We like to party at SLN this time of year, but with the caveat that we’re usually 24/48 hours ahead of the real life events. Our Christmas Party was a few days in advance of Christmas, but that’s hardly unique given that we all experience staff Christmas parties in advance of the big day. New Year’s Eve is slightly different. Because so many people are out in real life on December 31st, there’s not much point in holding the New Year’s Eve party on December 31st if no one is online. So we held a little get-together for friends and fellow SL naturists on Friday night, last night, the 30th of December.
We usually try and run it over several hours with people popping in and out (then returning later on, sometimes) over the course of a few hours. We all have real lives too, remember.
These affairs can be a bit hit and miss. I’ve teleported in to find no one else there, and at other times there’s a lot of lag, due to the volume of attendees.
But what we’ve found over the years is that our mutual circle of friends who frequent SL’s naturist sims connect with each other, or we connect with others’ friends. Networking, they’d call it in real life.
Harry sets up to record the evening’s events
As people often teleport in from other, textile locations, they often arrive dressed.
But as all are committed SL naturists, they usually get into the mood very quickly.
French avatar Giblette
French avatars Giblette and Fanny take to the pool
Being based in the UK, SLN operates on GMT, while SL operates on a 24 hour basis. This means that most of our SL friends tend to be European, simply because we’ll be online in roughly the same time zones together, while America is 5 hours (and more) behind us. It’s quite interesting that I’ve got many European friends in SL naturism, but only a handful of Americans and Canadians, all of whom are based on the Atlantic seaboard of the continent, none on the Pacific side, simply because our SL ‘downtime’ doesn’t often coincide.
Even within Europe, I tend to find my continental European friends will be online early in my evening, the Brits beginning to log in a little later. It was no surprise, then, to find early arrivals were French avatars Giblette and Fanny.
Of course, one important facet to this NYE party is that with Christmas out of the way we’re all already plotting our summer holidays. Fanny is a real life naturist, and in conversation with her I learned she would be trying a new location on the Mediterranean coast this summer, having spent the past few years touring around naturist campsites more centrally located in France, a bit closer to her home. Such is the value, to real life naturists, of meeting similar real life naturists in Second Life.
Franco-German relations. German avatar Dagmar chats with French avatar Ricard
Our drinks waiter was very popular…
…wearing nothing more than the bow tie we blogged from Caboodle a few days back, and just as the party was beginning, I got wind that the SL Sydney sim was also holding its own party 24 hours early, almost certainly for the same reason we did – avatars are busy in RL tomorrow night. Hang on! Did that poster say ‘gifts for the new year’? Indeed it did, so I threw some clothes on and made my excuses for a few moments to investigate. And yes, they did/do have free gifts, including a lovely LBD (little black dress) complete with top hat. I headed back to the party, whispered in the drinks waiter’s ear, offered to hold the tray for him (even though I ended up only holding it one glass at a time 😉 )
When he returned, our drinks waiter, in his ‘outfit’, proved to be exceptionally popular with arrivals, several of them queuing up to pose with him.
I imagine that the freebies at Sydney will probably still be available by the time you read this on the proper New Year’s Eve.
Away back in 2013, which seems like a lifetime ago now, we blogged what we thought might have been SL’s first blogged, gay kiss. My SL friends Cecil and Ringo still play SL and are still together as a SL couple -and for those homophobes who decry ‘degeneracy’, consider if you know a single heterosexual SL relationship that has endured for the same length of time. I got to know Ringo when he wrote about gay issues for Emmanuelle’s blog and I was covering naturist matters, and we’ve been great friends on SL ever since, and I eventually met Cecil through him. Indeed, all my gay and lesbian friends in SL are friendships forged through introductions by Ringo.
And here he is sneaking up behind me, giving me a hug and whispering in my ear (i.e. a private message) about what’s to follow….
Cecil and Ringo announce their engagement at the party. Looks like I’ll need a SL hat for a SL wedding in 2017!
…I confess I’d slipped back to real life when the big announcement was made, at the party, that Cecil and Ringo are getting engaged. It (engagement) doesn’t have the same importance in SL as it might have in RL, but their SL relationship is strong and they’d like to formalise it. No date set yet, but we will be covering the wedding of Cecil and Ringo whenever it takes place, and I’d like to congratulate two lovely, lovely fellas whose sunny personalities shine through into SL as well. And the boys look cuter and hotter than they did back in 2013, testament to how our avatars slowly evolve and improve. I can’t begin to describe the SL laughs I’ve had with these two guys, and I wish them well in their SL future.
It’s easy to denigrate lifestyles some of us don’t fully understand, be they naturist, furry, gay or whatever, but I’m a firm believer in being open to new SL experiences. I think, through SL, I’ve discovered a deeper understanding of a version of the gay scene, thanks to these two fellas.
Ella and ‘her boys’
I find that in SL so many male avatars are so, so fixated on their ‘red blooded, masculinity’ that they studiously avoid friendships with other males, be they hetero or gay. It’s all, for some, about getting female avatars naked and onto the right pose balls that they ignore the potential to form great male-male SL relationships.
One of the reasons I friended Howie is that, first time I met him, he was delivering a withering put-down of one of those ‘griefer’ avatars to used to drop into certain sims, like naturist ones, and begin asking females for sex or being obnoxious about gay or lesbian avatars. Thankfully, SL appears to have grown up and moved on in the intervening years. So Howie was delivering this elongated series of messages in local chat, each one more confusing to the griefer avatar, each one more and more amusing to the rest of us, about that avatar’s RL inadequacies as a person.
‘I’ve never like f******g homophobes in or out of SL’ was, I think, possibly the first IM I ever received from him when I congratulated him (also in IM) on his sneering contempt. 🙂 (I’m paraphrasing, it was seven years or more ago, but he’ll correct me if I’m wrong).
So…at least seven years on and we’re still playing SL, still good friends, still happy to deliver a withering put down of any homophobes out there. I’m pleased to say that, in SL, there’s much less racism apparent to me (your perception may be different) than there is homophobia. If there’s racism in SL it’s more of a media-driven ‘stereotype’ kind, though, with black avatars expected to play one of two roles – the gangsta/pimp male or female hooker.
Of course we can’t say with any certainty that we are who we say we are in SL. Are Candi and Kew, black female avatars, as much of a rarity in SL naturism as they are in RL naturism, actually black women in real life? Am I a woman? Is Howie a man? Well, eventually you get a ‘feel’ for regular correspondents -it’s hard to keep a pretence going over a long period of time in SL- and can say that people are as they portray themselves. I wasn’t at the party when Candi and Kew were there, but I can pretty much vouch for them being what they say they are, black women. Kew (on the right in this photo) is a particularly articulate avatar (Candi may be as well but I don’t know her or have her listed as an SL friend) who has given me a long explanation about positive black female role models, starting with Michelle Obama.
‘A great, positive role model. While I do visit naturist sims, more because I enjoy the sense of fun at them more than the nudity -naturists seem to be very talkative in SL- I have a tendency to run the Kew avatar with Michelle as the role model I’d like to project. You’re right, Ella, none of us know if we’re speaking to black, white, male, female in SL, but where possible I try to project a ‘hey, get educated and be the best you can’ function. Standing on a street corner looking for Johns doesn’t have to be your real life or Second Life reality’.
‘My whole schtick, the half rim glasses pushed down my nose and business suits, is deliberately calculated to present the image of an intelligent, academic black woman, not portray myself or any other black woman, as a ho’.
With midnight approaching and to celebrate Ringo & Cecil’s impending nuptials, Howie breaks out the champagne
There may be a few more ‘straggler’ photos in the morning, but for now, that’s the majority of the New Years Eve (-24) SLN party.
Celebrating the chimes of Big Ben at midnight!
Down on the beach, Louise and Duncan get cuddly with this free pose from West End (no group join fee) (the same pose Ringo used to sneak up on me and hug me, further up the page)
I will have at least one post up later today (December 31st) but my slip, trip and fall earlier in the week my curtail my ‘dancing’ tonight. However it plays out, I’m off out for the evening, dancing or not, but I’ll put that final post of 2016 up before I head out for the evening. Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I hope you’ll join us in 2017 for another year of SL Naturist!