The Secret Room : Pose Fair

There’s a cute little pose fair on at The Secret Room, with a bunch of dirt-cheap poses on sale. Some priced as little as L$3, and a couple of freebies dotted around.

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I particularly liked this one (photo above) because it reminds me so much of us grabbing the last rays of the sun, squeezing the pips out of our last night on holiday. Sure, we’re on the beach most evenings when it’s cooler and suitable for the children, then we head back to the apartment, shower up and dress to go out for dinner, assuming the sea air hasn’t reduced the children into two little sleepy-heads!

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This one isn’t us, as such. We don’t do ‘goofy’ 🙂 but it’s a fun pose. I grabbed a bunch more that I’ll utilise in photographs in the coming days and weeks.

 

Ella

 

Firestorm Beta

I don’t usually get excited by viewer upgrades, but the new Firestorm Beta update immediately grabbed me the instant I went to take photos.

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The upgrade has added filters, so that you can take photos and immediately give them a ‘mood’. Often, upgrades are more ‘back office’ stuff, bugs ironed out and don’t have a great deal of apparent change to the user, but this is very much ‘front office’ stuff that enhances the user experience. I think my photos are awful; flat and one-dimensional, but this new addition has managed to turn even me into a photographer of sorts…

 

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It’s great when there are upgrades of this type that can enhance the user experience in obvious ways. Not that I’m suggesting bugs shouldn’t be ironed out, but Firestorm’s user friendly interface just got better for me! 🙂

 

Ella

 

Damselfly Group hair gifts

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Damselfly has new group gifts out for men and women, with ‘Miranda’ wearing an appropriately summery hat, and ‘Ashton’ wearing a swept-up, gelled look. Both look great. Note, though, that the ‘Ashton’ style also looks great on an a female avatar, as our punky model demonstrates. Group join fee is L$0.

 

Pookes

 

 

 

 

This place is beautiful….where is it?

I do like to get anyone involved with SLN to ‘mix it up’ where photographic locations are concerned. Yes, the naturist sims look gorgeous, but in order to keep things fresh it’s likely that I’d encourage our photographers to split an infinitive and ‘boldy go’ to places where they can seek out new, photogenic locations.

But where are they? I routinely check out the sims that are reviewed on the Ad Vitam Aeternam blog. Bitacora Viajera is another go-to blog for location searching purposes.

I’d be certain that other bloggers do the same thing, and I do utilise their location links, where provided, to check out if it’s suitable for a bit of naturist photography. For instance, I spotted that Caitlin had mentioned Tuck’s Misty Isle as a location on her blog, so I hopped over there, checked it out and then sent Diane the link to Tuck’s. The result is a few photos from there, taken by Diane, and visible on our Flickr page. Naturist…naked…call them what you want, there’s no real story behind them, so the Flickr page seemed the most appropriate place to publish them, rather than on the main blog. Besides, the Flickr page gives those who take photos an opportunity to break out a little. We don’t need ‘artistry’ a great deal on the main blog. Snapshots of locations or ‘wardrobe accessories’ don’t need to be shown off in full artistic light, in my view (although I know many bloggers do give their photos a lot of artistic input and they routinely look great as a result).

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The photo, above, is one of those taken at Tuck’s which isn’t featured on the Flickr site.

One of the things we, as a blogging community, do is to get excited by a particularly photogenic sim, as it certainly frames the shot(s) we take and shows off clothes, hair, shoes, skin in the best possible light. One of the things missing from the blogosphere, I think, is a ‘photogenic sim aggregator’ to extend and expand the excellent work that Ad Vitam Aeternam and Bitacora Viajera do, to source lovely looking sims that bloggers can use.

One disappointing element of photographing in various sims is that, on teleporting into a sim, there are often rules that state ‘No Nudity’. Not a great start for this blog, certainly. And not a great start for many other SL photographers, who do like to take nude photos and share them on Flickr. SLN is linked to many of the people who do take photos, and I’m in awe of some of the great work they do. You can see SLN’s favourite photos, by others, on the ‘favourites’ page of our Flickr presence.

For me, everything is about ‘context’ in terms of taking nude photographs. I know that our photographers will routinely ignore the ‘no nudity’ rule where the situation permits. That is, they will certainly take photos where ‘no nudity’ rules apply if there’s no-one around to ‘offend’. I wouldn’t ask, expect or encourage them to go out of their way to start snapping nude photos if there are others around, but there are times when there’s no one else on a sim. Ignoring a sim rule that actively discourages nudity doesn’t seem too radical in those circumstances.

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Hugh tells me that his favoured approach is to simply pull up the SL map (above) and simply select a sim that looks interesting in terms of build…rural, urban, desert…and teleport in. He suggests it’s a hit & miss affair but he has been able to source some nice sims this way, sims he would otherwise have been totally unaware of.

There are a lot of wonderful sims out there, and for many of us it’s a case of finding out where they are.

If you’ve got any favourite spots you use for photography, let me know. Some of the builds out there are so wonderful that it’s a shame they exist in semi-secret.

 

Ella

 

 

 

 

The Fab Free ‘Heatwave’ event : Pookes’ selection

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My selection from the ‘Heatwave’ event at Fab Free HQ? It looks like I did pick up a couple of the same outfits Ella did, so I won’t reblog them and instead show the ones that Ella didn’t spot, buy or blog.

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Howie was online at the same time I was, so I yo’ed him over to the Wash and he picked up a pair of cargo shorts he liked while I was buying the gypsy skirt you see me wearing in the photos above and below. The pose we’re in is another L$10 grab at the cart sale.

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I also picked up the ‘Indian summer’ set. Ella just modelled the skirt, but I’ve popped on the ‘choli’ (blouse) that matches it.

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Ooh! I love this sarong. Just the thing to put on when heading to or from the beach. I note that there are dozens of bikini choices available in an assortment of cuts, styles and colours, but I opted not to buy them. Not a thing I’d wear on the beach! 🙂 Of course, if you aren’t naturist, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

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Something I liked, but didn’t buy, was this item from the ‘Battle Fairy’ cart…any of you who’ve visited the volcanic sand beaches of Gran Canaria will know all about how ‘dirty’ your feet look with the black sand, so certainly a thing of added realism to match the black sand on the beaches there. I opted not to buy simply because I wasn’t sure if the addition of slink feet was necessary to make them work properly, but I do like the idea of them as an added touch.

 

Pookes

‘Heatwave’ Cart sale at Fab Free

Another cart wash is currently running at Fab Free. I love these events! A series of carts with some cheap, but always high quality, items for sale from a variety of designers. The current Cart Sale has items limited to L$10 in cost, so nothing you see here cost over L$10! Bargain! And with summer just around the corner, and certainly my own holidays a little more than a month away, I decided to head to Fab Free HQ and see what I could pick up for my ‘naturist wardrobe’. There are hundreds of things for sale, so these are just a selection, and all with ‘summer’ firmly in mind.

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First up is the ‘Ibiza’ pareo set. I’ve not seen anything in RL that resembles the top, essentially cloth left hanging -not tied at the back- to cover (or not 🙂 ) the boobs. I have to say that if I saw something similar to this in RL, I’d buy it!

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An ‘Indian Summer’ skirt. There’s a matching top, but I didn’t buy it because I adore ‘boho’ type skirts and would often pop something like this on when heading away from the beach.

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Night-time means going out for dinner. So something cool to wear, yet looks classy and almost formal, this ‘Jade dress’ would certainly be something I’d think of for evening wear.

 

 

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And finally, in this tranche of Cart Sale items, a beach towel with a ‘revolving’ tanning pose.

Later, I’m hoping Pookes will deliver a series of items that catch her eye from the cart sale and we can post those too.

 

Ella

Let’s refocus attitudes to molestation, assault, rape and control.

Earlier in the week I posted a ‘great of gross’ piece which focused on a young woman who had decided to defy convention to stop shaving. The commentary subsequently focused on the way many men and other women like to be judgemental on others.

In a sense, this post is ploughing the same furrow, as it focuses on men seeking to control their women, with the added frisson on Islamic gender inequality, as well as looking at the way western society mirrors Islamic values and is just as guilty of looking in the wrong direction for solutions.

A Facebook page exists called ‘Be a man and don’t let your woman out in revealing clothes‘, with others emerging to fight ‘pro-Islamists’. This resulted in a counter-page being published, then taken down, then reinstated, calling for a ‘mini skirt day’.

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For ‘the west’, nothing unremarkable. For parts of the Islamic world, shocking.

The story, which I picked up via the BBC, is also being reported across Europe, including France, where there is a sense of militancy, at government level, to ban full face hijabs. I hope I’ve translated it correctly in saying that t is being reported that a ban on mini-skirts in Algeria (via the El-Manchar website) is likely to be passed to stop molestation and to show respect for Islamic values.

I’ve no problem with ‘respect for Islamic values’, on the proviso that there is equal respect given to western values, which isn’t always the case, with some people arguing for an extension of certain laws and values being extended to western democracies. Sorry, we don’t or shouldn’t do that. But if respect is a two-way street, then certainly, we can respect Islamic values. The waters are going to be further muddied in respect of Algeria, a former French colony which is almost certainly going to be subject to deep historical association with France, and French values.

I do have a problem with ‘molestation’ being written in as an argument in favour of a ban on mini-skirts, and it’s not unique to Islamic culture. Why focus on the women? Shouldn’t any ban be focused directly on those molesting, that is, young men with a very, very screwed-up attitude that says ‘a lot of leg on display? Prime target for sexual assault or rape!’ (I should add that the same attitudes are often displayed in young western males, and we’ve got the ludicrous situation where senior policemen in the UK  and elsewhere have occasionally suggested that women shouldn’t dress ‘provocatively’ or get drunk: as stupid an utterance as any Imam). Indeed, feminism responded to a Canadian policeman’s suggestion women ‘shouldn’t dress like sluts’ with the birth of the Slutwalk.

The Slutwalk encourages women to dress ‘provocatively’, or ‘normally’, if you prefer, and highlight that, however they’re dressed, they’re ‘not asking for it’.

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‘Society teaches don’t get raped instead of don’t rape’: no difference between Islamic and western teaching in this respect

My feeling is that this is a problem -control by men- shared by both Islamic and western women, with both being told how to dress by elements of society, be it Imams or the Canadian police, and both of these male-dominated bodies miss the point. The problem isn’t with the women, but with those ‘molesting’ or sexually assaulting or raping women.

We, the west and the Islamic world, should be addressing that, with some urgency, and stop the sub-conscious idea that ‘she was asking to be assaulted due to her mini skirt’.

In another story I read this week, a Turkish Imam has suggested that males who masturbate will ‘get their hands pregnant and they will need to look after the babies in heaven’. 

Hmmm…..surely masturbation, as sexual release, is infinitely preferable to molesting or assaulting or raping a woman?

Stories such as these feed back on what I and other bloggers have been discussing and analysing over the past couple of weeks: how men objectify women, in and out of SL, have no apparent social skills to understand how to speak to women, in and out of SL, and how, in many ways men, in and out of SL, seek to control their women in telling them how to dress, wear their hair, etc.

I know at least one female avatar who was told, in effect, ‘you would be pretty if you didn’t have such short hair…I’ll buy you a hair I like….’ The subtext to this was ‘and if I buy you hair that makes you fit with my ideal of beauty, you’ll sleep with me’. I’m sure that there are plenty of RL women who’ve experienced the same ‘I bought you two vodka and cokes, so the payback is sex’ attitude.

Ella