Pools

Occasional SLN contributor Pierre offers his thoughts on the art of swimming, and focuses on his favourite SL pool, at Eden Naturopolis

I like pools. I spend some time, twice a week, at my RL equivalent, which has indoor and outdoor options. Even at this time of year, with a frost on the ground, there’s still a simple pleasure to be had in trawling from an indoor section through to an outdoor one and looking up at the stars on a clear, crisp November night. In summer, I do the same. Unfortunately most of this is undertaken in a textile (clothed) environment. Only occasionally will I get the opportunity for naturist swimming, when on holiday. When in SL I do like to explore for swimming pools. I think I’m just drawn to the whole culture surrounding it, just as I was when I was a smoker. It wasn’t just a craving for a cigarette, it was the chance to open a fresh pack, smell the tobacco, have that oh-so-sweet cigarette after a meal. I managed to kick that habit and replace it with something else I obsess about: swimming. The smell of chlorine, the invigorating shower beforehand, the hot shower afterwards, the gentle music piped into the changing rooms. Maybe I’m just a bit OCD!

SL does have a sim containing many swimming pools, of course, at Siggy’s Waterworks Island. The place isn’t naturist, so I have to don a pair of speedos for my meanderings there, in and out of the water. Club QQ also has a nice swimming pool complex. But, as in RL where everything seems secondary after the experience of nude swimming, I do like to let my hair down at Eden Naturopolis’s pool. Such a wonderful, imaginative construction! Elbag and Brenda do marvellous work in every tiny element of their series of naturist paradise sims, but let me walk you through the tiny detail of this. One, it’s located next to the outdoor gym. After some weight training, it’s possible to relocate in a few steps to the jacuzzi for a warm-down of sorts. The pool has two sloped entrances, and very importantly the water is around chest high, rahter than unrealistically going over your head leaving you wandering around on the pool’s floor with air about 2m above! Important? Yeah. I like realism, and some pools are built by being ridiculously deep and requiring flight to get out, so simply standing, then walking out is such a simple, well thought pleasure. And to swim? I just attach my swim-ball. Don’t have one? Pick one up free at Summerdreams. You’ll find the slurl for it on our pages.

What I love about the Eden pool is that I don’t have to actually socialise or converse or interact. The whole thing is so well put together that I can simply play SL for a time, untroubled by others or the lack of others. It offers enough to create an interest over a long period of time.

I’ve taken some photographs of me doing my thing at the Eden Naturopolis sim, and I suggest if you’ve some free time that you maybe indulge yourself for a time at this gorgeous location within an equally gorgeous entity.

Even the rubber rings are set properly, ensuring a realistic sit in them, with your bottom stuck down through the ring.

 

Pierre

Issue 6: The elderly, naturism and the two in tandem in SL

It’s often reported that naturism is an ageing lifestyle, with proponents of it often in their 60s and 70s. The oft heard call is that it doesn’t contain any young people.

Let me clarify that. Landed naturist clubs, that is, clubs that own their own grounds, may very well be an ageing membership, and they may very well contain few young people. But I don’t think this is true of the lifestyle as a whole. I think what is happening is that young people don’t have any sense of wanting to belong to landed clubs any more and rough it in woodland in gloomy Berkshire or Connecticut. It’s easier to hop on a plane and jet off to the sun, being in the south of Spain or France, or Haulover in Florida in a few short hours and simply indulge in the lifestyle without a rulebook to guide everyone.

I can’t speak for the US experience, but in Europe I find that the usual resorts, some with opportunities to be resident, such as Vera Playa in Spain, or Corsica, will have a sizeable older generation of naturists, with younger people, families and so on being short term renters of apartments for 1 0r 2 weeks a year.

It seems logical. Older people have the time, money and opportunity to up sticks and move permanently to another location. Their family will have flown the nest, and they can downsize a family home and take the opportunity to relocate to the warmer climes of Spain where the weather, the outdoors living and the elements of exercise (walking, swimming) are all good for their health. If there is simple logic in not wearing a sweaty, clingy, wet swimsuit for bathing purpose, the logic extends well beyond that practicality to adopting a healthier and often cheaper lifestyle.

My own experience is that there’s a nice mix of ages in Spanish, French and Croatian naturism. Young couples filled with young love and a sense of it being an erotic experience, through to families (such as my own) and on to middle aged couples, now free from the responsibilities of parenting and on to elderly couples.

One of the great things about naturism is that we all mix! While people can often seem compartmentalised in age groups, naturism sweeps that away, and I’ve had great nights out with elderly couples full of life while babies scramble around on restaurant floors and the inbetweenies tape their toes to, typically, singers plying a mix of 60s to 90s pop music. Not all of this is conducted nude, of course, but the naturism of the day seems to break down barriers that means textile evenings (naturists love dressing up for nights out!) retain this lack of age barriers.

And, of course, when we return to our naturism the following day by the pool or on the beach, we’re still mixing with and saying hello to people we met the night before.

Often, people don’t actually discover naturism until their 40s or 50s, too, when they’ve reached that age where they no longer actually care what others think and are comfortable in their own skins.

Second Life is slightly different, in that it’s the land of the eternally young, as a rule, and regardless of an avatar’s RL age, they tend to adopt a younger looking avatar. Perhaps a process of recapturing youth and reliving what they didn’t have first time out in RL? I don’t know.

We know there are concerns about age-play in SL, to the extent that younger avatars are almost non existent. Those who do adopt, say, teenage girl skins will find their role questioned at every turn. Quite right too, because there may be questionable motives about their adaptation of a 15 year old girl or boy. I’ve no issues at all with this aspect of life being marginalised out of existence, although there are times when I wish I could have the opportunity to hold the hand of a bot like addition -a wearable child, essentially- so I could replicate life as I experience it in RL…taking the hand of a small child through clothes shops or paddling at the beach. I am a Mum of two young children after all. And I say a bot-like addition, a wearable child, so that I control the add-on, rather than being party to some sort of sordid age-play. We can, if we choose, get pregnant and have babies in SL, without much hoo-ha, but then the newborns simply disappear.

So it’s refreshing that some adopt an older look, for no other reason than it provides variety. I suppose there is a capacity for age-play, and an abuse of it, within that too. It’s entirely conceivable there are those who fantasise about ‘the older woman’ or a ‘sugar daddy’. I’ve little doubt it probably goes on in SL.

My experience is that older avatars are, almost without exception, run by….older people. Because I talk to a lot of people in the context of this blog, and friend them, the conversation is often on fairly mundane elements of Second Life, as well as real life, and it’s often clear that the adaptation of older skins and avis is because people recognise themselves within them. They no longer want to pretend to be 25, listening to some banging techno over the audio feed of an SL club. Their interests drift towards their RL interests…gardening, reading, travel and maybe even naturism.

I”m not going to pretend I’m swamped with older friends in SL, but I do know some middle-aged folks who are running middle-aged avis in SL, and also elderly people doing the same.

With that in mind, I decided the core piece of Issue 6 needed to address this ‘age’ thing, and find out what makes these avis tick.

Ella

This is as much as Ella had in draft form, prepared for Issue 6, prior to her absenting herself from the blog due to personal circumstances. But we felt that gave us enough of a clue to how to proceed with it and finish the piece with Ella’s view in mind. The following is an ensemble piece from the three of us, addressing the ‘age’ issue in SL, and SL naturism in particular. Because it was the core piece, we’ve worked long and hard at it to get it done ‘right’, and that’s the reason why it didn’t get published in the main body of Issue 6 last week.

Pookes, Harry, Barbara.

‘Pops’ and Gladys demonstrate that naturism in SL can be for everyone

Barbara writes: I suppose that I almost qualify as SLN’s own ‘elderly’ person. I’m in my late 40s, so probably not that elderly, and maybe even average in terms of SL user ages. But I do utilise an avatar that properly reflects my age. The shape’s ‘filled out’ a little, gravity does take a toll, lol, and I began to get some grey hairs when I was in college. Being young and vain, I dyed my hair for a while but my boyfriend -Mr.Whelan now for more cares than he cares to remember I care to remember- liked it, so I eventually grew it out and turned white eventually, so that’s something my avatar reflects. Ditto the hair style. As women get older they generally begin to wear shorter hairstyles, so that too is how I like to keep myself looking in SL. The weird -or maybe not so weird given Ella’s observations above- thing is that men seem to like the avatar. Maybe sometimes too much 🙂 The simple fact is that I feel comfortable in the SL avatar I wear, having experimented with that younger look when I first came into SL, and this is how I’ll continue to run my avatar.

One thing I do find is that many of the clothes offered in SL just aren’t me, or for my avatar’s age. Mini skirts? I don’t think so. Ugg boots? Ugh! Daisy Dukes? My bum’s definitely gonna look big in those! Lingerie is probably OK as I think that all ladies in SL have a drawer of sexier underwear for special occasions (by which I don’t mean racy evenings with the other half, although that can happen too, merely the black bra/panties sets worn with the black formal gown we sometimes need to wear, for example) although we would probably tend to utilise more in the way of functional ‘tidy whities’ -plain white underwear- on a day to day basis. Incidentally, is any designer in SL actually making ‘tidy whities’ as underwear? If they are, please let me know, as I’d love a really, really plain set of undies for the sake of realism. Fortunately, much of this decision making is taken away in the context of naturism. No choices to make much about how I look.

Pookes writes: I caught up with ‘V’, a woman ‘beyond pensionable age’ who sports an older avatar and is also a RL naturist. She spends a good part of the winter in her naturist apartment, ‘not doing much naturism’, she sighs. The milder weather, she says, is good for her than toughing it a cold, damp northern European winter, but it’s not really warm enough to indulge in everyday naturism. ‘We do have an indoor heated pool in our complex’, she says, ‘so I do take full advantage of that every day.’ Summers, she tells me, can be too warm, another disadvantage of growing old. ‘Energy wise, I can’t manage to do much in the full heat of the summer sun, and so my full time, proper naturism might be a week at the beginning and end of the season. The rest of the time I rent out my apartment.’ In the context of SL, ‘V’ manages to replicate her days according to her own RL times. ‘Yeah, I know’, she concedes, ‘it does seem a bit daft’. And so, logging on by day, she’ll merrily strip off if she wishes to lie under virtual sun and chat with friends. At night, as we’ve captured her here, she does ‘dress up a bit, just as I do going out for dinner when I’m at my apartment’.

‘V’ chats to Pookes in the balmy warmth of the evening

Why maintain an older avatar? As with others, the same feelings seem to persist with ‘V’ as persist in others: the older avatar feels more comfortable and something she identifies with. ‘I think you grow into your avatar. Initially it’s just a cartoon on a screen, but you eventually possess it, and to some extent it possesses you. I feel ‘right’ in the skin I wear. I wouldn’t feel right looking like a younger woman. It would feel odd, I think. Of course, I haven’t actually tried that since I adopted the older look. That felt right, part of me, while the younger avatar was simply a cartoon I didn’t feel connected to.’

‘V’ mans the BBQ while her guests watch her do all the work!

What is others’ attitudes towards her? ‘A lot of people think ‘wow, brilliant’ when they see my avatar and there’s a lot of questions about where I got the skin and so on. It’s an ice breaker, certainly. One naturist sim I visited, and which is closed now, were actively negative. They wanted young and beautiful. Me looking old and wrinkled kind of spoiled their idea of this beautiful sim.’

Yes! That is SLN’s intrepid photographer on the left!

And ‘V’s’ plans for the forthcoming year? ‘Pack my laptop, as I’m heading off for a couple of months. Other than shopping or meeting friends and dining out, I’ll occupy myself with a daily dose of SL and a RL dose of naturist swimming’.

Issue 6: Reinvention

One of the things I’ve found at this time of year is that my mind starts to wandering onto the topic of ‘a new look’. There’s just so many snowy sims you can visit, and it isn’t terribly warm being a naturist is the proliferation of SL snow, so I do begin to think about ‘a new look’ and reinventing myself for a new year. The blog may well suffer a similar fate with a total re-design, I’m not sure yet.

Reinvention doesn’t necessarily mean a radical overhaul. Essentially I’ll maybe adopt a new hairstyle, if I can find one I like, adopt a new ‘my outfit’ that places me in a set of casual clothes for shopping expeditions, I’ll change my glasses and so on.

Ella

This is the full extent of Ella’s planned introduction to a piece on reinventing the avatar, basically that with a new year comes a new look. We picked up the idea and opted to flesh it out for Issue 6.

One of our friends, Rosie, had decided on a total makeover for herself, so we grabbed a photo of her current avi look at Emotions Hair Salon while she opted for a new style. That took a while because we girls can be picky about how our hair looks.

Once she’d selected a style she liked we nipped on over to Not Buttons skins who have a selection of excellent, excellent free skins. Very natural and realistic free skins. Oh, and we got some new clothes to alter Rosie’s style, too. Total cost was, I think L$250, just for the hair.

After that, it’s back to the beach to enjoy a bit of sunbathing in the company of a fried, and show off her new look. We think she looks fabulous!

But what has this got to do with naturism? Our point is that some research into skins shows it’s possible to look fantastic for next to nothing when wearing, ah, next to nothing. Our skin is our main item of wear, our birthday suit, in naturism, and it’s something we can do well to choose carefully. Incidentally, while wandering Emotions with Rosie, we encountered an absolutely gorgeous nude avatar casually choosing hair. You go, girl! 

Update to my ‘vintage’ page

One of the ‘advantages’ of having editing rights to the blog (although I’d still prefer Ella to be sitting in the big chair, and letting me work in my comfort zone) is that I can see what people are searching for when they stumble onto or into the blog. And one of the things that has made a regular appearance during my tenure as an acting editor is that I can see that one of the search terms that turns up is ‘1950s naturist’.

I can see the appeal. In more strait-laced times, naturism would have had a much more daring aspect to it than it does 60 years later. And I guess that was the era of ‘nudist camps’ and ‘nudism’ more than naturism as we know it today. Photos of smiling people innocently playing with beach balls.

Inspired by this revelation, I’ve decided to update my Vintage page, and offer up a selection of new photos that are intended to capture a sense of 1950s naturism. Borrowing a friend to model for me, and stopping only for her to buy a 1950s hairstyle and swimsuit (quickly abandoned!), we hopped on over to the Image Essentials sim, and rezzed a boat scene. Many, many photos later, the fruits of our labours can be seen over at that page. Naturism, kind of, but also glamour in the poses. I think that’s perfectly fine, given that 1950s naturist photography often looks very staged for the camera.

Harry

Mykonos

We’ve reported from Mykonos, which turns up in a search for naturist locations, before. Ella has never put it in the slurls list, and I don’t know if this is an oversight or deliberate, but I’ll try and find out. Note that the link goes direct to the beach, a different slurl from that which you’ll find for the main tp point at Mykonos. I’ve done this deliberately because my guess is that the sim isn’t ‘naturist’, but is merely clothes-optional with regard to the beach and its environs. TP in in swimwear, at the very least, if you’re uncertain and then do as the Grecians!

I love the airy feeling, the colour and layout of the sim which really does capture an essence of Greece. You can rezz and ride a donkey, for example, and that was a SL first for me!  I did opt for the ‘swimwear’ option for my visit, in the absence of any clear instruction to a ‘naturist’ zone, and so Harry was subsequently despatched to round up willing models 🙂 for the naturist element of it.

What I will say is that it felt very laid-back. I can imagine that the builders have simply factored in that ‘clothes optional’ element because it simply reflects the real Greece, and a kind of personal freedom of choice that exists on many of the beaches there, with users opting to wear swimwear or go nude depending on their own feelings on the matter. To that end, there’s no signs on the sim saying ‘nude beach’, but I imagine there’s a quiet acceptance to whatever dress code you choose.

Barbara

The photos are basically stock-shots. I am constantly photographing in SL both naturist and non-naturist aspects of life on the grid, and I got this lovely looking couple on the beach one day. I’ve not cropped them as I felt it was important to try to capture a feeling of the space, air and light that is present on the sim, as well as the marvellous looking build.

 

Harry

 

 

Domaine tout Nu

Normally, this would be Ella’s…er…domain, bringing you the first reports of new sims for you to visit, explore and enjoy. In her absence, it looks as though first news of Domaine Tout Nu, a sister sim to Nudity Where Art Thou, has fallen to me. I won’t add a slurl to its location, as the Domaine is only open to members of the NWAT group, Societe de Nudistes Insouciant, before being able to access it. In other words, establish your naturist credentials! Which is fine and dandy with me, with us at SLN, because it means we don’t have noobs sporting unrealistic and erect penises running around the place. As Ella’s mantra runs, ‘genuine naturism’!!!!

The Domaine was open to the public over the weekend, however, while the Pajama Party was on (what do you mean, you missed it? We advertised it, which just goes to show you simply have to keep up to date with the grid’s naturist goings on via SL Naturist).

I have to admit I did miss the Pajama Party, as most of the staff here at SL Naturist did too, on account of it being the dead of night, European time, and its 5pm SL time start is just a little too late for those of us who are working. I’ve decided that what we need at SL naturist is an insomniac or a north American correspondent to report on the exciting things we sometimes miss.

As usual with Rok’s builds, the Domaine is stunning, and has a Carribean kind of vibe, with its tiki-styled  built on water beach houses, and a fantastic kind of beach vibe. Rok’s something of a Francophile, so if you think of NWAT as being a more French homeland build, an SL equivalent to a mainland French naturist resort like Arna, or maybe Cap D’Agde (without the sordid exhibitionism that has overtaken the RL Agde), then I guess we can view the Domaine as a French ’empire’ outpost. The vibe would definitely put me in mind of St. Martin, and the Club Orient naturist resort there. And it’s made stunning by the little attention to detail in the build, the lights hanging off branches on the beach and so on. I liked it a lot.

Rok has also built a third, adult, sim, which I may visit and report on. Yes, yes, I do remember Ella’s mantra, but again Rok has an instinctive grasp of what modern naturism is about, and that it does have room for some sexual element. I note the appearance in one of my favourite RL naturist locations of a swingers bar recently, and while that isn’t my or Ella’s idea of ‘genuine naturism’, a family orientated lifestyle, I do acknowledge that there are those who pose as naturists, and who may actually be genuine naturists, who harbour exhibitionist and ‘swinging’ tendencies. Actually, on second thoughts, maybe I should get a couple of volunteers to report on this adult sim of Rok’s, lol.

Why would we report on it here? Well, we do have a page that can cater for sims of a ‘naturist with sexual content’ variety. It’s fairly sparse right now 🙂 and I guess Ella doesn’t encourage us to report much from these locations. Besides, I think we’re all fairly happy doing the reporting we do from ‘genuine’ locations. But the page is there, and maybe now is the time to add to and update that page. Volunteers?

I had the Domaine to myself. Hardly surpising, given the time I visited, in European late afternoon, but I took a variety of photos to give you a feel for the place.

Jus d’orange or jus de tomate, monsieur?

My filthy habit with my favourite brand!

Relaxing on the beach

‘If this was NWAT, Remy Martin would have served me by now!!!!’

Catching up on my favourite magazine, SL Naturist

The sign says it all

Time to chill in the jacuzzi

Working up a sweat at Domaine tout Nu’s sauna

Pookes

Happy birthday to us!!!!!!!

SL Naturist is celebrating our first birthday. It was November 10th that Ella, dressed in a business suit(!) announced the blog/mag’s presence in the blogosphere.  In that year we’ve produced close to 300 posts, many, many photographs and endeavoured to keep you up to date with all that’s going on in the world of SL naturism.

So, on that note, here’s a pic of me enjoying some birthday cake 🙂 Here’s to our 2nd anniversary, another 300 posts, and another fantastic year’s virtual (and for some of us, real) naturism in front of us!

 

 

Pookes

Hi! Remember me?

Today is the first time I’ve got inworld in eight weeks. In that time I’ve done a lot of driving and flying, as my mother remains in hospital, and my life is rather dominated by the fact. Currently, there’s no end in sight to the situation, and I would re-state my intention to continue absenting myself from the blog until, perhaps, Christmas or the New Year. Reaching exhaustion/bursting point, I’ve also succumbed to illness myself, simply worn out by the stresses and responsibilities associated with my current situation. I know my ‘moan’ isn’t what you come to read, but I did want to provide an update. I’d just like to add my thanks to Pookes, Harry and Barbara for taking on the lion’s share of keeping the blog running in my absence, and from what I’ve seen in just a quick flick through what has appeared in my absence looks terrific. Thank you all. I’m also rather surprised, and delighted, to discover my old ‘boss’, Emma, is helping to fill in in my absence. Someone, somewhere, has great powers of persuasion 😉

I will be back at some stage, but I’m just not sure when.

Ella.