Tattoos 1

Tattoos. Always a topic to invite divisive arguments along very deep pro- and anti- lines. I’m against them on me, but take a relaxed view as to what others should do with their bodies. Knock yourselves out.

Twenty years ago their growing popularity was a hot topic in naturism, with traditionalists claiming they weren’t in the true spirit of naturism. Arguments also raged about depilation, piercings and circumcision in the pages of Health & Efficiency, the UK’s top naturist magazine, when I first became a naturist a little over 20 years ago.

Germans, oft unfairly caricatured as having ‘no sense of humour’, dispel that myth in an article from Bild, two years ago, wherein they describe tattoos as ‘an Anglo-Saxon rash’.


Given the volume of tattoos seen on the streets of the UK nowadays, who can say they’re wrong? Other European nations don’t appear to have quite the same tattoo culture as we do.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anyone born yet who looks better for having a tattoo, but as I say, it’s not my body, so why should I care? Few of them seem to be nothing more than buying into a certain trend in fashion. Sure, some will have some sort of thought put into them regarding their meaning, or tell stories about a person’s personal journey through life, but in the main, no.

The Germans are wrong, however, to some extent, in their portrayal of the English (which is what they mean by Anglo-Saxons), as it appears to be a worldwide fashion phenomenon to some degree…


German supermodel Sophia Thomalla


German soccer international Anja Mittag

The Guardian reports on a rise in tattoo removal this weekend. More and more people, apparently, are now regretting getting them. The usual response for ink fans at this point is ‘well, I won’t be getting rid of mine’, as if this somehow negates what is being reported. Of course some people are wedded to those for life. That doesn’t diminish what just might be a growing trend for their removal.



In the photos above, someone has taken the trouble to airbrush American singer Miley Cyrus’s tattoos in the bottom photo. Which image -with or without- looks more attractive to you?

I’ve brought this up because tattoos are exceptionally popular in Second Life, and there’s nowhere they’re more obvious than on SL’s nudist beaches. I’d hoped to finish a post I’m currently undertaking, about tattoo wear in SL and whether they reflect a person’s reality, or if they’re an SL extension of the wearer’s personality. I’ve run out of time this weekend, though, with the post about 3/4 complete, just as I’ve discovered that some SL avatars are, in fact, also ditching the ink in favour of blank canvas skin,so I’ll be finishing it off and posting it (as Tattoos 2) during the week. I’m always fascinated by how RL fashion and culture still manages to impact on SL fashion and culture.








I should take more time out of SL…

…because as soon as I do, all manner of ‘naturist related’ news goes mainstream.

In The Guardian this week, Charlie Gilmour asks, and explores, if Britain is ready for everyday nudity.

And The Daily Mail suggests that being naked makes us happier and more satisfied with our bodies.

Added to the article (also from the Daily Mail) that I blogged earlier this week, about nude-ercise classes.

Three mainstream media articles in the UK in one week, all on the subject of our naked states being more mainstream in themselves.

I’m hoping to get inworld over the weekend after a particularly busy period of work recently in order to check out any changes that may have occurred in world during an enforced absence from SL



epa03267796 Two customers check their shopping list as they visit a newly opened super market at the Danisch-German border town of Suederluegum, Germany, 16 June 2012. As an advertising gag the shop owner had offered free shopping to up to 2,000 Danish Crowns (DKK), equivalent to about 270 Euro, for the first 100 customers - if they come nude.  EPA/Sebastian Iwersen / Free Shopping for first 100 nude customers / DPA / Sebastian Iwersen / epa03267796 / GERMANY CURIOSITIES NUDE SHOPPING / CONSUMER GOODS; CURIOSITIES / SUEDERLUEGUM

Women march against Trump

You can’t have failed to notice women marching in protest against President Trump over the weekend, not only in the US but around the globe.

I won’t comment about another country’s choice of leader, although the fashion in a social-media fuelled world is to imagine that we all immediately grasp the nuances of another nation’s psyche. I believe that unless you’re living in a country it’s easy to miss the subtleties of a social or political atmosphere, not that that stops people from throwing in their (often worthless) tuppence worth. I do feel equipped, however, to talk about a general sexist male mindset…

Reflexively, I support the women’s march on so many levels. One of the placards I saw was protesting about tax added to sanitary products while male grooming products are tax free. That situation is the same in the UK, and needs urgent change. We -women- just want a level playing field in this regard.

But for some of the speakers…oh dear! Veteran feminist Gloria Steinem declared His widely reported symptoms of mental instability … lead us to question his fitness for the immense responsibility of the office’. In the past, male physicians would declare women, and only women, to be suffering from ‘hysteria‘, a diagnosis that has subsequently been regarded as a nonsense.

Now, I’ve quite a bit of time for Steinem’s record as a feminist, but making an assumption based on hearsay and rumour is not only the female equivalent of diagnosing ‘hysteria’ in Trump, to the extent that the statement should be ridiculed and ignored but also, ironically, suggests some level of verbal hysteria and hyperbole in Steinem herself.

Much of the thrust of the march was ignited by Trump’s ‘Grab them by the pussy’ remarks.


This led to the prevalence of ‘pussy hats‘ as a symbol of the march.


You can grab a free pussy hat in Second Life if you teleport over to the Yummy store (L$0) to declare your solidarity with the march. It’s interesting in the way that, often, Second Life can manage to seize the mood of real life and translate that into the pixel world, and this is one manifestation of the virtual world where the real bleeds into the virtual.

Over at Nantra Poses you can also grab a free pose and placard that also captures the mood of yesterday.



Ella wears anti-Trump freebies currently available in SL.

But let’s get back to speakers at the Washington march.


Ah yes…a woman whose career has revolved around sex as a selling point now taking umbrage at Trump’s remark.

A woman who was offering b*** j*** in exchange for Hillary Clinton votes. It was subsequently dismissed as a ‘joke’. The problem is that not everyone gets the ‘joke’ in a remark like that, and ‘jokes’ like this help to reinforce the belief that some men have that elements of sex are simply a barter process. The whole ‘I bought you a Big Mac, so I expect sex in exchange‘ thing is very real in some men’s eyes.  Your ‘jokes’ do feminism no service, Madge.

A woman who will happily pose with men hovering around her crotch, then expressing outrage at Trump?



A woman who has made a career of being a sex object moaning about a businessman and latter-day politician objectifying women?

She’s an arch-hypocrite.

Of course, by extension the whole male mindset portrayed and railed against is something that affects naturism, not so much in real life, but in its online portrayal, in and out of Second Life. I’ve spoken, before, about the manner in which ‘naturist’ websites -specifically ‘Tumblr’ sites- contain many, many photographs of naked women in poses, or undertaking sex acts, that are not a fair or reasonable representation of naturism in its boring, mundane, non-sexual reality.

A genuine naturist site doesn’t need open crotch shots, nor should it give the impression that only one gender (female) exists. Yet many of these sites contain the word ‘naturist’ in their title, and help to reinforce the idea in some young (and not so young) minds that a naturist woman is sexually available.

Sites such as these reinforce the wrong idea about the nature of naturism, while comments such as those made about grabbing pussies may have been ‘just locker room talk’ but nonetheless are symptomatic of a male mindset that needs some education in equality and respect of an entire gender. This extends from The White House to the man in the pub, the man next door and work colleagues alike. Pussies aren’t for either grabbing, from the current tenant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to the adolescent-minded blogger about naturism.

Note: I’m merely holding a placard in the photos. That should not necessarily be seen as an endorsement of their message about another country’s elected leader. I’m easier with the reverse side, though. We, women, aren’t ‘up for grabs’.



Naked at the Bothy



A bothy was traditionally a stone house built for farm labourers, often on vast estates, across Scotland, Ireland, Wales and northern England. They fell into disuse with the advent of motor transport, thus allowing labourers to travel greater distances within the working day, but then saw a revival with the advent of leisure time spent in the great outdoors. These days, bothies have been repaired and provide shelter for people who may be out walking in hills or mountains, be it from briefly inclement weather, to overnight if necessary.

The UK has a Mountain Bothies Association, which seeks to provide some sort of network, and maintenance, to them.


The north-west Highlands (of Scotland) and Islands -see the map above- has around a dozen. The distance between Inverness to Skye is, I guess, 120 miles or so (?) so you can see how the existence of a few bothies scattered around the area helps dedicated hill walkers split their journey up into more manageable bit-sized pieces, and allow them to take shelter overnight.



Bothies, not always, but often, can also be found close to lochs (i.e. Scottish lakes) or the sea.


The Bothy Project website speaks extensively about ‘communing with nature’ in such dwellings, the simplicity, romance and remoteness of being there, and there’s a film by The Bothy Project which attracted an article in The Guardian last year about wild swimming as part of the experience. We’ve written about wild swimming previously.



I’m currently reading ‘The Book of the Bothy’ by Phoebe Smith, a book that explores various aspects of bothy life and experience.


I was drawn to it via a friend, who is a keen hill walker and ‘Munro-bagger‘. (The Munros are all of Scotland’s mountains over 3000ft). While talking to this lady and her husband, also a keen Munro bagger, it was revealed that at the end of a long day’s hiking, with the intention of stopping in a bothy overnight, there are often ‘skinny dipping’ and some plain ‘naturist’ experiences to be had.

‘You’re miles from anywhere, certainly miles from anyone, so if the bothy is next to a body of water we strip off to swim or simply soak away sore feet in a stream’, I was told. ‘It’s not just the two of us within ourselves as a couple who does it, bothy experience often involves communal skinny dipping or nudity, even amongst people who would never call themselves nudists or naturists. You pack the essentials, and swimsuits aren’t essential.’

It may be far too cold to consider skinny dipping in some loch right now, but I’ve made vague plans to go and walk my first Munros later this year, in the company of some friends, and take in an overnight stay in a bothy.

‘There’s a bothy code’, says my friend’s husband, outlining the do’s and dont’s of bothy life.

One is not to burn live wood but… ‘there’s nothing nicer than walking the shore of a small bay gather driftwood to make a fire, then stripping off and sitting around it, drying socks or cooking up a hot meal as the sun goes down’. I look forward to a new ‘naturist’ experience later this year, then.




In the meantime, finding a ‘bothy’ of sorts, stripping off and searching for driftwood to light a fire is an altogether easier thing in SL at this time of year…




PS: There haven’t been many posts recently, and won’t be many next week either. I’m exceptionally busy with real life, but there should be a slow-down in 7-10 days time, permitting me more SL time.


In the vineyard



I saw this advertisement for wine on a naturist blog, Avondale apparently being a South African wine producer. I did a bit more research and discovered their advertising campaign for ‘wines au naturel’ goes back to 2008.


Clearly, the idea of nudity in advertising isn’t new, and wasn’t new back in 2008, but still has a power that ‘textile’ advertising probably lacks.





Here’s a crop of Second Life grapes being picked before being fermented. It’s hard work out there in the vineyard, so it’s important to wear a hat while working. Those plump, red grapes are going to make a terrific bottle. 2017 looks like it will be a vintage year!


Wine tasting at SLN Central



Camping/Glamping (Part 2)

continued from Camping/Glamping (Part 1)

In Part 1, I explained how we’d accidentally discovered naturism on one of our first holidays together as a couple. In Part 2, I’m going to continue our unfolding adventure.

We stopped by a river and as we were eating lunch it occurred to us that we could maybe go skinny dipping. So we did! 🙂

At the time we were still using a Polaroid camera that produced instant photos, we were still pre-digital back then, so we took photos of each other after the swim, not the first naked photos we’d taken of each other, but the first in a public environment.

We’ve tried to replicate those first photographs within Second Life (below).



Yes, we did keep our helmets on to remain anonymous, lol.

(Ella adds: Thanks to Harry for the post production that allowed the photos to be presented in a Polaroid style)

Not every night on that holiday was spent at a naturist campsite, sometimes it just seemed too far to ride in a single day to reach one, but about half of the remainder of the holiday was spent on naturist campsites, and we spent our first day on a naturist beach on that same trip.

A couple of years later we got married and then children came along, by which time we were pretty committed naturists at home and abroad. In the period before the kids were born we’d set off on the bike and had usually picked a place where we could probably get a naked swim or sunbathe in.


While the weather may be against us often, Ireland is a potential naturist paradise when the sun shines. Wheel the bike into this field, park it against the tree and walk down to a beach where you can almost certainly use it, undisturbed, for hours on end.


Co. Galway, Renvyle Beach. If using this for a skinny dip you could see someone coming half a mile away and cover up if you thought it likely you’d offend anyone’s sensibilities.


Co. Donegal. The trick is to go midweek. You might have this place to yourself for the entire day once a few dog walkers have used it in the morning.

Once the kids came along, though, we needed something better suited to family life than a motorbike, so we bought a camper van instead.


It’s not as convenient as the bike, but there’s two willing sets of grandparents who are more than happy to take the kids for the most of a day (they’re in their mid-teens now, so not much looking after is required) while Mary and I still stick our leathers on and head off on the bike like we used to. After many happy naturist holidays with them in France, and weekends at home, they’ve now sadly reached that body-conscious teenage where the idea of going naked themselves, or seeing Mum and Dad go naked horrifies them. Happily for Mary and me they’re all off to a summer camp this year, so I’m currently getting the camper van spruced up for two weeks in which we plan to your as much of Ireland’s coastline as we can, skinny dipping, naked camping and sunbathing (weather permitting) as we can!


Camping/Glamping (Part 1)

Glamping may conceivably be a word which hasn’t travelled far beyond the confines of Ireland and the UK. A Google search would suggest this to be so, with few references to glamping in the US, although the wide open highways and sparsely populated regions of vast tracts of land make it ideal for use of an RV, a recreational vehicle, which would almost certainly provide many of the more luxurious amenities associated with glamping in Ireland, the UK and parts of Europe.

Glamping, in case you didn’t know, is a portmanteau word comprising glamorous and camping, thus ‘glamping’. It’s camping with a bit of luxury thrown in.

Typically, you might stay in a proper bed in a tree house. We can actually do this close to home. Staying in a yurt is also very popular amongst ‘glampers’.

There are a few campsites dotted around SL, and you can even rent a yurt to live in, should you choose to do so. Campsites, while not advertising themselves as ‘glamp sites’, do have some lovely looking tents and facilities in SL that would put them firmly inside the ‘glamping’ category (see photos below).


A Second Life yurt

Mary, my wife, and I started off our holidays together on a motorcycle and a couple of panniers attached. We’d take off to France by ferry and then stop at one of the thousands, literally thousands of campsites dotted around that country. One website claims there are 9289 campsites in the country. Given the amount of them you can find I’d say it’s probably an accurate figure, and there are maps you can buy, sometimes get for free, that show all campsites in a region. You can stop for lunch at a lovely little French cafe and plot the afternoon’s biking, knowing you can check in, pay not too many euros and throw your tent up. Some are very well appointed, with on-site restaurants dealing in top quality food, shower and toilet blocks and small shops for camping essentials you’ve maybe run out of or forgotten to bring.

Not all of them are naturist. It was on one of those early holidays, I think we were 18 or 19, that we actually discovered naturism when we checked into a naturist campsite by mistake. We knew what naturism was, of course, but had never thought of ourselves as being naturist. Mary says I read the map wrong, I say Mary read the map wrong, but we checked into a naturist site in error. I think we’d both have got on the bike and headed onto the one we planned to stay at, but it was late and I’d been driving the bike all day, and I knew I was getting too tired to bike onwards safely.

So we pitched our tent, stripped off, wrapped towels around ourselves and headed off to the nearby shower block to freshen up. It was a hell of a shock to find the showers were unisex, in our innocence we thought there’d be male and female blocks. So I had to stand guard while Mary showered and then wrapped herself in a towel again!



We got back to our tent as the light faded, so we were able to sit outside the tent and eat some supper, planning the following day’s ride by torchlight. It felt really good, to me, to be outside, naked, and warm at night. I told Mary that I liked the feeling and was a bit surprised when she said she did too. I though she’d have been much more reticent about being naked in a public setting, even though no one could actually see us.

We got up at dawn the following morning and even though it was first light there were a few people swimming in a river that ran through the site. We sort of reached that ‘I will if you will’ moment and we opted to run down to the river and jump in too. It was completely exhilarating. Watching the sunrise, being naked outdoors, swimming in a river. We pretty much giggled all the way back to our tent, feeling rather proud of ourselves.














We set off the next day to follow what was the itinerary we’d planned, but at some point along the road I felt a tap on my helmet, a signal that Mary wanted to say something. This was almost 20 years ago, we were young, and my bike didn’t stretch to communications between our helmets. I stopped and Mary told me she’d rather liked the morning skinny dip and the entirely unexpected exposure to naturism and could we tear up our itinerary and rethink it? Sure we could.

We bought some bread and cheese in the next village, drove out to a nearby river and sat down to re-think the holiday.

(continued in Camping/Glamping Part 2)

Editorial : Losing ground

Over the weekend I began a tour of all of the ‘naturist’ locations I can find in SL, with the idea that I should update info on them, provide new slurls, if necessary, and give you some indication of what’s available on each in terms of facilities.

It was a rather depressing start, as one after another seemed to be populated with those who don’t have any conception of what a naturist or nudist beach entails. Beachwear, in many instances. Outdoor wear, in some. Folks, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we’re losing ground to SL textiles within the few naturist locations we have.

This isn’t so much different from real life, if we let it happen. One or two textiles lay claim to a bit of naturist beach, more textiles arrive and the next thing we know we’ve lost all or some real life naturist beach that was hard fought for.


This is why some naturists are very militant. Some French beaches have ‘the nude police’ at the entrance, with volunteers saying ‘get naked or get lost’, in effect. Spanish naturists will all get to their feet and begin a slow handclap against textile invaders until the invaders get naked or get lost.

And this is now becoming a problem in SL, with textiles outnumbering naturists in some instances whenever you TP in. Like real life, I don’t necessarily feel ‘comfortable’ in a minority. If I arrive at a ‘clothing optional’ beach in RL to find that numerous textiles have laid claim to it, I don’t necessarily feel as if I’m going to strip off and become some sort of exhibit for them. If I arrive and numerous naturists are already there, I’ll merrily join in, even if there are one or two textiles, because I feel as if ‘we’ -naturists- have laid claim to it for the day.

It’s no different in SL. If I tp in somewhere and I’m the only one naked, I’ll be leaving, because there’s not any sense of being able to gauge people’s naturist bona fides. Believe me, there are locations where even though it’s just cartoon figures onscreen, the whole ‘nice t*ts’ conversation crops up from some badly shaped male avatar in a pair of bad board shorts and freebie hair from 2007.


What I’d planned to do over the next few weeks was visit, then revisit, every naturist or clothing optional beach in SL, including some that I had previously regarded as not being genuinely naturist in SL -the places that will advertise themselves as ‘nude, nudist, naturist, f***, c***, p****’ etc, on the basis that they at least need to be acknowledged as existing. An example is Turtle Coast. We’ve never really covered Turtle, on the basis that it included pose balls for more intimate displays in SL, but really, the ground has shifted radically in the past couple of years, where Turtle almost invariably contains numerous fully nude avatars dancing and socialising in local chat, with all of the pose balls available in discreet locations going unused (if I use the mini-map to locate avatars).

Contrarily, Turtle now feels much more genuinely naturist than one or two locations semi-permanently peopled with clothed avatars, but still advertising themselves as a ‘naturist’ sim. While these locations have zero pose balls, they now feel less naturist than some sims with pose balls.

Do I start to list sites with a ‘textile’ issue? Do I remove such locations from our list of ‘genuine’ locations because they’re no longer properly functioning as naturist sims? (Example: Sunday evening, 9 avatars on one naturist sim, only two -myself and one other female avi- nude. The remainder in various states of being dressed.)

C’mon, sim owners! Up your game in how you police your naturist sim. Let’s have beach officers enforcing full nudity within the sims. Either that or please, please, please re-designate your sim as ‘clothing optional’ and give up the pretence of running a ‘genuinely naturist’ sim.