Let it (not) snow (so heavily)….

The BBC has been reporting on the severe weather my fellow countrymen are experiencing back home. Here in England the Daily Express newspaper has been preaching about winter doom on a daily or weekly basis. The Independent has weighed in today, predicting things will get worse. SL bloggers have mentioning it in a kind of nonchalant manner too, almost as if ‘hey, there’s five feet of snow in Buffalo which means I can’t go anywhere but as long as my internet connection to SL remains up….’ (The Express has also mention Britain’s particularly harsh winter of 1946-47: Ella)

Wherever you are around the globe, stay safe from the winter weather, which seems to be setting in rather harshly, rather early.

As usual at this time of year, sims are getting decked out in their winter colours, so I thought it might be an excuse to head out onto the grid and look for some early signs of snow, or sims bedecked in snow because, as some of you may know, nudity and snow (it’s not quite ‘naturist’ behaviour…just an excuse to get outside and get naked and take photos of the experience) go together really well.

bijka snow _001b tumblr_m5gpa7fuF21r2yc8ttumblr_mf0m4hAKOj1rmcr76o1_1280bijka snow angel_001b

Yes, it’s great to do it in SL while sitting in a fluffy dressing gown and nice big, thick socks on a cold night (not that it felt that cold here in southern England today) and let avatars out to play in the snow. But why stop at just SL? There are those who’ll use it as an opportunity to get outside in real life and get naked.

120430-photo-of-sexy-nude-girl-in-the-snow

 

guillaume snow_001b guillaume snow2_001bnaked-snow-angel-2michaela snow_001b michaela snow2_001b

If I was back home, I’d maybe get the opportunity to do a naked snow angel, but it’s unlikely here in England, living in a 4th floor apartment with no gardens. I think I’ll just need to get out onto the grid and find a few places where I can try what I can’t in real life.

Apricot

Vintage Season : Hippies (a pictorial supplement)

Long hair (or dreads), boho skirts, tie-dye, belly chains, ankle chains, bracelets, a lack of underwear, yoga, healthy eating, skinny dipping, body-paint, free love…whichever the era, the same values apply in 1969 & 2014. I’ve gathered far more hippy style photos than I can possibly use in the articles that accompany the ‘hippy’ tale, then and now, in and out of SL, so let me clear the boards with a pictorial extra. As I said, we’ll pick up the hippy tale with more of an SL emphasis next week.

_1280 (6) !lnafjrb (7) *JC `09 (8) `bw-nc (10) 01 4d19fe1e 7 98-violet 0102 147-heax 359_1000 360_1000 992_1000 1912-29 10932_1263948086082_1451153934_718367_2780111_n 1410018 1599631 42464485_9a21091d5b_z 239511225 245127949 386439612 592203371 594681897 639057635 693091954 830111178 836218300 1021177199 1118034057 1239904416 1519198481 1592719484 1748422597 1907716724 1914035250 1929257350 1968775963 1980652834 2337547336_0a375f1194_b 2872753324_72f6cf4512_o 3113653049_2931d29250_z 3637654410_1551508f9b_o 5278556677_eafd11c587_b 5279161304_69309a60f2_b 20060826213650-105

 

Ella

Vintage Season : Hippies

I guess there will be many SL users who remember the hippy era of the late 60s/early 70s and won’t think of it as ‘historical’ or ‘vintage’ but as part of their youth.

Emerging from the counter-culture in the mid-60s, the hippies epitomised an era of drugs and free love.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Naked man with long hair , Bordeaux , France , August 2008 . tumblr_m94gnjwwdu1rx1oxwo1_1280 tumblr_marq78jREz1rnk53bo1_500 tumblr_mfacbkehL51r9uhsco1_1280 tumblr_midxh0ONdW1qepg91o1_1280 tumblr_mpiwm7mAAv1snvy30o1_1280 tumblr_mr2d3oY5Zr1sdepr7o1_1280 tumblr_mt19dyG2Ng1sh2u15o1_500 tumblr_mvjgxfrhGz1rnevo4o1_500 tumblr_mvlym9iMPV1qmqha2o1_500 tumblr_mw15plI0dg1r7bf04o1_1280 tumblr_mxgdzrcPHO1rnevo4o1_500 tumblr_mymv2dAqSs1qz6js4o1_1280 tumblr_n0pz8sbHwz1s814s1o1_500 tumblr_n0x2v61gnH1s4lehzo1_1280 tumblr_n15dmmTYKq1rk0b7uo1_1280

 

It was the era of ‘the beautiful people’. And looking back they were the beautiful people. Willowy girls, muscular guys, and hair in abundance, on their heads and ‘down there’. And what a soundtrack they had to their lives too!

The era didn’t last long; psychedelics were usurped by something more sinister, the free sex would come with a price in just a few years, the music took a dark edge and by the mid-70s they were gone, supplanted by disco, cocaine and the spectre of HIV/AIDS.

Yet the hippy era would eventually re-surface as environmentalism and the need to care for the planet and its resources became apparent.  While suddenly less popular than previously, the hippies morphed into eco-warriors, and events like The Rainbow Gatherings took shape.

22727931 260089492 1115286901 1300177283 1460349073tumblr_l7e3opWqrl1qbgrbno1_500 tumblr_ldkxnht8no1qehd6xo1_500 tumblr_lr2nfsDbUO1qzfjaho1_500 tumblr_m668g6IRjQ1qeuufeo1_1280 tumblr_mfy1b3GHCm1rgl1pao1_500 tumblr_mfz16b8lp61r2geqto1_1280 tumblr_mhrw3aHA001qdkbgxo1_1280 tumblr_mhz1tybg3U1qacj99o1_500 tumblr_mk2k6kFAgX1ry5pego1_500 tumblr_mkhe4s9Hm21rrbe8so1_1280 tumblr_mlm1o54tHE1r90zgho1_500 tumblr_mlpr10kq6T1s9g3m4o1_1280 tumblr_mlz78uw49F1r6z0kso1_500 tumblr_mmwezrfBxA1qacj99o1_500 tumblr_mqkpuwPhD11rkvxgbo1_500 tumblr_mrk5dhUq6S1rkvxgbo1_1280

 

Above, you’ll find a gallery of photos of the original Woodstock era hippies, and more recent Rainbow Gathering eco-warriors, who seem to attract beautiful people in either era, and who have a lot of common ancestry and traits. I’ll be picking the ‘hippy’ story up, in greater detail, in Part Two (next week), and also showing that the hippy ideal, the hippy lifestyle and the hippy clothing are very firmly in place, today, within SL, with an easy going and relaxed attitude to nudity very much apparent, even if few of the avatars who embrace the hippy lifestyle would call themselves ‘nudists’ or ‘naturists’ in or out of SL.

Ella.

Topless

As much as ‘the nude’ itself still has a power to excite, delight or frighten us, depending on setting and attitude, ‘toplessness’ of the female variety can be equally alluring or appalling, also on the grounds of setting and attitude. Given my naturist background, and the context of this blog, I thus read a BBC article on the subject of toplessness, a ‘Victorian taboo that won’t go away’, with great interest, particularly as the author, Sara Sheridan, is Scottish and working -some of the time- in the realm of crime fiction.

Scotland, I should add as an aside, produces a great number of crime writers. As a blow-in, I used to wonder why, until someone explained their theory that Scots all grow up against a backdrop of murder, often of an alcohol fuelled variety or domestic violence or a conflation of both. My educator at the time went on to explain that in the 1970s, when neighbouring Northern Ireland was routinely in the global news for sectarian fuelled violence and death, year on year Scotland had more murders per annum than Northern Ireland’s terrorist groups achieved, yet at the time the statistic went largely unremarked. My educator’s theory was that the Scots were routinely used to media reports, at length, on grisly or ‘intriguing’ murder and that this somehow percolated down into the imaginations of writers.

Anyway, back to toplessness.

_78983728_sara-sheridan

 

Ms. Sheridan posed topless herself (see above) for a photograph for the Edinburgh Book Festival and you can read her reaction via the BBC link at the top of the page. (Incidentally, I’m pleased to read that the thistle on her back is a drawing, not a wretched tattoo).

I’m not going to pre-empt any more of Ms.Sheridan’s article, I urge you to follow the link for yourselves.

While the examples she gives have a largely Anglo-centric focus, they’re not so different in any other part of the western world. Which got me thinking as to whether those real life values also pervade our virtual world. So…adopting both my ‘Eve’-alt avatar and ‘Adam’-alt avatar, I stripped Adam down to a pair of jeans, and Eve to a long skirt and fishnet top and began to tp around the grid to see if Adam or Eve’s bared nipples encountered any sort of reaction within SL, and if views expressed, if any, reflected RL attitudes, the caveat being that in the weird and wacky world of SL, where you can have a conversation with a petite giraffe about the space time continuum as if it was a chat about the price of coffees, not everyone will know/care/remark/look at a topless avatar. Remember: Adam’s fully topless, Eve is wearing a top, even though her breasts are clearly visible.

Because I spend maybe 95% of my SL time in naturist sims, it’s sometimes difficult to assess how other avatars, in everyday SL locations, react to a bit of nudity. The topless Adam encountered no comments whatsoever, anywhere, when either shopping dancing, hanging out, wandering the grid, other than in one ballroom where he was gently reminded about the dress code and how his viewer might not be showing that he had no shirt on. Adam simply responded ‘whoops…mesh fails me again, lol’ and put a shirt on, thereby ending the only reaction he achieved.

‘Eve’…on the other hand….

 ‘Nice tits’ (Thanks…there’s as much fat in them as there is in your head’)

‘Didn’t you read the rules? No nudity’. (It’s Second Life…what are these ‘rules’ to which you refer? And I’m wearing a top, I’m not nude)

‘You’ve forgotten to put a top on’ (Did you say that to the guy over there? No? Surprise, surprise. And if you look closely, I am wearing a top)

‘We have a strict dress code here’ (I’m in evening wear! How much more strict could I be?)

 ‘We have changing rooms available’ (I’m not changing)

‘No nudity. Enjoy the tp home and the ban from this sim’ (A bit of an over-reaction…you could have asked me to cover up) ‘Suck it up, you’re banned’ (As I was saying about the over-reaction)

‘I can’t say I disapprove of your failure to put a top on’ (I have got a top on)

I did actually get into one long argument about what constituted nudity.

‘You’ll have to cover up’

‘I am covered up’

‘Your breasts are visible’

‘If you look at that girl dancing over there, most of hers are hanging out of a formal gown’

That’s different.’

‘What????? By the way, she’s also wearing a dress that is slit up the side so you see a good bit of thigh and bottom’

‘That’s not nudity’

‘You can see most of her backside’

‘You’re just playing with words’

‘I’m not playing. Define nudity for me’

‘Bear (sic) skin’

‘My arms are bare. Are they nude arms?’

‘No’.

‘So there’s nothing on them, and they’re not bare, yet I’ve a top on and you think that’s nude?’

‘Your breasts are visible’

‘If I go into inventory and put a sheer bra on under this top, I’ll have two layers of clothing on above the waist. Would I be nude then?’

‘You’ll have to cover up or leave’.

‘Why? No one has complained. Indeed, (male avatar’s name redacted) has complimented me on my dress sense’

It went on and on, and eventually the ‘n’ word was trotted out. Nipples. The nipples were the offensive element of my evening attire.

At which point a male friend had come online. I IM’ed him. Join me at (sim’s name redacted) and come stripped to the waist. Put on a tie but be bare-chested. He tp’ed in.

‘So if nipples are the thing…you can see that guy’s nipples just like mine’

‘That’s different’.

It rather appears that turning up with some skin showing, in sims where it’s not expected, can cause the same sort of reaction as one might expect in real life. Bans, arrest (even though we can’t get arrested in SL, getting tp’ed home pretty much amounts to a similar sort of behaviour as having the cops called), lascivious male comments. What’s intended to be a virtual, alternate world, with what one might hope is an alternate world view gets siphoned through our own real life mindsets.

 eve franks1_001 eve harbour2_001b

As Sara Sheridan points out, it’s a taboo that doesn’t seem like ending anytime soon, either in the real or virtual worlds.

Ella

Fur coat and no knickers.

Have you ever heard the expression ‘she’s all fur coat and no knickers‘? I think it’s an expression unique to the UK, and essentially means that someone or something looks attractive but it’s simply a veneer with nothing to back it up. By ‘attractive’ it’s not meant to mean just physical attractiveness. The phrase could equally apply to someone writing an impressive CV on paper but with no practical experience to back it up.

When I saw this fur mink wrap and matching handbag currently going as a free gift at Hudson’s Clothing, it warranted a photo of, literally, fur wrap and no knickers 🙂 Priced at L$0, and a free group join into the bargain.

fur coat no knickers3_001b

 

I suggest you hop on over to Hudson’s, pronto, to pick it up. I guess it would look fantastic with a ball gown if you’re an SL dancing kind of person.

NO FURRY AVATARS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS PHOTO

 

 

Pookes

 

Wild, wet weather

There’s been absolutely appalling amounts of rain where I am, with guttering barely able to cope with the amount of rain coming down outside, roads flooded thanks to a combination of the volume of water and a lot of leaves clogging up drains. I’d got up this morning to a reasonably mild and dry morning, walked the children to school and came home to do a bit of work from my desk in the study. If you’ve ever visited SLN’s offices at the Eden Naturist Estate, the real life version is remarkably similar, dominated by a huge and overflowing bookcase, a desk and the computer equipment.

My mother used to call these weeks ‘the dark days before Christmas’, and it was so true today, necessitating lights on by 2pm, just as I left to walk down to the school and collect the children. It was raining as I left, but they had their wet-weather coats on, hats, gloves, and it’s only a ten minute walk, so we don’t use the car. Oops! What a bad mother I am, as the heavens opened just as the school bell rang and we had to trudge uncomfortably back home in what seemed like monsoon type of rain. They managed to get home quite dry, but I was soaked right through to the skin. Having got them changed and into dry clothing, I settled them down with some glasses of milk before heading into the kitchen to try to peel off denim jeans soaked right through. Have you any idea what a difficult task that is?

Yep…wet right through to my undies…which I was in the process of taking off and throwing into the washing machine when I noticed that a couple of towels which I’d pegged out yesterday and forgot about had now slumped to the grass. So I’m in the kitchen, totally naked, and I make a decision that, rather than get more clothes wet, I should make a dash to the bottom of the garden to retrieve the towels wearing nothing but my birthday suit and my wellington boots 🙂

Being naked in the rain wasn’t a first for me; I’ve been on naturist beaches when there have been showers, and gone swimming in pools while rain bounced off the surface of the water -I mean, I’m going to be wet anyway, so tramping back to a naturist apartment in rain, or to the pool in a downpour is no big deal- so it seemed the rather more logical thing to do than get another set of clothes soaked in the time it took me to get down the garden and back.

 

greenhouse_001b

 

Still, as the summer fades to nothing more than a memory, and next year before I get some first-hand naturism in again, it was still fun to dash naked down the garden to retrieve some fallen washing. But that little, totally unexpected bit of naturism was fun.

 

Ella

‘Where the hell is SLN12?’

‘Where the hell is SLN12?’, asks a reader via IM, coming straight to the point.

I’m glad you asked me that. Who am I kidding? I’ve been terrified of someone asking that for weeks!

SLN, ‘the magazine’, has had a couple of set-backs in its history. First, there was ‘the Politics issue’, which had two false starts before being abandoned. SL is largely politics free, and the more we attempted to examine politics, particularly naturist politics, around the globe the further we got away from achieving what we wanted to express.priyanka1_001b

SLN12 is intended to be an International edition, effectively examining attitudes to nudity and sexuality in different corners of the globe (and different attitudes from different corners of the grid -the attitudes to virtual sexuality will differ between, for example, a Gorean sim and a dance club, even if ‘bumping pixels’ -cybersex- is the common end result.priyanka2_001b

While much of it is written, done and dusted, all photographs taken, we’ve got bogged down with one particular element of it: India.priyanka3_001b

It’s easy to write about certain parts of the world and their attitudes. Others…it’s like catching the wind in the palm of your hand to get anything definitive down. And India is the sticking point, more than any other section of the intended finished SLN12, simply because there is no definitive Indian sexuality. The same may be true of other parts of the world too, but there’s a national/regional/religious stereotype in play that largely holds true and can be presented as a kind of definitive version of that region’s attitudes. For example, in respect of the Islamic world, we can say that public nudity is a definite no-no. It’s easy to write that bit in. We can say that Spain and France have a laissez-faire attitude to topless sunbathing. We can write that bit in, too.priyanka4_001b

But India…India is causing me all sorts of bother, largely because I’m UK based, and the diaspora who’ve settled here are, in many ways, westernised in attitude and have adopted a western attitude to sexuality and public nudity whereas people in India have a different attitude, there’s further diversification in attitude between urban and rural India, and there’s some cross-fertilisation between arranged marriage between western-raised partners in a marriage and Indian born and raised partners. And getting a handle on that is tough.priyanka5_001b

We’ve spoken to numerous Indian people, some running ‘Indian’ avatars in SL, some running western looking avatars, to try and make some sense of it all, but it’s proving to be exceptionally difficult. I’ve wrestled with just one paragraph for a couple of hours today, for example.priyanka7_001b

So I’ll ask you to be patient. Because I’m determined not to abandon another full issue of the mag.

The accompanying photos show avatar Priyanka -a UK born girl of Indian descent and who lives her SL as an Indian avatar- demonstrate the paradox between the two worlds. (All photos taken by Diane Toxx) On one hand there’s the acceptance of the traditional -her sari- and the western, a relaxed attitude to posing her avatar nude for us here, and an acknowledgement that her attitudes to sex and sexuality are very much the result of a UK upbringing. An interview with Priyanka will appear in SLN 12 if and when I get it finished. So I’d ask you to be patient. I’d like to get it right when it eventually hits the blog.

Ella