Back on our old site, one of the recurring posts was one entitled My Nude Debut (last aired in June 2015), wherein several members of staff and readers reported their first time nude in public, and the circumstances surrounding that. It was a particularly popular posting series, so when I received a notecard from a reader regarding their nude debut, I thought it was time to revive it.
SL avatar Amanda has written about her nude experiences as a college student, something that led directly to her experiencing naturism for the first time.
Before I track back to a younger self, let me provide you with a little bit of back story.
These days, I’m a lady who lunches, which is to say I’m someone who married a high flyer, meaning that I raised the children, didn’t need to work, and spent a lot of my earlier years looking glamorous on the arm of my high-flying husband.
With the children now largely raised and having flown the coop, I meet ladies of a similar ilk for lunch, or at the spa or beauty salon. I know there’s a lot of negative connotations with this sort of description, with many in that realm being very high maintenance and fairly empty-headed. I rather hope my friends and I don’t fit that bill, with us all volunteering to work in various charity shops the length of the High Street, or volunteering to work with some of the UK’s major conservation charities like The National Trust or Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. I think we all see our roles, beyond that of being wives of well-to-do men, as being people who do our bit to help according to our interests. And yes, there are one or two of our number who’ve, over the years, lost their husbands to younger versions of themselves, as sometimes happens in relationships where high-powered men spend time away from home in the company of younger colleagues, PA’s and suchlike.
My husband spends periods of time away from home so when I chanced upon Second Life a couple of years ago it seemed like a fun way to while away an evening or two. There was some social interaction in a house now large and empty, and I would dance the night away at some ballroom or other in SL. Lots of fun!
Eventually, though, I found myself forming SL relationships with some of the men I’d meet in SL and…yes, the relationships became sexual. Virtual affairs! I was a little shocked by myself, but also considered it to be a safe way to conduct an affair. So far, so good, on the basis that many of you who use SL will recognise your own usage of the game in a similar manner. Buying lots of sexy lingerie? Tick. Buying expensive, wonderful looking outfits around the grid? Tick. Getting aroused when another avatar who could write and emote well typed things that sounded incredible? Tick. Getting naked and hopping onto pose balls for participation in some form of sexual activity that never reached the marital bed? Tick. Recognise anyone?
Thirty years ago things were very different. I was a photography student at a polytechnic somewhere in the south of England. Nowadays, all have been rebranded as universities but back then they offered courses that weren’t always regarded as ‘proper degree’ courses. Many would be related to various aspects of creativity. As I liked taking photographs from an early age, had some aptitude for it, held down a job related to it (until I got married) and have had some success in the past (and more recently) having photos published in various magazines, it was the one thing I really enjoyed doing. A photography course, and diploma in that field, seemed like my future when I was 18.
Back then I was very much a jeans and T shirt kind of girl, with no sense of ‘glamour’ about me at all.
Entirely content to be weaving my way back from the pub to the student flat I shared, in my second year, with some fellow photography students.
We’d get drunk and marvel at the work of Ansel Adams or Robert Capa, trying to unravel what it was that made their work so immense. We’d go out on assignments, as part of the course or simply because we were ‘photographers’.
We’d experiment with infra-red, printing techniques and, in the main realise our future lay in weddings and not much else.
One night, while exceptionally drunk, one of the boys in the flat suggested we try our hand at glamour/erotic/nude photography. It was scheduled to be on the course, but we hadn’t yet got to that point in our photographic journey. ‘Sure!!!!’ the four of us, two boys, two girls, all chorused. But our flatmate was serious!
In the cold light of a sober day, we did backtrack from that idea initially, although I did agree to pose in lingerie to give the others some experience of ‘glamour’ shots (note that they each reciprocated in turn, but there wasn’t much glamour to be had in photographing a couple of guys in their old boxer shots against a white backdrop we’d ‘borrowed’ from the college!)
Pete, the guy who initially suggested nude photography, wasn’t content to leave it at that, though. We were buying tatty old burlesque fancy dress costumes to double as ‘lingerie’, borrowing people’s tatty old boots and so on and they simply looked tawdry in everything we did. Pete decided there needed to be leap forward…
…we all got drunk again in the pub the next Friday night, Pete told us to get our cameras out and went into the next room, then came back stark naked and proceeded to pose while we took photos. Thirty years ago was much more innocent times. No internet. So no readily available source of male nudes to observe on a nightly basis. I was this innocent young girl from the countryside and seeing a naked man up close and personal was a real eye-opener!
Saturday were usually a time when Pete & Len, the two guys in the flat, headed off to the football on the afternoon, then a pub of see a rock band at night. Annie, the other girl in the flat and I (all four of us were on the photography course and decided to share a flat because we’d known each other from Year 1 of the course and got on well, so thought a flat share made some sense) would go out to a discotheque, get drunk and come home or…not come home! 😉
Money was a bit low, though, so we decided to curtail the going out drinking by, instead, staying in drinking…it was a cheaper night! Not paying pub prices meant we could also buy more alcohol, so we were absolutely legless a couple of Saturday nights later. It was really messy drunk!
We were all these idealistic teens, full of ideas and going to change the photographic world, and of course the subject of Pete’s previous naked escapade turned up in conversation as he’d done up this fantastic black and white print of it and had it framed. We were all agreed (it was actually one of Len’s photographs had made it to framing, but Annie & my photos also turned out really well) it was one of the best photos we’d ever taken. One thing led to another…
The next thing I know, barely able to stand, we’ve all got our own cameras lined up in a row in front of the white backdrop and each of us is taking turns to pose naked in front of the backdrop. My nude debut! And so drunk I can barely press the camera release or stand to pose. Not exactly a ‘naturist’ nude debut, or outdoors nudity, but the first time I went nude with members of the opposite sex present and it kind of seemed so natural and innocent.
I also posed with Len for a number of photos.
Within days we’d begun a relationship and when ‘the human form’ needed to be photographed we were each other’s models thereafter. Many photos were taken out in nature, in woods and in rivers, and I’ve never forgotten the feel of a gentle breeze kissing my skin, something I imagine naturists experience regularly.
The dynamic in the house changed as well, with all four of us being relaxed and blasé about our nakedness. They turned out to be a lot of fun times! Equally, they were times when there were some photos of a sexual nature, a very sexual nature, that seem very embarrassing now. Fortunately I think we’re all of an age when people were more coy. To my knowledge, none of the photos, either the more sexual ones or the more ‘soft core’ ones, have ever surfaced on the internet. I’d die of shame, I think, for my husband or children to see me portrayed thus.
Postscript: Len and I drifted apart after we’d graduated, as he went touring the world, settled down in Australia and eventually married an Australian girl (ah! the pleasures of Facebook stalking! 🙂 )
In the meantime, I’d gone along to a New Year’s Eve Ball, met the man who is now my husband, and had locked the negatives of my wild drunken photo sessions away ‘forever’, although thanks to advances in photography and scanning negatives and so on I’ve looked at them all in recent years. I couldn’t bear to destroy them. They’re part of my past, part of me, part of the person I am now. At the same time, many are of situations which I would regard as being exceptionally personal and sexual in nature.
However, it’s part of my past, and while some of the photos are exceptionally risqué, and not something I’d replicate in SL for SLN2, some of the more glamour or erotic ones are still great photos.