The Xrysalis Gathering

The Guardian carries a story today about the Xrysalis Gathering in California.

It’s a gay festival, with white people barred.

This reminded me of some of the sims in SL, where gay sims will say ‘no women’, for example. While it’s good, in one respect, that gay people can have sims to go to and thus avoid the awkwardness that might arise from conversations with heterosexuals..time wasted for all concerned…I’m generally opposed to the idea of segregation.

We don’t, as a rule, alter hearts and minds by being isolationist, and that applies to the naturist community as much as gay, black men being ‘if only briefly, entirely free from the white heterosexual gaze’. (Does this sentence strike anyone else as being ‘Peak Guardian‘? ‘Peak Guardian’, incidentally, is where writers wax lyrical on a variety of subjects that just read as the work of someone who is plain, bat-shit crazy in a display of inadvertent self-satire).

We alter hearts and minds by including ourselves in a wider society, be we naturists or black, gay men.

At the danger of digressing again, didn’t ‘one race only, please’ used to be called apartheid?



I asked Ringo, one of my gay SL friends, if he was aware of any segregated gay sims. ‘There used to be French Lovers’ Resort’, he told me, but it has closed. Even so, it was fairly relaxed about its inclusion. After all, you and Pookes both visited it with me! The only women only sim I’m aware of in the context of naturism is Bare Buns. I don’t go cruising, and my profile makes it clear I’m gay. If someone wants to read the profile and hook up, fantastic! But the only one advertising itself as ‘male only’ that I use is the Steamworkz Bathhouse. I wouldn’t be trying to limit my SL experience by saying ‘I don’t want to go where there’s no women’. That seems as silly an idea in SL as it would be in RL. There are a few single-sex sims around, but by limiting half the SL population, they turn out to be not particularly popular. I don’t use them.’


Ringo relaxes at the Ile de Levant naturist sim (report to follow on this relatively recent addition to the SL naturist sims)





Naked Attraction


I wrote about this TV programme on UK’s Channel 4 last week, and watched it via their ‘Catch up’ service on Tuesday. It was awful, I have to say.

As a naturist I spend time, in the real world and in Second Life, trying to underline the actuality that nudity doesn’t always equal sex. That naturism is non-sexual social nudity.

Programmes like this, wherein adults are reduced to sniggering adolescents, make that task harder.

‘It’s a nice trimmed bush’, one naked guy said of a female. ‘What do you think of his penis? the presenter asked a female of a male.

The Sunday papers are now published, with some reviewing the last week’s television. The Sunday Telegraph uses ‘Naked Attraction’ as the jumping on point for a discussion about male nudity on television.  I’m not bothered. I think that if the scene demands it, nudity from both sexes should be expected. How many scenes have we witnessed where a man or woman who, we are led to believe, have been making ‘the beast with two backs‘ all night get out of bed with sheets wrapped around themselves?

I also find it sordid that the attraction of a person is distilled down to her ‘trimmed bush’ or her boobs, or the size of his penis. These things don’t define us. They are, certainly, part of who we are, but a minor part. Shouldn’t we be focusing, more immediately, on inner beauty? Intelligence? A good heart?

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It was simply awful, and without being judgemental (too much) featured people who were possibly the sort who would do anything to be on TV and ‘famous for fifteen minutes‘.

Presenting this sort of drivel as…anything, really, reinforces people’s idea that a ‘normal conversation’ involves sentences like ‘it’s a nicely trimmed bush’. Fine between two consenting adults in private, not really for television. I’m quite happy for TV to feature more nudity, in context. Making it a freak show isn’t the way forward. Cue several SL avatars now thinking that the opening line to a conversation can be ‘I like your trimmed bush’.

Please, no more of this infantile entertainment.





The onsen is a hot spring/bath in Japan.

Abigail did an extensive post on these baths last November, in SL Naturist as part of the ‘southern hemisphere’ tour, even though Japan’s in the northern hemisphere.


It’s hard to know how accurate a portrayal of onsen life SL’s version brings, or indeed how representative the imagery of onsen life as found on the internet is. My research suggests that the onsen are more likely to be gender segregated than involve mixed, nude bathing. However it seems that in the past mixed, nude bathing would have been a regular occurrence. Now, men appear to cover their genital area with a small towel used for washing. The towel isn’t supposed to be immersed in the water for hygiene purposes, which is why you can see photos of users, male or female, with a towel propped on their heads.


Women wearing towels in the onsen


Women with towels on their head

Anime of an onsen shows a mixture of towel-clad and naked users.

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Japanese avatar Haruto doing the pre-onset washing and cleansing ritual

The time difference between the UK and Japan means I don’t have any Japanese SL friends (ditto Australian or New Zealand players), but I recently met Haruto, who gave me a tour of some of the onsen in Second Life. On our travels we met Yui, who also agreed to pose.

Above, Yui is at the Hikaru onsen. As you can see, it’s in a snowy location, and this, it seems, isn’t so far removed from some real life onsen located in the mountains, above the snow line.

The pictures from real life (above) show that the SL version does indeed replicate RL to some extent.

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yui sabai 3

We then moved on to the Sabai onsen, and again you can see the builders have located this ‘somewhere in the snowy mountains’. There was also a lovely little Japanese styled garden in which to pose, as well as using the hot springs.

Haruto then went to the Ryuuou gay onsen for more poses.

Note that many of the onsen in SL offer free towels such as that worn by Haruto (above) and by Yui (below).yui towel_001b

I’d recommend that you try an onsen if you haven’t done so before, if only for the fact that the scenery & geography of them is uniformly lovely.