My Nude Debut: A series (Monika grows up in the DDR)

I am not a naturist in real life: any longer! I am not a regular naturist even in Second Life, I prefer the social interaction and shopping for clothes when I play, which isn’t a very regular occurrence. But I have been a naturist in the past in both of my lives, the real and the virtual.

Let me explain. I grew up in the DDR, the Democratic German republic, or East Germany as you might know it better, in the late 1960s and 1970s. Of course we were behind the invisible wall that divided us from western Europe, and the real wall that divided us from West Germany, the Federal German Republic as it was known then.

What you think you know about East Germany is probably mostly true, including the bit about East Germans embracing the naturist lifestyle. Of course we did. I maybe wasn’t aware of the full reasons as to why we were all so readily naked at the beach back then. Now, I know it is because it represented a little bit of freedom from what was a very structured and observed life. With the authorities watching all of us, and the Stasi spying on many of us, maybe even me, the FKK beach, the Freikoerperkultur beach, the nudist beach, was a freedom.

I grew a few kilometres outside the town of Wismar, not so far from the West German border, right on the coast of the Ostsee, the Baltic Sea, and summers were often spent at the beach perhaps just like people in West Germany, in England or in America.

I don’t remember that we ever wore swimming costumes at the beach. I don’t remember owning one. We simply went to the beach and everyone got naked to swim and enjoy the sun. I would meet schoolfriends there, male and female, and it seemed normal to see them naked. Or to see the butcher naked, or the woman who worked in the bakery, or my parents. All was normal. At home, at bath time, my brother and I would be bathed together. I cannot remember thinking that he looked so different to me that he had a penis and I did not, that I had a vagina and he did not.

There were four of us children. I have an older brother, two years older, and a sister one year younger and brother three years younger. When I was maybe ten years old all four of us would walk or bicycle to the beach and spend all day there, every day, in summer. At weekends our parents would accompany us.

I didn’t think I was naturist because I had no framework to say ‘this is strange compared to others in the world’. It was how things were. But I do remember starting to feel a little bit shy and embarrassed for one summer when my breasts began to grow, pubic hair appeared and I began to menstruate. For that time I was not so free with my naked body. My female school friends would have been the same. By the following summer the feels of shame or embarrassment at a changing body had gone, we were all back to being naked, every day in summer.monika1_001b

At home, too, all the year, nudity was normal in circumstances where nudity might be expected, either in the bathroom or between the bathroom and bedroom. There was no shame involved, and no shame even during the period of body change. As a young woman, rather than a girl, the act of being naked on the beach became a little more ‘cool’ with us maybe segregating by sex to spend time with a bunch of girl friends and the boys did the same. When ten years old I would have climbed naked onto the shoulders of my brother and he would throw me off and into the sea in our games. Following puberty? No. And in turn my younger brother would climb onto my shoulders and sit naked and I would do the same with him, throw him off into the sea. Games until puberty.

When the time came to choose a boyfriend I ended up with a guy in my brother’s class. Before we started dating we had long been aware of each other’s naked bodies. When the time came to make love for the first time we stripped without fear or embarrassment, already familiar with how the other one looked unclothed. It made the subsequent act of lovemaking much less difficult, I think, than for many others. My first time of sex was nice, I think, not awkward. This is a benefit of that naturist upbringing.

I moved away to Berlin, to university, and the naturism was no more. Of course I was quite accepting of the naked body. I slept nude on hot summer nights, I wandered my student apartment naked if it was warm. I was there at the Wall when people began to knock it down. It felt like such a release. Maybe it is appropriate or not to say that my boyfriend and I stood crying and laughing as it fell and my memory tells me I had an orgasm. My boyfriend and I went home and made love many times with a wildness I had not had in sex before or since.

Once free to travel, I travelled. Sometimes a naturist beach would be close and I would happily swim and sunbathe naked but I didn’t seek it out. I didn’t feel necessarily drawn to being naked. In fact, I bought my first bikini to wear on a beach because it looked sexy.monika3_001b

I have never married or had children. My partner and I now split our time between a home in Berlin and an apartment in Croatia. I sunbathe topless but rarely am I fully nude in public situations. I am not ashamed of my body, but it is a case of us not having much opportunity to be naked on beaches. We sauna together once a week and of course there is nudity there, of both sexes, but I don’t think of this as naturism.

East German naturists, 1989


(Received text translated via Google translate by Ella: Monika photos by Diane Toxx)

Anita Ekberg

It’s sad to report that Anita Ekberg, an actress for whom the word voluptuous could have been coined, has died aged 83.

She’ll be best remembered for that fountain seen in La Dolce Vita, Fellini’s 1960 film which was condemned by the Vatican and banned in Spain until 1975, after Franco’s death.

I note that, in her obituaries, there’s a repeated quote: “I’m very proud of my breasts, as every woman should be. It’s not cellular obesity, it’s womanliness.”


Now there’s a quote for many of SL’s female avatars to ponder on.


Guerilla Galleries

Guerilla Galleries is an organisation whose strap line appears to be ‘Art that dares to be different’.GuerillaGalleriesLogo

One of the ways in which they’re different is that there’s occasional gallery viewings where those viewing can be nude, particularly where the topic of the art is the nude itself. One such event was held last week. (The link is event info, not photographs or artworks). Beyond that, I have precisely no idea of what it was like.starredoutgroup04

I thought this was such a great idea that I’ve been rounding up models here and there to replicate the concept within SL.

100% NUDE

Some ‘NSFW’-styled editing has gone on in one of the photos, one of the few photos I found online about the event, but we’re working to bring you a SL variant on the theme soon.



You failed, Isis

Isis, you failed. You will always fail. Because you are losers, in so many ways.

babs lingerie2_001b


You lose, on an individual level, because you allow hate to conquer love. You lose because you besmirch the words of the religion you errantly claim to represent. You lose because your actions don’t frighten or cower us. Instead, your actions see us straighten our backs a little more, stand a little taller, grip the hands of our Muslim and Jewish friends and colleagues a little tighter.

On the streets of Paris today over a million people have taken to the streets to let Isis, or any of those other little squalid murder gangs, know that we aren’t scared, that we’re united. We’re united with the overwhelming majority of our Muslim brothers and sisters who, just like us, reject you, all you claim to stand for, and are sickened and appalled of your posturing on behalf of a prophet who would reject your every action. I’ve read the Qu’ran. It’s a beautiful book full of beautiful words (and for those ‘Christians’ who would point out isolated verses as not being very ‘peaceful’ : look at our own Old Testament) and the actions of a handful of fascists will not diminish it.

The Marketplace is already full of a variety of Je Suis Charlie related items. Show your solidarity with those on the streets of Paris today. Most of the items are free.


Low naturist ebb: An Editorial

I’m feeling at a low naturist ebb. The September holidays are history, the promise of Christmas is behind us, it’s a long way until summer, and we probably have the worst of the winter weather ahead of us first. Naturism isn’t exactly top of my agenda right now, at least as far as RL is concerned.

Something similar occurs with SL for me at this time of year too. It’s hard to get enthusiastic. That’s nothing to do with SL itself, and everything to do with me. In the dark and cold days of January, life just seems to be like that. It’s a case of hanging on for, at least, the first snowdrops to remind us that spring approaches, that the world (real and virtual) is re-born.

Speaking of rebirth, I note that several SL bloggers have begun the year with a bang, particularly where the visibility of skin is concerned.

The Good Gorean, My Haters Motivate Me, Angel-style, and Naniii Bubble are all SL bloggers embracing the skin we’re in, and quite obviously this is a policy we embrace and support. It’s a great start to 2015, and something that gladdens me to see bloggers do, as ultimately it ‘normalises’ the fact that the nude body is acceptable where other things in life (real or virtual) patently aren’t acceptable.

It can be a horrible world out there, as evidenced by events in Paris over the past few days, and fear of skin, pixellated or real, seems ridiculously silly, so we salute those bloggers who’ve shrugged their shoulders and said ‘in context, SL nudity is more than fine’. I won’t post the photos in question, they being the copyright of the original bloggers, but I would invite you to click the links to view accordingly.


Speaking of events in Paris, they’ve delayed SLN12 again, as one Muslim avatar who was featured in it has written to me again expressing her shock, horror and shame at the events and written a heartfelt response to the events with compassion and anger in equal quantities. I’m waiting for photographs to illustrate the article to come back and be added to her moving text, and I regard it as so powerful that I can’t wait until I’m satisfied with the rest of what has been a difficult collection of articles, under an SLN12 banner, to write (and get right).

Previous editions of SLN, as a magazine, have always been published collectively. This time, they will be published individually as and when I can and on completion as individual articles here, will only then be published as a magazine format in the Issuu format. Otherwise, they’ll sit growing old, forever destined to be updated and tweaked according to how they reflect RL events.

That avatar’s bitterly angry response to jihadists will, I think, appear later today or tomorrow, with the remainder of SLN12’s articles appearing over the next week or 10 days.



I’m delighted to see that many SL bloggers (and naturist blogs) have expressed support for and solidarity with the Je Suis Charlie meme. Without wishing to trivialise the events in Paris with something as unimportant as naturism, it’s as if there’s some sense of a line in the sand being drawn, beyond mere humanitarian instinct. Because it is all of our freedoms and civil liberties, away beyond a sense of ‘oh, it’s those who produced cartoons’ that are under threat. For the SL bloggers, a sense of being part of a ‘perfect’, apolitical world gives them a sense of outrage that politics have failed those in the real world (from the Gaza Strip to the 11th arrondissement). For the naturist bloggers, there’s a reflexive sense of understanding that we live in a world where two distinct lifestyles -naturist and textile- can peacefully co-exist. There may, occasionally, be tensions, but a sense of the world being big enough to contain both, with a textile majority, while not quite fully understanding our lifestyle -and mocking it, often- they acknowledge our right to exist and let us get on with it as long as no deliberate offence is created. Extend that metaphor to the real world and we automatically have a sense of ‘why can’t Israel peacefully co-exist in an Arab regions?’, ‘Why can’t Israel accept the sovereignty of Palestine?’ or, indeed, ‘Why can’t we respect our Muslim brothers and sisters?’ or ‘Why can’t Muslims accept the west’s definition of freedom of expression?’. Simplistic? You betcha. But for all of our sakes, we need to understand and accept more about one another’s cultures, and acknowledge that offence sometimes occurs. It’s called life, and it isn’t some sanitised entity tailored to suit your specific needs.

Of course, we’ve had a parade of columnists in the newspapers this week saying ‘oh, it’s all about the cartoons‘. Quite clearly, the targeting of a Jewish supermarket nails that lie. Clearly, the murderers who were running on the streets of Paris this week weren’t offended by mere cartoons, they were offended by Jews too. Let’s nail that lie that it was just about cartoons. These fundamentalists are lying to us when they say that and, worse, lying to themselves when they imagine that’s the issue at stake.


jelena red dress2_001b

So how’s my SL naturist life shaping up right now? It’s not! 🙂 I’ve decided that the best way to ride out a storm of the naturist ebb tide is to spend time picking up items for the holiday wardrobe (and maybe a bit of SL dancing if Mr. Keng can be persuaded to join me). Over at Brii’s Underground Wear, there’s a hunt going on featuring some lovely formal gowns at L$1 each in a mini hunt (look for champagne bottles) which has everything I like in a hunt : the prizes aren’t impossible to find! 🙂

Shoes and jewellery are part of the deal too. Yes, sometimes we get dressed up in SL and this is one of those times.