The ‘To the Lighthouse’ Trilogy (Part 3)

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(Credits: First three photos, Brenda Hoisin and Ella at the new SLN office presence at Eden Naturopolis, 4th photo of Ella on top of the lighthouse, taking in the view, and the last two of Ella and Pookes at the SLN office. All photos by Ella Keng)

Finally, in this ‘trilogy’ of sorts, I’ve added some photos of Brenda and myself at SLN’s new Eden Naturopolis office presence. And, oh yeah, the conversation struck up in the first place because Brenda had let me know that a photo I’d credited as her and Elbag wasn’t them! As a result of that, I’m happy to put the record straight by adding a photo, given to me by Brenda, of her and Elbag. Apologies for any confusion caused, to readers and Brenda & Elbag alike!

I couldn’t be more pleased to have a presence at Eden, and with a bit of inworld presence at naturist sims, it should hopefully mean I can meet more SLN readers and more SL naturists as well. Remember…I want to know what makes you tick. What do you like about naturism? What got you into naturism? What do you want to see, both from SLN and the naturist sims we all use in the future? And even if you don’t catch me online, it’s the easiest thing to drop me, Ella Keng, an IM, or stick a reply onto one of the posts and I’ll get back to you pronto-ish. Alternatively, IM Pookes (second life avatar name Eva Pookes) instead. I think, between us, we’re probably on SL, at least part of the day, most days.

Well….back to the grindstone (it’s not that hard, really!) as I’ve got another evening and day off to enjoy, and I want to maximise it by covering as much SL naturist related news as I can before another hectic period of RL stuff. I’ll either catch you in world, or on some of the subsequent SLN posts.


nb: first slurl hyperlink leads to the lighthouse, and the SLN office. Next two slurls are to the central rotunda at Eden.

The ‘To the Lighthouse’ Trilogy (Part 1)

“What is the meaning of (Second) life? That was all- a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.” 
― Virginia WoolfTo the Lighthouse

In the summer of 1911, Virginia Woolf visited her friend, the young poet Rupert Brooke, at the Old Vicarage in Cambridge where Rupert Brooke lived with a group of friends. During her visit, Virginia and Rupert decided to swim naked together one night in Byron’s pool, a weir pool at the River Cam where Lord Byron used to swim when he was a student at Cambridge.

The incident was documented in a biography about Rupert Brooke published in 1964:

“It was the end of August. Virginia Stephen arrived at the Old Vicarage and occupied Ka’s bed on the other side of the house. The garden room was strewn with scraps of Strindberg, pages of Bland Vassen and fragments of verse. Probably the guest had brought with her an early chapter of ‘The Voyage Out’ to revise while Brooke was reading or writing stretched out on the grass. One warm night there was a clear sky and a moon and they walked out to the shadowy waters of Byron’s Pool. ‘Let’s go swimming, quite naked,’ Brooke said, and they did.”

Brooke mentioned the pool a few years later in his poem “The Old Vicarage, Grantchester”:

“Still in the dawnlit waters cool
His ghostly Lordship swims his pool,
And tries the strokes, essays the tricks,
Long learnt on Hellespont, or Styx.”

Yesterday, was, with apologies to Virginia Woolf, misquoted in the first sentence, above, one of those days where ‘What is the meaning of Second Life?’ received an answer.

I was inworld, for a change, and popping around the various naturist sims, when I got a call from Brenda Hoisin, co-owner at Eden. Now, Brenda and I have been attempting to meet up, and missing each other for…a year or so? Anyway, this time we were both free long enough to meet up, take a carriage ride through Eden and discuss a little bit of business, or essentially receive an offer, a very generous offer, from Brenda.

How would I like an SLN office outpost at Eden? I’d be delighted, frankly. Thrilled. And a hundred other exclamations of delight. As some of you who frequent Su Casa may know, we’ve already got an inworld presence there, at the lighthouse. And here was Brenda offering me space at the Eden lighthouse! Synchronicity or what?

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I’ve got an inworld presence at Eden, for SLN, now, and if you’re tp’ing into Eden, and spot me in world, be sure to give me a shout!

And from that one meeting, a whole raft of ideas came tumbling forth. In fact, when I rolled over in bed this morning before 6.00am, I jerked into full wakefulness, mind turning over with a bunch of ideas. I had to get up, scribble ideas down, and then log in to commence work on them. I’m not about to divulge them all yet, as several have arrived fully formed while others still require smoothing out, but it has given SLN a whole fresh impetus. Some of these ideas are going to be ‘behind the scenes’ and won’t be noticeable at all, although I’ve already spent most of the day organising and re-organising stuff in the virtual filing cabinets of the computer.

The first idea -the backbone to this post- was to pull together a ‘lighthouse’ themed post. Word went out this afternoon to Diana (Harry’s probably mid-flight from central Europe as we speak) and she’s responded in magnificent fashion. Not available due to work commitments for a good while now, but then free and chilling in SL at just the right moment. Synchronicity, again! And once I had the ‘To the Lighthouse’ title, I immediately thought of Virginia Woolf, and in some dusty memory bank recalled she’d been a skinny dipper in the past. With whom, I didn’t recall, so I looked it up and it was Rupert Brooke, the English poet best known for his work from World War 1, and who died tragically early during the war in 1915 (from sepsis contracted from a mosquito bite, rather than from battle, although he remains a victim of the war anyway).

Diane delivered me the photo (below) of an attempt to replicate Woolf and Brooke swimming nude in the River Cam. (Many thanks to models Don and Heather for also entering into the spirit of it all and adopting period moustache and hair in a bun, a la Woolf, for the photo). Note, Cambridge and the River Cam have no SL presence, but Diane was still able to locate a Cam styled bridge at another SL university campus. Well done and thanks to her, too!

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FKK Deutsch-Stil

FKK, or FreiKoerperKultur, is a German phrase meaning ‘free body culture’, i.e. naturism.

The acronym is so pervasive that right across Europe the letters ‘FKK’, on road signs, signs to and on beaches are well understood. It’s a nudist beach, camp site or other naturist facility.

In my home country of France, ‘FKK’ will be understood as such, as it will be in Croatia or Spain or Germany itself. With this in mind, I decided to explore the prevalence of the phrase in Second Life and, with it, the extent to which the birthplace of the modern naturist movement, Germany, is present in SL.

Sadly, it seems that Germans are not very much represented in SL as far as leading naturism is concerned. Only one facility, Seven Hills, appears to have German origins. Oh yes, there are other ‘FKK’ locations in SL, but not of the genuine naturist variety, as Ella would say.

I think Germans have an almost unique approach to naturism amongst Europeans. For them, the idea of nudity in certain situations is regarded as entirely natural, to the extent that nudity exists in some circumstances without there being a sense of naturism involved.

In many German hotels there will be a sauna, for example, and the idea is that you use it nude. You may not think of yourself as naturist, but in these conditions, you go naked. Hotels, maybe, are a little bit more relaxed about allowing guests to remain clothed because they deal with an international clientele not used to nakedness being the established form of ‘sauna wear’, but in German saunas, Therme, there are often strict nudity rules. Therme Erding, in the town of Erding, north east of Munich (click the hyperlink) has 4000 visitors per day, is the largest thermal baths facility in Europe, and a nudist section, including 25 saunas, 2 steam baths, and -for the more modest of females- a ladies only section. You can visit the English language section of their website here.Sauna-Thermen-5-Mei_21031

I think that maybe there is a good idea for a SL sim in attempting to replicate it!Thermen5mei_4 Thermen5mei_5 Thermen5mei_7

I think also there are maybe not enough saunas and therme in SL. A few, yes, and there is a good representation of the Japanese equivalent, onsen, in SL (Ella writes: ‘We’ll cover the onsen element of SL, which we have covered before, in a new post very soon’) but not so much for sauna and well-being facilities. If you are a SL builder or sim owner, take note! 🙂

Because it was the birthplace of modern naturism, it is maybe strange that ‘FKK’ is not so well represented in SL. Of course, there is Seven Hills, which has German origins, but few other locations. Equally, naturizam Hrvatski (Croatian naturism, Croatia having a widespread acceptance of naturism) appears not to be represented at all in SL! I would certainly like to see a uniquely German approach to SL naturism, and Croatian too, in terms of the sim builds. I think they could be unique.

Incidentally, if French naturism is to be represented in a semi-accurate reflection of the real world, then the ideal setting for that would be woodland, by the sea, and with camping facilities…some tents and motor-homes, not in apartments or hotel type structures. In doing this style, French naturism in SL will have a feel of places like La Jenny or Arnaoutchot.

In the meanwhile, I got my friend Rick to come with me to Seven Hills, where we tested the facilities at a proper, genuine, German based naturist sim.

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Ella adds…’Coincidentally, I was speaking to my German friend Gibby this morning and I asked her about German naturism as she undertands it. The following paragraph is the sense of what she had to say, and I then asked her if she would care to contribute some photos to accompany her words, which she kindly did this afternoon’.

‘Because we do not have much coastline, just the Ostsee (i.e. the Baltic in English) German naturism exists a lot inland, on rivers and lakes. And I think a huge number of Germans take to the sauna. Maybe almost half of us sauna on a regular basis, so that’s a lot of naked sauna! Yes, we sauna naked. And yes, we disapprove of clothes in the sauna. Costumes trap sweat. Do we want to get into a pool or jacuzzi which is a mixture of clean water and sweat? I think not. So it is for this reason that Germans prefer naked sauna. Some people wrap towels around them. This is fine. You do not take your towel into the waters, and the towels are for hygiene. They trap the sweat. You shower thoroughly between sauna applications. You sit on the towels for hygiene. Towels trap sweat. All Germans I think understand this, and are brought up with this understanding’.gib sauna 2 gib sauna 3 gib sauna 4 gib sauna 6 gib sauna1

Gibby took photos in the sauna with her friend Anton and apologises for no towels being present during the course of the photo-shoot! 🙂


Areola (with additional reporting by Ella). Photos by Areola & Gibby.

Beach Fences

I do love beach ‘fences’, as they’re intended to keep no one in, keep no one out. To me, they’re a statement of half-hearted intent. Which is how a beach should be, really.


I’d sent Harry some photos and asked for a bit of post-production on them. He’s come back with them pretty quickly with one, along with the photo (above) and a note that said ‘more SL replicating RL!’.

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There’s a story about that fence behind me, and its immediate surroundings, all of which will be revealed this evening (I’m still working on the text to accompany it). Sadly, there’ll be even more photos of me, but I promise you I’ll get Harry and Diane back to work shooting models in SL locations and keep behind the lens for a month or two (or three or four!).

Stay tuned for a post this evening regarding this location and exciting new SLN developments! And I may even manage to squeeze a couple more posts in before then too.