Trailer park trash or ‘Euro camping naturiste’?

I know that US trailer parks are seen as being ‘low rent’. They have these negative connotations attached to them, being where poor people who’ve slipped through the net of ‘the American Dream’ reside, particularly in southern US states. At least, that’s very often the perception of them. And while Okangan Forest, Nudist Resort and Trailer Park advertises itself as a ‘trailer park’, I’d like our readers, particularly US ones, to put aside any prejudices they may have for a moment and look at this sim from a European perspective.

‘Caravan parks’, in the UK and elsewhere, are somewhat similar, but are seen more as a kind of holiday home, often by the sea, for people who live in cities and wish to escape at weekends and bank holidays. To some extent they are equally ‘low rent’ -holiday homes for people who can’t afford a gite in the Dordogne (France) or an old farmhouse in Tuscany (Italy). 

Pensioners, even relatively wealthy ones, often buy touring caravans and scoot around the country, stopping up in a network of caravan parks at night and enjoying getting away for a few days (while drivers in queues behind them fume! 🙂 ) 

So it’s as Winston Churchill described the relationship between the US and UK…’two nations divided by a common language’.

Rather than think of Okangan Forest and Nudist Resort as a trailer park, look at it from a European perspective and view it as a kind of Eurocamping sim. Eurocamps aren’t naturist, although their style and outlook are replicated, on a smaller scale, by a loose collective of naturist camping sites in France operating under the France4naturisme banner. And for those interested in these sort of things, I can tell you I’ve ‘camped’ (in luxurious tented surroundings, with double beds, TV etc) at six(!) of their eleven sites.

I tp’ed into Okangan with that perspective and outlook and was delighted with the sim. There’s about a dozen trailers for rent (at affordable rents, too) around a lake, some nicely laid out roads and a manager’s office and tiki bar. Immediately, I can see the sheer potential of such a build. One, it’s affordable rent and two, it’s small enough to be able to ensure that neighbours will dwell very much on the social aspect of SL. You will know all your neighbours in time if the park fills up. I sincerely hope they do, because it’s a delightful place that I really, really hope succeeds. Ha! I’m almost tempted to replicate the entire thing with Winnebagos and a beach for that Euro feel and move right in!

Ella

(with thanks to visitor and potential Okangan resident Doksie for posing for some photos)

A reminder/New readers please note: My ‘weekends’ are currently Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and this is when the bulk of my SL activity, and posting to SLN, takes place. If you’re dropping me a note, and IM and email or anything else, bear with me on getting back to you, as I don’t make it into SL, or even the blog, every day.

 

 

Apres Sarah Aubel

During my internet surfing, which includes naturist and photography sites, I stumbled on Sarah Aubel’s site, and her photo essay ‘Children of Eden’. As Sarah says, they’re the ‘new face of naturism’, a lifestyle often associated (certainly in a ‘club’ sense) with people in their 50s, 60s and beyond.

Sarah’s essay certainly shows there’s new blood, younger people, coming into naturism and the future bodes well for the lifestyle, even if it maybe isn’t looking so rosy for organised clubs.

I think, today, people don’t think ‘we’ll join a nudist club’. They’re more inclined to think ‘I’ll swim naked because the law here permits it’ or even ‘We’ve done all the ski-ing/scuba diving/mountain biking type holidays, let’s try a naturist holiday’. And without prior experience, off they go and ‘dive in’. They may not be people who are living a naturist lifestyle on a 24/7, 365 days a year basis. That holiday may be their only experience of it -ever!

But it’s positive in that people accept their bodies, acknowledge that nudity doesn’t necessarily equate with sexual activity and that we’re all unique and beautiful.

With that in mind, I decided to replicate Sarah’s essay for SL. I rounded up some friends, asked new people and met with a generally positive response as I always do when asking for models in SL.

I’ve also followed Sarah’s convention in providing an age (models were asked to provide an age, even if it was only what age they thought their avatar was intended to be) and their experience of naturism in years (again, the figure was either real or the ‘back story’ they’d adopted for their avi). I photographed all against a backdrop of ‘camping site’ (as in Sarah’s original essay) Oh, and I titled them in French! 🙂

Au cours de ma navigation sur Internet, qui comprend naturiste et des sites de photographie, je suis tombé sur le site de Sarah Aubel, et «Children of Eden” son reportage photo. Comme Sarah dit, ils sont le «nouveau visage du naturisme», un mode de vie souvent associée (certainement dans le sens un «club») avec les gens dans leur 50s, 60s et au-delà.

Essai de Sarah montre certainement il ya du sang nouveau, les jeunes, entrée en naturisme et l’avenir est de bon augure pour le mode de vie, même si elle est peut-être pas l’air si rose pour les clubs organisés.

Je pense que, aujourd’hui, les gens ne pense pas que «nous allons adhérer à un club naturiste”. Ils sont plus enclins à penser «je vais nager nu parce que la loi lui permet ici» ou même «Nous avons fait tous les ski-ing/scuba plongée / montagne vacances de type VTT, nous allons essayer une de vacances naturistes. Et sans expérience préalable, ils s’en vont et «plongée dans ‘. Ils ne peuvent pas être des gens qui vivent un style de vie naturiste sur un 24/7, 365 jours une année. Ce congé peut être leur seule expérience de celui-ci-jamais!

Mais c’est positif en ce que les gens acceptent leur corps, de reconnaître que la nudité ne correspond pas nécessairement à l’activité sexuelle et que nous sommes tous unique et magnifique.

Avec cela à l’esprit, j’ai décidé de répliquer essai de Sarah pour SL. J’ai rassemblé quelques amis, a demandé de nouvelles personnes et a rencontré un écho généralement positif que je le fais toujours lorsque vous demandez des modèles dans SL.

J’ai aussi suivi la convention de Sarah dans la fourniture de l’âge (les modèles ont été invités à fournir un âge, même si ce n’était que ce que l’âge qu’ils pensaient que leur avatar a été conçu pour être) et de leur expérience du naturisme dans les années (encore une fois, le chiffre était soit réel ou «l’histoire de retour» qu’ils avaient adoptées pour leur avi). J’ai photographié le tout sur fond de «camping» (comme dans l’essai original de Sarah) Oh, et je les ai intitulé en français! 🙂

Harry

Naturism in Costa Rica : A sea change in SL naturist opportunities?

I’ve always got a few articles on the go, and they exist in ‘draft’ form on the blog until I either publish or abandon them. This morning’s post about Dekade by Pookes reminded me of another post in draft form I’ve not got around to publishing, so I’ve dusted it off, re-written a bit and taken the opportunity to get it published now.

Over at the Costa Rica sim, a place I adore because it’s such a beautiful, detailed and densely wooded and wild place -no shopping malls here!- there’s a scuba diving and nude beach area.

Now, the Costa Rica sim can’t be described as ‘naturist’, but the existence of this small beach area, as with the Dekade skinny dipping area, acknowledges that, yes indeed, people do like the idea of swimming and sunbathing without costumes. The Costa Rica sim can certainly be described as ‘naturist friendly’ because of it.

This set my mind to wondering if Costa Rica, the RL version, was ‘naturist friendly’, and a quick google search reveals that it certainly is, with a naturist resort (Heredia) and some beaches (Playa Montezuma, which looks very like the SL version) available. Costa Rica isn’t somewhere I really expect to visit for naturist (or other) holidays in my lifetime, so you’ll have to excuse my ignorance and need to research it a bit. I also thought that, by ‘nude beach’, it might mean ‘topless beach’, as occasionally used when describing beaches in the Americas (and their SL equivalents), but no, it seems that bare bums are welcome here in a ‘dare as you bare’ clothing entirely optional sense.

Montezuma Beach, Costa Rica

Coupled to Pookes’ discovery of the Dekade skinny dipping beach, I’m wondering if a little bit of a sea change is coming in SL, with sim builders acknowledging the existence of and need for naturist facilities. Maybe. Maybe not. Time will tell.

A sign that hardly warrants the word ‘warning’ any longer. Just your ‘attention’.

One thing I do know is that it expands our, SL naturists’, horizons, and offers a broader choice of locations. And I’m a little excited by the fact that away from the well-established naturist sims in SL, people who aren’t necessarily embracing the lifestyle are acknowledging us and our lifestyle. Long may this continue.

Ella explores Costa Rica’s verdant coastal woodland.

Ella.

 

Last post for this week

I think this is going to be the last post for this week, but you can never be sure with SL.

I hope I’m going to be a little bit busy, inworld for a change, searching out some nice office furniture for our new home (a place I’ve only obliquely referred to until now, but hope to give the full fanfare and works to next week).

If we’re going to have an inworld presence, then the office has to look…cluttered, lol, replicating my RL desk space. Scribbled notes, tea cups, pens, phones, as well as the computer and the usual office detritus are scattered in front of me, and I imagine the SL version will quickly replicate that.

Sure, I’ve got ‘other stuff’ going on at the desk, besides SLN, but the SLN stuff has its own little pile of printed emails, scribbled replies to be typed up, ideas, print outs to RL events that might be worth replicating in SLN…it’s all there!

As you can see from the photos, the removals delivery van was late, so Howie and I repaired to a beach cafe. As the bar man wasn’t around, Howie helped us to some fruit juice drinks (and yes, we used the honesty box! 🙂 )

I think Howie imagines he’s going to stick a desk in the corner of our offices and run his next SL publishing venture from there, but I don’t think I’d like him hanging around, holding me back. There’s just too many laughs going on for us to get any serious work done!

Still, we got to shoot the breeze in our lovely new inworld home, hang out on the beach and discuss a few ideas for SLN, which I could only scribble down on a bar napkin. Where are those removals men with my pens and notepad?

Ella.

 

 

 

 

 

Skinny dipping area at Dekade

Simple.

Have a sim. Dedicate a small area of it to skinny dipping. Stick in a few trees to hid yourself from ‘everyone else’, pop a swim ball in the water, a towel on the small boar deck, add a sailboat and hey presto!

That’s exactly what ‘Dekade’ have done.

Nothing fancy. Nothing elaborate.

It’s hardly even a ‘sim’, more a parcel, and a small parcel at that. Never mind that, because I guarantee this will remind you of those teenage years when someone shouted ‘hey, we could go skinny dipping’ and you all headed off to some creek that certainly didn’t have ‘naturist rights’, and you either stripped off completely (if you were with your girlfriends) or your undies (if in mixed company 🙂 ) for a furtive summer vacation splashabout!

I’ve pretended there’s boys lurking, so I’ve opted to only strip down to my undies…forgetting that a cooling bathe under a relentless summer sun has the tendency to make those undies a bit see through! Oops!

Maybe the boys have gone…so time for a bit of a sunbathe and at least partially dry off the undergarments. And if someone produces a camera, hide your face! 🙂

Often, these skinny dipping sessions would be tied into a trip to a friend’s house on the river, and the family would have a small boat, so some time would be spent messing around on that, maybe even using it as a diving platform.

And then those pesky boys would return, sending us scurrying into a reed bed to hide until they’d gone, or we got dressed.

Finally, there was the sensation of wriggling back into our jeans still wearing damp undies, before heading off home for tea.

I do remember coming home once with still wet hair and being quizzed by my mother about where I’d been, what I’d done. I finally, red-faced, confessed to having been skinny dipping (one of those times when we did get naked). A few more questions as to location followed. When I told her, she laughed, and told me it seemed to be a summer rite-of-passage in the village where we lived, and that she had done exactly the same thing in the late 50s. I, as a teenager, couldn’t bring to ask my mother at the time, but I broached the subject years later. Did she…you know!

‘Oh, we stripped off completely’, she hooted with laughter, ‘because we didn’t dare have our mums find us out wearing damp clothes. It was also a case of getting our hair tied up and not getting it wet, because that was a giveaway’. It’s hard to think of your mother as a skinny dipper. Still, just visiting this lovely little location brought all those memories flooding back, and I thought I’d share with you.

Pookes

 

 

Djevica part 2

Djevica met Harry in this post, essentially part 1 of a two parter. I didn’t intend it like that, but connection problems and computer problems caused some levels of difficulty for me to get the whole thing out at one time. So, for part 2, we’ll pick it up where Harry met up with Djevica for a further ‘interview’, but Djevica loves to talk, and thus it essentially turned into a monologue. I liked the idea so much that I’ve subsequently edited Harry’s questions out, and rewritten it into a more conversational style (again) that does away with the need for questions inputted. Ultimately, it becomes ‘Djevica’s Manifesto’. Ella.

Some of my work isn’t really suitable for a naturist magazine, because it’s themed and intends to make bold statements. But I can show you Women’s Rights, a work I’ve just done with this magazine in mind, as it shows how I work, and how I think in fairly simple but hopefully powerful terms.

You can see it’s a glamour styled shot, but on closer examination the nude female, who is posed to represent the idealised version of women, by men, is blindfolded and has her mouth taped over. Her voice and her vision are denied in order to present an image palatable to men. It’s a recurrent theme in my work. I don’t really see myself taking a particular feminist stance as much as stating the obvious. A lot of SL has this same idealised vision of what women are. I am not in SL to be a male’s vision of womanhood, but a vision of myself. And that’s not to be an adjunct of an SL male with a virtual relationship. ‘Djevica’ is an extension of me, not a whole new invented alternative persona trying things the real life version wouldn’t try. This (Women’s Rights) is how I see some women in SL.

The next one is ‘Who’s in Control? (No.2)’

What I’m trying to achieve here is the idea that, while men imagine they’re in control of women in SL, they aren’t! The number of women (or men pretending to be women, which is a whole different pyschological set of issues) ‘on the game’ in SL is astounding. But there’s a matter of it being the world’s oldest profession applying itself to being Second Life’s oldest profession too. It is how women can make money to fund their second lives, and we’ve not worked out how to pay builders or doctors in SL yet. Posing in a red light window, the question is asked as to who controls who. And there’s no real, clear answer to that.

I’m Croatian, and some of my work does dwell on our recent history. The wars in various countries near where I live, the images and horrors of those wars. These works are not for SL Naturist, but in a small way I’m trying to make a personal and political statement on a shadow that still hangs over the whole Balkan region. We also see that, in Greece and elsewhere, economic issues create new ‘enemies’, usually immigrants and we live in dangerous, worrying times. My work outside SL is, of course, my main work, but the art created in SL informs what I do in real life and vice versa.

I don’t expect everyone to care or understand, but those who look at images with an artistic eye should hopefully find something in what I do to challenge them.

Unlike others, I don’t sell or reproduce my art. If someone wishes to buy, that’s great, but I could not imagine these being any more than works of one copy. Prints diminish the effect. Art should be unique, even in SL.

Djevica