Naked Groceries

Recently I’d moaned about the lack of cultural diversity in SL, a lack of alternatives to the ‘mall’ shopping experience. It was therefore interesting to read on the Fab Free blog that there is a Grocery Store & Market sim in SL.

Model Helene popped over there (dressed) and grabbed the free, wearable shopping trolley you can add to your avi to wander around the store. Because this is SL Naturist, she quickly lost her clothes (the sim isn’t naturist, so be sure to tp in wearing something!) because I’d asked her to do a bit of an SL replicates RL post for me.

Why?

In many naturist locations you can shop nude. Indeed, a search on Google for ‘supermarket nude shopping’ quickly revealed that photos from this blog are immediately viewable, as it’s a topic we’ve covered before.

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Yes, we covered the topic of nude grocery shopping before, away back in issue SLN8, at another grocery location in SL.

It’s all quite pointless, of course, but enormous fun to do a bit of fun pointlessness in SL from time to time. And, of course, recreate part of the SL replicates naturist RL experience.

FlevoNatuur Supermarket

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On my next holiday, a bit of this will be part of my daily routine (I walk the beach to the nearby naturist hotel and usually pick up a copy of a British newspaper each day when there. Not quite grocery shopping, but nude shopping nonetheless).

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So here’s a couple of photos of Helene prowling the aisles, obviously intent on ensuring the fridge/icebox is stocked with cold drinks.

 

 

Ella

Trends in pubic topiary

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I’m currently reading Mark Haskell Smith’s book ‘Naked at Lunch: A reluctant nudist’s adventures in the clothing optional world’.

It’s an exceptionally interesting read, and covers a fair bit of the naturist movement’s history. As a bit of a self-style naturism historian, there’s lots I knew, but other bits that were new and enlightening to me. I’d recommend it to anyone who has even a passing interest in naturism.

I’m currently at the chapter ‘Trends in Genital Topiary’, which examines the way in which naturists have bought into what started as a porn industry trope, one for removing pubic hair, pretty much became the norm within naturism (as it also has for many people who aren’t naturist, with pubic hair becoming as endangered as pandas or white rhinos in some societies).

Let me pick out a couple of quotes, and then apply them to SL.

‘Smoothies are men and women who prefer to be completely hairless...(because)…taking off this last layer of covering will ‘promote the classical aesthetic idea of a smooth and hairless body”.

The author then quotes some ‘smooth naturists’, and one of their websites as ‘It is cleaner and more hygienic, especially for women. The smooth skin is more sensitive and it enhances sexual pleasure in many ways!’

To his credit, the author questions this statement, rightly so, because some medical professionals say that removing, and the act of removal, can sometimes cause cuts and abrasions that will lead to genital warts, so bravo to the author for raising an eyebrow at this. He also questions how a lifestyle so intent on promoting the non-sexual nature of it then has mavericks who say they’re naturist, but whose body hair removal seems to to be for the purpose of sexual pleasure and an ‘aesthetic’ that demands women have a pre-pubescent, little girl look. The thought appears to be formed in the author’s head, although unvoiced, that there’s some slightly disturbing about this. It’s a concern I’d share, sometimes, when I read online ‘naturist’ websites who voice similar ‘aesthetic’ and ‘sexual pleasure’ and ‘looks like a girl’ attributes. Sometimes it’s more than slightly disturbing.

‘It’s ironic that men and women are spending so much time and money grooming a part of their body they are reluctant to reveal’. Indeed. Often, shaving is presented as a side benefit (for both parties) where oral sex is concerned. Again, there may be something in this, I don’t know, but it’s patently not naturism and patently for the purpose of sexual pleasure. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking sexual pleasure, but it’s not part of the naturist movement and I worry, sometimes, that -as swingers and exhibitionists have poisoned the naturist atmosphere of Cap D’Agde in France- the ‘values’ of ‘smoothies’ are possibly poisoning traditional naturism. By all means do it because ‘I like the look’. That’s no different to saying ‘I like long hair, short hair, curly hair, dying my hair blue’. We’re all different and try to achieve different looks. But when phrases such as ‘looks like a girl’ are tossed around, alarm bells ring in my head.

The nature of the way that SL avatars are constructed means that the addition or removal of pubic hair from a female avatar is neither here nor there. The female avatar’s genitalia will be represented ‘accurately’.

The male avatar is different. Because the male’s genitalia are fixed as an add-on (the only way to make a male fit clothes properly), it’s always been a case of buying genitals that sit separate from the body.

Because of the colouration of skins (and separately produced male genitalia) it means a colour match between avatar body and genitalia is sometimes not particularly accurate. It’s made worse by the fact that, sometimes, men seem unconcerned about matching the colour of their avatar’s skin to that of their genitalia. Are SL males colour blind? Why not spend some time tweaking the colour? After all, most of them seem capable of tweaking the size to ridiculous proportions.

Even with tweaking, the colour may not be exact, and the addition of pubic hair can ‘soften’ the colour mis-match. It also ‘softens’ the obvious break-line between body and genitalia.

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Pubic hair gives a male avatar a natural finish

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With no pubic hair (this skin coming with ‘pubic hair’ as part of it) the ‘join’ between skin and genitalia is pronounced.

It is made more evident when the skin is hairless, the join looking unnatural and unrealistic.

With many SL avatars preferring the ‘hairless’ look, I think it’s incumbent on males to, at the very least, work on the colouration of their appendages.

Ella

Free tatts

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I don’t like tatts, but there are plenty who do, and will be mightily impressed by these free L$0 tattoos from Reckless, all available as group gifts (no group joining fee).

Suitable for men and women, our female model is wearing the Joon leg tattoo (her sleeve tattoo is her own, not part of the free Reckless range). Our male model sports both the Joon leg tattoo and the Tribunal full body ink. A third free chest tattoo (not pictured) called Vida is also available. I think if people do decide to get inked so extensively (even in SL) they owe it to themselves to be part of the SL naturist community, so best to show off their body art.

Ella

What’s the difference?

Even as a committed naturist there are times when nudity, or semi-nudity, isn’t really appropriate. There are other times when top-freedom makes perfect sense. A warm summer’s day in the park, surrounded by men who’ve been able to shed their T shirts and enjoy the sunshine, benefit from that Vitamin D, while being barred from doing so myself would be one such time.

We maintain these silly rules whereby it’s ‘illegal’, or it ‘offends’. I know it’s not going to be the same for every woman, but it makes me angry when I’m barred from doing so when I’ve got substantially less breast tissue than an overweight man! Explain this inequality, please. Because I’m not understanding it at all.

Ella

 

Update on the blog

Last week, bowing to pressure from the great SL public (OK, a few SL friends asked me to reconsider my decision to close the blog), I’ve been ‘interviewing’. The CVs have trickled in, and in some cases almost immediately been weeded out.

Anyone reading the blog over the years will have known how much faith Ella placed in ‘genuine naturism’, and hers was pretty much a one-woman crusade to reflect family orientated, non-sexual, social nudity. It’s pretty depressing to then get SL-CVs from people who ‘look forward to getting [pixel bounced] at a bondage sim’ and similar. I don’t know what you do, but if I’m applying for a job, or a new role, I do some research. I’d make it my business to know that [pixel bouncing] isn’t part of the gig.

I’ve no idea, right now, if we will find an applicant who is suitable. If we do, will one applicant do? After all, it was an Ella & Pookes joint effort, a lot of the time.

Pookes has signed off on the blog, and I’m sorry to see her go but would take this opportunity to say ‘thanks’ to her for her work on SL Naturist. Ella’s still here, until September as previously arranged, so the blog posts won’t dry up entirely.

I was thinking about Pookes today because I was flicking through some of the SL blogosphere and spotted an item that I thought I wanted, and was via one of the blogs, SL Freebies & more, that Pookes championed.

There’s two free gifts at their current round of the ‘Cosmopolitan’ event. One’s a day bed, which I took a copy of anyway but haven’t unpacked yet. The other is the item I specifically wanted. A pot of lavender. That’s correct. You did read that right.

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I keep an idiosyncratic home in Second Life and it has to kinda reflect me. Silly things that are aspects of my real life are in evidence.

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Stone owls, record players, books. I’m not much of a gardener but I do like to grow tomatoes and fresh herbs. I know this isn’t a kind of ‘sexy’ thing and quite boringto be written about and photographed in SL Naturist but home grown tomatoes taste better, haven’t been plastered in phosphates, and our herbs add taste to all sorts of cooking. We like to do that too. Lavender, we grow. My missus likes to make lavender oil from it. So seeing lavender oil as a free gift was something I had to add to my Second Life home. Really I should lose the house I own at Eden Naturopolis and set a greenhouse there, surrounded by an expansive herb garden. Who needs sex beds when you’ve got a thick, luxuriant rosemary bush?

While I was at the event I spotted a ‘man bag’. I suppose it’s meant for the girls, but it’s something else I use in real life as I usually move with my phone, kindle, iPod, a camera and some sort of wet weather gear in there. A couple of pockets in your trousers or inside jacket pocket no longer is enough. I paid L$100 for this (see the photo below). It made me think of Pookes because it seemed like the sort of item she’d have blogged as ‘naturist accessory’.

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The lady in the photo is an applicant for the SL Naturist editor’s job by the way.

If pressed for an answer, I’m going to say that it’s not looking good to get a replacement for Ella, and that I’m not hopeful we’ll go on past September. I’d love to be able to say differently, but that’s the reality. It’s not looking good. If there’s any change to that, I’ll let you know.

Have a good weekend!

Howie

 

Streak for Tigers

Last week, London Zoo held a ‘streak for tigers‘, not the first time they’ve held such an event. (Apparently a group of tigers is called a ‘streak’)

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It’s a fundraiser to raise awareness for the plight of big cats, and to help with conservation, so it’s also a good cause.

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Runners participate in the Streak for Tigers fundraiser at London Zoo, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. 300 supporters streaked around London Zoo in support of the ZSL Sumatran Tiger campaign. With only 300 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild, the event was to raise funds, and also highlight and raise the profile of work that needs to be done in order to save the tiger. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

 

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I wasn’t aware it was on, otherwise I’d loved to have organised an SL version of the event!

Second Life has Parktown Zoo, which includes a tiger enclosure, and our model is posing beside these beautiful animals.

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Ella

 

Daily Portrait (Day 7) and Thanks for your support

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Markus has photographed Pert.

 

***

With the publication of the seventh and final portrait in the Daily Portrait series, one based on a real life project undertaken in similar circumstances, my time as a photographer with SL Naturist comes to a close.

This has nothing to do with current turmoil on the blog or with Ella quitting. I had announced my decision to quit to Ella a while back, but felt there were one or two things I wanted to finish off and tidy up before I did leave.

I can’t thank Ella enough for giving me a window into the wonderful world of Second Life and the opportunity to display my work on the blog. I’m a photographer in real life, but I found that Second Life presented a different set of photographic challenges to be overcome, so it did take some time to start to feel comfortable with what is essentially an entirely new photographic medium.

The reason why I’ve decided to quit is because of SL Naturist’s editorial policy, and the expectations of their naturist photography. I found this a bit limiting, as I’d like to broaden my SL photographic work into glamour, erotic and even more risqué photographs, none of which would meet the demands of SLN editorial policy. I find SL to be a thoroughly entertaining waste of time, and I do like the challenge of producing nude photography from the perspective of a model with limited movement, thus placing extra demands on the photographer.

As a result I’ve decided to step out on my own in SL, and to photograph people and situations without limitations.

My own Flickr page is now online, and this will feature more artistic, more edgy, more political, more sexual works from the virtual world of Second Life.

No, there was no option to continue within the SLN ‘family’, because of what Ella felt would be ‘guilt by association’ if I were to continue photographing for both SLN and my own outlets and a ‘blurring’ of her avowed editorial policy of promoting only ‘pure’ naturism, not linked to the erotic or political or sexual. We’d agreed to go our separate ways prior to Ella’s announcement to step down. As the blog looks like it might be closing I’d have needed my own outlet anyway to do what I wanted to do.

How I do see myself proceeding in Second Life is the establishment of a website and possibly the establishment of my own gallery within Second Life, not just for my work, but similarly glamour/erotic/sexual photographers. It’s early days in my Second Life to say right now that this is how I’ll move forward, but those are the plans in my head.

Thanks for the support and the kind words afforded to some of my photographs during my time as a photographer for SLN. I hope to catch you on the grid sometime and, male or female, maybe get you to sit for me.

 

Hugh.

 

 

Daily Portrait (Days 5 & 6)

Jose asked Kelly to pose for him…

 

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And Kelly asked Markus to pose for her…

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Today, Markus will ask another avatar previously unknown to him to pose.

(Apologies for the late posting of these. I had internet issues over the past couple of days, and couldn’t get online to post them).

Hugh

‘Free the nipple is dumb’

Over at the xojane website, Tatenda Musapatike is voicing what is probably a highly unpopular opinion, that the entire #freethenipple campaign is silly.

Yes, of course it’s silly, but it’s equally silly that 15% of the way through the 21st century that this is still ‘an issue’. This should have been something that was done and dusted decades ago.

I can see, to some extent, where Tatenda is coming from, but in some respects she’s also totally wrong.

To begin with, the entire #freethenipple campaign isn’t ‘one more instance of how a wealthy, and often white, brand of feminism has detached itself from those who need the movement most’.

Our post, earlier this week, about the BlackOUT Collective staging a protest demonstrated that it’s not just a concern of white women.  The group’s statement said that their topless protest was, in part, to bring attention to the fact that society tends to focus on black women’s physical bodies except when those bodies are victims of violence. They also wanted to let women reclaim their bodies in a public space. So it’s not just about white women.

Our post, earlier this year, about Icelandic women seizing the #freethenipple hashtag demonstrated that it’s not just a concern of wealthy women.  Ordinary Icelandic women were joining in to highlight online bullying and body shaming by others. So it’s not just about wealthy women.

I wrote, earlier this year, how feminist writers and journalists often appear keen to demonstrate slackly researched points of view (specifically in respect of The Guardian newspaper), something that often undermines the feminist viewpoint. Articles that appear to say ‘pay me Guardian, for a feminist article which will establish my feminist credentials’. On the other hand, The Guardian almost seems to be publishing these to fulfil ‘minority’ quotas that exist only in its own mind. We need a gay writer, a black writer, a disabled writer…

Tatenda goes on…Every day women are facing struggles that they just shouldn’t have to because of institutional gender and racial bias, and we don’t have time to waste fighting Instagram.

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Really? Because it’s not where your priorities lie, does that mean that the #freethenipple campaign shouldn’t exist? How ‘sexy’ (from a media perspective) is hash tagging #institutionalgenderbias?

Because of the point (no pun intended) of the #freethenipple campaign, it has brought other issues to the table. How much coverage is institutional gender bias going to achieve? None. And that’s not because an international gender biased media is trying to keep women under its thumb. It’s because such an issue is ‘boring’. Tits sell papers…but in respect of the #freethenipple campaign, there’s coverage which then, and only then, allows other aspects of feminism to be discussed. Without nipples, gender bias is dull, not newsworthy and invisible. While we’re at it, without #freethenipple Tatenda wouldn’t have had anything to write about, no fee to collect. Perhaps she should be donating her fee to, ooh, I don’t know, more worthwhile feminist issues.

We don’t have time to waste fighting Instagram? Really? Really? This week Facebook partly changed its nudity policy due to a court case it lost in France. While it seems like a small thing, what’s the alternative? To allow global media concerns to determine how we should act and think? Or do we have the right to reject their self-styled ‘world social media policeman’ role?

Perhaps we should allow Facebook or Instagram to censor the word ‘feminist’. After all, Tatenda, they set their own rules, so why fight them on that? Why fight them if they decide that their private, for-profit company’s policies have no need to include women. Or black people. Or Jews. Or gays.  It’s their rules, why fight them on that?

Alternatively, accept that everyone will fight their own fight on their own terms. They don’t need to conform to yours to make their feminist statement. Or is your brand of feminism superior to theirs?k9exqy7wcwjl5stcvn5j

I accept the point made that #freethenipple gives no voice to the issues that plague women daily.

That Hispanic women make 54 cents of what a white man makes.

That Black women make 64 cents of what a white man makes.

I also accept that the feminist agenda in Iceland isn’t going to be particularly zoned-in on the plight of Hispanic & Black women. It’s not because they don’t care. It’s because an area resembling East LA doesn’t exist on the outskirts of Reykjavik. Those women will, instead, be focussing on their local equality agenda. Iceland’s possibly the most advanced country in the world in terms of equality rights, but their women still see room for improvement. Please don’t try to suggest that their white, wealthy, nipple-freeing agenda is somehow inferior to anyone else’s feminist ideals.

Incidentally, white women (statistics via your own link, Tatenda) only make 90 cents of what a white man makes. Certainly, the disparity is less, but there’s still a disparity. We should be addressing all of these disparities, as women, and not subscribing to what you, a damned proud, progressive feminist, might identify as a typical patriarchal divide-and-conquer policy. Perhaps if you focussed on the plight of women as oppose to Hispanic women, Black women, lesbian women, old women, ‘fat’ women, we might be getting somewhere, faster.

I accept that the United States still does not have any policy for paid maternity leave, but that’s not uniquely a female thing. The US doesn’t have any paid paternity leave policy either.

I accept that paid sick leave still isn’t available for every woman in the United States. Again, not unique to women, or the US.

‘And people are being implored to give a damn about #FreeTheNipple?’

And the rest of us should give a damn what proud progressive feminists think about how we’ll think and act on equality issues?

 

I once thought The Guardian was the exclusive domain of slack-thinking feminists who often appeared to be quislings for the patriarchy, so laugh out loud was their infantile versions of feminist issues, but it rather appears xojane have their very own version.

Ella