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.



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?’


‘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.


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.






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.




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.



‘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.



Please….no phat azzes (1)

Phat azzes. They’re suddenly everywhere.



I know the booty has somehow, inconceivably to me, become fashionable, both in real life and Second Life.

In Second Life there are a wide range of places where one can purchase ‘phat azz appliers’ and get that J-Lo


Nicky Minaj


or Kim Kardashian look.

Some women will have a pear shaped figure, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You are how you are. But surgery to make your butt bigger? It’s stupid and it’s shallow. Well, it’s not shallow, actually, it’s a book shelf you could set a glass of champagne on 😉



The image is nothing new, being a simple recreation of Jean-Paul Goude‘s 1976 photograph ‘Champagne Incident’ (see below) featuring Carolina Beaumont.




Not SL’s phat azz appliers, but a shape tweaked to make a representation of real life ‘celebrities’ whose only assets are emphasised on the first syllable. 

Many SL bloggers seem to have adopted this ‘big booty’ look for their models, and I have to say there’s little that can make a blog post less appealing than a ridiculously shaped model whose function is theoretically an intent to make you buy a particular item. Fortunately, so far at least, the SL naturist community appear to have studiously avoided the wretched look.

The claim, I think, that these photos of Kim Kardashian will ‘break the internet’ is, of course, merely hype. It’s a dreadful set of photos of a dreadfully shallow ‘celebrity’ whose only talent appears to be for self-promotion. The world is a poorer place for giving this woman the oxygen of publicity, although I may be, judging by the extent to which people appear to be getting into a lather about the photo-set, in the minority there.

SL doesn’t have a celebrity culture. If our world did have one, I imagine there would be those who would model themselves on reality TV nonentities.


The Wall App

Here’s a fun and funky little online app that you might enjoy using even if you aren’t an SL player or a naturist, but are someone who likes photography and seeing your photographic art set in a different context.

Called The Wall App you can drag your own completed artwork onto the wall of someone’s house and get some concept of how it might looked sold, framed and hung.

Using one of the photos I took for the ‘Single Males’ post from the beginning of this week, here are two examples of the finished effect with my SL photography placed in RL surroundings.

ohmyprints-13112014-201047 ohmyprints-13112014-201115



When feminist journalism suggests women might be better off staying at home, having babies and doing some dusting

I like to think we’re supportive of the concept of top-free equality here on SLN, but when it is reduced to this level of nonsensical drivel, I sometimes wonder if we should stop.

Essentially, Jessica Valenti, writing in the Guardian newspaper, has identified 2014 as the year in which breasts were ‘reclaimed’. This is feminism in action! Apparently.



Is this for real? Where’s my diary? It’s not April 1st already, is it?


mal kierapose2_001b


Malgorzata replicates Kiera Knightley’s photoshoot within SL. Photography by Diane Toxx

Too late! Many of the commentators have weighed in with pithy one-liners about the stupidity of the entire piece, although I suppose we should be grateful that the fee for the article will probably mean Ms. Valenti can afford to buy a top of the range, sheer brassiere from Victoria’s Secrets as a result.

Keira Knightley is a feminist hero because she insisted editors don’t photoshop her boobs? This is a joke, right? A windup?

…in order to stop objectifying women, women show their breasts in a magazine. Great step forward. Congrats, easily made happy.

Women going topless good, looking at topless women bad. Have I got it?

wahey! get ’em out for…er….signfying feminine camaraderie, or something….. 

But I can’t tell if Keira Knightley going topless is a good thing for feminism or not without a discussion on wether or not she shaves her downstairs ladyparts.Or have I misunderstood what feminism is all about? My sole source for my education of feminism is the comment page (of) articles by feminists so I can’t be too far out surely?

We covered this story, Kiera Knightly posing topless being in support of the ‘free the nipple’ campaign then, at the end of August, although that’s not an accurate reflection on her motives which were, then as now, “a woman’s right to choose how she represents her body — and to make that choice based on personal desire and not a fear of how people will react to her or how society will judge her. No woman should be made to feel ashamed of her body.”

She’s right. No woman should be ashamed of her body. On a naturist beach, no woman is ashamed of her body. More to the point, in the ‘equality’ arena of naturism, where we’re all stripped of our social badges of honour, we cease to be a doctor, a High Court judge, a teacher, an unemployed single mother. We get to be people instead, judged for how interesting or boring we are. The Econudes website argues the compatibility of naturism and feminism.

So Kiera whips ’em out and it’s all rather ‘ho hum’ and not very remarkable. Which is where we’d like the debate to go. But to dress this up as some nonsensical ‘year we reclaimed our breasts’ is simply daft.

Remember: in the UK there’s a kind of ongoing crusade to end The Sun newspaper’s ‘Page Three Girl’ (a daily does of topless model). I’m broadly in agreement with the need to end it on the basis that it’s old hat and it sexualises women’s breasts where there’s no real need to see them in a ‘Cor! Tits!’ sense in the internet age. But then I read Jessica Valenti’s column and think ‘if they’ve been reclaimed, and are being shown on our, women’s, own terms, then surely that means that the models on Page 3, some of whom made a half-decent living out of the daily dose of bare-breastedness, have a right to continue posing topless because they’re making a feminist statement‘. Or did I miss something in the silliest feminist/top free piece of journalism I’ve ever read in my life?


Single males

Single males have, not unjustifiably sometimes, a bit of a negative reputation in naturism.

They’re sometimes the voyeur types hiding in the dunes with camera (or penis) in hand. They’re the sad, ugly guys who can’t get themselves a girl. They’re the gay men using nude beaches as a pick-up location. And naturism, without ever being homophobic, we’re too laid back to pass judgement on others’ sexuality, but well prepared to criticise displays of sexual activity on naturist beaches, be that of the gay or heterosexual variety-the last link targets doggers and swingers performing sex acts on a naturist beach- does carry a patina of anti-single men attitudes. This is particularly apparent when single men might try to join a naturist club. There’s good, logical thinking for disbarring single males, and that’s to keep a balance of the sexes in place. Men are, by nature, more likely to happily strip off in public than women, and so there’s a constant fight to ensure that a balance between the sexes remains.

Of course there’s no bar on ‘single’ (i.e. unaccompanied) males going to a naturist beach, and it’s a familiar sight to see a male arrive alone, lay out his towel, and then sunbathe without bothering anyone. Gay? Straight? It hardly matters, as he won’t be indulging in any sexual behaviour, of any type, to irritate and annoy others. He sunbathes, he swims, and he goes home.

Single females, too, are often apparent in real life naturist settings. Work ends, and they head to the beach to squeeze in a couple of hours tanning before the evening meal. Wives, widows, single women, schoolgirls reluctantly heading home to do homework, you’ll encounter them all sunning solo, without annoying anyone, without being harassed by anyone.

It’s slightly different, I have to say, in SL. Pop yourself down on a towel in world and wait for the 2-3 minutes before a ‘hi!’ IM pops up from an avatar you can’t see…and can’t even see if you pull up a mini-map to try and identify their location.

It can rapidly go downhill from there. ‘Nice tits’.

It doesn’t happen like that in RL naturism. Women will be left well alone, not subjected to sexual harassment. Which is, quite often, the behaviour all too apparent from some male avatars whether they’re clothed or not!

Me? I’ll talk to anyone, but if the conversation has ‘nice tits’ or similar in it, you can bet your bottom dollar you’re muted instantly without response.



men together3_001b


A rare sight in SL (in clothed or unclothed settings) is friendship between male avatars.

In RL naturism we’ll also see gaggles of people arrive for a bit of tanning, often after school gets out. A mum with her children. A teacher just finished for the day? An elderly woman with her middle-aged daughter and sometimes teenage grand-daughter turn up. A couple of guys might arrive on a moped to grab a quick swim before homework, a night out, football training, an evening job.

They, too, are ‘single’ males, except there are two of them together, but they never seem ‘seedy’ or suspect in their behaviour. The naturist beach is a means to an end. Here, we see another difference between behaviour in real and virtual settings. A couple of naturist men can turn up on the beach. Gay? Hetero? Who cares? Their behaviour is not likely to be sexual and even if there is a display of gay love, two of them kissing for example, no one will bat an eyelid any more than they would kissing between a male and female. A bit of petting…gay or straight…would be a different together4_001b

A couple of male avatars sitting together practically anywhere in SL is much less likely to occur. Male avatars rarely make friends with male avatars. It just looks ‘too gay’. Not that anyone has said as much to me, but my observations suggest that  male avatars aren’t likely to strike up ‘hi’ conversations from distance in the likelihood that the other guy is an interesting kind of guy, judging by his profile.

Fellas, I’m saying to you, don’t be afraid to start up conversations with other male avatars.



Messenger Bag (a Naturist and non-naturist accessory)

messenger bag_001b messenger bag2_001b


Over at Fab Free Headquarters you can find this free messenger bag, ideal for naturists and non naturists alike. I’ve identified it as a naturist accessory simply because this is exactly the type of bag I use for the beach. A small purse with a few Euros inside for beach bar coffees or lemonade. Our apartment key. A pareo. An iPod. Sun tan oil. Sunglasses. I’m good to go! Mr. Keng uses a similar style bag for his bits and bobs.


Naturists for real



We follow a number of genuine naturist tumblr sites, and Naturistsforreal is one of them. I’m not particularly drawn to a need to see a lot of naturist photographs, but they do often prove to be a source of inspiration for the various blog posts we do here (and I’ve said this before). Naturists for Real is excellent in that it doesn’t limit itself to photographs of naturists, but answers questions on the lifestyle, links to pieces of journalism that may be of interest to naturists (example: it’s healthier to sleep nude) and includes photos such as the one above, which demonstrates an implicit understanding of the wider naturist lifestyle.

It’s a communing with nature itself. The bare body is a natural state. Eating healthily is a natural state -fresh produce over processed (which would certainly explain a wide range of excellent seafood restaurants that seem to populate the Mediterranean coastline). And attitude is also important (see the photo below)

memories plaque


Yep, we need to care for our environment. And naturists’ love of nature ensures that naturist beaches are some of the cleanest you’ll find. We, as a lifestyle group, implicitly understand a need to take away empty bottles, food wrappings and so on to ensure that the animal and bird life near the beaches don’t suffer (choking hazards, etc) that man often carelessly leaves behind, their rubbish being someone else’s problems.

I was particularly taken with the photo and the message that Naturists For Real posted (top of page) which very much demonstrates the author’s love of genuine naturist values.

We do very much need to invigorate our souls in places not rearranged by man.

pookes nature_001b


Pookes is found at the Amazon River sims, marvelling at a sim which in turn shows the marvels of nature.

This is equally true of SL’s virtual naturism too, because one can get an incredible sense of how much more attractive the world is in a natural setting. Honourable mentions must go to Lupe’s Magical Forest and the Amazon sims, which are marvellous examples of imaginative builders where SL’s virtual naturism can be enjoyed. There are also a huge number of non-naturist sims where the object of the exercise is imaginative building, a project that isn’t predicated by commerce, and pixellated brushed aluminium and smoked glass, as soulless an experience undertaken virtually as it is in real life. To this end, I’d also recommend the Ad Vitam Aeternam blog, whose sole purpose is to bring you a collection of links to sims where the marvel of SL’s builds are the key element. I have to say that, while they’re probably all non-naturist sims, we do utilise the links provided by Ad Vitam Aeternam to the max, tp’ing in to do photo shoots from the various links they provide.

Even if you’re not a SL naturist the blog will provide hours of in world enjoyment that another shopping mall will never achieve. For me, there’s a bit of a failure in Linden Labs economics wherein tier costs are such that people often focus on commerce rather than a build for its own sake, an exercise in invention and imagination. For me, SL’s economics should be structured in such a way that sims that have no economic potential, no effective revenue stream, should be tier costed at a much lower monthly rate, to encourage sim owners to build a sim for its own sake. As a world in which politics are minimised, as a world in which people can display great generosity towards their fellow avatars (and we’ve personally benefitted from the largesse of Brenda Hoisin and Gray Muricastle in permitting us to hold office space in the Eden Naturist Estate & Su Casa naturist sims respectively), shouldn’t we in SL be encouraging a world where we can focus on the important things in life? The nature of the world around us. The marvel of nature’s diversity?

In this, I’d also pay tribute to Tess’s ‘Naked Dreams’ sim, part of the Eden Naturist Estate, wherein she has imaginatively provided a scuba diving experience complete with shoals of fish in evidence, an SL experience where you can simply marvel at the imagination of the builder, and a total understanding of the beautiful natural world in which we live.