Baby, it’s cold outside

I’m looking out from my study window this morning at a landscape kissed with an all-encompassing frost. Winter has suddenly arrived.

Usually, winter only really arrives after Christmas, in January and February, and it’s slightly worrying that it’s making an appearance in mid-November. I’m going to predict that there will be days, over the next 2-3 months, where I’m stuck at home, with roads blocked and schools closed. I just have that feeling…

In that case, it will be a case of battening down the hatches, turning the heat on and logging into SL, or checking out the websites of some lovely naturist locations and imagining the sun on my back once more.

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I was up early, and my own back garden had a lovely blue tinge over the frost as night slipped away into dawn.

Nothing quite as splendidly Christmasy as the sim I visited to take some photos, and throw on a lovely warm coat I’ve never worn before, the ‘Vampire Hunter Alison’ coat you’ll find that came as standard in your inventory.

I’m not feeling Christmasy yet -it’s far too early regardless of what the shops say- but I am feeling wintry, and I have to say that it’s a period in the SL which, like autumn, makes for some fantastically atmospheric photographs. It’s also a period when you’ll find me dressed in SL.

Of course, there are some RL & SL naturist possibilities, as we can jet off to some sun-kissed beach in an instant in both spheres, and even at home there are hardy folk who will embrace naked ‘Polar Bare’ swims. Some RL swimming groups near where I live swim (textile) all the year round. Brrrr! Far too cold for me to try out, even in a wetsuit.

Ella

My nude debut : Pierre

Parisian Pierre writes to us with his own experience of his nude debut. As he supplied the text in French, and my own French isn’t parfait, I’ve taken the liberty of editing his text into English, with the caveat that I’ve had to adjust some of his words, as neither my own French or Google Translate were giving me translations that made perfect, readable English. I hope that I’ve captured the essence of what Pierre was saying. Just to add, I’ve checked with him and he’s happy with my English translation.

Ella

Many years ago, after I had completed my own studies, I moved to Paris in the hope of finding a good job. It wasn’t easy to secure employment right away, and so I ended up living in an apartment I couldn’t afford to heat while working as a waiter in a cafe, applying for jobs as openings came along.

I was really broke. My salary and tips only just covered my rent, and I was thinking of returning home to a small, rural town in France when I happened to see an advertisement for a nude life model at the university.

I applied and got the job. Now, I think I was maybe the only person to apply for the job. Of course I was a little bit frightened by the prospect, but the money they were offering was good, and I had no other options. Return home from Paris as a failure? Or go naked in front of strangers?

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Happily, it wasn’t so difficult at the first session. I was able to sit still for a long time, which seemed to be the only qualification required, and I would be in a seated position, so that not ‘everything’ would be fully displayed. It put me at ease. I was also put at ease by the fact that I wore a gown until the lecturer got me seated, it wasn’t a case of walking naked through a classroom of eager art students.

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In time, of course, there would be sessions where I had to stand, genitals fully on display, but by that stage it was no longer a big deal for me, the students seemed more interested in capturing an image than looking at me, and the extra money I was earning allowed me to eat better and heat my apartment.

Even better, sessions were during the day, so it didn’t interfere with my work in a restaurant either. I did it for two years, at which point I had found employment in my chosen field. Forty years later, as I think of retiring from my own business, and having done well in life, I often wonder how much life might have turned out differently if I had not seen that little advertisement for a model. The work and the money allowed me to survive in Paris for two years.

Pierre

 

Nude Protest : The Doukhobors

There was some inevitability that a steady supply of Brit-based, RL naturist, SL-using avatars would run dry eventually, so I’ve been casting my net further afield in a search for a new co-conspirator to help write this blog. I’ve nothing against people from other locations, it’s just that I’ve hitherto found that being able to contact people ‘live’ works best on a similar time zone. But as the UK well has run dry for now, I’ve located two new staff members, one male, one female, both being RL naturists, pretty much a given in order to write for SLN2. The male blogger (a rarity in itself, most SL bloggers appear to be female) is based in Europe, and I’ll introduce you to him in due course. Firstly, our female blogger, Emily, from Canada.

I was intrigued by Emily’s desire to write for SLN2 due to her exceptionally interest back story. Emily’s forebears were part of the Doukhobor religious sect in British Columbia. I’ll leave it to Emily to pick up their, and her, story…

Ella

Hi! I’m Emily, or Amaliya as I style myself in SL, a nod to my Russian roots. While I’m a proud Canadian, I’m aware that my ancestors arrived in Canada from Russia, as part of the Doukhobor religious sect, fleeing persecution in Russia.

They settled in Krestova, British Columbia (B.C.), about 500 miles east of Vancouver, or about the same distance SW of Calgary, if you’re trying to locate it on the map. These days,  my family and I aren’t part of that religious sect, and I live in Edmonton, about 750 miles north of Krestova.

I adopted the name Amaliya, as it’s perhaps the closest Russian equivalent to Emily, my given name in RL, although I’ll be blogging under my ‘Russian’ name, and SL avatar’s name, Amaliya.

I’m not part of any organised naturism locally. I have plenty of sparsely populated lakes around me here in Edmonton I can use for naturist purposes, and my partner and I have regularly driven to Wreck Beach, BC, to enjoy our nudism in the company of others.

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Emily often visits Wreck Beach, British Columbia, for her communal naturism

But let’s travel back to when my ancestors arrived in Canada. Persecuted in Russia for being peaceniks (they burned weapons and refused to serve in the Russian military). That was well over 100 years ago, but given the world we live in now, ‘enlightened’ by any stretch of the imagination. The writer Leo Tolstoy paid for many Doukhobors to leave Russia and travel somewhere they’d be safe. I’ve not been able (thus far) to ascertain if my own particular ancestors arrived here as a result of Tolstoy’s largesse, but I’d love to think he did.

The Doukhobors believed certain things. One, they covered their heads because it contained an energy that wasn’t dissipated by being bare headed (and also gave the impression of a humility). Two, we arrived in this world with nothing, and should depart it with nothing (no possessions…which sounds a bit John Lennon). As a result they were quite accepting of the naked state.

Nudity, or nude protest, would play a large role in the Doukhobors (or their sub-sect, the Freedomites), particularly in respect of call ups for military service (note that the naked protests pictured above mostly date from the 1940s/1950s, by which point the Duokhobors are well assimilated into Canadian life).

I’m quite proud that my forebears embraced a life of peace, a life if anti-materialism. I came to nudism quite independently of the knowledge that they were comfortable with their own nudity. When I subsequently learned of their relaxed acceptance of the naked state my first thought was ‘wow!!!! Is there something in the genes????’

Amaliya embraces historic Doukhobor styled clothing, as well as an easy acceptance of her naked state.

I’m looking forward to contributing further to SLN2, and I hope I can repay the faith shown in me by Ella.

Amaliya

Cambridge’s Best Bums of 2016

I was having an online discussion with one of our SLN2 advisors recently, and we were discussing how easy or difficult it is to keep news of real life naturism going through the (northern hemisphere’s) winter.

Sometimes, there is a dearth of naturist news -although as many sims adopt their ‘winter plumage’, the ground covered in snow, we should be able to link SL’s naturism to RL naturist swimming events, those ‘Polar Bare’ things you read about on occasion.

But this blog entry just landed in my lap today.

At Cambridge University, along with Oxford, one of the UK’s two (self-styled) top universities -at least those with the most cachet for reaching and having on your CV- (think Harvard or Yale if you’re reading this in the USA), there is a ‘Best Bum’ competition and the ‘finalists’ have been (un)covered in media sources as different in quality from the Daily Telegraph to the Daily Mail. You can tell the gulf in standards in the Telegraph’s reporting that ‘students bare their bottoms’ while the much, much more downmarket Mail suggests they show ‘First clASS Honours’.

A selection of the finalists from this year’s Cambridge Best Bum competition

A little more research unearthed that it’s an annual competition, and you can find coverage from 20152014 and 2013 online. No photos of the 2012 entry which appears to have been the first.

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I’m not proposing a competition, but it’s the chance to use a couple of previously unpublished photos in what looks like places of learning.

Ella

Vintage Season : Those Naughty Victorians

Our perception of the Victorian era is of them being strait-laced and staid. The reality is sometimes very different.

In an era when photography was developing, ‘naked ladies’ (and gentlemen, sometimes both in the same photo) were going to continue to be an Art standard much as they’ve always been since man started drawing on cave walls.

By the Victorian era, the entire concept of holidays and leisure, sometimes allied to scientific discovery, and key themes of the time, such as Darwinism -fossil collecting was very much ‘a thing’ in Victorian England- was growing, and the well to do would travel to seaside towns like Brighton and Bognor to discover this new fangled holiday concept for themselves.

Of course, Victorian men wouldn’t be able to contain themselves, sexually, by the sight of some flesh, so bathing boxes were devised. A lady would change within it while it was pulled into the sea by horse, then merge into the waters without being exposed too much, despite the voluminous costume she was expected to wear.

There are actually reports of ladies drowning, dragged down by the weight of these heavy costumes.

Victorian swimming boxes, and Brighton Gentlemen’s swimming club.

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Hold him back! He can barely contain himself!

It’s possible to buy a Victorian swimming costume on the Marketplace (L$99)

So we then got model Abbey to show it off…

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…because I’d seen a photo from Victorian real life that just begged to be replicated in SL.

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I think this is a gorgeous photo, debunking some of our preconceptions of ‘Victorians and swimming’.

A little post production…

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..and Abbey has been photographed by a quiet stream, in sepia, her bathing cap also still in place.

This set photographer Harry off on a theme.

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They were trying to recreate this photo, to some extent.

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Harry and Abbey are currently working on a ‘vintage Victorian’ portfolio that will be published in the coming days.

Ella

Bottoms on.

From my observations and experience, I note that while men will readily get naked and stay naked completely, immediately, some women prefer to -some of the time- remain covered up to some degree. Bare-breastedness is now nothing on European beaches, and I’m guessing that a majority of ladies under the age of 60 have sunbathed or swum topless on holiday, and think nothing of it.

But even at naturist beaches, some ladies prefer to remain partially dressed, keeping their bikini panties on for that popular naturist pastime, walking the beach.

Why is this?

My theory, untested, is that males are much more comfortable with their nudity from an early, locker-room, age. Communal showers after sports, all on display, becomes a norm, even if it’s within their own gender. So they know the feeling of nudity, and I think most of us regard it as a nice feeling with the air or water on our skin.

It’s different for girls, though. I know when I was at school we were all very much embarrassed by our nudity and our changing bodies (‘oh look! Such and such now wears a training bra!!!! She has hair down there!!!!’) that we’d happily sit sweaty and smelly after PE rather than go to the shower. Swimming lessons meant showering with our costumes on.

So males will easily go naked, even in mixed-gender company in public, very readily. Females not quite so much (although please don’t write in to tell me how your girlfriend will flash her boobs at the drop of a hat…there’s no hard and fast rule here).

There’s also the issue of the menstrual cycle. Most naturist females will have been in situations where their period begins, and bikini briefs will conceal the use of sanitary wear -if you use towels they’re essential. But that doesn’t explain this TFNM (Topless Female, Naked Male) scenario.

But for some females, often the more reluctant partner in a relationship, while going topless is now the norm, exposing their genital area is still just a step too far on the beach.

Ella

Blue Lagoon Marina

At Eden Dove, we used to have the Blue Lagoon Marina, home to many houseboats, their owners, and drop-ins like me who would come for their regular clothing-optional dances which were great fun. Then Blue Lagoon Marina disappeared.

This may not be news to many of you, but as I’ve spent many months over the past year effectively MIA from SL, I’m only catching up on past news events in recent weeks.

While situated at Eden, Blue Lagoon did have a semi-autonomous feel to it.

When I started to get back into SL more regularly, I made it my business to revisit old LMs, and found Blue Lagoon gone, but restyled in a familiar, high quality Eden style, complete with a rather pleasing meme of creating ‘public art works’. I love to see such items in real life, and to see them reproduced in SL is always pleasing to my eye.

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Eden Dove public art works

Blue Lagoon rose from the ashes, however, and relocated to the Fruit Islands.

Ove checked back a couple of times and, while it looks like a lot of fun, it’s sadly no longer naturist. SL’s own ZZ Top were playing when I checked in, and were drawing a decently sized crowd, but…it’s not naturist (despite many of its staff being the same people).

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ZZ Top at Blue Lagoon

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Blue Lagoon dancers

I think, then, we have to mourn the loss of Blue Lagoon Marina as a naturist venue, which is rather sad (unless any of its regulars or staff can tell me differently).

Ella

Adam and Eve

The Chapter Four is another of those locations with stalls from a variety of builders and designers.

When I saw that CS Poses had a pose set there called ‘Adam and Eve’ (L$99), how could I not?

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If you think that L$99 is too much to pay, then there’s a L$5 pose on the same stand. It’s called ‘Wasted Time’ ella-wasted-time_001b

Your five Lindens gets you a complete ‘scene’, with autumn and park bench, and the coffee and phone to boot.

The ‘Adam and Eve’ pose is a limited edition, so if you want a loving pose ‘au naturel’ (or clothed if you prefer…but why would you?) hurry over to the Chapter Four soon.

Ella

Revisiting Eden Naturopolis

Along the way, I sort of lost the plot in my first tenure as SLN editor, forgetting our core values and keeping a firm hand on the tiller, something that led to us losing our much cherished office at Su Casa Naturist as the sim owners felt we’d lost the plot. They were right. We kind of ended up drifting a bit from the shore, not focussed entirely on core, genuine, naturist values. Granted, it might be said that Su Casa’s own naturist values have been diluted too. Each time I log into there, it’s peopled by speedo wearing, bikini wearing, fully dressed avatars. Textile creep, in other words, just as some RL naturist locations are similarly pestered! ‘Undress or leave’, is the message from RL naturist to textile voyeurs. And quite rightly too, even if it does lead to what the media calls ‘nudist riots’.

In my second tenure as editor, I’m determined that we will return to those core values that served us so well over five years of the SLN original blog.

Beginning tonight, I’m commencing a revisiting of the genuine naturist sims in SL, and reminding you all that naturism is alive, well and vibrant in SL, with many sims offering some marvellous virtual naturist experiences.

Teleporting into Eden Naturopolis, I’ve noted that there’s a new (to me) notecard highlighting the best Eden has to offer. (It’s dated September 2016, so it’s a relatively new info card anyway). I hope I’m not standing on anyone’s toes by reproducing it in full…

…over the past few evenings I’ve asked friends and models to visit the various urls and provide some photography to illustrate the depth and breadth of the expansive naturist experience Eden offers.

 

The Eden Naturist Estate is SL’s largest privately owned residential estate dedicated for the use of those who prefer to spend time in SL unclothed. The estate is a tropical/temperate maritime themed area where accommodation is mainly based on islands which residents purchase and upon which make their homes; smaller residential units are also available as are apartments available for rent only.

Being a naturist estate does not mean that being naked in the 50 sims that make up the Eden Estate is mandatory although clearly most people are happy to be so else they would not be there.
Our Estate Covenant clearly lays down what you can and what you cannot do; living here binds you to those basic sensible rules which ensure that the estate retains its unique environment. You will find the Covenant at http://bit.ly/edencovenant on the Eden Estate website which provides a pretty comprehensive coverage of the estate, what it offers, whats happening and what’s happened here.

The North Sea comprises a further 25 sims to the south of Eden and as such is the largest privately owned sea area in SL. It offers a very stable environment for sailors and is recognised throughout the SL sailing community as a primary location for both serious and purely recreational competitive sailboat racing.

Both estates enjoy dedicated management teams who are available 24/7 wherever possible to offer support and guidance to all visitors, users and new and existing residents.

Eden and The North Sea along with the Fruit Islands Estate to their south also provide together nearly 200 privately owned sims and waterways for SL residents to cruise and explore; you would be hard pressed to find surroundings, vistas and build quality consistently to such a high standard anywhere else in Second Life.

The three estates offer the serious SL Inhabitant a wonderful and really quite beautiful peaceful environment in which to establish and base their Second Life experience.

You can start your Eden or North Sea exploration at any of the following locations:-

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The Poseidon Centre – Eden Puffin sim – which is the showpiece pier head, beach and entertainment area for the North Sea with probably the closest spectator area to any Start and Finish race line anywhere in Second Life. You can rezz a boat here and take off south to explore The North Sea and access the Fruit Islands Estate still further south. Hug the coast a bit and you can access Eden at Eden Gateway sim or at Eden Skua sim. Beneath the waves, close to Poseidon’s statue, deep below you will find a wonderful Mer World to visit and explore where SL’s Mer community regularly meet for entertainment and networking.

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Eden Airport- Eden Gateway sim – which is the main civilian air transport hub for The Eden Estate. You can rezz a plane here and take off to explore the 200 sims by air. At its north entrance you can walk, cycle or motor north along the cliff road and over the bridge into the Eden Estate to arrive at Eden Naturopolis sim.

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Lighthouse Isle – The North Sea – Ziziphus sim – this is an uninhabited isle now since the lighthouse went automatic but it is central in The North Sea and a great stopping off point for sightseers when out sailing. Sit and enjoy the solitude and sea sounds and sights – a great place to simply unwind and relax.

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Eden Haven Marina – Eden Jakana sim – which is the main yacht marina in the Eden Estate where there is a 70 boat capacity marina and a large entertainment and bar area where you can meet your friends and chill out or attend the regular events there or simply mess about in your boat – needless to say it has direct access to The North Sea and of course North and East into the seaways of the Eden Estate.


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Cute barman!

Public Hub – Eden Naturopolis sim – this is the original and main public access sim to the Eden Estate where you will find all the administrative hoohah, land sales and property availability information; there’s a small beach and entertainment area for those more intimate social occasions. You can rent an apartment, or a free boat and go for a waterborne tour, take a guided tour, hop on a hang glider, hire a bicycle, and umpteen other things to while away some virtual time. Naturopolis is sort of central and so whichever direction you care to go there is something new to see.

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The hub, what many of us regards as the central TP point for the Eden Estate.

Note that the lighthouse behind model Edie’s head is the SLN2 office at the Eden Naturopolis Estate.

We’d also add that Edie is the RL sister of SLN’s original publisher, Howie.

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Edith and Howie at the Eden hub.

The ‘fresco’ between them is of Brenda and Elbag, Eden’s owners.

Naked Dreams – Eden Heron sim – this is a full sim set up and managed by Teresa Korhonen, one of our residents, as a private beach club – Teresa’s building skills are evidence of her long standing in the SL community and she wecomes any passing sailor to her gorgeous island home and all its facilities.

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Sometimes its nice to just go somewhere nice and meet up with some friends for a coffee or lazy moment gazing into the sunset out to the west – well Lazy Isle provides you with the ability to do just that – perfect!

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Allegra

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Starbucks ‘coffee’ makes me look depressed too.
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The Eden Yacht & Boat Club – Eden Siskin sim – not so much a Yacht Club these days but a thriving marina along the same lines as Eden Haven Marina but without the bling – it’s a super marina up in the north of the Eden Estate and much used by residents and visitors alike. It has direct access through The Inland Sea southwards into The North Sea and beyond.

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􀀊Charlene

The Bumrose Marina Club – Eden Celebration sim – two sims of unashamed adult extravagance done out in the best taste and uttermost style – somewhere definitely to visit but admittedly not for everyone! Love it or leave it!

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Charlene
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SLCG TerraNova Station – Eden Skua sim – with almost 200 sims of waterways safety is a major concern and whilst in SL we cannot drown or get soaking wet we can on occasions run into all sorts of trouble and that is where the Coastguard comes into its own – so we have our very own SL Coastguard Station and it is the envy of the rest of SLs Coasties – a posting here is much desired! Those lucky enough to be based at TerraNova Station patrol Eden, the North Sea and The Fruit Islands and attend all sea events to police the sims whilst races take place.

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We ask all visitors to respect the privacy of our residents, you can visit most sims and islands unless you receive a polite reminder to keep away, however our owners, Elbag Gable and Brenda Hoisin are quite happy for people to visit their home sims and enjoy what they have created here. Eden Tern, Eden Gannet, Eden Victoria and Eden Pelican are worth a visit if only to see what can be achieved with a whole sim when creating a home.

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Tortuga Bay Airport – Eden Guillemot – Tortuga is home to Eden’s flying few and their friends – most of us sail but some fly and this wonderful club environment airfield is very popular amongst those of us who enjoy taking to the skies. Speak to Catriona Hunter (Cat) about a tie down to rent for your aircraft of choice.

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Surf Ahoy – Eden Godwit sim – so you like surfing? OK well we can provide that too, not just up at Bumrose on Eden Cygnet sim but here on Eden Godwit – boards available and the waves are mega. Wipe yourselves out here!
There is more, much much more to see and do in our sims or you can sit and chill with your friends, or do absolutely nothing – there is always something to do and someone to share it with – being an Edennaut is a nice thing to be and we love having nice people doing what Edennauts do here with us…!!

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We look forward to welcoming you to our Virtual Paradise.

Brenda & Elbag

Notes: Photos taken at the various sim locations listed, with thanks to my SL friends and colleagues for agreeing to pose. Eden Naturopolis have had no direct input into this post, but their notecard and descriptions of the locations seemed like a perfect excuse to highlight some of Eden’s delights here on SLN2.

If any sim owners would like to offer me a similarly styled notecard, we’ll certainly do our best to present a similar travelogue for any genuine naturist sims. Even without, I plan to visit the main naturist sims and present extended travelogues from our favourite locations.

Ella

‘No nudity’?

There’s a few things about a nude Second Life I find irritating, notably the manner in which some sims demand ‘no nudity’.

This isn’t how things work in real life, a real life which is very much gymnophobic.

While SL presents an opportunity to shake off real life fears & phobias, with many avatars exploring their generally submerged sexual fantasies, lived to the full in SL, that gynophobia remains everywhere from skin designers who routinely self-censor nipples or genitalia in their shop displays, to sims whose rules demand ‘no nudity’.

Why?

Moving forward, SLN2 will treat all sims as potentially naturist for the purpose of photo shoots or exploring. No, we aren’t going turn up naked at your dance night, just as we aren’t going to turn up naked at a dance venue in real life. However, you’ve created a photogenic sim, with a body of water running through it…what are we going to do? That’s right, go skinny dipping.

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What I am going to do, though, is to get models and/or photographers to wear a ‘naturist photoshoot’ title, so we’re identifiable. We’ll be discreet, just as we would be discreet in real life if going ‘wild swimming’ (and there’s going to be a little bit of an ongoing series of ‘wild swimming’ posts added to the blog in due course).

I’ve gone ‘wild swimming’, or skinny dipping (wild swimming doesn’t necessarily have to be conducted nude) and once in a while had ramblers or walkers stumble upon me (and others). No one has yet gone apoplectic. Generally the reaction is a friendly wave and they walk on. I’ve even had conversations, while immersed in water, with clothed walkers who’ve asked about the legality of it all. Once, a couple joined in with those of us skinny dipping in a very remote part of an English river.

I’m sorry, but if we can go onto your sim and find a nice spot to swim, we’ll take that opportunity, irregardless of your rules. 99% of the time you won’t know we’ve been, won’t receive any complaints and will remain blissfully unaware if it wasn’t for the fact that I also intend to provide an url to the swim locations and publish photos on our Flickr site.

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If you wish to retrospectively ban us from your sim, so be it. We’ll accept that in the same spirit we’d accept a ‘caution’ from a British policeman. But as far as accepting some silly gymnophobic rules are concerned the gloves, as well as the swimsuits, are off.

Ella.