It was a bit of a shock to discover, on Friday night, that one of the most vibrant naturist events going at the moment is at Commune Utopia, a non-naturist but very much clothing-optional location in SL.
I ended up chatting to so many, for so long, that I appear to have done myself a bit of a mischief regarding my arm this morning; it’s not meant to be doing that extent of typing and being held in a specific position. Never mind, it was worth it for the insight into an absolutely rocking SL location.
I’ll work backwards. This morning, I asked Diane to head over there and take a few photos to capture the essence of the place (my own photos, from last night’s clothing optional party, will show exactly why I send someone with an eye for photography over there!). So here’s a selection of the shots she took, and which readily demonstrate that it’s an idyllic spot, a clever and imaginative build that also shows off SL at its very best, for a variety of reasons.
So let’s start with the first photo. It’s a sign that references La Reserva Forest Foundation in Costa Rica. For every L$4000 the residents of Commune Utopia donate, another tree is planted to re-forest farmland in that country. Already the residents have exceeded this month’s (?) target and thus another tree is planted. This, to me, represents ‘giving back’, to the world. We all need trees to survive, as they help to create oxygen, not just for Costa Rica, but for all of us. What a fantastic idea!
In the week where we’ve noted the passing of Christiane Lecocq, and celebrated the work of France Guillaim, both of whom have adopted a holistic approach to the naturist lifestyle, it’s fantastic to see that a similar mentality is in play within SL. While we can play naked, we need to remain aware that being nude is just one part of the naturist lifestyle. It encompasses other aspects of living, and Sedi, Commune Utopia’s owner, is taking a strong lead in promoting some of those elements.
After that, Diane has captured the essence of the place beautifully in the other photos.
Going back to last night, Friday night is a designated C-O (clothing optional) party. I’m pleased to say that 90% of the attendees were naked, cramming onto a dance floor and bopping the night away. I think that where it’s such a huge success is that it begins at 10pm (UK time) and thus is ideal for us Brits, other central European locations and even the eastern seaboard of the US & Canada, which captures a crowd ideally.
Conversation was ongoing in chat, enhancing the social element of SL that used to be such an integral part of the SL experience but is now sometimes lacking.
I took photos, of course. 🙂
It’s not my place to ‘out’ anyone (even in naked avatar form) on the blog, so some can’t really be shown until I could get permission from those present for their images to be shown (in nude form, anyway, I’m more relaxed about using photos of clothed avatars even without permission, providing they aren’t identified by name).
And so my choice is limited, but I think this one (focal zoom applied to ‘blur’ the other dancers) will give a flavour of how busy it was!
Another huge box ticked for myself (and a listening in RL Mr. Keng) was the music feed, expertly DJ’ed by Sunshine, a lovely looking lady who, I am told, lives in South Africa and thus has a great interest and knowledge in African music. Mr. Keng approved wholeheartedly. I’ve said this before, but he’s not an enthusiastic SL player, but even he murmured that Commune Utopia’s Friday night party could become our RL Friday night listening experience if the quality of Sunshine’s set is anything to go by.
I IM’ed Sunshine to get a couple of links to the music she was playing, just to give you a flavour of your dancing experience at the Commune, and you’ll find the links below.
Sunshine, Commune’s DJ, with a naked Ella in the background
Once again, I found the music was enhancing my SL experience. An imaginative set list that reflected the vibe, rather than just a series of tunes being fed in from an iPod without any thought. Sunshine would interject from time to time and was also keeping us informed as to what was being played, leaving Mr. Keng scrambling for a pen and paper in order to do some follow up research. See? SL doesn’t have to be a passive thing. With the right people in control, it can become a wonderful, inter-active experience.
After all of that dancing, it was time for a quick dip in the Commune pool (approaching 100am, UK time) before logging out and going to bed, thrilled and excited. After seven years of SL it’s lovely to re-affirm the values that makes SL so special!
Things seem to be moving so fast that when I visited this afternoon a new ‘clubhouse'(?) in an eco-build style seems to have been built, nestling into the greenness of the hillside where Commune Utopia is located.
My next step will be to contact owner Sedi and speak to her about her thoughts, dreams, hopes and wishes for Commune Utopia. In the meantime, I’ll be going back to visit this marvellous sim on a regular basis.
The commune is a lovely place when there are specific events there, but it is rather slow (or outright dead) when there are none. It’s events and activities are mostly centered around Euro/UK times too, which means people from the states who come onto sl at night will often find the place empty or near empty.
The commune also tends to ebb and flow in terms of the overall vibe. It tends to go in waves where for a long while very cool people hang out there, and then will go through a phase where most of the people there will be interested in just sex.
I do applaud them for supporting live music, and of course they have a nice artwork display, but as a real “naturist” place, I think it leaves a lot to be desired….
Many SL locations are the same. It’s obvious that their busy periods coincide with the time zone of the majority of the members. I wouldn’t categorise it as ‘naturist’, though, simply ‘CO’ -clothing optional. That’s part of the vibe. Correlating this to RL, there’s lots of people who aren’t ‘naturist’ but who will embrace CO events, such as the ‘as little or as much as you dare to bare’ WNBR, Tunick ‘happenings’ and so on. We live in a society where, happily, people are much more at ease with their naked selves than before, and will merrily strip for an ‘event’ without ever categorising themselves as ‘naturist’. I think that a naked, Friday dance at the Commune readily fits into this ease with nudity. Six days a week many of those avatars might go dressed, but will happily strip on a Friday night. It seems that they probably have grasped the naked ‘zeitgeist’ of our times.
Thanks for your comments! The vibe is that we respect all, whether clothed or naked, and we’re very easy going with both. Yes, we are an Adult sim, but we are not a sex sim. We have the Adult rating because we like to have the freedom of dancing naked sometimes and celebrating our beautiful pixel bodies, no matter the shape or size, sometimes cuddling with new or old friends, and yes, occasionally things progress on in a fluidly organic manner. You won’t be jumped upon or forced to have sex – and our only rule is that people respect all – it works well. Mostly, you’ll find intelligent humour, silly dancing, and a community spirit that is rare in SL.
You will find slow times, where we are chatting in small groups, but also crazy times… as we have unpredictable, spontaneous times that just happen as *everyone* has the ability to create events. As for being Euro time centric, that may be down to the fact that I (as the leader) am English, but we do have international members – it’s up to them to get the party started – with a real commune vibe, everyone takes responsibility for their own enjoyment – how refreshing is that!