It has been my long-held belief that naturism is closely connected to ‘hippy’ values, tolerance, respect, ‘peace and love’ and that sort of thing.
And, yes, a bit of ‘skinny dipping’ or public nudity is often part of the rock festival landscape.
Skinny dipping at the lake, Woodstock Festival
Hippy couple at Woodstock, 1969
Naked girl feels the vibes, Woodstock, 1969
The innocence of those times, a feeling that the music and the counter-culture held a power that pointed the way forward for society as a whole is maybe reflected in the cover to the ‘Woodstock Two’ album (above), featuring a bunch of naked children on a rock stage. Not a scene that is particularly favoured today, given the manner in which the magical innocence of the 1960s has been swallowed up in a much darker era we live in today. For that reason we’ve deliberately blurred the cover.
One of the places I’ve indulged myself in naturism is at the naturist beach close to the mountain-side village of Mojacar in Spain, a place popularised by hippies and artists in the 1960s. At least, popularised in the modern era, it has been inhabited since the times before Christ. And I can see how it still continues to operate as a magnet for those wishing to pursue an alternative lifestyle. Along with rabbit-warren streets filled with art shops in the village of Mojacar itself, you can sweep down to the sea past alternative lifestyle shops and galleries before immersing yourself, naked, in the warm Mediterranean Sea. An oasis of calm far, far away from the high-rise apartment blocks of Malaga and Marbella further along the coast. In fact, I’ve long held the hope that, one day, I’ll be able to operate my own small sim in SL, and ‘Mojacar’ is the location on which it will be based. That said, to some extent, there’s no need, as Tess’s Naked Dreams sim (part of the Eden estate) does replicate it to a small degree…a series of apartments on a hillside, in white.
I note that the Russians, having missed out on the Woodstock vibe first time around, have in recent years established the Empty Hills festival. A fair bit of communal nudity appears to be part of the landscape there, too.
(Above: two scenes from the ‘Empty Hills’ festival held in the Kaluga Oblast or Koblensk Oblast regions or Russia)
With this in mind, I decided to embark on a ‘hippy trail’ in SL. Call it my ‘gap year’, or ‘backpacking year’, if you will :). The rule was to simply immerse myself in the concept of counter-culture ideals, and follow a course through SL where hippy ideals, including nudity (if not naturism) was part of the landscape.
Deciding to take the trip ‘in character’, I bought one or two pieces of wardrobe, strapped a guitar across my back and set off, an SL search immediately leading me to ‘The Commune’, a counter-culture sim with its own blog, which you can read here. The sim is run by Sedi, and she writes the accompanying blog too, and appears very pro-active in coming up with fresh, new and exciting ideas to give the sim some pizazz on a regular basis. I like this idea very much. Sedi has drilled down to a specific theme, is open to ideas from users within the broad boundaries of that theme, and both sim and blog fully embrace the ideals of that theme -a kind of alternative lifestlye focus.
I guess that naturism within SL is like that too. It’s a specific lifestyle, and this blog and a couple of others by sim owners (I’m thinking Brenda, Tess and Gray for Eden, Naked Dreams and Su Casa respectively here) drill down into that chosen lifestyle and stay focused on it.
What I like about Sedi’s blog is that she’s externally linking to items out there in the real world, suggesting books to read about the counter-culture and so on, so that there is ‘homework’ of sorts for blog-readers, and they can immerse themselves fully in that counter-cultural lifestyle and familiarise themselves with ideas and concepts surrounding that lifestyle.
So it has been, recently, with this blog, as we’ve stepped beyond the boundaries of just SL naturism, to blur the edges between what’s inworld, and what’s out there in the real world. This issue of SLN, Issue 9, attempts to do the same and it’s a theme we’ll pursue and develop in the future.
Of course, it’s not new, either to Sedi or ourselves to take this approach. When I first came into SL five years ago there was a much greater sense of ‘education’ on the grid, with various RL entities having a virtual presence. That’s much less common now, but perhaps the pendulum is swinging back again. While some sims may be issue-driven (the like of the Palestinian sim springs to mind), generally SL’s ‘educational’ aspect has diminished. But hopefully, with the likes of Sedi blogging ‘the counter culture’ and this blog focusing on a specific lifestyle and attempting to educate on the matter to some degree, we can now see some fresh shoots of education re-appear in SL. Of course, as a caveat I have to say there has always been an educational presence in some respects inworld, so please don’t write to tell me that x, y or z have maintained an educational inworld and blog presence for 10 years! 🙂
The Commune isn’t a naturist sim, but certainly looks as though it is exceptionally naturist friendly. 🙂 We like this!
A game of ‘Truth or Dare’ at The Commune ends up with everyone naked 🙂
© Sedi http://scribbling-sedi.blogspot.co.uk
I think we should like to explore the whole hippy ideal a little bit further in SLN.