Koteka

In the wake of our post on the Amazon River collection of sims, a male avatar has IMed me, regarding ‘costumes to be in character’ while there. Strictly speaking, the koteka, a penis gourd or sheath, doesn’t appear to be South American, but is tribal style in Papua New Guinea.

Apparently on the Marketplace, for L$25, you can buy a koteka, a penis gourd worn by males of different tribes.

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Examples of the Koteka in real life

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The Second Life version of the Koteka

The SL version is mesh, apparently, and thus our friend and model says it can’t be resized to a smaller and possibly more realistic size, but if you wish to go tribal in a Papua New Guinean manner, this is possibly an item your require.

Trine

FKK in der DDR, and a link between naturism and authoritarianism?

I’ve read, more than once, that naturism (FKK – freikoerperkultur– or ‘free body culture’) was popular in the former East Germany because it represented one of the few true freedoms in the country at a time of authoritarian or totalitarian rule. In fact, I’ve read about that from someone who experienced it first hand, Monika, who wrote about it in our ‘My Nude debut’ series. Incidentally, I’ll be bringing that series back later in the year, as it was one of those things that seemed to actively engage with the readership of SL Naturist, with several readers contributing to it.

I’ve been thinking recently about how we in the ‘free’ world are becoming less free as time goes on, with some sort of neocon or neoliberal agenda at work that strips us of our freedoms.

Disturbingly, we’ve even had UK politician Lord Mandelson, as odious a piece of slimy, unlikeable political animal as I could name (and, yes, up to including the creepy Donald Trump) state that ‘we are living in a post-democratic age’.

Google the words ‘post democratic age’ yourself and you’ll be met with a raft of articles in which variations of phrases like ‘we are in the grip of a narrow ruling elite, an “Ideological Caste,” that admits only those into power with the same views’ abound.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the weeks leading up to the UK’s referendum about continued membership of the failed European Union, an organisation that has almost single-handedly, with the unwavering support of self-appointed Chancellor of Europe Angela Merkel, created the humanitarian crisis swamping Europe.

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First, I’d encourage you to read an article on naturism in the former East Germany. Having read that, move onto an article on the same blog about allotments, another element of a wider ‘naturism’ that we’ve championed here on SL Naturist.

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Possibly a shot of West German naturism (the VW car is the clue here)

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Illustration zu unserem Bericht:Vor 10 Jahren wurde Deutschlands noerdlichster Grenzpunkt geoeffnet (nordbild) KIEL, 2.2.00 Das Archivfoto, aufgenommen im Juli 1987, zeigt die bundesdeutsche Seite zur DDR-Grenze am FKK-Strand auf dem Priwall in Luebeck-Travemuende. Vor 10 Jahren, am 3.2.1990, wurde Deutschlands nördlichster Grenzpunkt zwischen Priwall und dem mecklenburgischen Dorf Poetenitz geoeffnet. Trotz der Einweihung einer neuen Landstrasse 3 Jahre spaeter konnte der Luebecker Stadtteil Priwall bisher nur wenig von der Oeffnung nach Osten profitieren. Dem Stadtteil direkt an der Ostsee mit feinem Sandstrand fehlt es an touristischer Infrastruktur. (nordbild, Christian Eggers)

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Not all, but most, photos can be identified as East German naturism taking place.

 We’re a few weeks away from that referendum, but the amount of scare-mongering going on has to be seen to be believed. SL Naturist isn’t really the best place to discuss that issue now, if at all, but to observe this in a wider context. No, the UK isn’t East Berlin, yet, but I was amazed to see a TV report this week in which the Belgian authorities were able to track the movements of the third man involved in the Brussels airport attacks, showing how little real privacy we have. While this will be presented as a case in favour of CCTV by those who wish to snoop, I’m rather more interested in us having privacy. There’s already a raft of people sitting watching these in real time, in order to respond immediately to certain actions, so we’ve got to ask ourselves if we aren’t already behaving, as a society, like the Stasi, East Germany’s notorious secret police.

In the case of East Germany, naturism was already popular before the war, but apparently boomed afterwards, and even further following the building of the Berlin Wall and the existence of the Stasi which had a huge number of operatives and informants spying on their fellow citizens. Naturism was an escape, not only from the regimentation of their lives, but the possibility of being recorded saying ‘subversive’ things covertly. You can’t hide a tape recorder when nude.

Could it be, then, that those who resisted East German authoritarianism did so in the context of naturism?

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Sl Naturist has previously posted that there is a possibility that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was a naturist in her youth, although we’ve always been at pains to point out that the photographs that allege to be be her almost certainly aren’t of Frau Merkel.

But for many people, the very idea is delicious, to the extent that there’s even a Facebook page that claims she has been naturist in the (recent) past, with ‘a photograph’.

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It looks like a bad Photoshop job to me. What’s delicious about it is the idea of a world leader being a naturist, the very fact of which would certainly alter naturism in a global perspective. It is certainly enough of a story to occasionally get a run-out in the German media.

Back here in the UK, we see our rights and freedoms denuded on a weekly basis, with the state increasingly interfering in the actions of private individuals, all under the idea that the nanny state is protecting us (from ‘what’, exactly, is never made clear).

For me, I think that increasing interference in so many aspects of our daily lives is possibly a driver in the rise in naturist numbers (not just in the UK, but right across Europe). Some of us want to be free of our national government’s rules and regulations, if only for a little while. Fifty years ago a direct correlation between wealth and the length os skirts was being made as the mini skirt swept the world: the hemline index

Could it be that, despite the world apparently swinging in a more conservative direction, that interest in naturism increases as authoritarianism has a foothold?

Trine

Housekeeping

Another change coming up next weekend at SL Naturist.

Abigail has been undertaking a huge trawl of the grid and the Marketplace for lingerie, something she felt wasn’t being posted about enough in SL.

We’d already flagged up our ‘sister’ blog, Lingerie Lunacy, but that hasn’t taken off as we’d wished due to the lady/avatar who was going to edit that, Debs, no longer being able to maintain an enormous amount of SL time, so Abigail will be taking on editorial duties for Lingerie Lunacy. Diane, who has photographed and written for SL Naturist, will be joining her as assistant editor and photographer.

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Here’s a little bit of what to expect at Lingerie Lunacy (above).

Meanwhile…back at SLNHQ, we’ve got two writers who will double up as their own photographers (and I’ll be doing my own photographs in future). I know that I’m not a great SL photographer, and I’ve discussed this with SL friends, who suggest that for our purposes the mood of a location is more important than a great photograph, so on that basis we’re decided we’ll progress on the basis that all three writers will do their own photos too.

I won’t say any more about this now. As you may notice, our ‘explore, research and write during the week, publish at weekends’ routine is now becoming well established. We will therefore introduce you to two members of staff at the weekend.

Hope to catch you all around Friday night, when another tranche of postings begins to be published. Tomorrow night I’m off, somewhere in SL, where the three members of staff will undertake a photo shoot.

Trine

Cultural Marxism

I appear to have spent part of my weekend getting irritated by stupidity.

First, there was the incident at San Francisco University where a student was challenged for the ‘race crime’ of wearing dreadlocks, which apparently is ‘cultural appropriation’.

Dimwitted, if ever there was an incident worthy of the name.

Then there was a writer, also in The Independent, suggesting that dreadlocked guy deserved what he got.

Once again, an exceptionally dimwitted response.

Then, finally, my blood pressure went off the scale when I read that Air France is resuming flights to Teheran and its female cabin crew are being asked to cover their heads when landing in Iran. Happily, the crews are set to defy their bosses.

Tolerance and mutual respect is, or should be, a two-way street.

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Tolerance for people to accept that dreads on a white guy is acceptable without making it a political or race issue.

And tolerance to accept that European women do not feel inclined to cover their heads. Perhaps if this was a two way thing…no hijabs in Europe…then there might be a case of French air crews adopting a ‘when in Rome’ attitude.

But no.

We’ve become so intolerant, as a species, that we demand our rights be met and screw everyone else. So you can’t wear dreads if you’re white (how National Socialist does that seem?). You must cover your heads in a Muslim country. As I say, I’m OK with air crew covering their heads out of respect for local culture and tradition, just as I’ve done when visiting a mosque, going barefoot and covering my head. But it’s a two-way street. Surprisingly, The Guardian have covered the story, but aren’t permitting comments, quite possibly because The Guardian is one of the media leaders in this creeping cultural Marxism.

This is all part of ‘Cultural Marxism‘, or ‘political correctness’ (PC) as you might know it better as. Essentially, a train of thought runs that challenging anything and everything on PC grounds is cultural Marxism in everyday life. Of course, there’s a sense of those who do shout ‘cultural Marxism’ being a bunch of right-wing, racist, homophobe nut jobs who shouldn’t be allowed out without a full time care assistant (and cultural Marxists would challenge that phrase on the basis that it suggests people are sick/disabled and it hurts their feelings. I would say ‘grow up’).

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Welcome to Teheran, Sir.

I’m really quite fed up with people who are out there, just waiting to be offended for the flimsiest excuse (wearing dreads) or being pandered to on account of their traditions and cultures without that being a two way street of mutual respect.

Time for everyone to take a deep breath, step back, and think about their actions before piling in there and looking totally stupid.

Abigail.

 

 

 

In the jungle

The Amazon River set of sims has been covered in SL Naturist in the past, and it certainly offers something different in terms of the geography, a facet that also fits with our own vision of how SL could be.

In keeping with us examining various sims gearing up for ‘the new season’, in a northern hemisphere naturist sense, I thought it was time to re-visit The Amazon which, while not ‘naturist’, is certainly nude-friendly and very much clothing optional.

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First, we decided that we needed to get our models ‘in character’ for the sim and to this end Per, the model featured above, is wearing two items from the Marketplace. One is a free fig leaf loincloth, and the other is a free sword which we re-sized to make ‘dagger’ size.

Other MP items to accessorise your avatar might include a tooth and rock necklace (L$10), a machete and belt (L$9), or if you’re going for the explorer look, rather than a native look, then a safari hat (L$5) could be added. I have to say we found it incredibly easy (and affordable) to kit out an avatar to be ‘in character’ for the Amazon.

Per expressed her admiration at the breadth of the sim, walking for 10 minutes prior to encountering another avatar. This isn’t because Amazon is under-used, on the contrary, but because of the huge scale of the project. It certainly adds another dimension to SL play. Whichever of the numerous teleport locations you use to arrive in the Amazon there will always be numerous avatars around.

Índias Yualapiti durante a festa de Yamuricumã. Parque Nacional do Xingu. Mato Grosso. Brasil. 1990. Foto de Ricardo Beliel.

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Some research shows that, apart from a loincloth (or even a cloth belt that isn’t intended to cover the genital area, but is used for adornment purposes. You may also wish to add tattoos to your avatar, as these are often part of the Amazonian culture.in males and females alike.

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How deeply people are roleplaying at the sims is unclear to me, but one thing is very clear: people are taking a lot of effort over their avatar’s look, and there are a number of superb looking tribal styled costumes out there.

We’ll come back to Per in a moment, and get her take on the sims. In the meantime, I splashed out L$120 on an outfit of my own, from Elea Design to be in character.

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One thing, rather unique in my experience, about the Amazon River region is that you’ll be encouraged to add a free HUD to your avatar, and this reacts to your actions in the Amazon. For instance, I accidentally stepped on a snake, and its poison left my vision blurred in SL for a short time (the screen going dark until the poison passed out of my system. Nice touch!)

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Everything briefly goes black…

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…before your sight returns when the snake poison wears off.

The HUD will show on your screen thus…

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At the time of writing I’m not sure what they all represent in real terms (the icons are largely self explanatory, though).

I also met up with another relative newbie to Amazon, and walked around with him while we explored the sims together.

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The scope, the breadth and depth of the Amazon sims mean it can’t possibly be done justice in one post, so I’ll be exploring it further and bringing you the second pa

 

Cultural appropriation

There are times when you genuinely fear for humanity.

In this instance, a black woman is apparently accused of challenging a white male, with dreadlocks, for his choice of hairstyle. ‘It’s cultural appropriation’. Apparently.

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It’s a hairstyle. It’s not something over which to fight race wars. Come to that, there’s damned little to nothing over which we should be fighting race wars. But least of all a haircut.

The (UK) media have picked up on this in a big way. The Independent reports on it, The Daily Mail reports on it, The Guardian unsurprisingly fails to comment on it.

Corey Goldstein attacked for his hairstyle

Corey Goldstein explains his position

The woman’s position is torn asunder. ‘Is this fucking Nazi Germany?’

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Irish redhead appropriating a black hairstyle? Or do blacks appropriate an Irish hairstyle?

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OMG!!!!! Those racist, Irish, redhead, curly-tressed people!!!!! Stealing from the culture of the girl at California State University.

fromtheblog-music1A dreadlocked Shiva. Stealing from black students at San Francisco State. Obviously.

And if you think it’s just white people attacking blacks on the youtube videos…

..here’s a black guy, Sean Jackson, telling it how it is…

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The SFSU student at the centre of the story. Pretty sure her hair didn’t naturally grow like this.

There is a huge amount of white on black racism that goes on in the world every day. Every day. SL Naturist has discussed this before. We loathe racism. We oppose racism. We fight against racists and a racist mindset. We’re in a Europe where ‘racism’ (more sectarianism, pitting Christianity vs Islam) is occurring every day. But, really, some idiot behaving like this, attacking some white hippy on racial grounds for his hairstyle, makes our lives so much harder.

Abigail

Nudity as an African weapon: General Butt Naked and nude protest in Africa.

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I’ve been researching attitudes to nudity around the world, and one of the stranger stories I came across was that of General Butt Naked, aka Joshua Milton Blahyi. In the early 1990s, in the Liberian Civil War, he became known for his atrocities, but also for the practice of having his soldiers go to war naked, the idea being that it would terrorise the enemy (and, exceptionally oddly, that being naked made them bulletproof).

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He was, without doubt, evil. Since the end of that civil war he has recast himself as a pastor, and he’s been the subject of a film, The Redemption of General Butt Naked.

You can watch the full movie here…

It’s harrowing, as it really brings home the full horror of a war that utilised child soldiers.

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Blahyi was a soldier serving under the equally horrendous Charles Taylor, who campaigned for the Liberian Presidency (and won) under the banner ‘he killed my ma, he killed my pa, but I will vote for him’ !!

This is definitely one of the more weird aspects of nudity as a ‘weapon’.

Of course, nude protest in Africa has a long history and tradition, at least back to 1929.  and the likes of Femen utilising nude protest in recent years owes a debt to this history.

Old women in Ekiti protesting attempt of dark forces to subvert the will of Ekiti people on 29-04-09

Often, it seems that the thinking behind nude protest is that it represents a curse, and that women can take life away (through the curse) as well as creating it.

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Ugandan women protest against a land grab by stripping naked.

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Women protest outside the ANC’s offices in South Africa

While we often think of nudity being symbolic of a form of western protests -the WNBR being a prime example- it seems that Africa also has its own unique take on nude protest.

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 Some WNBR photos, protesting against oil dependency 

While WNBR is ‘fun’ to highlight a specific concern, sometimes nude protest occurs in response to serious matters, such as the murder of Mexican students last year.

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Ella covered the topic of these murders in SL Naturist last year.

 

 

Trine

Don’t let it go to your head

One of the dangers of being out in strong sunshine applies to both naturists and textiles alike. And that’s getting too much sun on the top of your head, leading to sunstroke or heatstroke. Remember: we’re often lathering ourselves in sun cream, naturist or textile, but we don’t apply any to our heads, do we? Therefore it goes unprotected, and thus we are in danger of getting more sun, on the tops of our heads, than is good for us.

Of course, heatstroke isn’t solely the result of an uncovered head, it can still occur with a head covered, but it certainly makes sense to keep your head covered if and where you can.

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If you plan being out under the sun in the middle of the day, it’s worth remembering to keep your head covered, as well as reapplying sun cream.

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It’s not something we often see in Second Life, of course, but perhaps there’s a place for hats in naturist sims if only to remind us of their importance in naturism, and also to just give an avatar that little unique twist.

Plausible Body has a free (pay what you like) linen hat you might like to grab, and Amiable have a lovely straw hat that Pookes blogged about last July, but which is still available.

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Linen hat from Plausible Body

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Straw Hat from Amiable

Other suitable hats are available on the Marketplace, with a Fedora priced at L$1, a bandana at L$10 and, of course, a beret that we blogged earlier today.

We’d also recommend visiting JFL, a store which specialises in hats. In the photo below, Howie is wearing a rather classy pork pie hat he bought there some time ago (L$150), while Pam is wearing the bandana referenced above on the MP.

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Howie wears his JfL pork pie hat, while Pam models her bandana.

The grid is also awash with baseball caps. Many stores will offer a branded baseball cap as a group gift or freebie, but we picked one up on the MP for L$1.

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Trine

Le Beret

The beret. A little bit French (although as much of a French cliche as anything else in modern times). A little bit chic. A little bit Basque. A little bit revolutionary-military.beret2


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Sandrine, replicating the real life photos directly above her

The Byrne Boutique has a free beret gift (amongst other gifts) at the moment, and if you’re inclined towards a little French chic, it’s worth hopping over there.

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 Back in the 60s, it seemed that no self-respecting French actress would be seen without a beret. And if you’re into a bit of military role-play, the Marketplace can offer you a uniform for L$1. (male version also available).

Sandrine was photographed at the Caen 1944 WW2 sim. playing the role of a French actress playing the role of a French Resistance fighter. 😉 Her beret is still in place 🙂

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Trine