The ‘Mean Comments Meme’, via Strawberry Singh

One of my go-to SL websites is Strawberry Singh’s excellent blog. Strawberry, like other writers such as Canary Beck, take a philosophical view to SL, and blog in a thoughtful, intelligent manner.

Strawberry also runs ‘Memes’, wherein SL bloggers get the chance to comment on, or re-create, something for their own blog sites.

This week Strawberry’s meme has been a ‘Mean Comments Meme‘, which in another of those extraordinary acts of synchronicity, has been partly what we’ve touched on in recent days with several posts about the #freethenipple campaign ongoing in Iceland, a Twitter meme itself instigated by ‘mean comments -or cyberbullying.

I’ve commented on Strawberry’s blog, and you can read those comments, if you wish, by following the link (above).

pookes as miley2_001bc

My comment on Strawberry’s blog references us replicating RL events in SL, hence us re-posting Pookes, as Miley, on a ‘Wrecking Ball’

Let’s go straight to the questions Strawberry posed her readers in respect of this meme, and my responses within the context of SL Naturist.

Have you ever been subjected to mean comments online by strangers? I’ve never received ‘mean’ comments in the context of SL Naturist. What I would say is that some male avatars lose all sense of social graces (assuming they had any to begin with) in terms of routine sexism. OK…I’m a SL (and RL) naturist, so I do spend a lot of my SL time naked. It’s odd, however, to still find comments that reference ‘nice tits, love’ or ‘beautiful bush’. Even for female avatars who aren’t naturist within the game, I imagine that sexism is routine. I don’t cyber. I’ve never cybered. My profile makes this abundantly clear. Despite this, I still get asked. When I point people to what my profile says (essentially it says I don’t cyber, in a number of languages) I have previously been called a ‘slut’ and a ‘whore….for not cybering? Fellas, you need to be spending less time on SL, and more time with your dictionary if you think someone who doesn’t bump pixels is a ‘slut’.

How did you respond to them? We’ve all got a mute button. I use it. I’ve had SL friends whom I’ve thought understood my no-cyber stance, only to let themselves down 2-3 years into an SL friendship. I mute them immediately. Friendship over. With regards being called a ‘slut’ or any other form of routine sexism, I ignore it and go into ‘withering sarcasm’ mode. There’s a good number of avatars out there whose comprehension of English (even if they’re native English speakers) isn’t so great that they can come back from a put down (and muting).

How did they make you feel? Their comments say nothing about me, and everything about them. They can all be ignored. Happily, sim owners in the main have zero tolerance to any form of racist, homophobic or sexist remarks. I would imagine they would move swiftly to ban the person making such comments, whether directed at your avatar or made about specific RL groups.

Can you share some of the mean comments you’ve received and your thoughts on them? Apparently I have ‘nice tits and am a ‘slut’ (see Q1) 🙂 This wordpress blog is my online presence. I don’t do FB, twitter, Tumblr, Flickr or anything else, so my exposure to negativity or bullying is minimal. In the context of the blog, no one has ever been particularly negative, just occasionally sexist. Even there, I have ended up at sims, dancing naked, when a total stranger will IM ‘I love your blog’ and want to talk about that. Anonymity allows people to forget their manners in a RL social media context. I have no real need for these outlets, so don’t use them. Oddly enough, Strawberry references a negative comment (in world) regarding the wearing of a tattoo, and we had our first ‘troll’ comment on the exact same scenario recently, referencing RL women as ‘tramps’ for having them.

Have you ever ridiculed or negatively commented on someone else’s work, actions or personality with the intention to hurt them? In the context of SL Naturist, no. We try to promote family orientated, wholesome, ‘genuine’ naturism, rather than a ‘nude beach with sex poses’. Some people like ‘nude beaches with sex poses’. We don’t, but that’s just us. Rather than comment negatively, we don’t comment. Someone has worked hard to create a sim. It doesn’t fit our definition of wholesome, ‘genuine’ naturism, but that’s OK. It wasn’t built for us. Rather than snipe, we simply don’t comment (although we will comment about ridiculously sized male genitalia or breasts within a sim intended for ‘human avatars’: get real people).

We play SL for fun, for enjoyment. Quite why someone needs to be rude or nasty baffles me. It’s just a game, and should be treated like a game. We’ve always tried to adopt a fun, positive approach to the work we promote and have, happily, found that others react in kind. What’s the old Indian saying? ‘The smile that you send out returns to you’.




Bjort Olafsdottir

Last week we reported on the Freethenipple campaign in Iceland. You can read our post here.

I note that one of the women taking part, Icelandic MP Bjort Olafsdottir, has written an opinion piece for The Independent newspaper, which you can read here.



Normally we don’t publish photos in these circumstances, but as Ms Olafsdottir speaks candidly about the photograph in the article, it seems reasonable to include the photo in question.

Second Life has its ‘memes’ from time to time, one being ‘Topless Tuesday’, which began as a Tumblr & Twitter meme before cascading into SL. We’ve done a few ‘Topless Tuesday’ posts ourselves within the realm of SLN, in support of equal rights for women, including top-free rights.

No, it’s not the most important issue facing people in the world today. It’s not the most important feminist issue in the world today. But it still manages to raise the issue of women’ rights on a regular basis.

Even within SL we’re not immune to top free inequality. I’m not about to ‘out’ any skin stores, or go over ground I’ve covered before but, honestly, nipple pasties on skins do not present me with the full picture of what I might be buying. It’s dishonest, to an extent, and brings a patriarchal mindset into SL, a place where we have the chance to re-invent RL inequalities and ridicule them for the insanity they are (at least for those who play the game).

Many designers within SL are female. Most bloggers, I would argue, are female. So, ladies, isn’t it time you stepped up to the mark and presented your skins, or you outfits, or your blog posts honestly? Isn’t it time you freed yourself from RL patriarchal inequalities within the game?





‘Try it, you might really like it’

USA Today’s website carries a story on naturist holidays, specifically aimed at naturist newbies.

“The best advice I can give is to try it,” says Nicky Hoffman to the Naturist Society. “You really might like it.”

Which certainly is decent enough advice that I, as a naturist of 20 years standing, can attest to.

The RL Mr. Keng wasn’t a naturist when I met him, and had the usual list of reasons why he shouldn’t do it. But then I have the usual list of reasons why I shouldn’t do things if we go to a fairground. 🙂

roller coaster_001b

ferris wheel_001b


The roller coaster? Not if my life depended on it. Not if his life depended on it.


Well, yes, there’s fear involved. A lot of fear. Equally, I simply don’t like vomiting over myself :). Nope, not for me.


Other things, though, which I didn’t like the idea of doing….the ferris wheel for example…I’ve managed to get over my fear of doing. Swinging gently in a creaking tub 100 foot or more able the ground isn’t my idea of pleasure, but I can do it now to the point where I’m relaxed enough to take in the view, rather than grip the barrier until my knuckles turn white and have my eyes closed the entire time.

And there, I think, is how we need to see non-naturists and how they might respond to the options available to them if offered the chance to participate.

Some people will relax into it. For others, it will be a big no-no, not even if their lives depended on it.

Which is all fine. In my experience, if you’ve not tried naturism before, you’ll fall into two categories. The first is the ‘No. Never. Discussion closed. It’s immoral. Not even in the shower’ category. The second is the ‘Well…let’s discuss the arrangements. Here are my objections’ category. What they need is reassurance. ‘Well, we could go somewhere isolated just to see if you like the experience of swimming naked, feeling the breeze on your skin’, followed by the ‘my penis/breasts/bum/tum is too small/big/saggy’ argument, maybe then followed (in males) by the ‘What if I get an erection?’ argument. I know: I had all three debates with Mr. Keng. After ten years I now have to race him down the beach to be first to hit the surf.

So if you’re falling into the second category of newbie, take heart. Your half-hearted objections can be discussed logically, natural fears overcome (it’s out of all of our comfort zones the first time, me included).

Try it! You might even like it!




Nudity and the (Ancient) Greek ‘nude ideal’

I’ve picked this story up from the BBC today, in which the British Museum is holding an exhibition about ‘Defining Beauty‘, wherein the Ancient Greeks apparently stylised a sense of ‘beauty’ which still holds true today. For example, we all take exercise so we can look good by going to the gym.

Gym, from ‘gymnasium‘, is a Greek word, which originally meant ‘naked school’, or ‘naked exercise’ (within an academic surrounding).

As Dr. Ian Jenkins, from the British Museum, says in the BBC piece, “for the Greeks the body had almost entirely positive connotations: there was no shame“, going on to add that “For a man in Ancient Greece to be naked at, say, the wrestling academy was to join the ranks of the righteous. Representations of the naked male were common and I doubt they ever shocked anyone.”

What a wonderful approach to have compared within our current trend for social-media driven ‘body shaming’.

Ancient Greek athletes practice their skills.


It’s not nudity all the way, though. In Ancient Greek art the female is rarely depicted nude.

“The fact is that in Ancient Greece social convention meant a respectable woman would never be seen unclothed.

“So a representation of Aphrodite (goddess of love) might show her bathing as that’s a situation in which a woman can legitimately have no clothes on. But even that came relatively late in the Ancient Greek period. 

“Sculptors often resorted to drapes or sometimes to a modestly placed arm. Of course, you may argue that a finely executed tissue of drapery could make the image more erotic rather than less.”CapitolineVenusMa335

Dr Jenkins also adds that “Ancient Greece was honest and perfectly open about homosexuality and accepted it in young men.”

Once again, an enlightened approach in stark contrast to our sometimes horribly homophobic world.



I found two depictions of Ancient Greece within Second Life, (this LM leads to the second one) as well as landmarks and sims for Ancient Rome,  Ancient Egypt,(warning: this Egypt sim bills itself as a BDSM sim. Reflexively, this isn’t an SLN thing, but it’s a good-looking sim for photography purposes at least. I have absolutely no idea if domination/subjugation was an Egyptian thing, I’m going to guess not, as the likes of Cleopatra rose to lead that Empire) the Ottoman Empire and Sparta, as well as a shop dedicated to ancient historical clothing here. 

There are numerous other historical sites available. Role-play is not something that I’ve ever done so I couldn’t say how these sims work, exactly, but I would assume that, to some extent, nudity is an acceptable part of the deal, at least in some of the sims.

ancient eqypt no nudity_001b

No nudity in Ancient Egypt (sim)

I didn’t notice much in the way of freebie clothes on my whistle-stop tour, but I wasn’t really there for an exercise in how to look the part in role-play sims. What I can say is that I wasn’t able to find any diaphanous, figure-hugging clothing (drapes) that might replicate a woman in Greek Art.