Becky says things about … stand-up sunbeds

What’s that you say? ‘Becky, surely you can’t have anything to say about stand-up sunbeds’?

Well, O doubting Listener, I do.

Here in England, Mr Sun, after a long and frankly evil period of absence, has finally decided to show his face, and much like the rest of the pasty, sallow English species, I panicked when I realised that I will soon be required to exhibit flesh in public.


So there was nothing for it but to pay a visit to a sunbed.

Except that when I go on the lie-down sunbeds – which really isn’t that often – I get a burnt bum. I mean a seriously burnt bum. Traffic cones will melt if I stand too close to them.


So to avoid this potential plastic-melting hazard (because one must consider every eventuality), I opted instead for a stand-up one.

For those of you who have not been in a stand-up sunbed, it is like walking into a toilet cubicle on a spaceship in which someone has left the heating on for many hours. It has flashing buttons and neon lights and big heavy doors that should make a vvvvvvt noise when they close, as all spaceship doors do.

For those of you who have been in a stand-up sunbed – you just, kind of….


Don’t you?


They’re just a bit awkward, aren’t they? I mean you really do just


Naked, blasted with ultra-violet rays, wearing tiny black goggles, in a confined space.

It’s all a bit strange, really. I thought to myself ‘Well…… here we are then…’ And then thought of nothing, because there is literally nothing else to do or think.

Then I decided to pass the 10 minutes by doing some squats. You know, get a tan, tone my bum, multi-tasking like a pro. So I sank into the first squat, burnt my bum on the ultra-violet wall behind me, cursed, and stood up again. That was the end of the squatting debacle.


So then I thought that, despite the lack of music, I’d try a little dance. Anything to avoid just


So I performed a jazzy cavort that involved one very small side-step. Then a very small side-step back again. And so on, for about nine seconds, until I felt embarrassed in front of myself and stopped.



So after that I was back to just


But then seeing as I was naked, I thought I’d pass some time by fiddling with myself. No not like thatyou foul beast. There’s a time and place for everything, and those silly goggles do not put you in a sexy mood. I mean just … you know … fiddling. I played with my elbow skin for a bit. That was fun. Then I prodded my stomach. Then I gauged whether I could be suspended by a hook through my love handle in a Saw-like torture method, and decided that I definitely could, which was a bit of a bummer.


Then when I’d run out of bits of prod, poke and pull, I was forced to just


After about 30 seconds of


I thought I’d be a daring ninja-type-James Bond-tough-guy and flip my goggles off my eyes to see just how bright it really is in there.

I performed said goggle-flipping manoeuvre . And I’ll tell you just how bright it is in there. It is ****ing bright.


After causing myself permanent ocular damage, adding ‘Being suspended from a hook by my love handle’ to my list of Things To Worry About, embarrassing myself in front of myself with scanty dance moves, and searing my posterior, I decided to play it safe and wait out the last few minutes by just


while my skin slowly crisped.


I prefer the lying-down ones.

32 thoughts on “Becky says things about … stand-up sunbeds

  1. Thank you, Becky, for the vicarious standing-in-a-tanning-booth experience. It was my first 🙂 Sounds like you survived, though not without some adventure. Do you think you could eat while stand-tanning? Not a popsicle, I suppose. A s’more might be good. Please share thoughts 😉

    1. Very good idea. That would definitely be something to amuse myself with – maybe I could try frying an egg on my forearm? Or seeing how long it takes to melt a Cadbury’s Cream egg…. This is fascinating stuff, I’m getting right down to the tanning salon as soon as my glowing red sunburn goes down….

      1. though be careful to not get tan lines with the egg (chicken or chocolate). I will look forward to your reporting back. Hope you have lots of aloe on hand.

  2. You have a gift for writing about anything. You and stickman are awesome.
    Sounds like quite the experience. I could never bring myself to pay money to be…burned…while naked. Seems to be very popular, but not the least bit appealing to me. 😉

    1. Too kind, Lils 🙂
      Being burned whilst naked is a ridiculous thing to do. You only have to look at my bright red patchy body today to know that. You are completely correct in shunning the whole adventure. My boobs look like tomatoes. The whole thing’s been rather embarrassing. 🙂

  3. I’ve never been in any sort of tanning bed. I fear my Scandinavian skin would immediately go up in flames like a non-sparkly vampire. After reading this, I think I’ll stick with my pasty white snow fairy skin, thanks.

    1. You are wise beyond your years. A non-sparkly vampire? The worst kind of vampire. No one needs to look like that. Stick with fairy skin. For the love of God, stick with fairy skin.

  4. Don’t they have these things were they just spray the colour on you instead of exposing you to radiation? I think I saw it in on a Friends episode. I wouldn’t dare use a sunbed though; I’m the kind who peels instead of acquiring a tan. 😦

    1. Yes, that’s a much more sensible option to take, less harmful, more expensive, and less painful. I have made a terrible error of judgement in this whole sorry palaver. 🙂

  5. I love stand up sunbeds, so deliciously warm… but I’ve decided to try not to use them anymore, after all the horror stories. I’m going to try a spray tan this year for the first time, I predict it will go horribly wrong aka Ross on Friends.

  6. Never done a tanning salon, standing sounds very uncomfortable… Spain sounds much better! Your post made me think of an article I read online, something over 2% of melanoma survivors still visit tanning salons! Yikes, wonder what they think about standing there.

  7. My whole family has been sharing this on FB since I posted it! Hope you’re getting lots of new readers. Incidentally, just used a stand-up sunbed myself. You’re absolutely right. I no longer know how to spend time in my own company if I’m not accomplishing something.

    1. Ah, bless you! I have noticed a little influx in readers, thank you so much! And yes, being alone in a small, hot, neon cocoon makes you feel rather awkward about yourself…. x

  8. HAHAHAHA Ooooohhhhh this brings me back. I was OBSESSED with tanning when I lived with four female roommates in university. One spring, we all starting tanning at the same place and people started asking if we went away on vacation together. We were so tanned in like March and looked like morons. And I always preferred the stand up option because otherwise, my armpits and under my butt cheeks would stay WHITE while the rest of me was a bronzed goddess. I haven’t gone tanning in a few years but it used to be fun times!

  9. “But then seeing as I was naked, I thought I’d pass some time by fiddling with myself. No not like that, you foul beast.” AHAHAHAHAHA! It’s like you know me so well.

    I never really see the point of sun beds, if the sun is out why don’t you just spend the time you’d spend in a sun bed actually tanning outside or something? I love going abroad and sitting around the pool because there’s always birds with their wabbs out. Though naturally I keep myself covered because I burn like a… erm… fish?

  10. Seeing as I have never tanned a day in my life (false sun or otherwise), this amusing recap will be my stolen first hand experience.

    Personally, I prevent my pasty white legs from blinding my friends when Ieaving the house by slapping on unhealthy amounts of self-tanning products. It’s not painful in the slightest, to your nether regions or anywhere else if you ever want to be kind to your bum…

  11. i am always scared that while I am standing there naked inside that thing (how barbaraic is it, when you really think about it) there is going to be an earthquake or flood or the building is going to fall down around me or some other disaster and I’m not going to know about it until I get out. or else someone is going to break in. i always feel like i’m missing a whole bunch of stuff going on in the world in the 6 minutes i’m in there.

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