We all get older…

Many of my naturist friends are ‘older’ naturists, quite often because when the child-rearing years are over and the nest is empty, people only then discover naturism. Sometimes it represents a little bit of a rebirth for a couple, and there’s a frisson of ‘danger’ or ‘excitement’ about the naturist lifestyle.

It’s not, in genuine naturism anyway, a sexual thing.

Often, the mindset is that people have grown comfortable with their bodies, there’s no real pressure to look young, sexy, lithe or lissome. As the years go by we can accept who we are much more readily than we did at 20, 30 or 40. It means that people 50+ often become debutant naturists.

I’m appalled when I go onto some ‘naturist’ websites where there are sneering comments about how it’s all fat, shrivelled, saggy or wrinkled.

Look at it like this: not everyone is lucky enough to reach their 50s or 60s or beyond. To those who sneer I say this: hope that you, too, can eventually be equally fat, shrivelled, saggy or wrinkled.

Mature naturists bring their own beauty to naturism, often vivacious and fun loving in a manner younger naturists (or even their own younger selves) don’t possess.

In Second Life the emphasis is on being young and lithe -even if the age of the avatar’s user is beyond 50- to the extent that mesh clothing or mesh avatars limit the potential to be an older (or plus sized) avatar.

There are numerous older avatar skins, but they’re prohibitively expensive (an accusation that can also be levelled at black or Asian skins).

The concept seems to be that we can’t, should we choose to do so, make ourselves older (or successfully plus sized) avatars. Which is a pity. A reflection on human diversity would benefit Second Life, rather than it be a world which is, it often seems, a world of white youth.

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I’m delighted to be surrounded by SL users who’ve been in SL much longer than I have and have made friends with a wide range of (naturist) avatars, some who do adopt an older look, and believe me, their evident age becomes a little bit of a conversation magnet. Some remember naturism in the 1960s and 1970s and, when engaged on the topic, are vivid raconteurs whose memories are wonderful, important oral history for anyone interested in  the history of naturism.

Here at SL we’ll be undertaking ‘older avatar’ month from Monday, and sporadically throughout November. I can’t say that we’re awash with older looking naturist avatar friends, but we’ll be undertaking interviews with them throughout the month, and also trying to discover why they’ve adopted older avatars within SL.

And we’ll be trying to discover what is, so far, a rumour, but one we’ve heard repeated more than once -that one of SL’s naturist venues ‘discourages’ the presence of older avatars because it doesn’t match the image they try to maintain for their sim.

Trine

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