In our recent post ‘More Hippies‘, you’ll maybe have seen a small gallery of nudists playing about in mud.

Those photos came from a site called Alem, a remarkable and beautiful collection of Brazilian photo-essays on life, and a casual nudity within it (in some of the shoots).

The ‘mud-ists‘ 😉 specifically came from a gallery called Vivencia-Ensaio.

I don’t particularly go looking for nudist photographs on the net, unless specifically researching something. The ‘hippies’ and ‘vintage’ photos recently used would be a case in point. But I do like to find sites where ‘the nude in art’ is the focus, because an artistic twist on nudity can and does inform the way we try to do things on SLN.

The site also has a feature called Pelos-Pelos, which does a remarkable photo essay on (predominantly) female body hair, although some male genitalia is featured too.

The site is in Portuguese, but thanks to the wonders of Google Translate, I’ve been able to loosely translate what some people are saying about body hair.

‘I first stopped shaving my pubic hair because my boyfriend said he did not mind, quite the contrary, he liked, he liked it that way. I think it’s pretty independent of me. It does not help nor hinder.” -Raysa, 21 years old.

“My relationship with my body hair is fine. for quite some time I do not mind them, so when I want I leave myself unshaven, when I do not want it, I shave. I was lucky to relate me always with people who did not care about them. So when I want it I don’t shave, when I do not want body hiar, I do not have it. I’m happy with them.” -Lidia, 22 years old.

Of course, my personal preference is for pubic hair to be present and correct, which would appear to be a returning trend, and there are times when I’m not overly bothered about shaving my armpits either. This, apparently, is almost as outrageous a personal statement as going topless or nude in public places, judging by media reaction when celebrities like Britney Spears and Julia Roberts appear in public without having shaved their armpits.

One of my oldest SL friends is Justine, who has featured on the pages of SLN before in her capacity as a ‘professional naturist’. She works for a travel company that specialises in naturist holidays and most of her summers are spent in Spain, France or Croatia, as on-site liaison between locals and English, French and Spanish tourists.

‘It was not’, she grins, ‘where I expected my language degree would lead!’

Not a naturist herself when the job came up, she quickly learned to adapt to being surround by hundreds, maybe thousands, of naturist holiday makers, and it didn’t take long until she took the plunge herself and now spends the overwhelming majority of her summer wearing nothing but a smile. Justine will disappear from SL for months during the holiday season, and then pop up from time to time during the winter months, ‘although I’ve been a rep in the Caribbean in winter months too’.

Becoming a rep in the 1980s, different values applied. ‘Women were almost certainly unshaven in the pubic area in naturism back then, and many ladies from some Mediterranean countries didn’t shave their armpits either. When I started, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to shave my pubes, but I would have shaved my armpits, as most northern European women did, and do. But I would be thinking, of some of these Mediterranean ladies, ‘wow, that’s brave, but it’s also good, and it’s also quite sexy in a way’. Unconventional. So I stopped shaving under my arms too, sometimes. Or at least be much less fussy about my shaving patterns. If I went a few days without shaving and ended up with armpit stubble, so what?’

Coming into SL a few years ago, Justine decided that she would have her avatar reflect real life. A thick, luxuriant ‘bush’, and thick, luxuriant armpits. ‘Because I’m a rare, but still active player, I don’t go mad on lots of clothes, on keeping up with new hairstyles or skins or anything. The only real money I’ve spent in SL was on good flexi hair and body hair, hahahaha!’
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And that, incidentally, was how and why I struck up a conversation with Justine several years back, running into her on a long gone naturist sim, and enquiring about her purchases. Sadly, the armpit hair she uses on her avatar is no longer available in SL, otherwise I, too, might be sporting it on occasion in world, less a reflection of real life -I still shave my armpits- and more a reflection of not adhering to a media obsessed (reflected in SL) expectation of ‘beauty’.

I’ve always wondered why the accessory isn’t quite so widely available in the SL marketplace. I would have imagined that male SL avatars might reasonably expect it to be available as an avatar add-on.

I’ve included one photo from the Pelos-Pelos photo essay on Alem’s website. I suggest that you click the link and explore the site for a while. The people photographed, male and female, look fabulous in the shoots, and have an adorable approach to casual nudity in the essays.


PS: If anyone knows of good underarm hair, in world or on the Marketplace, let me know and we’ll do a blog entry about it.


Canary Beck : Ne me quitte pas

We’ve previously written about Canary Beck, a remarkable woman whose website is a joy to behold, as she discusses a wide range of SL/RL interfacing, and the possibilities and potentials for SL. I would urge anyone who reads SLN to hop over to Canary’s site and easily work their way through a couple of hours reading her thoughtful, insightful words.



Our own photographer, Diane, gave me a heads up on Canary’s ongoing photographic exhibition, Ne me quitte pas, which you can find at the Waderstill Ode sim. I hopped over there earlier and have to say I’m greatly impressed by a series of atmospheric nude shots in which, according to Canary,

I have aimed to express what I am only now able to express coherently in words. I’ve even lifted the titles for the pictures from the verses of Jacques Brel’s plaintive poetry set to music, feeling unable to write them myself.

These very personal pictures are the result of two months of taking hundreds of similar pictures on my bare white platform – most of which I obliterated soon after I took them. I never planned to share them. As I’ve reviewed these works for showing; however, I see them now like heavy pages in an old diary; a shabby book that reflects a threadbare me, depleted by gravity and, I hope, now hardly recognisable.

Things fall apart, but we reflect, re-examine and reconsider the necessary grieving process that we go through, which tends to accompany any significant loss or separation, and perhaps might feel a cathartic lightness in the sharing.

And you thought SL was only a world of pixel-Barbie dressing up and cybersex?

Canary’s work, in whatever medium, illustrates the breadth and depth of some of SL’s more imaginative players. Apart from photography, Canary was also responsible for staging in-world theatrical productions of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and ‘Paradise Lost’, complete with some onstage nudity (which is where we came in 🙂 ) and she is an exceptionally talented lady whose work, in world, often re-defines the boundless possibilities of SL.

I’m also hearing that both productions will be released in machinima (‘movie’ style productions from within virtual reality worlds) form in 2015. Can’t wait! 🙂

I won’t be reproducing the photos from the exhibition here: it’s up to you to go see for yourselves 🙂

Diane also recommended using the Ode sim’s wind light settings to view the photographs in best effect. Diane was also impressed by the wider Ode sim itself, and took a series of photos in which to show it off. Again, if you do visit Ode, I (and Diane) would recommend further exploration of this beautiful sim.abi ode sim3_001babi ode sim4_001b abi ode sim6_001b






Madonna. Any thoughts?

I’ve always hated her music. To me, it’s synthetic, clunky and all very much the same, but give the woman her dues, she’s managed to sell it, and often sell it on the back of ‘controversy’ that sometimes appears to be more of a point than the rather dull music itself.

Madonna’s never been afraid to use her own body as a marketing tool, to the point where she once said that she regarded losing her virginity as ‘a career move’.

Madonna was back in the news earlier this week, posing topless for a photoshoot in Interview magazine. The UK media had a field day, of course. While you’ll never see a nipple in the Daily Mail, for example, they’ll squeeze every drop of sales they can from a pixelated or blacked out one. Most of the UK’s rags commented, and several were particularly keen to establish -in a remarkably ageist manner- if a 56 year old woman should be doing this sort of thing.Madonna-Naked-Topless-02 Madonna-Topless-Truth-Or-Dare-Header

Of course she should, if she wants. And while this appears to have been the year of feminists talking drivel about women reclaiming the breast in 2014, while the exceptionally silly Nicki Minaj expressed her empowerment by sticking her ass in the air, a lot, I’ve always thought that Madonna, in the main, did use her body and her sexuality on her own terms.


Please….put it away…



Preserve us from silly young women who imagine getting their ass out, a lot, presents them as being ’empowered’. No, they just look ridiculous (particularly when it’s that big), even if their male(?) manager says it makes them look like feminist icons for being ‘in control’. Convinced? Me neither.

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I happen to think that Madonna looks great in the most recent photos, just as she has done through the years, and I’m sure she’s quite content to have her own little library of her young self maturing over the decades. I really rather hope we’re still having this discussion in a decade’s time if and when a 66 year old Madonna decides to strip off again. On her terms. Showing these younger ‘feminists’ how it’s done. More to the point, expect Madonna to remain relevant then, long after Nicki Minaj has faded from the public eye.

In Second Life, of course, there’s little of an ageing process. It’s a Neverland where no-one has to grow up, and ‘the older avatar’ is something I’ve written about on these pages before. And expect to again. As an older SL user I would like to reflect that to a degree. So please, skin makers, how about a much wider and more affordable range of older avatar skins and shapes? As things stand, SL discriminates against people being able to represent themselves as older avatars (and black or Asian avatars, come to that). Can 2015 be the year in which SL ‘grows up’ and grows older in that respect?







Abandoned land.

We’ve all come across it on a regular basis, teleporting into sims that no longer exist, clicking landmarks we’ve bookmarked.

The simple fact is that these make a larger area look shabby and run down. We read, some time ago, about how Detroit had gone bankrupt and was lying abandoned and neglected.

An appalling tale of urban decay.

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This got me thinking about a similar sort of feel to many places in Second Life.

Hello everyone, it’s a long time since I posted, but I’m still here. Yes, isn’t it awful how some locations are just wastelands? You can even TP into locations where there’s not even any attempt to sell or rent land. Some plots of land have simply been forgotten. It got me thinking as to how it might benefit SL, as a whole, if there was some form of Linden Labs Infrastructure department. I know LL have a ‘Department of Public Works’, and that there is a list of projects that the LDPW are (were?) involved in.

Yet we never seem to hear about their work, nor do we particularly seem to benefit from the project’s existence. I’m not looking for a whole range of ‘freebies’ from the project, but it would be nice to see some locations which haven’t been filled, nor are likely to be filled in the short term, having some kind of reality applied to them. As you can see with Detroit, ‘nature reclaims’, so why are so many plots sitting empty? Why haven’t LL, or the LDPW, attempted to reflect this, if only to ‘beautify’ the landscape to some degree?

For me, an exciting development might be to put in place some proper infrastructure reflective of real life. Yes, SL does have some…but not enough for me.

Elements like the SL railway are to be welcomed: it fulfils no real purpose other than it’s there, and you can ride it from stop to stop. Terrific! A fabulous addition to the SL landscape. But…where’s the municipal swimming pools? The libraries? The small shops, the one man businesses, which don’t sell anything in SL, but do fill up rather dead looking malls? I’m sure you can think of many other examples.

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Barbara takes the ‘A'(?) train on SL’s railroad. Note that the landscaping is ‘basic’, but does offer something rather than nothing.

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Beside the tracks you can find things like this observatory, non-functional, but presenting items of interest to the casual traveller.

Lupe’s Magical Naturist Forest

A trip over to Lupe’s Magical Naturist forest convinced me that, if nature reclaims, then it should reclaim in Lupe’s inimitable style, rather than a 10(?) year old depiction of what grass looks like. Perhaps the next phase of SL needs to be a bit of ‘filling in the blanks’ regarding the geography & topography of the game. Perhaps we need to be tp-ing around and discovering abandoned buildings from (an imagined) SL circa 1920, 1950, 1980. What’s your thoughts? Has the time come to do some root and branch geographical reform of the game and make large parts of it fit for 2015?