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.
I think that maybe there is a good idea for a SL sim in attempting to replicate it!
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.
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’.
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.