Advertorial : An advertorial is an advertisement in the form of editorial content.
I held a ‘meet and greet’ at Eden Naturopolis last night. It was…interesting, to say the least. Not many naturists were passing through the sim, so it was unremarkable in that sense, but I did get to speak to one avatar whose story was fascinating, and involved some ‘ritual nudity’.
It’s such a long tale that I’m splitting it into two posts, one tonight, the next sometime next week.
A couple of years ago I met an avatar who had notions to create and build a Second Life religion. I met him at a naturist sim, we chatted for a while, and I logged out. I never saw anything turn up on any blogs about this, and assumed it was someone with another fanciful SL idea that never achieved fruition. Wrong.
I ran into that same avatar last night, and it would appear that he has been very active in pressing on ahead with the idea, his SL revolves around the idea but (much like this blog’s research and writing) inventing a religion takes up more time off-grid than it does on it.
‘Sex plays a huge role in SL’, the avatar told me, ‘you need only look at the popularity of certain sims to know it’s true. Many avatars come to SL for virtual sex. In some ways, that is the appeal for many. Now start to factor in some of the ‘minor’ interests in SL, like Gor, Game of Thrones, witchcraft, Domination and Submission sims, and sex is very much part of the equation, with a lot of nudity involved’. I couldn’t argue against that assessment.
‘Now look at popular culture, or some aspects of pornography. A lot of appeal comes from nudity in ritual settings, be it churches, the unavailability of nuns leading to a long standing art and culture theme of sexualising them. Exploitation movies involve more gratuitous nudity in the context of things like voodoo, the poor little rich girl kidnapped by natives and abused over the course of 90 minutes. I thought that there was definitely a market for some sort of SL quasi religion wherein there was a goddess, and the rituals would involve nudity. It’s not new at all, by any stretch of the imagination.
‘What held me back was the creation of a proper back story. I felt we needed a holy book to begin with. I’m not a builder, so I’ve been putting poses and items together with the help of others. And then there was the cost of a sim, and the shadow of Sansar over Second Life. Should I create a rather expensive sim with no real prospect of income for it, or wait until Sansar arrived? Or take it to something like Open Sim?’
Hence the two/three year wait?
‘Yes. It has taken me that long to incorporate aspects of voodoo, Christianity, paganism, witchcraft, Gor and so on into The Book of Lotus, our holy book. I intend to publish it online quite soon. It’s not Biblical in length but hopefully has some sense of depth to it.’
I was then given a password to a ‘by invitation only’ blog, where I was able to read some of ‘The Book of Lotus’ with accompanying SL photos, many of which, while featuring nudity, are entirely unsuited to this blog.
What I can say is that the entire ‘religion’ hangs around the goddess Varija (it’s Hindi for ‘lotus’, apparently), and I’ll be speaking to some of its adherents in part two of these articles, a couple of whom have gravitated to the whole ‘SL quasi religion’ concept from SL naturism.
nb: at the top of the page it references ‘advertorial’. We weren’t paid to run this story. I found the whole notion of someone trying to establish some sort of new ‘religion’ within the context of SL to be interesting enough in itself, and obviously the ‘nudity in SL’ angle to it all works within the brief of this blog. I’d also be exceptionally keen to learn how immersive people are in their Second Lives, to the point where they might be vaguely keen on such an idea.