The night’s catch

I like this photo of Harry’s, because it reminds me very much of my RL experiences on holiday.

I holiday close to a quiet fishing village, and the fishing boats’ lights can be seen heading back to port just before the dawn. If I’m up and about -I often am- I would wander down to the harbour to haggle with the skippers about a nice bit of fish, which is then brought back to the apartment we use and cooked for lunch or dinner. You really can’t get much more fresh than that!

I’m ‘vegetarian’ in that I don’t eat meat, but -if pressed- will indulge in a bit of fish on occasions. And holidays are one of those occasions. Besides, prawn paella is probably the best variant of that classic Spanish dish.the night's catch

Sadly, the harbour isn’t in the naturist area of the place we stay, so it means popping on some clothing. Probably a good thing, as it’s early morning when I go, and the sun isn’t up. Even in summer there can be a chill in the Mediterranean until the sun gets up and going.

The location for the photo is the harbour at the French Gay Naturist sim (see the links page for a landmark to it).

Harry reports that he’s getting to take a lot of photos away from the established naturist areas, and that SL’s grid can often be quiet, even deserted, when he’s doing a photo session. Granted, a lot of people congregate to more popular spots for the social interaction, while Harry seeks less populated areas in which to freely snap away, particularly if the sim isn’t naturist, but it rather seems to me that the grid is a little quieter than usual. What has been your experiences of it?

Happily, I can report that the SL naturist community is thriving, with populated, but not overly busy, sims each time I log in and check around them.

More of Harry’s photos will appear later today, and tomorrow, without there being any great sense of ‘naturist news’ attached to them. It’ll be more a case of photos showing people enjoying their Second Lives.

Ella.

Pushing the photographic envelope

Regular readers will know I spend quite a bit of time sitting at airports, or on planes, as part of my RL. I can’t read on aeroplanes, so I tend to spend a bit of time immersed in music, or messing about with photos I’ve taken on business trips and manipulating them within the confines of the various photo apps I have on my phone.

A trip last week involved flying into and out of a city I know so well that I didn’t particularly feel the need to go snap-happy, although I did still manage to knock off 100 more photographs for my files. Yes, I do take photos of ‘the tourist attractions’, like everyone else, but I tend towards photos of lesser considered things. Trabants in Berlin, boulangeries in Paris, taxi drivers standing smoking at a rank in Prague….that sort of thing.

Knowing I couldn’t fill an entire flight home manipulating images of the city I was in, I decided to experiment with a few SL photos I have. Some have already been posted, some are ‘pending’ for upcoming posts (so don’t be surprised if you see the originals in subsequent posts), some might otherwise never make ‘the cut’ for publication.

What I did was take a photo of the photos on my computer screen, rather than transfer them to my phone, so we immediately began with a photo that was ‘degraded’ to some extent. After that, I began editing them down using the ‘Camera Bag’ and ‘Camera Bag 2’ photo apps, and manipulating exposure times, contrast, etc, until I ended up with what you see here.

If anyone likes the end results, I’ll do a few more on my next trip abroad, and begin posting them all to the ‘Harry’s Pix’ page.IMG_0132 IMG_0134 IMG_0137

Harry
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The two photos above are from a forthcoming piece (probably in SLN9) about the model turned photographer Lee Miller

and her association with Man Ray. This led on to a session attempting to replicate Man Ray techniques like ‘solarization’. IMG_0158 IMG_0160

Ella

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Ella again, both taken on her exploration of the ‘Eden Celebration’ sim

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We’ve all heard on nude artist’s models. Here’s the nude artist in question! 🙂 IMG_0174 IMG_0176

Harry.

nb: After publishing, I’ve only just spotted ‘errors’ in a couple, such as a very visible computer cursor in a a couple, and a further photo badly cropped. My apologies for these mistakes

Keeping the sun off your head

I’m not going to put this in the ‘accessories’ page, as it’s a current ‘gift’ at Dressed by Lexi. It’s free, though, and this summer hat certainly does form an essential part of any naturist’s (or others) summer wardrobe.

Sunstroke is an obvious danger to those of us who may spend long hours in the sun. While sun block and sun factor are obvious pieces of RL kit for anyone out in the sun for long periods, people do often forget that the top of their head goes unprotected, and thus a hat is essential sun wear.

You can find the hat (L$0) at ‘Dressed by Lexi’.

hat1 hat2

 

Ella

Friends at the beach

We’ve set up this little scenario by way of introducing the theme for the next issue of SLN (available in June).

In it, we’re going to ‘blur’ the edges between SL & RL naturism, linking to many external websites, and providing a guide to naturism around the world and how that is reflected (or not) in SL.

As you’ll all know by now, I’m very keen that SL sims display ‘genuine’ naturist tendencies. Nudity, yes, but not as a pretext for sex. A proper naturist sim isn’t just a short cut to a ‘free sex beach’.

This is misunderstood by many avatars (and, come to that, many people in RL), a view reinforced by lazy journalism determined to galvanise an oft held view that ‘nude = rude’. It isn’t. In its proper context, naturism is simply people enjoying social beach (and related) activity without the need for clothes. It isn’t necessarily ‘sexual’. Indeed, spend some time on a naturist beach with its variety of ‘imperfect’ bodies (in the eyes of the fashion industry and media, all reinforcing unfeasible body stereotypes) which are all ‘perfect’ in their own way. There’s no shame, and no need for it. Everybody is beautiful, naked. Every body is beautiful, naked.

I’ll pick up on this in an extended editorial (the next issue will probably be our most text heavy issue to date, and work has already begun on it) in SLN9. There’s no need for me to write that editorial for you right now, when publication’s maybe eight weeks away! 🙂

What I will say -have said elsewhere already- is that publication will happen before I head off on my first RL naturist holiday of the year, and I want to publish a couple of weeks in advance of that, take a little break from posting (to pack, and refresh the writing battery) and then pick up on posting from my holiday, continuing the theme of last year’s ‘what I saw’ week long series of posts.

In a sense, this post could well fit into SLN9, as it’s a little photo-essay of ‘what I’ve previously seen, and what I’ll encounter on every naturist holiday I’ll ever take’.

It’s a typical naturist beach scene, from any location around the globe. A group of friends gather for a lazy afternoon under a scorching sun. In Europe, certainly, locals who live close to a naturist beach often embrace a naturist lifestyle without ever calling themselves naturist. ‘I’m not a naturist, I just go naked at the beach’, would be a typical response.

A naked couple set up a spot for the afternoon. Eventually, a friend joins them. The friend may not go fully nude. She (in our photo essay, but just as typically the friend could be male) keeps their swimwear bottoms on. A variety of reasons might explain this. A girl could be having her period, and thus will be wearing bottoms to hide her sanitary wear. She might be modest. She might not be in the mood. The same goes for a male. He’s out jogging, wearing shorts, and merely halts on spying some friends and has no intention of joining them, but stops to chat briefly. There are numerous reasons why not all of a group (and quite big groups of friends can and do gather up at the beach) are naked, and are sporting a variety of swimwear.

A friend may not have properly prepared for the beach. It’s a whim of the moment thing, and so she’ll maybe just strip down to her panties (as in our photo essay).

What’s remarkable is that there’s no sense of embarrassment on display. Fully naked males or females maybe meet people of the opposite sex who are clothed, and who they maybe already know well in a social or work environment. In Spain, in France, or in Greece, I’ve often seen this, with handshakes made as part of a formal kind of introduction between someone nude and someone clothed. Try imagining yourself in this scenario with someone from work, or a family member, and you’ll get some idea of how ‘odd’ the concept is, and yet how those with an easy familiarity of naturism simply accept this as part of the norm of social existence.

The following photos try to depict such a scene.

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I’ll also, um, draw your attention to our male model (Mark’s) penis 🙂 🙂 🙂

It’s highlighted in the two photos below.

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I have to stress we aren’t going ‘porn’ on you all of a sudden! The reason for highlighting it is that it’s an uncircumcised penis by Aero’s Cocks (wish the designers weren’t quite so, ah, ‘basic’ with the names of their business, even if it pretty much sums up the entire basis of their business!)

We’ll be doing a post on Aero’s Cocks in a subsequent posting. The vast majority of SL penises are circumcised, I think, reflecting a majority view (and profile?) of their RL users. They go for what they’re familiar with. An uncircumcised penis is a rarity, even though the vast majority of SL’s male, European users will be uncircumcised/uncut.

This is, quite possibly, the best looking, most realistic uncircumcised penis I think I’ve seen in SL, and so we’ll be featuring it as a ‘naturist accessory’ in a subsequent post.

I’m not going to put that post on the main page, incidentally, but put it on the ‘naturist accessories’ page, where it won’t ‘flag up’ as a photo on our home page. Click through to the ‘accessories’ page (scroll to the bottom of the page) if you wish to read a report on it (warning: it will include photos of the penis in more than a flaccid state). If you’re male, European and uncircumcised, and wish your avatar to reflect ‘the real you’, then it’s quite possibly a purchase you will want to make).

Ella

Eden (Naturopolis sim)

Sometimes, you don’t need to go far. Sometimes, it’s possible to stick to one location and enjoy all it has to offer. In our continuing effort to go around the sims and simply enjoy what the builders have laid on for us, SL’s naturist community, we spent a morning in the Eden Naturopolis sim (effectively, the area around the central tp point). Here’s a little photo essay of the morning’s activities.

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Yep! Something ever so slightly new (for us) in adding speech bubbles to the photo. What do you think? Like it or loathe it?

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Mona Lisa (After Rampling and Teller)

Following on from Barbara’s post (and here’s one I prepared earlier) I got one of SL’s more mature ladies (Marjorie, her husband and 20 year daughter all play SL) to pose beside an SL version of the famous painting. The painting as reproduced in SL is obviously ‘not to scale’, or in a Louvre type setting, but it’s the best I can do to replicate the Rampling photos referenced, and reproduced, in Barbara’s post.

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Harry

Charlotte Rampling, an icon for her (and our) middle age. A guide to middle-aged Second Life.

As you may know, I’m always keen on anything (naturist or otherwise) in SL that reflects ‘the older avatar’.

Following on from, and in conjunction with, Harry’s piece(s) on Helmut Newton, part one here, part two to follow, I’m going to dedicate a post to Charlotte Rampling, the model in some of Newton’s photographs.

CRMJ4Charlotte Rampling, by Juergen Teller

Rampling, born in 1946, and now 67 years old, posed nude for Juergen Teller in The Louvre when 63. She describes her uneasiness at the idea in this Daily Telegraph piece by Jane Shilling, who herself did that ‘middle aged disrobing’ thing for her book, The Stranger in the Mirror’ (see below). Shilling’s disrobing was -at the time- discussed in ‘The Times’, alongside a companion piece by Bridget Harrison (reproduced below and readable from the original print)20110128085726_00001

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Jane Shilling poses for the cover of her book, in a pose that echoes a previous photograph by Simone de Beauvoir

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The original Simone de Beauvoir photo, she would have been 44 at the time of this photo, taken in 1952

And as recently as 2003, Rampling, in her late-50s, stripped off in the film ‘The Swimming Pool’

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I’ve not contributed much to SLN lately, on account of a) Ella going off on her ‘clothes design retreat month’ and b) I’ve been more interested in scouring the grid, actually coming to terms with being middle aged in SL. While it’s a time of life I’ve championed in SLN, and a time of life other avatars are clearly embracing, I’ve wrestled with the idea over the past weeks. What set this train of thought off, I’m not quite sure. Rather than writing, I’ve been exploring SL, bought new (and blonder) hairstyles to reflect that in RL I’ve finally abandoned a fierce loyalty to being prematurely white, and ‘gone blonde-ish’, with my SL reflecting that.

I’ve also spent literally hours of my SL time in recent weeks exploring ‘appropriate’ clothes for a middle-aged avi. While the blogs offer us a limitless amount of free clothes, I often find myself not wholly taken with them, as a mini-skirt half way up my bottom isn’t quite the image I’m trying to project!

It’s therefore thrilling to see Charlotte Rampling embrace nudity in her mid-60s, and look marvellous for it, not only being someone we (younger than her, but certainly in middle age) can admire for her body confidence, but -personally- act as a conduit through which I can channel my own SL. Having briefly and stupidly toyed with the idea of shaving 20 years off my life and making an avatar that would reflect that, I’ve decided that I was right all along on the road I had previously decided to travel. Embrace those middle years!

Charlotte Rampling, a couple of years ago, opted to pose naked again (aged 63) in the Louvre, for another iconic photographer, Juergen Teller.

What I like about Teller’s work is that, as with some of the younger portrait photographers, self-portraits, sometimes nude, feature. This isn’t ‘porn’, incidentally, but ‘fine art’. Erotic, yes, in some instances, but always strong photographs.tumblr_m8r65uSwq91ry2rxso1_400

Juergen Teller, self portrait

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Juergen Teller with Charlotte Rampling

The photo directly above, I think, can’t be seen just as some naked snap of an exhibitionist, but, rather, just as the Shilling book cover pays homage to du Beauvoir, Teller’s photo of himself homages Coubert’s ‘Origin of the World’

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The Teller/Rampling photoshoot (the younger female is Raquel Zimmerman, the Brazilian model) is reproduced in part below.18136a00d83451575069e20120a5421291970b32Ms. Rampling, more even than Ms. Zimmerman, looks absolutely stunning. Agreed?

‘Age’ isn’t an issue, either, when another of Teller’s subjects, clothes designer Vivienne Westwood, is photographed nude (aged 68 when the photos were taken)

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These photos featured in a Teller exhibition at the ICA in London, and also featured portraits of younger models, such as Lily Cole and Kristen McMenamy . McMenamy is 46, Cole 25 but, for me, Westwood, 68, is the most beguiling of the subjects.

cole032c_Kristen McMenamy

Age has indeed given models such as Rampling and Westwood a patina of experience and beauty that seems oddly absent in the younger models such as Cole and Zimmerman.

So what does this have to say about being middle-aged in SL? I think that if RL can show nude, older women to be attractive in RL, then there’s no reason why older avatars in SL, nude or not, can equally be attractive. In a sense, women undertaking such nude photoshoots in RL with a sense of body confidence legitimises how we, as women, can equally feel strong, confident and content in our naked bodies in RL too. And equally in SL.

Naturism is a lifestyle in which older women abound. None of us are perfect, just as none of us were even perfect in our teens and 20s. But naturism teaches us a contentedness in the body we do have. Wrinkles, crows feet, gravity, whatever….none diminish our middle aged beauty. They enhance it. If you’re a middle aged woman in RL, playing SL, then why not consider adapting and adopting your avi to a middle aged appearance? The same goes for men, too. The Peter Pan/Dorian Grey look is fine, up to a point, but if diversity is the spice of life in RL, then it should also apply in SL.

In conclusion, my avi may be sporting a few extra virtual pounds around the middle, and her hair may be white (most of the time) but it’s a reflection of the real, contented me!

Barbara