No eating, drinking, or talking. Also no seeing, hearing, or having to manage the usual workings of gravity or the hassle of clothes. We went on a sensory deprivation tank date — same float spa, separate tanks. This must not be that unusual: most local flotation centers seem to offer couples deals, and that includes flōt, which has two locations in San Diego. We went to the one on Kettner Boulevard in Little Italy.

Place

Float Spa San Diego

1202 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego

After a simple orientation from the kind lady at the front desk, we waited for a few minutes in the lobby, occupied only by us and a blissed-out young man with his eyes closed, soaking up the after-effects of his float in lotus position on a chair.

Soon, we were escorted to our rooms, where we were to shower before getting into the tank. But I did not simply hop in after my shower. First I needed to confirm that there was indeed no lock on my tank’s door, so that I could put to rest the various horror-story scenarios my mind was producing. Even so, I began my time in the tank with the door cracked slightly — adjusting, getting used to my enclosure. Finally, confident in the fact that I was at liberty to get out anytime I might want to, I went all-in and let the door close on my little womb-tomb.

My body was soon covered with a silky coating of epsom-salty water — about 1000 pounds go into each tank. It felt great on my skin, and is supposed to be good for you as well as providing the necessary buoyancy. I floated on my back in the dark, my arms and legs spread out. Opening or closing my eyes made little difference; it was that dark. My sense of my own body, and of the space surrounding me, came more from tactile information than normal. A little splashing. A gentle squeak from my skin rubbing against the hard plastic material of the tub. When I reached towards the spot where I remembered the door being, I could feel a little white towel that I had brought in with me. Whenever my fingers or toes touched anything, I noticed that the sensation seemed more intense, in the same way that people are supposed to taste food more keenly while blindfolded. I also had ear plugs in, though one kept wanting to squeeze out of my wet, salty ear; every now and then, I had to squish it back into place. Those plugs, combined with the tank itself, made my breathing and heartbeat the only things I could hear, which was itself sort of interesting.

While I had none of the more profound experiences that many flotationists report, I left feeling refreshed, more sensitively attuned to the world around me. Not bad for a first try.

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