Boo!

Admit it, you jumped when your read the title, didn’t you?

No need to be frightened. This boo is Boo, who used to write for the Su Casa Blog, and who is now flying solo in the blogging world, courtesy of her own Bare Babble Blog (try saying that after two small sherries!) and (un)covering RL, as opposed to SL, naturist activity. Hopefully, though, there’ll be some cross-fertilisation between the two worlds. And why not? SLN takes such an editorial line, keeping a keen eye for RL naturist events that we hopefully can reflect within SL.

And talking of Su Casa…here’s a recent photo of yours truly over there, enjoying an al fresco shower provided by its waterfall.

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Anyway, may we take this opportunity to wish Boo every success in the blogging world, and encourage our readers to bookmark her site and check back often. Best wishes from all of us at SLN, Boo.

 

Pookes

 

 

Naturist Profiles: Mercedes

I recently posted a photo, sent to me by my RL & SL friend, Spanish girl Mercedes (also her RL name!) of her wearing a new skin (the photo was reconfigured by Harry and is reproduced further on in this post). And that led to me commencing a bit of an email conversation with Mercedes. Generally, my contact with Mercedes is inworld -even if we aren’t on the same sims…in fact, we mostly aren’t- and then I meet up with her every time I’m in Spain where we pick up as if last year’s holiday meeting was last night’s holiday meeting.

So we conducted a bit of an email ‘interview’ after I’d asked if she’d like to feature in an SL ‘Naturist Profile’.

¡Por supuesto! the email came back. ‘Of course’

And we also met up in SL, for a change, and I asked her about her life in Vera Playa, the Spanish naturist ‘village’ in Andalucia.

Ella: I jet into Vera Playa 2-3 times a year and it’s the highlight of my year. You live there, in a naturist setting, on a naturist urbanizacion, all year round. Your perspective of life as a theoretical 24/7, 365 days a year naturist must be very different from mine.

Mercedes: Of course! You come in summer. I experience it in the cold, hahaha.

Ella: Our experience of ‘cold’ is very different. I remember coming to Vera in February a few years back and happily skipping around the terrace of our apartment naked, while you looked at me in a strange way, wearing a scarf!

Mercedes: True. I remember that! It was so cold, yet you didn’t feel it, being from northern Europe. Really, naturism does not begin for me until April, maybe. Before that, for sure I’m wearing less and less clothes, but still clothes! If the weather is good I will think of April, Easter perhaps, as the beginning of the naturist season and I can keep that going until the schools return in mid-September. After that it depends, day to day. This year I’ve already had a sea swim down at Inna’s. (note: Inna’s was previously known as Tiggers, and it’s a focal point for social life amongst the Vera Playa naturist community. You can find a photo here.) The water was cold!

Ella: What’s life like on a day to day basis?

Mercedes: I work…I am an teacher in a Primary School. Children from 6-12 years.

Ella: Let me interrupt you there. Of course, I know this, and I’ve quizzed you about it before in RL, but perhaps you could explain to the SLN readers how you being a naturist plays with parents, school governors and management. Or do they know about it? Is it something you keep quiet?

Mercedes: No one cares about my lifestyle. It is for me alone to live. But one of my neighbours, just a few apartments away, is a school governor and also living in a naturist urbanisation. He is a parent. I have known his children before they went to school, while I taught them, hahaha, and still know them now they have left school.

Ella: So you taught them, as the teacher by day, and might run into them in the swimming pool, as a naturist, at night or weekends????

Mercedes: Yes. No big deal for me or them. Maybe a bigger deal for them in adolescence.

Ella: How idyllic is your lifestyle?

Mercedes: Hmmm. It’s the life I lead. Here in Andalucia it makes sense in the heat of summer to wear as little as possible. I have that choice, although I still must dress to go to the supermarket or into town. It just makes it more acceptable, on a naturist urbanisation, to wear nothing in the heat of summer. For me, I come home with the shopping and strip to be comfortable. I open my apartment and undress. Then I collect the groceries from the car, haha. People know what I do. They know I am a teacher. It’s not an issue for neighbours or friends, even those who live in town, in clothed areas. If they visit, they know I am naked. If they share the pool, even if they do not think of themselves as naturist, they will be naked anyway. I think most people accept nudity here in the zona naturista, or on the beach, as part of their lives. Visit the beach, go naked. Visit Mercedes, go naked. It’s just the way things are.

Ella: As I recall, you grew up naturist, even in the days of Franco.

Mercedes: Yes. Naturism was here in Vera Playa even when Franco was in power. My parents became naturist when they moved here. If they visit me, or the beach, they still are, but they have never lived in the zona naturista. When I was a child we would go to the beach and nudity was the way to be. We were not rich, so my mother saw it as not having to buy unnecessary clothes. Nudity was part of life. At home. On the beach. I think, even away from the zona naturista, many people will have seen their friends and neighbours naked. Not because we are exhibitionist. But because….when I was younger I shared a bedroom with my sister (Ella’s note: I have also met Mercedes’ sister in RL) and I would shower in the evening to cool down in the heat. We did not have air conditioning then! And I would go from the bathroom to the bedroom naked and I would maybe sit on my bed and the lights were on. We never closed the curtains because it was better to have some air in the room. So if the neighbours in the apartment opposite saw me naked….so what? And I would see the neighbours naked, regularly, because they did the same. It was no issue. My first boyfriend….I was at school with him. I saw him naked many times, in his bedroom across the street, before we dated. And I know he saw me because he told me. It was part of life in a hot part of Spain. Now…now things are maybe less free. We have shutters for windows now to reflect heat. We have air conditioning. Now I can and do close the windows to make my bedroom cooler. In summer the shutters are rarely open! So my bedroom nakedness is always unseen. Different times whn I was younger! It is not because I have become shy. It is because we have domestic progression! Haha.

Ella: As a teacher you have long summer holidays.

Mercedes: Yes. End of June until mid-September. A whole summer to do…nothing, if I wish.

Ella: A whole summer where your life revolves around your terrace.

Mercedes: Yes. Morning until late at night. I breakfast there…I have my evenings there. And I socialise, meet friends throughout the summer.

Ella: With that wonderful beach nearby I’d have thought it was a magnet, but you aren’t a beach person to any great degree.

Mercedes: No. You know the winds we have here….it can be very windy. I prefer the quiet of life on the urbanisation. You know…during school time, I spend a lot of time marking homeworks and there are evening events, so it is just a normal life and in March, when you would have your clothes off, I am still on the terrace in my coat! For you it could be all year naturism, almost, but for me it’s much more only the summer months.

Ella: I recently blogged about St Juan’s Day (June 23rd) and I read that was the traditional start of the summer, beach season here.

Mercedes: Not necessarily true, but that’s a reasonable idea. By the festival of St.Juan, we’re at the end of the school year, so summer begins! Yes, when I was at school, we would see St.Juan as signalling the beginning of summer.

Ella: What about the ritual of the midnight skinny dip on St.Juan’s night?

Mercedes: It depends. I don’t think you will find much of that in Garrucha or Villaricos (towns a couple of miles in either direction of Vera Playa) because they are not naturist. Here, maybe, it is different and part of the culture. When I was a teenager my preference was for finding the right beach bonfire with good music. Going into the sea was part of the culture, but not naked as I recall. Topless, yes, but I mostly remember always having panties on in my youthful days.

Ella: Ha! I remember the first time I ever visited here school was still on, the kids got out in the afternoon and a few of them went to the beach…school uniforms off and girls sitting around doing homework, topless. I found that…incredible!

Mercedes: You have a British approach to the body, Ella, hahaha!

Ella: I do! It’s an image that stuck with me. At that age I wouldn’t have had the body confidence to do that.

Mercedes: Your culture wasn’t built around the beach. Ours is. Even away from the naturist zone, toplessness is normal. It is the culture. It is no big deal.

Ella: You didn’t grow up in the zona naturista, but you bought here. Was it to essentially be a naturist.mercedes and ella3_001b

Mercedes: No. Naturism…on the beach…was normal when I grew up. Nakedness at home was normal also. I didn’t think of myself as naturist when growing up. We just didn’t wear swimming costumes! It was just normal. I still don’t think of myself as naturist. For me, ‘naturism’ is a chosen lifestyle. People come here to embrace a lifestyle they cannot get elsewhere. I just think of myself who doesn’t need to dress for life on a daily basis. I bought in the zone because I liked the house and it was at a price I liked! You will note that my house is south-facing (I have to confess I’d never noticed: Ella). No sun during the day! So it was cheaper because naturists prefer a south facing house where the sun is. So this was affordable. In winter, I dress. In Spring, I dress. If I’m going into Garrucha to meet friends, I dress. If I’m at home and it’s warm, I do not need to dress. It’s a logic thing, not a lifestyle thing.

Ella: Something else I’ve just remembered from our trip out in January! We were in the car, driving up to Mojacar, in T-shirts, and we passed a cyclist who was in full winter gear, including a full ski-mask!!!!

Mercedes: It was cold.

Ella: It was mild!

Mercedes: It will be warm for both of us when you’re out here in June. Why is xxxxxx (the RL Mr Keng’s real name redacted) not coming?

Ella: Work pressures. I’m bringing a friend out with me, but she’s not a naturist.

Mercedes: We shall see. Do you like a bet?

Ella: I’m not a betting person. I don’t do the Lottery.

Mercedes: Make a bet with me. Your non-naturist friend will be naturist by Day 4. Loser pays for dinner at (name redacted)….

Ella: Where????

Mercedes: In Villaricos. You and I both know the owner from a previous restaurant. It’s now run by (name redacted).

Ella: Deal!

So there we have it….a bet is on, and I’ll have further updates in June on whether I’ve won or lost! 🙂

Ella

Topless Tuesdays continue

Let me point you at the Poultry Report blog, where Uccello Poultry provides highly amusing, entertaining, skewed look at R&SL. Always entertaining.

And Uccello has provided the most fantastic ‘Topless Tuesdays’ photo this week. It’s not for me to reproduce it here -infringement of copyright and ‘go and read it for yourselves, for heaven’s sakes’- so instead I’ll put up a couple of our own library ‘topless Tuesday’ shots.

But make sure you click through to Uccello’s pages. 🙂

diana topless tuesday_001b diana topless tuesday2_001b

Ella

Bush is back

No George W puns here.

Recent surveys have discovered that 51% of women are going ‘natural’ down there and 62% of men prefer it that way. It rather looks as though the trimming, waxing, shaving fad is turning on the fashion wheel.

Further reporting on this survey can be found here.

Well for some of us, bush never went away! 😉 And I don’t really have a strong opinion on its presence, or lack of presence, other than it’s not for me.

In RL naturism it seems that it’s almost gone the way of the dodo, and I’m in a strong minority in that respect when I visit the beach. Spanish and Croatian naturists seem to be a little less obsessed with their razors (or waxes), it must be said. If I spot another bush on the beach it will almost invariably be attached to a señorita.

So it will be interesting to see how the current state of play is when I get on my next naturist holiday.

Of course, this pro-Bush propaganda, as it might be coined, has got some of the anti- brigade hot under the knicker elastic! Sian Boyle, writing in the Independent, defends lasering ‘down there’. I don’t buy into her theory though, that she’s not been brain-washed into doing so, but because she wants to. No matter how strongly she may feel now, her opinions -particularly when drip-fed opinion by fashion- may change. Sure, full depilation is in vogue now. That may not always be the case. Which is why I would never opt for laser treatment in that department, myself. I don’t like the idea of permanence, a reason why I would never have a tattoo either. Tatts are also currently fashionable, but opinions may well change on that too. And while the super-rich ‘celebrities’ may be able to successfully erase, blemish-free, their collection of outdated tatts, the message will be markedly different for ordinary men and women who may come to regard them as a fashion faux-pas they wish they never had bought into.

I would also add that my own views on pubic hair is that it disappeared as a result of the porn industry’s need for ‘greater detail’, and full depilation, on both its male and female ‘stars’ allowed for more graphic movies (I assume, I’ve never actually seen a porn film. Or a horror movie for that matter. Neither genre is, personally, particularly attractive).

American Apparel’s New York store also raised a bit of a storm (although if you’re storming against, perhaps you need a hobby) by placing hirsute mannequins in their window. They even had…you know….nipples and everything! Maybe some of the skin stores in SL also need to look at their ‘pasty policy’ in the wake of this. They’re nipples. We all know what they look like, and the continuing capacity to censor nipples while the full remainder of a full boob remains displayed is, well, silly!American-Apparel

(American Apparel also used 62-year old model Jacky O’Shaugnessy as a recent lingerie model…and doesn’t she look great!)

americanapparel

Six years ago, when I started in SL, I began to model my avatar on myself almost immediately. I probably looked laughably ‘cartoonish’ compared to how I look now. If SL continues to develop at the same rate my current avi may well look ‘cartoonish’ with how it will look six years hence. I suspect mesh body will eventually give me the opportunity to pretty much add in the small scar I have on my arm from where I fell off my bike 25 years ago if I wish. It may well get that real.

Modelling my avatar on RL meant, yes indeed, bush. And I’d go to certain SL locations to hang out and inevitably get comments like ‘wow, I love your bush’, usually from male avatars who were of a certain age and had grown up with what it known in some circles as a ‘7os rug’. And, just as I was in RL…something of a singular oddity…so I was in SL. Few, if any, other lady avatars were sporting public hair back then. Now, it’s different. More and more women appear to be wearing pubic hair. It’s hard to tell if this is as a result of RL experience, RL exposure to the vicissitudes of fashion or just a deire to be ‘a bit different’.

Either way, it’s a case of being yourself, hairy or bald down there, in RL & in SL. Just keep on enjoying the SL experience.

Ella.

Midnight skinny dipping

I know I’m pretty scathing in my appraisal of Cap D’Agde and the sordid, exhibitionist, ‘swinger’ associations it brings to genuine naturism, regardless of whether or not there remains a rump of genuine naturists who use the Cap.

But I picked the following photo up from the Lady Godiva blog, and it certainly has an innocent charm when photographed at midnight.

capd-nofootprints

For all I know people may well be having sex in the dunes behind Lady Godiva, but the photo captures none of that sordidness. Instead, it’s a beautiful lady, at midnight, by the water’s edge.

Which reminds me of one of my own, recent midnight skinny-dips, at the festival of St. Juan in Spain last year. I knew it was a festival day, but was completely ignorant of naked bathing rituals. Mr. Keng and myself went for a walk after dinner, essentially following what sounded like a live band. As we approached the bonfire on the beach, we noticed that there were numerous naked people around, dripping wet. Asking someone else, we discovered there’s a tradition whereby, for luck, you strip naked, turn round three times, throw a pebble over your shoulder into the sea, then follow it into the water on the stroke of midnight (hopefully avoiding being hit by other revellers throwing pebbles!).

Prior to midnight, many bonfires are lit on the beach, and traditionally, in Spain, it was apparently the beginning of the Spanish beach season. That said, I note from research that there’s nothing about pebbles or turning around. Bonfires get a regular mention, and I note that if you stay in the water long enough to be washed by nine waves, it increases a woman’s fertility (that’s me out after eight, then! 🙂 ) Nudity would appear to be optional for this custom, but where I was there was a heady, healthy mix of the clothed and unclothed. It was a beautiful scene, all accompanied to the gentle flamenco-driven rhythms of a bunch of hippy types who’d turned up with a variety of instruments and had begun jamming. Quite what the truth of the midnight swimming customs are, or were, I’m not sure, but we were certainly more than happy to lose our clothes and merrily join in. This year, pre-warned, we’ll bring towels! 🙂

All I can say is that there will be participation and, I’m told by my non-naturist travelling companion, photos to be taken. 🙂

As luck would have it, I’ll be out in Spain on St Juan’s Day this year, to that will certainly form a ‘postcard’ or two that night (or the following morning).

With this in mind, I decided to get Diane and Harry to grab a few ‘midnight skinny dip’ shots in SL. Between them, they decided to utilise each other as models! So the following is a short photo-essay of them undertaking a skinny dip under the stars.

diane midnight skinny dip_001b diane midnight skinny dip2_001b diane midnight skinny dip3_001b diane midnight skinny dip4_001b diane midnight skinny dip7_001b

Diane Midnight Skinny Dip collection by Harry Leistone

harry skinny dip1_001b harry skinny dip2_001b harry skinny dip3_001b harry skinny dip4_001b

Harry Midnight Skinny Dipping Collection by Diane Toxx (taken at Eden Naturist)

Ella

Top of the evening to ya!

Back with part 2 of our rather extended St.Patrick’s Day posting.

This one features, sadly, just one photo of Seosaimhin (Irish for Josephine, I’m told) at a Martello Tower at the Brittania Village Sim (based on Folkestone, Kent, England), hence the UK flag flying over it rather than an Irish one this St. Patrick’s Day.

And this time, there’s some RL naturist link. As well as in England, Martello Towers were built around the British Empire of the time, and that included Ireland, articularly around the Dublin area. One is particularly famous at Sandycove, due to James Joyce living in it, and also setting it as the home of the character of Stephen Dedalus (in ‘Ulysses’).

Not only that, but one location close to this tower is known as ‘Forty Foot’. Not a reference to the width of the beach, or depth of the water, but that it was a bathing place of the 42nd Highland Regiment of Foot, a British army regiment who subsequently became The Black Watch. The Forty Foot were stationed closed by, and the beach became their chosen place of (nude) bathing.

In ‘Ulysses’, Buck Mulligan takes a dip there in that he calls ‘the snot green sea, the scrotum tightening sea’ (due to the Irish Sea being, well, blooming cold!)

Thereafter, it became a ‘gentleman’s bathing place’, code for ‘nude bathing’, and remained so until the 1970s when feminists struck out to claim equality, so that nude bathing is available to both genders now, despite Ireland not officially having any naturist beaches (the only country in Europe without any, I believe).

I don’t imagine many who historically took the plunge there would maybe have historically considered themselves nudist, but in poorer times (and certainly in the era of a British Army regiment doling out ‘kit’) a swimsuit was an unnecessary luxury. Instead, the hardy swimmers of Dublin’s fair city would have accepted they simply wore the swimsuit God gave them.

seosaimhin martello_001b

Seosaimhin prepares to take to the waters beside an SL Martello Tower.

40 Foot (7)

The entrance to the RL ‘Forty Foot’ on the outskirts of Dublin

All of this sounds like a typical Irish solution to a typical Irish problem. Don’t have ‘official’ naturist beaches…but establish a set of rules whereby it can exist. 🙂 Who can fail to love the Irish approach to ‘issues’?

The Irish Naturist Association have a website here, for those who may be interested in naturist activities in the Emerald Isle. In 2014 the 34th International Naturist Federation Congress will take place in Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim.

Ella

Naturist Walks (Introduction to a forthcoming mini-series)

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I’m not sure where the photo above is located, possibly France, but it strikes me that this is a vista not yet really fully imagined in SL naturism. The long, long sandy beach which naturists use for long, long naked walks. I’ve holidayed at Montalivet, France, where there is such a beach. Vera Playa, Spain, too, where similar walking ‘facilities’ are used day and daily. Indeed, it seems that sometimes a reasonable percentage of a resort’s residents are using the beach at any one time.

It begins shortly after dawn, when single male joggers take to the water’s edge in nothing more than running shoes, and thereafter it becomes busier with groups of people -a man and his wife, two female friends, families, perhaps two couples who’ve gone on holiday together- strolling the full length of the beach. This is never any sort of ready ‘exhibitionist, look at me!’ display either.

The reality of it is that the sun, the proximity of the ocean, the warmth of each, even in early morning lends itself to being out there in the sun and do one of those things we never seem to have time for at home, exercise. It really is one of life’s free pleasures to meander along the water’s edge in possession of nothing more than an apartment key! And if you’re doing that walk alone, your partner still holed up in your apartment or hotel room, you don’t even need to take that with you.

I confess to being a morning walker, or a ‘later in the day’ walker when the crowds are thinning out again, simply because I find that exercise is best enjoyed when the sun isn’t at its full, exhausting height. Additionally, being parents of young children, it makes sense to keep them out of strong sunshine.

There are some locations in SL where you can take a walk, at length, albeit not always beside the sea, and this will form part of a new series of posts in SLN, wherein we try to record some of the best naturist walks in SL…places where you can lose yourself for a while and get away from the hurly-burly. I’ve asked the staff to locate a favourite naturist walk each and report back over the next couple of weeks, and we’ll make it a mini-series where you can retrace our steps or, even better, submit favourite naturist walks of your own around the grid.

Ella

Top of the morning to ya!

The title is as cliched as it’s going to get.

It’s St.Patrick’s Day, a day when the whole world is, or pretends to be, Irish. So we’ve been out and about capturing a little sense of Ireland, without tipping over into national stereotype and what’s known as being a ‘plastic Paddy‘ – a condition suffered by members of the diaspora, and who will claim to be Irish, regardless of how feeble those claims may be. There are those who even go as far as to claim that use of the term (or simple use of the name ‘Paddy’ to denote an Irishman) constitutes racism. I think that’s utter nonsense. Certainly, I loathe the use of the plain term ‘Paddy’ in the context of denoting an Irishman -that does smack of racism- but I certainly have no truck with people who use the term ‘plastic’ in context, largely because it’s almost certainly a true, 100% reflection of the person’s faux-Irishness.

Today, much of the world will claim -falsely- to be Irish. You’re not! An Irish great-grandfather who sailed half way around the world for a new life, from a country you’ve maybe never visited, or visited for a week, does not and will never make you Irish. You’re American, Australian, English, from wherever. The fact that you can claim dual-citizenship won’t make you Irish either. Ever.

With two Irish paternal and one Irish maternal grandparents I guess I might have more claim, than most, to call myself Irish under this feeble definition. The fact remains I was born to English-born parentage, in England, to a household that didn’t feature fiddles being played or Guinness being drunk. Over the years I’ve visited Ireland more times than any of these faux-Irish folk and never felt my ‘roots’ being stirred in any sense whatsoever. I love Ireland, Dublin in particular, and it’s a wonderful place full of wonderful people. The well-established sense of Irish friendliness is, in my experience, an accurate reflection of the island’s people. I’ve never felt inclined to visit the various villages my grandparents came from because, to me, it’s about as relevant as saying ‘well, all of our ancestors originated in the Horn of Africa…so I’m Ethiopian‘. I just don’t feel any pull, any ‘roots’ or need for ‘roots’. My ‘roots’ are pretty much the house I grew up in.

I might just as well call myself Ethiopian as Irish, for all of the relevance it has on my life.

This is going to be, by our usual standards, an extended SLN post. We’ve got some actual, real, Irish avatars who’ve posed for us (Fionnuala has featured on the pages of SLN before) and, to some extent, share my own views on ‘plastic paddyness’. It’s a terrific series of photos from both Harry and Diane, with the words, below, being the various models’ own (with the usual caveat that I’ve woven a straight ‘interview’ technique via IM into a freer-flowing narrative).

Ella.

pats3_001c

‘There’s a lot of, shall we say, national stereotyping goes on in relation to St. Patrick’s Day’, suggests Fionnuala, ‘which is almost a benign form of racism. Every celebration in real life is fixated with drinking. It’s assumed to be a day for drinking. And I don’t like that. I mean, you’ve already identified the whole plasticity of it. And I did read someone refer to it all as a condition called Dermot-itis (a play on dermatitis) in which everyone adopts this ‘begorrah’ attitude. While Australia or the States might have some cause to claim Irish roots in some of their major cities, it gets ridiculous when they’re doing St.Patrick’s Day festivals in places like Austria and people from the Tyrol are desperately searching for Irish blood. It’s silly.’

‘You can’t elect a US President without there subsequently being some need to discover some sort of Irish roots. Let it go, for goodness’ sake. Yeah…Ireland did a lot in regard to the building of the New World but honestly! It has reached ridiculous levels. And more frustrating is the sense of us…real Irish people…just fighting and drinking. What seems lost in this nonsense is the fact that we, the Irish, probably advanced English language literature most in the 20th century, through Beckett and Joyce for example. Will anyone focus on that? No. It’s better to be drunk to the point of insensibility than it is to be in a library, listening to readings of their works. So I won’t buy into the whole drinking thing at all.’

Indeed, Fionnuala and her co-model James (‘it’s not Seamus….it’s James…I was born with the English version of the name, thanks, and I prefer not to have it changed to suit others’ preconceptions and needs’) refused to pose with alcohol present in their photos. ‘It just reinforces that stereotype’, sighed Fionnuala. Instead, the pose above, intended to be posed with beer mugs, was rejected by the pair. ‘Can’t you add in like we’re holding a banner?, sniffed Fionnuala, so that’s what harry has put in in a bit of post-production.

Both, though, readily wore green hats, on the basis that they had no issue with a bit of Irish associated colour in the photos. ‘I’m fine with there being a sense of Irishness in a St. Patrick’s Day post…just not a reinforcement of the drinking culture’.

Despite the pair’s sniffiness to the stereotype, one which I readily agreed with (see the intro to this post), they remain immensely proud of their homeland, in many respects.

‘I think we’re also best placed to criticise some elements of it’, agreed James. ‘There are aspects of it that remain, well, 19th century. Social attitudes to marriage, divorce, abortion…all things driven by the fact that it’s essentially a Catholic island. And that past power the church held remains like marbling through Irish society, despite the fact that the church has a greatly diminished power. That’s a good thing. We need to be 21st century and secular, not 19th and pious. I’m not trying to diminish anyone’s faith, but I don’t think it has a place in a modern society. You see vestiges of it around the globe in other countries too. I’m not going to single any particular nations out, but many are still under the sway of an almost medieval deference to the churches. Many governments still have deference to churches. The church, for me, isn’t relevant in the 21st century…at least not in that sense of previous generations. If you want to have a faith, fine. Practice it. But don’t expect that the rest of your town, country or continent must follow suit. Just as you expect us, who aren’t particularly religious, to respect you, you also a duty to respect our views, whether you like them or not.’

‘Both of us are RL naturists’, chimes in Fionnuala. ‘Ireland has exceptionally few facilities for naturists, and without SL it’s probable we’d never have discovered that there are like-minded souls out there! Well…that’s not strictly true in the internet world, but you know what I mean…SL provided a platform for us to meet. Another forum, in a sense. James and I live at opposite ends of the island in RL. We’ll probably never meet in RL. But through SL we’ve met each other and compared notes and views. We’ll pick each others brains on where we holiday…what beaches are suitable for skinny dipping, still illegal in Ireland, incidentally, and so on.’

‘What sticks in my throat’, James picks up, ‘is that today, in SL, people will assemble in Irish bars in sims to talk up their Irish credentials. These are to be avoided, in my view. I’ll certainly be in SL today, but I’ll avoid those sort of sims like the plague. Lag-hell filled with moronic opinions on Ireland and its culture. Ignorance on a grand scale!’

fionnuala irish hat3_001-001ebc_Sprout_20140308

I must say that while I shared their views to some extent, I’m probably not the best placed person to comment on the ‘plastic paddy’ debate, viewing it from outside.

So I was surprised when I met up with some other Irish avatars I know, Dublin sisters (real life sisters, incidentally) Niamh and Brid, who weren’t quite as scathing, but who disliked the whole Irish streotype going on in and out of SL.

‘Don’t generalise, please’, said Niamh. ‘Buying into this drunk and Irish thing…yeah, we do like a drink from time to time…and there are those who do it to extremes, who fit the stereotype perfectly. Equally, there are those who don’t, so please don’t tar us all with the same brush. It’s like me saying ‘All Americans are fat rednecks’ or something. We know that’s not true. Some are fat. Some are rednecks. Some are well-educated and slim. Would I dream of stereotyping? No, I would not.’

Both Niamh and Brid are SL naturists, but not RL ones. ‘Not enough opportunity to do so. We keep saying we’ll go on holiday sometime and try it, but our lives move away from each other now we’re in university. When we started we had adjacent bedrooms in RL, last year at school. And we’d go and dance at Sweden Naturist and just have so much fun winding other avatars up in a gentle way. No makice. I think we’re in SL about four years now. We do still play, but not as often as we used to, and while we were pretty much joined at the hip when we started, now we lead separate SL lives in the main’.

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A bit more Irishness later in the day, but I thought that I should split what was initially going to be a long post, and let some people roll over what some Irish avatars think about the whole ‘green beer’ idea for a bit.

Enjoy the day, and I’ll catch you later on for the second part…’Top of the evening to ya!’

Ella

Naked at Machu Pichu

There have been recent stories of tourists ‘streaking’ at Machu Pichu, with Australians and Canadians arrested for it.

Apparently, it has also become something of an internet ‘meme’, with there being a FB page, ‘Naked at Monuments’, added. How this evades FB’s ludicrous ‘no nudity’ rule isn’t clear.

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I picked up the photo (above) from the UK paper the Daily Mail…the consciousness of the British people (not really!) and our self-appointed moral guardian. Note how bottoms need to be pixellated, in case we’re shocked at what a bottom looks like.

The Peruvian authorities have said those indulging are ‘disrespectful’, which may be true, but in essence I’m guessing they harmed no one. And respect for anyone who goes running, for any distance, at high altitude!

(I’ve just noticed that Ella has posted a ‘Naked Jogging’ post today as well, so it looks like we have a ‘naked runners’ theme going today on SLN).

I hopped over to SL’s own Machu Pichu sim in order to show a bit of disrespect as well 😉

In my ‘Spencer’ alt, I took a couple of shots before tp’ing down from the thinner air to my more usual sea-level, naturist haunts.

spencer machu pichu_001b spencer machu pichu2_001b spencer machu pichu3_001cccd_Fotor

For those of you unaware, Daily Mail style, what a human being’s nether regions look like, I’ve blurred the appropriate bits in the third photo. I’d probably advise you to skip over photos 1 & 2. 🙂

Harry

Naked jogging

Some of the UK’s papers have picked up on this story from a few nights ago, which has caused some intrigue. I missed the story myself, but my good friend Emmanuelle has passed it onto me. And Emma being Emma, she got out there to replicate the ‘happening’ here in SL.

Uxbridge, I should explain, is esssentially a suburb of London, so it’s a built up, urban area. This isn’t someone jogging through a village high street. The video isn’t of particularly high quality, and for all I know it could have been a jogging outfit in ‘nude’ colours.

Naked Jogger

 

 

You go, girl! 🙂

I know we’ve been having milder, Spring-like weather here in the UK recently but still….Uxbridge…in March….at night? (That said, if she’s jogging, chances are she and all joggers probably work up enough heat during the exercise. I wouldn’t know, I’ve never done jogging).

And here’s the key point: it isn’t illegal to be naked in public (in England & Wales -I’m not sure of the legal position in Scotland or N.Ireland) unless it’s to cause distress or alarm. And that’s a point worth remembering as summer approaches, and readers maybe fret over what their legal status is. If in doubt, even if you’re going to go topless in a park or on a beach, why not contact your local naturist association? They will almost certainly know the legal position regarding public nudity off by heart.

What strikes me about some of these ‘naked in public’ stories that I pick up from the UK’s media is that a) only the media seem interested, b) these type of events are more and more commonplace, and c) the public doesn’t appear to care. Which is how it should be. And these types of events lead to a ‘normalisation’ of the naked, human body. Which is exactly what it is.

Emma(nuelle) claims she’s now going to do this again, with photos, in a more built up area of SL, in order to really replicate it. Remember to send photos! 🙂

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Ella.