I’m not partying…

…but I am on SL!

I don’t like New year’s Eve. For me, it’s a time of the world going a bit mad and using it as an excuse for getting trolleyed (UK stand for rip-roaring drink, fact fans) in a manner that occasionally seems frantic and desperate. ‘If I’m not drunk, I’m not the life and soul of the party, I’m not gorgeous, I’m not a great dancer, with and bon-vivant’. It all seems forced. So I avoid it.

You may have seen Trine decrying the lack of black skins, black avatars in Second Life, something I agree with. It can sometimes seem an overwhelming ‘white’ experience. So, too, it is with naturism, but that’s another story for another day.

I will celebrate the fact that tonight I spotted a blog, new to me, called African Scents (via the SL Daily Wire page). And it does appear to be SL from the perspective of a black avatar, Leezah Kaddour. It’s new to me, although it appears to have been running since January 2014. Cultural diversity is always a cause for celebration in Second Life, so it’s a blog I’ve bookmarked and will be following. I’m also working on a blog post about the lack of cultural diversity in SL, be it in the form of black or Asian avatars, so I’ll be publishing that soon, although discovery of Leezah’s blog may now force a partial re-write!

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I hope Leezah doesn’t mind me using her profile pic to promote her blog. She also has a Flickr presence. An exciting discovery in the last hour of 2015! Happy New Year everyone.

 

Abigail

 

New Issuu publications, and a happy new year.

We’ve uploaded a couple of new Issuu publications.

The first, out ‘2015 in Review’, can be found here.

The second, an overview of naturism in Second Life, can be found here.

We’re ending 2015 as we mean it to continue in 2016, with greater use of the Issuu outlet.

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That’s it for us in 2015. Whatever you’re doing, stay safe tonight and we’ll see you in the New Year

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I hope to be posting tomorrow evening and, if not, we’ll be posting over the weekend.

 

Trine

 

 

Housekeeping News

Two items of Housekeeping news to report

I’ve asked Howie to unlock the Flickr page and reinstate it. I don’t agree with Flickr’s policy, but nonetheless feel it’s a social media I can use (as opposed to Tumblr, which I asked to have deleted as I wouldn’t use it.

With more avatars adopting ‘older’ looking avatars around the grid, I’ve asked Barbara if she’s keen to pursue the role of ambassador for the older avatar. Expect to see more older skins (and suitable hairstyles and even age appropriate clothing) blogged. If Barbara rejects the role we’ll be advertising for someone to fill the position, so if you use an older avatar, starting filling in your CV!

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Trine

‘Life is a cabaret’

In the 1920s, in Germany, the Weimar Republic was ‘jazzing it up’ in an era of ‘decadence’ that the Nazis would subsequently try to sweep away.

In terms of defining the era, and the ‘decadence’ of the era, I’d recommend the film Cabaret, starring Liza Minelli, which is a film I love, not only for which it portrays changing times, but contains some fabulous songs.

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In the 1920s, I’d imagine Sally Bowles outfit (above) was certainly risqué.

Outside Berlin, the naturist movement was growing in strength. Later, the whole ‘strength through health’ idea was hijacked by the Nazis, and there are elements of naturism from that era that are closely associated with Nazism, a dark stain on our movement’s history.

(Note: it was originally packaged as being ‘classless’, a plank in its thesis even today. How often will you hear of it being a social leveller, with no differences between a judge, doctor or street sweeper? The Nazis banned it on the grounds it would be a breeding ground for communists and homosexuals, but did an about turn on this after just a few weeks, at which point it was partly hijacked for Nazi ends – the image of strong, healthy, German youth.) You can read an excellent perspective of naturism in the Nazi era at Speigel’s (a German magazine) archives

 

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Our model, lets call her Sally too, is posing in the Kiki’s House of Burlesque club in Second Life, wearing a very similar sort of outfit to Sally Bowles in the 1972 film. After performing for a few pfennigs and marks, or having encouraged the clientele to part with more for champagne, Sally heads home through an excellent, period sim in Second Life called The 1920s Berlin Project.

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It has existed for a long time in Second Life and is a Weimar Republic role-play sim. When I visited to check it out before posting I was challenged by one of the players about not being in period dress. Which is fine. Their sim, their rules. Fortunately they prepare for this and so I was able to pick up some free outfits of period style clothing at the main tp point.

I needed to visit because I also wanted to set a landmark for the swimming baths, the Volksbad, itself. This is because it’s a tangle of narrow streets and alleyways and it took me a good twenty minutes to find the swimming baths!

At the time, many houses wouldn’t have had their own bathroom (just a lavatory) necessitating a trip to the public baths for a weekly bath. The Volksbad has individual baths upstairs, as well as a more general communal pool (having visited Berlin I love the way they’ve accurately replicated green tiling, in the baths, in the railway stations. When I was there about ten years ago the Unter den Linden U-bahn (underground railway) station was still sporting its pre-war green tiling on the station walls, each of them oozing the rich history the city has seen in the past 100 years.

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The specific reason I’ve included this (apart from the potted history on naturism in Germany during the era) can be seen in the next photo.

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January 2nd (Saturday) at 12pm (by my reckoning that’s 8pm GMT, 9pm European Central time) there is a Nudist Hour at the baths!

That’s right. The sim acknowledges and embraces the naturist culture of the era, without being a naturist sim (and also having the swim in its proper location for the time, in the baths, although the Nazis would eventually only tolerate it in an ‘out of sight, out of minds’ basis away from the cities. For Berlin, that might have been somewhere like the Wannsee (still popular with naturists).

I hope to be going along on Saturday night. (I intend to go along on Saturday night unless real life gets in the way, let me put it like that) so perhaps I’ll see you there?

Remember: period costume is expected if you’re going to explore the sim in advance. Hairstyles are going to be a bit less ‘strict’ (but a bit of back-combing isn’t going to look right in context). I’d also advise males and females that, in that era, grooming ‘down there’ wasn’t the norm, so you might like to add a bit of hair if you’re going to attend 😉

I know I said I’d be trying to stick with a specific hairstyle, but I’m going to see if I can locate a suitable period hairstyle. Remember, if you can’t find one, the hairstyle sported by ‘Sally’ is available, along with her dress and other period clothes (all free) at the main tp point.

Trine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘The girl with the amazing tattoos’

One thing that seemed to prick people’s interest recently was this photo from the ‘Housewarming’ post.

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‘What fantastic tattoos’, wrote one correspondent. ‘Who is this angel?’ enquired another.

I confess that I didn’t see her when I was at Howie’s party, but it seems she has been an occasional SL Naturist model for a long time, featuring in a post last August that highlighted her tatts, and also in a planned series of articles that would highlight her SL pregnancy, managed via the Mama-Allpa hud (that series never was published as far as I can see from the archives). She’s called Doksie, and since the party she has treated herself to more ink and a radical new hairstyle.

‘I buy myself a real life Christmas present every year’, she told me. ‘Family and friends can mess up with their choice of jumper, bottle of wine, soaps. But you can get your own present exactly right. So I tend to treat myself to spending big in Second Life each Christmas too, a treat for myself. I don’t buy much throughout the year. I have a specific look I like and I exist on some Group Gifts and freebies. I then go mad at Christmas time, hahaha, and splash out on things. I’ve really gone for it this past week with a radical new hairstyle, extra piercings and a bunch of tattoos to the point where I’d parted with L$1000.’

Doksie is wearing (below)

a male hairstyle called Noah from Argrace (‘my current favourite hair store’) and a variety of tattoos from AU, Reckless and Indigo Ink. I forgot to ask where her range of body piercings are from, sorry.

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It all makes for a stunning and radical look, doesn’t it? I particularly like the way Doksie has opted to use a male hairstyle to achieve her new look.

 

Trine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-invention time

The period between Christmas and New Year is one when people plot their re-invention. Think about their ‘New Year Resolutions’.

Plans to stop smoking, go to the gym, lose weight or stick to a diet aren’t always seen through the entire year. Often, they don’t see out January, but they’re still something we plan. ‘The New Year will deliver a new me’, we say to ourselves.

While that’s hard in real life, re-invention is easy in Second Life, and it’s a topic previously covered by Pookes and Ella at the end of 2012 (November of that year, not this between Christmas & New Year period).

I’m constantly re-inventing my avatar. I did it more than just annually prior to taking on this SL Naturist job, but I’ve tried not to be quite so radical with it since I’ve become editor, as I recognise there is a need for you, the reader, to be able to identify us in the postings. Abigail, too, appears to have been someone who has enjoyed many different hairstyles in the past and she too has curtailed this ‘affliction’ 🙂 for the benefit of readers.

I think that some people find reinvention particularly easy at this time of year in Second Life because of the huge number of hunts, gifts and dollarbies that are available in the run-up to Christmas. Just as in real life, we can sometimes make an impulse buy because L$1 is a minuscule amount to pay, so we have to have the item, whether it fits with our Second Life at that moment.

With this and the fact that previous authors for SL Naturist have maintained an ‘alt’, I decided I should do the same. Meet Trine2016!

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trine2016B

trine2016C

 

I note that the initial avatars have changed since I first joined (and please don’t write to tell me the photos of my alt avatar don’t match. I messed up the initial attempt at registration, had to go back, and clicked a different avatar second time around). The one I’ve chosen (in the third photo) is listed as ‘Shawna’ in the inventory and rather happily she’s not mesh. I’m aware that the previous set of avatars used by Linden Labs were mesh, looked like victims of a terrible car crash, and I’m guessing were confusing to new players. The ‘classic’ avatar (i.e. not mesh) is much, much easier to come to grips with, to my mind. (Note: there’s an upcoming post on mesh bodies, which we’ve been exploring).

OK…the basics. Trine2016 is going to need new hair, new skin, new shape. (Note: we’ve actually been busy over Christmas, and Abi has been writing up a blog post on ‘the basics’. Just because we didn’t post on Christmas Day or Boxing Day doesn’t mean we didn’t get some SL Naturist miles in).

Where to begin? Traditionally, the advice would have been to direct someone new at the Fab Free website. I’d still do that, but their 30 Days List hasn’t been updated since last July, so beware that some landmarks may be out of date.

First stop, Amacci. I want an AO (animation overrider) to give me more of a ‘sexy’ walk. Check into their Hair section, too, as you’ll be able to pick up a free hairstyle, breast physics and hair base layers all for free too (even if you aren’t clear what these are as a newbie, you will see the benefit of collecting items for inventory now that may be useful later on. My main Trine avatar still doesn’t use breast physics (it’s an add-on that gives your boobs some bounce).

Here’s where the ‘great time of year to re-invent’ advice makes sense. The Kitty-Cats advent calendar is set up outside the Amacci store and you can grab 24 gifts for free right now! These include skins and hair from some of Second Life’s top stores (as well as clothes) so you can immediately begin to alter your newbie avatar (or existing avatar) look.

By the way, I couldn’t find an AO at Amacci. We won’t fret about that for now.

OK. I then teleported over to 7 Deadly Skins, where there is numerous free gifts under their Christmas tree (once again, the benefit of reinvention at this time of year is obvious). Some great skins are included, if you’re white!

You’ll have noticed that I’ve picked a black alt look in Shawna, deliberately! Black skins are much harder to find in Second Life (for free or even at affordable prices). 7 Deadly Skins generally offer a range of tones in their monthly gift, so you could utilise a black or darker Hispanic skin, but that doesn’t seem to be the case over Christmas. On the upside, it’s free to join their group right now (as of Sunday morning) and they regularly change the joining fee (anywhere between L$0 and L$50) so I’d hop along anyway and avail of the free offer.

Fortunately, First Lady skins do a fabulous range of skins, for mature and black/Asian avatars, so I did make use of their ‘7 days’ avatar offer for a great looking black skin. (And you’ll be pleased to know the lack of black skins at affordable prices, leading to a deficit of black or Asian avatars on the grid is yet another post that’s in production right now).

So here’s Trine2016 as she looks with the First Lady skin added, plus hair with Christmas beanie (the Damselfly gift) from the Kitty Cats advent calendar at Amacci.

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I’m not fussy on her hair, and her shape is terrible. Let’s fix that.

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Using the Fab Free 30 days list, I headed over to Sweet Hairs, to get a free (usually L$300) hairstyle. I recommend it to all new avatars. While it’s exclusively female hair, some styles (even that shown above) can be made to suit males.

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There’s also a couple of good free hairs at Argrace, and my alt is wearing a style called Sakura.

Remember! We’ve not spent a single Linden dollar yet! And I don’t intend to do so!

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First Lady’s ‘Sylvie’ skin, giving a more ‘Hispanic’ or lighter brown-skinned look.

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7 Deadly Skins ‘Gluttony’ skin

OK…let’s finally turn to the shape. Trine 2016 is small and squat. I never buy shapes but tweak the existing shape into something I like. To do this properly, we need to get Trine2016 stripped off.

Come on, Trine, off with the clothes!

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Don’t be shy. You’re amongst friends here at SL Naturist.

OK. As naturists we don’t judge others shape or size. The concept of a big booty is very much in. But I don’t like this shape, so I’m going to fix it to my aesthetic. It might not be yours, but you can tweak the shape as you see fit.

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Not perfect yet, but Trine has undergone a radical transformation, her shape changed, made taller, mouth and eyes altered, breasts changed.

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By way of comparison, here’s the same shape with the ‘Tina’ skin (one of 7 Deadly Skins free skins under their tree).

I headed over to Plausible Body where I picked up some outfits, and a lot of shoes for free.

In theory you should pay for the items you collect at Plausible Body (they operate on a ‘pay what you like’ basis) and I’ve previously paid for stuff but if you’re a new avatar without cash…it’s an option to at least get some good footwear.

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So with the addition of some shoes from PB, ‘girl next door’ jeans from inventory, and a leather jacket (a gift from the Kitty Kats advent calendar at Amacci) Trine is almost complete, for now. I logged into the Marketplace and got a L$0 ‘Tuty’s free female AO’ (that was my search term). Two come up, ‘Sexy girl’ and ‘Lucky Girl’ so I got both and am wearing ‘Sexy Girl’ (not photographed as static photos won’t do justice to an AO).

And that’s it!

From signing up to signing off, re-invented, in the space of two hours (although it should take you less time since my time includes searches and exploration to achieve a good looking alt avatar).

If you’re a newbie avatar, or an old hand who is in the mood for reinvention, there’s never been a better time to do it than around Christmas with the grid awash with gifts and freebies.

Trine

Edited to add: I’m not alone in this reinvention and reflection idea, with several other blogs taking time to reflect on their Second Lives, how they’d do things differently or, like me, opting for a whole new look (sometimes on their main avatar)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The First Annual SL Naturist Polar Bare Swim

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AppleMark

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Around the globe, on New Year’s Day, there’s an enormous number of ‘Polar Bare’ swims that take place. Not all are nude swims. The majority would involve swimwear, perhaps even fancy dress, and they’re growing in popularity.

SL Naturist has written about them not once, or twice, but three times. And this is the fourth, but the first to fly under the ‘Polar Bare’ banner in an ‘official’ capacity.

To that end, we’re running the first annual SL Naturist Polar bare swim.

A sign warns people away from a polar bear holding area in near the Churchill Northern Studies Centre, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

While it will be theoretically held on New Year’s Eve, we recognise that many of you like time to set up photos and source locations. To that end, we’d encourage you to get snapping away between now and December 31st, and then post the photographs to us.

Three simple rules:

(a) participants must be nude

(b) participants must wear a Santa hat (they’re limitless around the grid right now) and

(c) your photograph must include snow at the shoreline. Not necessarily on the sand itself, but maybe on the dunes beyond. You’re defeating the purpose of a Polar Bare swim by taking a dip in the tepid waters of a Second Life sim fringed with palm trees!

We’ll be awarding a small prize to the photo that Abi & I judge to be the best, and we’ll announce a winner early in the new year (note: communal swim photos are preferred but not essential)

 

Trine