A sensual tour of the world's great bathing cultures. People journey to Greece for the ruins, Turkey for the Haghia Sophia, and Russia for St. Basil's, but Alexia Brue travels with a different itinerary: to visit the baths. What starts off as an innocent vacation quickly becomes an obsession, as the author ventures to Turkey, Greece, Russia, Finland, and Japan to sample the range of spa cultures and bathing traditions the world has to offer. Caught up in the tide of exploration and crossing paths with fellow travelers along the way, Alexia drifts further and further away from the life she left behind in New York City. Hoping to find a thriving local bath scene, she dips into hamams, banyas, saunas, and onsen, finding both disappointment and bliss. At once deeply personal and highly informative, full of intimacies, discoveries, and unexpected twists, Cathedrals of the Flesh is the candid and playful account of one woman's determination to follow her passion, ultimately inspiring readers to do the same.