Hi, I’m Amaris, SLN’s new contributor and I’m not a ‘naturist’! 🙂
If this has you spitting coffee onto your computer monitor in shock, let me explain.
I grew up in California, the land of plenty, and for many people out there (I don’t live there any longer) materialism rules. It’s not about how you are as a person, but how much you possess. Flash cars, flash apartments, flash clothes, flash jewellery. Sure, that doesn’t apply to everyone, and some in California are struggling, but there’s a general sort of feel to the place that shouts ‘money!’
My Mom and Dad are what might be called hippies. Both sets of grandparents had lived the American Dream, and done well for themselves, but both sets would discover one of each of their children (Mom and Dad) rejected the materialism and had their hearts set on living a simpler, less materialistic and more spiritual life.
My parents hooked up with each other at a music festival and have been together ever since (they’ve never gotten around to the the ‘bourgeois nonsense’ of marriage).
Three daughters were born. Allegra, Poppy and myself. All of us use Second Life as we’re now scattered around the globe and it’s things like SL and Facebook where we keep up with each other’s news these days.
Mom and Dad now own a small organic farm in Oregon, and live from whatever they sell or Dad makes (he is a skilled woodworker with a workshop attached to the house).
We grew up there, and it wasn’t unusual for some hippy friends to drop by regularly when we were kids and stay for a weekend, or a month, depending on how they felt at the time. Most were regular visitors. Almost everyone could play a guitar, there was no television, and we’d sit out at night on the porch having sing songs while the grown ups smoked weed and drank home made wines that Mom made (and still makes).
We were home-schooled too, and when other kids were finishing school for the day to shoot some hoops or whatever, our schooling would go on in many ways. We’d be out there in the fields and woods around the farm and even in the late evening the lessons would go on about some animal tracks or something. No summer holidays from school either. Our lessons went on 365 days a year.
And a lot of the time we, the kids, Mom and Dad and their friends would be naked if the weather was appropriate. There was no need to dress in summer days (July to September) that would be really hot, every day. It cut down on washing, wear and tear of clothes, and also made us all very comfortable with being naked. I don’t really remember a time when I didn’t see Dad working away in nothing but boots and a hat.
Or Mom in the kitchen, baking in nothing but an apron. We’d seed it all before, I guess, we could really process the idea. You just see ‘Dad’, not a ‘naked man’. And as kids, we all loved the hot days when we didn’t have to wear anything. I think it’s one of those things kids do instinctively and without shame until society teaches them otherwise.
My Mom and Dad would regularly be naked at home
Mom and Dad also had an open relationship, where they’d each have sex with some of their friends. Shocking? It wasn’t something being done in front of us kids, and we only learned about this in our mid to late teens when Mom and Dad probably thought we could handle the fact. It maybe was still a bit of a shock to find your parents take other lovers, but it seemed to work for them and they remain devoted to one another (and are now monogamous with each other in their older years).
There was also a huge amount of weed in evidence as we grew up.
Again, it wasn’t done in front of us, but I was familiar with that smell 😀 by the time we did get old enough for our parents to tell us what it was and what it did. Irresponsible parenting? Quite the opposite. When my oldest sister was caught by the police with a joint in her pocket (given to her by a school friend…she hadn’t even drawn a parallel between what she’d been given and a familiar smell around the house. Neither would I have done so!) and brought home, Mom and Dad sat us down with a loooong lecture about the dangers of smoking, the pluses and minuses of using it, and the dangers of tobacco in general. It was all spelled out for us.
Kids are kids, though, and we all started smoking it anyway, lol, and we’d smuggle bottles of home made wine out to the creek where we’d get drunk at an early age, probably the same age as kids in conventional homes though, and we’d camp out all night with a fire and skinny dip in the creek.
My older sister, Allegra, then went and did a couple of things that shocked our unsociable parents. She got a septum piercing and a tattoo. The septum piercing was OK, our parents said, but the tattoo was permanent, and not so highly thought of at home. In fact, there was a bit of a rift between Allegra and Mom and Dad for a while. But they eventually got used to and accepted it as part of youth culture that had changed since they were young. Allegra stopped at just one tattoo, but became a bit of a piercing junkie. Nipples, clit ring, belly piercing, eyebrow, ears..
Poppy, my younger sister, took exactly the same route. One tattoo, many piercings. In the meantime, I remained free of both for a long time. I finally took the plunge and got my nipples pierced, after which numerous other piercings appeared and, finally, a back tattoo of my own.
My avatar wears the same piercings I do in real life.
I’m very, very comfortable with communal, mixed gender nudity, I’ve grown up with it all my life, but no, I wouldn’t describe myself as ‘naturist’ at all.
I am, however, very much involved in ‘alternative lifestyles’, and my future posts in SLN will be from that perspective. Of course, this may involve a fairly relaxed attitude to clothes! Hope to see you all soon with my first real articles for SLN.