In the vineyard

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I saw this advertisement for wine on a naturist blog, Avondale apparently being a South African wine producer. I did a bit more research and discovered their advertising campaign for ‘wines au naturel’ goes back to 2008.

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Clearly, the idea of nudity in advertising isn’t new, and wasn’t new back in 2008, but still has a power that ‘textile’ advertising probably lacks.

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Here’s a crop of Second Life grapes being picked before being fermented. It’s hard work out there in the vineyard, so it’s important to wear a hat while working. Those plump, red grapes are going to make a terrific bottle. 2017 looks like it will be a vintage year!

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Wine tasting at SLN Central

Ella

 

Camping/Glamping (Part 2)

continued from Camping/Glamping (Part 1)

In Part 1, I explained how we’d accidentally discovered naturism on one of our first holidays together as a couple. In Part 2, I’m going to continue our unfolding adventure.

We stopped by a river and as we were eating lunch it occurred to us that we could maybe go skinny dipping. So we did! 🙂

At the time we were still using a Polaroid camera that produced instant photos, we were still pre-digital back then, so we took photos of each other after the swim, not the first naked photos we’d taken of each other, but the first in a public environment.

We’ve tried to replicate those first photographs within Second Life (below).

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Yes, we did keep our helmets on to remain anonymous, lol.

(Ella adds: Thanks to Harry for the post production that allowed the photos to be presented in a Polaroid style)

Not every night on that holiday was spent at a naturist campsite, sometimes it just seemed too far to ride in a single day to reach one, but about half of the remainder of the holiday was spent on naturist campsites, and we spent our first day on a naturist beach on that same trip.

A couple of years later we got married and then children came along, by which time we were pretty committed naturists at home and abroad. In the period before the kids were born we’d set off on the bike and had usually picked a place where we could probably get a naked swim or sunbathe in.

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While the weather may be against us often, Ireland is a potential naturist paradise when the sun shines. Wheel the bike into this field, park it against the tree and walk down to a beach where you can almost certainly use it, undisturbed, for hours on end.

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Co. Galway, Renvyle Beach. If using this for a skinny dip you could see someone coming half a mile away and cover up if you thought it likely you’d offend anyone’s sensibilities.

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Co. Donegal. The trick is to go midweek. You might have this place to yourself for the entire day once a few dog walkers have used it in the morning.

Once the kids came along, though, we needed something better suited to family life than a motorbike, so we bought a camper van instead.

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It’s not as convenient as the bike, but there’s two willing sets of grandparents who are more than happy to take the kids for the most of a day (they’re in their mid-teens now, so not much looking after is required) while Mary and I still stick our leathers on and head off on the bike like we used to. After many happy naturist holidays with them in France, and weekends at home, they’ve now sadly reached that body-conscious teenage where the idea of going naked themselves, or seeing Mum and Dad go naked horrifies them. Happily for Mary and me they’re all off to a summer camp this year, so I’m currently getting the camper van spruced up for two weeks in which we plan to your as much of Ireland’s coastline as we can, skinny dipping, naked camping and sunbathing (weather permitting) as we can!

Jem

Camping/Glamping (Part 1)

Glamping may conceivably be a word which hasn’t travelled far beyond the confines of Ireland and the UK. A Google search would suggest this to be so, with few references to glamping in the US, although the wide open highways and sparsely populated regions of vast tracts of land make it ideal for use of an RV, a recreational vehicle, which would almost certainly provide many of the more luxurious amenities associated with glamping in Ireland, the UK and parts of Europe.

Glamping, in case you didn’t know, is a portmanteau word comprising glamorous and camping, thus ‘glamping’. It’s camping with a bit of luxury thrown in.

Typically, you might stay in a proper bed in a tree house. We can actually do this close to home. Staying in a yurt is also very popular amongst ‘glampers’.

There are a few campsites dotted around SL, and you can even rent a yurt to live in, should you choose to do so. Campsites, while not advertising themselves as ‘glamp sites’, do have some lovely looking tents and facilities in SL that would put them firmly inside the ‘glamping’ category (see photos below).

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A Second Life yurt

Mary, my wife, and I started off our holidays together on a motorcycle and a couple of panniers attached. We’d take off to France by ferry and then stop at one of the thousands, literally thousands of campsites dotted around that country. One website claims there are 9289 campsites in the country. Given the amount of them you can find I’d say it’s probably an accurate figure, and there are maps you can buy, sometimes get for free, that show all campsites in a region. You can stop for lunch at a lovely little French cafe and plot the afternoon’s biking, knowing you can check in, pay not too many euros and throw your tent up. Some are very well appointed, with on-site restaurants dealing in top quality food, shower and toilet blocks and small shops for camping essentials you’ve maybe run out of or forgotten to bring.

Not all of them are naturist. It was on one of those early holidays, I think we were 18 or 19, that we actually discovered naturism when we checked into a naturist campsite by mistake. We knew what naturism was, of course, but had never thought of ourselves as being naturist. Mary says I read the map wrong, I say Mary read the map wrong, but we checked into a naturist site in error. I think we’d both have got on the bike and headed onto the one we planned to stay at, but it was late and I’d been driving the bike all day, and I knew I was getting too tired to bike onwards safely.

So we pitched our tent, stripped off, wrapped towels around ourselves and headed off to the nearby shower block to freshen up. It was a hell of a shock to find the showers were unisex, in our innocence we thought there’d be male and female blocks. So I had to stand guard while Mary showered and then wrapped herself in a towel again!

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We got back to our tent as the light faded, so we were able to sit outside the tent and eat some supper, planning the following day’s ride by torchlight. It felt really good, to me, to be outside, naked, and warm at night. I told Mary that I liked the feeling and was a bit surprised when she said she did too. I though she’d have been much more reticent about being naked in a public setting, even though no one could actually see us.

We got up at dawn the following morning and even though it was first light there were a few people swimming in a river that ran through the site. We sort of reached that ‘I will if you will’ moment and we opted to run down to the river and jump in too. It was completely exhilarating. Watching the sunrise, being naked outdoors, swimming in a river. We pretty much giggled all the way back to our tent, feeling rather proud of ourselves.

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We set off the next day to follow what was the itinerary we’d planned, but at some point along the road I felt a tap on my helmet, a signal that Mary wanted to say something. This was almost 20 years ago, we were young, and my bike didn’t stretch to communications between our helmets. I stopped and Mary told me she’d rather liked the morning skinny dip and the entirely unexpected exposure to naturism and could we tear up our itinerary and rethink it? Sure we could.

We bought some bread and cheese in the next village, drove out to a nearby river and sat down to re-think the holiday.

(continued in Camping/Glamping Part 2)

Editorial : Losing ground

Over the weekend I began a tour of all of the ‘naturist’ locations I can find in SL, with the idea that I should update info on them, provide new slurls, if necessary, and give you some indication of what’s available on each in terms of facilities.

It was a rather depressing start, as one after another seemed to be populated with those who don’t have any conception of what a naturist or nudist beach entails. Beachwear, in many instances. Outdoor wear, in some. Folks, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we’re losing ground to SL textiles within the few naturist locations we have.

This isn’t so much different from real life, if we let it happen. One or two textiles lay claim to a bit of naturist beach, more textiles arrive and the next thing we know we’ve lost all or some real life naturist beach that was hard fought for.

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This is why some naturists are very militant. Some French beaches have ‘the nude police’ at the entrance, with volunteers saying ‘get naked or get lost’, in effect. Spanish naturists will all get to their feet and begin a slow handclap against textile invaders until the invaders get naked or get lost.

And this is now becoming a problem in SL, with textiles outnumbering naturists in some instances whenever you TP in. Like real life, I don’t necessarily feel ‘comfortable’ in a minority. If I arrive at a ‘clothing optional’ beach in RL to find that numerous textiles have laid claim to it, I don’t necessarily feel as if I’m going to strip off and become some sort of exhibit for them. If I arrive and numerous naturists are already there, I’ll merrily join in, even if there are one or two textiles, because I feel as if ‘we’ -naturists- have laid claim to it for the day.

It’s no different in SL. If I tp in somewhere and I’m the only one naked, I’ll be leaving, because there’s not any sense of being able to gauge people’s naturist bona fides. Believe me, there are locations where even though it’s just cartoon figures onscreen, the whole ‘nice t*ts’ conversation crops up from some badly shaped male avatar in a pair of bad board shorts and freebie hair from 2007.

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What I’d planned to do over the next few weeks was visit, then revisit, every naturist or clothing optional beach in SL, including some that I had previously regarded as not being genuinely naturist in SL -the places that will advertise themselves as ‘nude, nudist, naturist, f***, c***, p****’ etc, on the basis that they at least need to be acknowledged as existing. An example is Turtle Coast. We’ve never really covered Turtle, on the basis that it included pose balls for more intimate displays in SL, but really, the ground has shifted radically in the past couple of years, where Turtle almost invariably contains numerous fully nude avatars dancing and socialising in local chat, with all of the pose balls available in discreet locations going unused (if I use the mini-map to locate avatars).

Contrarily, Turtle now feels much more genuinely naturist than one or two locations semi-permanently peopled with clothed avatars, but still advertising themselves as a ‘naturist’ sim. While these locations have zero pose balls, they now feel less naturist than some sims with pose balls.

Do I start to list sites with a ‘textile’ issue? Do I remove such locations from our list of ‘genuine’ locations because they’re no longer properly functioning as naturist sims? (Example: Sunday evening, 9 avatars on one naturist sim, only two -myself and one other female avi- nude. The remainder in various states of being dressed.)

C’mon, sim owners! Up your game in how you police your naturist sim. Let’s have beach officers enforcing full nudity within the sims. Either that or please, please, please re-designate your sim as ‘clothing optional’ and give up the pretence of running a ‘genuinely naturist’ sim.

Ella

Naked opera

In 2014 the National Opera of Bordeaux, in conjunction with Theatre du Capitole, staged a performance of Rameau‘s Les Indes Galantes, first written in 1735. Rameau might not have envisaged it being staged, despite part of it being set in the Garden of Eden, with several nude dancers, and a renowned soprano, Amel Brahim-Djelloul, singing a role in a diaphanous dress that meant she may as well have been nude too.

Amel Brahim-Djelloul est arrivée en France en 1998

Amel Brahim Djelloul

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You can watch the entire performance of the first act on youtube.

Believe it or not, I chanced upon this (opera not exactly being my thing), while doing a search for one of the first pop records I ever remember knowing and liking, Haircut 100’s ‘Love plus One’, which came out when I was, er, five! :). A big hit in the UK, but if you’re elsewhere, it’ll maybe not mean anything to you.

Anyway…

…I started doing some research, and discovered that ‘nude opera’, or nude dance, is actually a bit of ‘a thing’, much more common than I would ever have imagined.

In the sense that it opens my eyes to a world hitherto alien to me (I like classical music, I listen to it regularly in the car, but I’m not so enthusiastic for classical music with voices in it) and it’s a world I’m now exploring for SLN, on the basis that the nude body, carried into the theatre or opera house, further normalises nudity in settings where I would previously said it wasn’t familiar but, following some research, discover it’s more familiar than I’d have imagined.

I guess we all thing of classical music, or opera, as the domain of a certain class of people, and that the idea of naked people on stage is likely to be something having them reaching for the smelling salts. On the contrary, it would appear that an opera audience have possibly a greater chance of encountering nudity in the theatre than a rock music audience.

I want to explore the world of nude dance more thoroughly, and report back on it.

I know that Canary Beck’s Basilique sim staged Milton’s Paradise Lost within SL, something that featured nudity (as with Rameau’s opera, part of it is also set in the Garden of Eden). You can watch Canary Beck’s version, for free, via her website.

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Margaret performs some ballet moves at the Basilique sim

note: despite the production of the ballet, the sim is not naturist. Margaret only disrobed when she knew there was no one else on the sim at the same time, so as not to cause offence to others who may have complied with the sim’s dress code. As with all other sims in SL, please act responsibly regarding nudity and comply with any dress codes in place while around others. Otherwise, our rules are similar to the old zen question of ‘if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a noise?’ On that basis, SLN would regard naturism or nude activity as perfectly acceptable.

It’s a marvellous watch and shows what is achievable within SL if people drag themselves out of the sex and shopping sims to do something worthwhile.

Ella

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Jem…

Blogging is time consuming, and over the years we’ve had a number of contributors who’ve not lasted the pace because, by and large, they wished to play Second Life rather than research and report. Others found the process boring, and we lost one (lost to SL completely as far as I’m aware) due to griefers. Others have said they’d contribute, only to fall by the wayside when it came to working to (fairly lax) deadlines. My own ‘inworld’ time is very often curtailed due to me having to do some research, edit photos, source RL photos, etc, etc… That’s OK, it’s how I want it, but it’s not for everyone. People will promise to be able to contribute, then fade away, and we’ve never had much luck with male contributors. SL blogging appears to be an overwhelmingly female pursuit.

I have however, great hopes for our newest contributor, Jem.

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Jem (his Mummy probably calls him ‘James’, though) is our newest contributor and, as I have in the past, hope he will be able to provide a male perspective on naturism in and out of SL. As is often the case, when I’m in SL I’m usually chatting with people in roughly the same time zones, and they’ll be the ones who end up as SL friends. A recent arrival in SL (By way of introduction, I asked him to provide a brief paragraph about himself.

‘Hi, I’m Jem, christened James, and that’s the name I took on joining SL, but as I prefer Jem in RL over James, that’s the name I’ll be utilising in SL and for this blog. What can I tell you about myself? I’m in my 30s, married, I’m Irish, and I’m a RL naturist mainly on holidays as Ireland isn’t exactly the friendliest naturist climate in the world. My wife and I, and our two children, generally take the ferry from Cork to France for our summer holidays, and we drive a motorhome around various naturist campsites. But yes, we’ve also practiced naturism in Ireland, as we’ll set off in the motorhome for weekends, find a deserted beach and live life as naturally as we can for the weekend. Ireland’s blessed with long, golden strands of beach which are vastly underpopulated, but it can be a bit hit and miss with the weather. I’m sure more details about my background will emerge as I blog. I’m rather looking forward to the new challenge of blogging, and despite being newish to SL I’m enjoying it greatly. I discovered the game when my wife joined it a couple of months before me, and I look forward to introducing you to her on SLN in the future.’

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Jem (and Mary) already have two articles on the holiday phenomenon of ‘glamping’ written and ready to go, and I’ll be publishing these during the course of next week. This will hopefully lead on to various articles in the coming weeks and months about naturist camping, something of a phenomenon in France, in particular, and we’ll be doing some reports from some of those RL locations and, if things go according to plan, live blogging from one or two of them during the summer months.

Ella

 

 

 

 

The Polar Bares…

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Last swim of the year, at Cap D’Agde

Last weekend was that time of year when numerous groups would have held their annual ‘Polar Bare’ type of swim, Cap D’Agde being one of them.

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I note that it appears to be one of the more ‘traditional naturist’ events at Agde, simply naturists going into the sea, Agde being somewhere that isn’t exactly known for ‘traditional’ naturism any more, although it does exist there.

As well as the naturist Polar Bare variety of swim, featuring nudity, there will have been hundreds of Polar Bear swims around the world. The same idea, with swimsuits.

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Coney Island Polar Bear swim

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Vancouver Polar Bear swim

Many of these dips are a great excuse to raise money for local charities too. We’ve written about numerous Polar Bare events over the years, so check the archives for further info.

You will also find that there are numerous all-year-round ‘Wild Swimming‘ events going on, and in the UK it’s very much a growing sport, with numerous ad hoc skinny dipper wild swimming groups also making their presence known. Again, there are numerous Wild Swimming articles in the archives, stretching back from the early months of the blog’s existence until as recently as last week.

We’ll be covering a variety of wild swimming events from RL throughout the year, and also occasionally finding some ‘secret swimming’ locations in non-naturist sims for you to enjoy if that’s something you might enjoy. There are some beautifully photogenic sims out there which lend themselves to a bit of skinny dipping photography.

Ella