A Morning Visit to a Women’s Public Bath House


by Faramarz

I was never very comfortable in places that have only women customers. They remind me of the time when I was 7 years old and my parents went on a trip for a month. They decided to send me and my siblings to Mashad to stay with my dad’s distant relatives. They figured that spending a cool summer month in the old brick house in Mashad would be a nice change for us.

After a week or so in Mashad, my dad’s old aunt told me that the following day she would take me to a public bathhouse (Hamoom Zanooneh!) She thought that it would be a good way to keep me busy during the morning. And also, she thought that at that age, I was old enough to take care of myself and yet young enough not to cause any trouble with the women at the bath!

In the morning she packed some Koofteh, Torshi and bread for lunch and we headed out to the bathhouse. On the way over, she cautioned me several times not to stare at the naked women at the bath. She said that Emam Reza is watching me and he would be very angry if I do anything bad! She promised that if I stayed quiet and behaved myself, she would buy me a Fanta orange drink for lunch.

She then described what the bathhouse was like and said, “The large hot pool is used by the men early in the morning before they go to work. When the men are all gone, the women can come in and use the pool. The men and women should never be in the pool at the same time because the women can get pregnant! Khadijeh, the daughter of Haji Mehdi who lives down the alley from us got pregnant last year. Her mother says that she must have stayed too long in the pool and because the men used the pool in the morning, that’s how she got pregnant! It is a blessing that they asked Emam Reza for help. A young Afghani guy who worked at Haji’s rug store (Hojreh Farsh) came forward and asked to marry Khadijeh. Haji was so pleased that he bought them a small house and sacrificed a few lambs for Emam Reza.”

At the time I had a limited knowledge of the sexual relationship between men and women, so I was very curious about the mystical hot pool that could make the women pregnant! I could not wait till I get to the bathhouse and see the pool.

There were naked women of all different sizes and shapes in the bathhouse. Most wore home-made shorts and nothing else. They washed themselves in the shower area and then came and sat in the pool. Some of them held a wash cloth in front of them; very much like the way Eve holds a fig leaf. I tried to keep my head down, but couldn’t. Every once in a while, I would raise my head and take a quick look!

Later on I learned that young women who wanted to get married showcased their bodies to the female relatives of the potential suitors in the public bathhouses. So when a guy was interested in a girl in a conservative place like Mashad, he would dispatch his mom or sisters to the bathhouse to take a close look at her and report back! It is in a way like the Iranian version of eHarmony!

The next time that I saw so many naked bodies was when my classmate Iraj brought his father’s Playboy magazine to our 7th grade class. At the first recess, he pulled the Playboy out of the sports magazine that covered it and laid it on the school bench. In a matter of minutes there were 20 or 30 of us stacked on top of each other trying to get a glimpse of Miss October’s pictures. Every 2 or 3 minutes when everyone agreed, Iraj would carefully turn the page and there would be a big cheer. The word soon got out to the other classes that somebody had brought a Playboy magazine to the school. At every recess, kids from other classes came to see the pictures. Iraj was the most popular guy that day!

After a while as I sat quietly on the edge of the hot pool, looking down and splashing the water with my feet, trying not to stare at all the naked bodies, an old lady came over and talked to my dad’s aunt. She looked at me and said sarcastically, “He is too old to be here among women. Maybe next time you should bring his father too!”

We left after a while and I never visited a public bathhouse again.


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Yek hamoumi man besaazam

by divaneh on

Thanks for the good laugh. That old woman was damn right. 7 years old!! If you stayed a little longer in that pool, even she would get pregnant.

Jahanshah Javid

Khosh beh haalet

by Jahanshah Javid on

Thanks for taking me with you back in time to the Hamoom Zanooneh. As they say, "vassfol eysh, nessfol eysh".

One of these days we have to get a discussion going on sexual attraction. We can reduce it to hormones and such, but why ruin the mystery?


Faramarz, your Fans #4 and #5 here

by Monda on

What an entertaining masterpiece this is on so many levels!  I can't do justice to stories like yours, so I ask my daughter to read them here. I'm in tears from laughing and my daughter's comment is, "interesting cultural scene, depicted perfectly" (with 1/3 smile)... don't ask me how she knows about the perfection piece. She may have heard other friends' hamoom zanooneh stories over the years and actually retained their images.  

I'm going to send this to all my friends who may have entirely missed out on all hamoom omoomi experiences, or not. 


حموم زنونه


Thank you dear friends for your generous comments.

Souri joon, thank you for being a fan. My fan club has now a sum total of 3 members! I always enjoy reading your comments.

Dear MM, thanks for the clip. I couldn’t help but to take a look. Emam Reza will not be happy with me. A “tobeh” is in order today.

Dear Red Wine, I truly enjoy your blogs and comments. Please write about your experience at the bathhouse.

Fatollah Jaan, it is amazing how much shared experiences we have from Iran. This stuff was happening all around us and we just had to keep our eyes open and see them.

Dear Yadam Beh-Khair,
As I grew older, I always wondered if the Afghani guy was the culprit or was he forced by Haji to marry his pregnant daughter and make an honest woman out of her. But nevertheless, Hajis’ daughters (dokhtar Haji) had quite a reputation in Tehran. The more religious and covered up they were, the more naughty and promiscuous they behaved.

Natalia, I am glad that you like my stories. If you like Sholeh Zard, try to make them at home, but invite a couple of Iranian friends who have good Persian culinary skills. Generally, the Iranian stores don’t have good Sholeh Zard. Make sure that you keep stirring the pot so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom. It is like making risotto.    



by Fatollah on

Faramarz jaan, thanks for the blog, sounds familiar! I think my older brother has an account a la "Iran khanoum age mishod babash o ham miavordeen" ;-)


Very enjoyable read.......

by Latina on

Thank you very much!


Yadam Beh-Khair

Khadijeh's pregnancy

by Yadam Beh-Khair on

Khadijeh, the daughter of Haji Mehdi was probably impregnated by the same Afghan suiter.

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

یک همچین جریانی برای ما هم در آن سالها پیش آمد.عجب دنیایست !

از خواندن مطلب شما همیشه خرسند می‌شویم.

همیشه سبز باشید.




by MM on

your nice story reminded me of this hamomi video:


I hope your eyes were closed or at least looking down at your keyboard!


the Iranian version of eHarmony!

by Souri on

Loooooooool, Faramarz, I've became a real fan of your stories!

Fabulous! Really I laughed and enjoyed so much.

I think the old lady was right and a 7 year boy is too old for going to the women bathhouse! I, as a girl, went only once into the bathhouse when I was 5. My grandma was insisting so much to bring me there to get me washed well by a dallak!!!

The part of your story that I loved the most is this one:  "The men and women should never be in the pool at the same time because
the women can get pregnant! Khadijeh, the daughter of Haji Mehdi who
lives down the alley from us got pregnant last year. Her mother says
that she must have stayed too long in the pool and because the men used
the pool in the morning, that’s how she got pregnant!