Threadbare

jose threadbare5_001bI’m going to have to ask you to be patient with me for a few weeks. After taking a sabbatical from work, I’m back, and in a slightly different job than before. Thus, I’m do some training for this new position. As anyone who has ever changed jobs within a company will know, it doesn’t really matter that you know x,y or z about that company, a period of training for a new role is still mentally exhausting. I always say that it requires a few weeks, sometimes months, depending on whats involved, to get yourself up to speed in a different role. And then there’s the ‘homework’. It’s usually my experience that a new role comes with several hefty systems & processes manuals that you don’t need to know word for word, but do need to know thoroughly.

And so I’ve been sitting at nights, either brain dead or buried in large folders that aren’t sinking in by the time I get home 🙂

So I’m sorry to say that SL and SLN have taken a back seat for the past week or so because of this and, just prior to that, following wall-to-wall coverage of the ‘fallout’ from Scotland’s rejection of independence.

But it’s the weekend, and time to play! I’ll try to get a few SL posts up over the weekend, but beware! The same posting processes may follow for at least a couple more weeks until I get through the training period and get back into the work patterns I’m more familiar with.

Monday to Friday silences, followed by weekend activity.jose threadbare4_001b

I stopped off for a panini and a glass of wine for dinner with colleagues on the way home last night, and got to poking around SL as usual, to see what I’ve missed over the past five days (I’d not logged in or even looked at anyone else’s blogs) and I noted that a new, small naturist location has opened, called Threadbare Forest.

Decked out in its autumnal glory (we like that!), Threadbare’s quite a small sim, devoid of sex poses (we like that!) and a lot of distractions at the moment, so the emphasis is clearly on the social aspect of SL (we like that!). It’s hard to take bad photographs in this delightful sim that we shall certainly be keeping a keen eye on.

 

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Oh…and I should make it clear that Jose, featured in the photographs in this post, is our new photographer/staff writer. I’ve been anxious to get a male writer on board for some time, and give us a male perspective on naturism, and Jose will be performing a dual writing/photography function in the future.

Ella

Thank you, Scotland!

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I stumbled out of bed shortly after 600am, turned the television on, made a cup of tea and sat down to watch the results from the Scottish Independence vote. And I found out, almost immediately, that Scotland had rejected independence to remain a part of the United Kingdom.

Thank you, Scotland. It was what I wanted, it was how I voted.

I’m not going to try to sound triumphalist. The referendum has shown Scotland to be a country divided (55/45) for and against independence, so clearly there are going to be issues that need to be addressed in the coming days, weeks and months to get us all pulling together again.

It’s a great country. A great place to live.

What I would say is that Westminster (i.e. the UK parliament that sits in London) has made promises on which it must deliver, and the relationships between various parts of the UK have been irrevocably altered as a result of the referendum taking place. They are altered irrespective of the result.

What is on the table now for us living in Scotland is ‘Devo Max’ – maximum devolution – which would allegedly see us in Scotland have more powers devolved away from Westminster to the Scottish parliament at Holyrood, in Edinburgh.

Naturism is, shall we say, limited in Scotland. There’s aspects of the lifestyle not best suited to the land. The cold. The midges (small flies that proliferate in summer). The thistles (you don’t want those scraping on a naked thigh or other even more tender parts). NakedScotland do a good job in keeping us informed of what’s happening within limited possibilities.

What I’d hope for now, in the wake of this vote, is that Scots naturists seize the opportunity to look at this Devo-Max potential for their own ends, and lobby strongly the case that we, Scotland, can frame our own laws which are rather more enlightened (Scotland is the home of the European Enlightenment movement, remember) that the rest of the UK. Despite the local weather, flora and fauna issues we face, now’s the time to make Scotland a beacon within the UK where naturist rights are understood and accepted.

Now’s the time for us, with our perhaps semi-independent thought processes, to take just that one small arena of living and enshrine naturism’s acceptability here in Scotland, to get more people involved and to improve resources for them.

Ella

Advertisement : SLN 12 The International Edition (coming soon)

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While in Spain I did a fair amount of work on pulling together much of the next issue of SL Naturist, Issue 12, and as before we’ll also publish it as an Issu publication.

The theme this time will be a broad ‘international’ theme. Essentially we want to look at different attitudes to naturism around the globe in real life, and examine whether these values are reflected in SL. Some of the fruits of my summer off from SL, learning new design skills, may emerge in the course of that. I certainly hope so anyway! I’m not quite ready to publish it yet, but we’ll be trying to bring it to you as soon as we’re satisfied.

Ella

Plus sized midnight skinnydipping

One observation from last week was the presence of a couple who didn’t appear to use the pool by day and would leave it almost to the stroke of midnight before emerging to take a ‘cover of darkness’ skinny dip, and a scene I would have reported there and then had I been doing the ‘Postcards’ series this time, because there’s a bit of a lovely ending to it.

The wife was very plus sized. Whether it was a bit of body consciousness, or whether it was a first time on a naturist holiday I’m not sure. I suspect the latter, because at midnight the first time I observed them, the wife emerged in a one-piece full body swimsuit, which is a naturist etiquette ‘no no’ at a naturist pool. We all accept there are people on the move where clothes are sometimes necessary -going out to the supermarket for example- so even experienced naturists sometimes need to dress sometimes. But you do not wear swimwear in a naturist pool. It is simply frowned upon.plus size3_001b

Within the context of naturism you often encounter CMNF or CFNM (clothed male, nude female and clothed female, nude male, respectively. Something of a sub-genre in erotica/porn, where it is used to depict a sense of ‘humiliation’ in some instances, it’s a fact of naturist life. Often I’ve had conversations with other residents, in the apartment block or at a beach cafe, where I’ve been nude and them clothed, and vice versa. We spoke, last week, about ladies (myself included) sometimes throwing on a pareo to walk the distance between where they’ve parked the car and the beach, being de facto ‘clothed’ while conversing with fully nude males. It just happens. You run into a friend who is dressed/naked while you’re dressed/naked, and a normal conversation ensues. It’s a normally of naturism.plus size5_001b

But the ‘naturist police’, other residents of a naturist complex, will take you to task for wearing clothes by the pool. And Spanish naturists are sometimes so militant that the appearance of clothed people on the beach will lead them to stand up and slow handclap, in order to shame what they believe (sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly in my opinion) voyeuristic non-naturists. To me, there should be some leeway provided in order for naturist newbies to grow to accept the normality of the nudity around them, adjust their perceptions and almost invariably strip off in time, while the slow handclap can scare off first-timers.plus size2_001b

But let’s get back to our midnight skinny dippers. The first night, the wife wore a full, one piece suit. Although her husband was nude, there was an element of uncertainty in his body language, which is what makes me believe it was a first time for both of them. Suitably emboldened by the fact that it went ‘OK’, the next night the wife was reduced to a thong. By the third night she emerged from their apartment (always at midnight) fully nude. Perhaps not wholly comfortable with the situation, but obviously with some sense of growing confidence, even if it was under cover of darkness.plus size4_001b

By Monday, during the ‘siesta’ period when the pool is traditionally empty and many are lying low, she managed to make her way to the pool in daylight. I suspect that baby steps, and being allowed to embrace naturism in her own time, at her own pace, at the time of day of her choosing, has led her down a path of saying ‘yes, I’m naturist’.

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Very few of us who embrace the naturist lifestyle have the confidence to simply throw off our clothes and wade into a life of nudity. We all have our hang-ups, some degree of body consciousness. It does take time, for some, to ‘grow into’ naturism. I was no different. Incremental steps. The bikini top coming off…breasts exposed…then the bikini briefs coming off…sat in a position where nothing was on show…then the ‘face down’ bare-bottomed sunbathing…then the *gulp* face-up sunbathing (in a quiet corner of the pool area)…then the ‘damn, it’s hot I need a swim’ moment where it’s a heart-pumping, heart in mouth moment where you have to stand naked in public for the first time and make that walk or run to the pool and, maybe even more unnerving, the walk back to your sun lounger.

After that, it all seems quite normal, a case of ticking off the ‘first time I ever did that nude’ list. The walk around the streets, the cycling, the first naked swim in the sea, and so on.

For guys, I’m sure there’s an equal ‘but how do I measure up against the other guys?’ moment…the old myth of ‘will I get an erection?’…and so on. Sure, we all have our concerns.

But what was lovely for this lady is that there were no pressures placed upon her. She was discovering the pleasures of naturism for herself, at her own pace. I’m sure, within the garden of their apartment, or just sitting eating or watching TV, there was also a journey of discovery for this couple. Few of us will sit and watch TV at home naked, but once in a naturist environment doing that, making some dinner or doing the washing up nude is a whole new series of experiences.

Nervous and uncertain she may have been, but I’m confident that the slow pace of acceptance chosen by her has led her on a path to ensure that, last week, two new more naturists were born.

Ella

Better together (2)

I’ve made no apologies for my non SL, non naturist ‘Better Together’ post in which I’m nailing my colours firmly to the mast of a ‘No’ (to Independence for Scotland) vote, and will vote accordingly later today. But this is SLN. We do Second Life, we do Second Life Naturism.

Being UK based, I’m working on a time zone wherein I’m speaking more to Britons & Europeans when I’m in world than I am to people in the Americas, Asia or the Antipodes. It’s just the way it works.eswni2_001b

So…Brits, Irish, French, Dutch, Scandinavians & Spaniards dominate my friends list. And, I’m pleased to say, people from right across the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. And it is my great pleasure and delight (you have no idea how difficult it was to organise this! It took days of planning to bring us all together in one place!) to present avatars from the four nations of the UK showing their support for the United Kingdom, for naturism and for Second Life itself.eswni3_001b

If there’s more of us together, life’s more fun. And that’s true of naturism as much as it is of the United Kingdom. I spoke last week of the ‘social’ element of the lifestyle, of getting together away from damned dumb-phones and engaging with other people, and how the conversations are longer, the laughs more prevalent, when a bunch of people engage in social naturism. Naturism, like the UK itself, is BETTER TOGETHER. Second Life, like naturism, like the UK, is BETTER TOGETHER.

If you don’t play Second Life, get involved! If you do play Second Life, make sure that before you log off you’ve added a new friend or socially engaged with another avatar (it’s a pleasure itself to engage with someone from another part of the planet and, however briefly, get a little window into their world). If you haven’t tried naturism, maybe now is the time to google up the name of a local swim night or club and at least make enquiries.

And if you’re a  non-naturist SL avatar, maybe now is the time to hop along to one of SL’s wonderful naturist sims, find an avatar (look…some of us SLN folk are often around) and enjoy the particularly social and non-sexual element of SL naturism.

Ella.

 

 

 

Better together

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No apologies for today’s non naturist, non SL posting. Today Scotland votes on ‘independence’ from the rest of the United Kingdom.

And I’d like them to stay within that United Kingdom family. 300 years, we’ve had, of shared history. And in that time collectively punched above our weight on the global stage.

We would all be diminished by Scotland’s ‘independence’. The chances are Scotland will yoke themselves to Brussels and the EU if they do go ‘independent’. It’s strange that freeing yourself from from ‘a colonial master in London’ (which is how some Scots see it) means climbing into bed with a more distant and less sympathetic ‘ruler’. Joining the EU is not ‘independence’

What I say, an English woman living in Scotland, blogging on a niche website about a niche online game, won’t make a button of difference. But I sincerely hope Scotland chooses to remain within the UK family. I shall be going out later to vote ‘No’ to independence.

Ella

Heroes of naturism : The Colombian Ladies Cycling Team

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You can’t have missed this photo that has been all over the media in the past couple of days, of the Colombian Women’s Cycling team in their new outfits for the Tour of Tuscany…

I’ve chosen this particular photo above because the wrinkles in the ‘skin’ part of it are clearly evident. No, they’re not semi nude, of course, it’s just the way the outfits were designed. Many other shots of the same outfits are just a little bit less wrinkled, a little bit more uncertain in the clarity and at first glance maybe needing a second look to decide….’are they? aren’t they?’

The ladies aren’t in all probability naturist. Maybe not even a topless sunbather between them. No matter. They’ve achieved enormous publicity over the past two or three days, from ‘bravo!’ to ‘outrageous’ to ‘fashion disaster’. And what makes the ladies heroes of naturism is their bravery in wearing them, knowing what the reaction would be.

The debate surrounding the outfit is interesting that, even in a global society that accepts the use of women in the flimsiest thongs in advertising, this can still ‘shock’. Anything that opens up further debate on the presence of the naked body in society (and remember, you aren’t seeing any of these ladies naked) is fine by me. In the 21st century we should be reaching a point where we can say ‘they’re naked in what are generally non-naked social situations, so what?’

Nudity is everywhere around us in advertising, and accepted. For even a little pretend nudity, the cycling world and beyond expresses horror.

I note the President of some cycling organisation has said ‘we need to look at this’. Because of the depiction of nudity, of course. Would the sporting world have the same concerns had the ladies been sponsored by, for example, a company that peddles in death. An armaments company, for example? I suspect not.

Anyway, we’re going to award them ‘heroes of naturism’ status for what are fabulous cycling costumes (and where can I buy one?)

Ella