Essentially it’s people going for swims where swims aren’t necessarily intended to take place. Not that, swimsuit-clad (some wild swimming involves costumes and, indeed, wetsuits) on occasion, ‘skinny dipping’ on other swims, there’s anything ‘illegal’ about them. It’s just that they aren’t particularly recognised as regular bathing places.
Wild swimming can take place in canals, lakes, streams, rivers or any other body of water.
There’s a website dedicated to British wild swimming, and a plethora of books on the topic, from all manner of regional swims around the UK, to France, Italy and Spain.
Ireland has its own website dedicated to the sport, with part of that site reporting on wild skinny dipping. America seems less organised with regards the sport, although there’s a Facebook page dedicated to wild swimming in the US.
Wild, skinny dipping, swimming in the U.S.
One of our Christmas presents to each other this year was wetsuits. As dedicated naturists, one supposes we’d not have time for such items, but it’s the UK, it’s Scotland, it’s sometimes cold even in summer, so our logic to this is that it will massively extend our swimming season, and we can conceivably be out in the water in March. Next weekend, theoretically.
Now…when skinny dipping there’s obviously some etiquette involved as although naturism is perfectly legal in the UK, not every member of the public (or, indeed, police constable) will be aware of that fact and you could find yourself reported for public nudity. So discretion is the name of the game.
In Second Life it’s not much different. In fact, in Second Life there’s probably a much more prudish attitude to nudity than one might reasonably find in real life. I’ve swum, before, where nude bathing isn’t strictly allowed and been discovered by passing walkers, ramblers and the like. In real life, the usual attitude is of someone giving you a wave, the thumbs up sign, a grin and walking on. In Second Life the attitude is more of getting a ban from a sim, or someone whose business it isn’t telling you that being naked isn’t allowed. (Stop camming around and then speaking to me from 100m away, then).
It’s NOT just a case of undressing and plunging in. There’s some basic safety rules you may wish to follow, such as never diving into water (uncharted water can have all manner of hazards hidden), never getting too cold, and so on.
Skinny dipping/wild swimming in Regent’s Canal, London, in 1911. How prudish have we become in the intervening century?
One of my RL things in 2017 will be to undertake as much wild swimming, naturist and/or textile, as I can, and I’ll also be reporting on where it might be possible to do a bit of skinny dipping in Second Life as well. ‘Why?’, you might ask.
Well, if people are fulfilling some of their fantasies in SL, be it parachuting or walking through a desert, then skinny dipping will almost certainly be on many non-naturist avatars’ bucket list.
Imagine, if you will, chatting to an avatar and suggest a skinny dip…a price little location…great role-play fun, I think. So with this in mind, we’ll be sharing some top secret wild swimming locations throughout the year.