While researching this blog I occasionally land somewhere…unsavoury. Sites that are more pornographic than naturist, despite being dressed up as naturist (hey! some SL ‘naturist’ sims are like that too!). Links to ‘naturist’ sites aren’t guaranteed to be naturist by any stretch of the imagination.
And so it was that I clicked into a site recently that was focussed on voyeur photos of women on holiday. Not pornographic, just exploitative. Several photos were of naturist women, of all shapes and sizes and ages on the beach. Fine…apart from the fact that most of the photos were taken without the subject’s consent. Laughably, one contributor even had the audacity to watermark his work with copyright!
Other photos were topless women on the beach. What caught my eye here was one commenter, presumably from somewhere other than Europe, referencing a young woman with large breasts emerging from the surf, with the words that ‘guys are pretending they don’t notice. I’d have a [insert word for erection here] all day!’
Yes, it’s weird, because in Europe most guys have seen it all before, and they genuinely don’t notice. A glance in the direction of someone fully clothed, or in a full bikini, is about all they’d give any woman. It used to be that ‘going topless’ was something of a first-holiday-with-your-pals-and-no-parents-around ‘rite of passage’, but topless sunbathing and swimming has become so much part of the beach furniture in Europe now that many young women have never covered up top, from childhood, through puberty and into adulthood. Grandmothers, mothers, teenage daughters, children…all ‘topless’. And while full nudity is still a lump in the throat moment, many women go topless, even the first time, without so much as moment’s thought.
This woman’s young son(?), right of the pic, and the men in the vicinity, remain disinterested in her topless state.
More interested in their smartphones or gazing into the middle distance.
Her breasts are being bared, but there’s the sun to turn your face to, or waves to watch
Not even looking in her direction, he’s seen breasts before.
Tops pulled down, hamming it up for the cameras, tan lines giving away the fact that there’s not been any topless sunbathing before today, there’s a good chance this trio are going topless for the first time, with possibly some sort of dare having been issued and a holiday ‘rite of passage’ having been ticked off.
I managed to grab some SL inworld time this afternoon, doing my usual round of the naturist sims.
It’s not as bad as it used to be, but you still get the odd ‘hi, wanna sex me?’ comment from a month (or less) old avatar.
This one wasn’t as bad as that, but was heading in that direction, my experience told me. He just wasn’t bold enough to come right out and say it and, besides, I was hoping that if he did take that approach I could do a little ‘education’.
‘So you write a blog?’
I gave him the link. I went on with taking some photographs, and there was no IM replies for about five minutes. It was fairly obvious he’d gone off to scroll through the blog.
‘Wow! Never knew there was so much nudie activities going on. Great blog, some nice photos of nekkid women (yes, he used that spelling), but the photo of the faggots was f****** sick’.
I then had to explain the British definition of the word.
‘No. Those two faggots kissing’.
I was toying with him. I knew exactly what he was getting at. We published a photograph of two male avatars kissing the other day.
Here it is again…
‘I don’t want any faggots near me’, he (I assume) growled. ‘Sick deviants’.
Hmmm. I bet you’re 300lbs with a beard, dungarees and shoot at road signs for fun. Why assume you’d even be attractive to a gay man? Or any female, come to think of it. Why assume anyone would hit on you?
I didn’t think there were any people so limited by intelligence that these views existed anymore. Clearly I inhabit a bit of a deviant liberal world both in real life and in SL.
We live in a hateful world. An intolerant, and increasingly intolerant, world. The last any of us can or should do is impose our limited world views on anyone else. When love turns up, embrace it. It may not last forever, but we must embrace it while we can. And not criticise others who’ve chosen their own path to find love with someone else.
‘That’s an exceptionally intolerant view, and if you hold and voice that idea, SL may not be for you’.
I tp’ed away and muted this idiot. A couple of minutes later a SL friend, lesbian in SL & RL, popped online.
‘Hey, send me some pics of you and a girlfriend’.
You see, mister, if you’re reading, there, in the photo above, is another two people who’ve found love in SL. Don’t be so narrow minded and bigoted. Celebrate their love together. You never know, exposure to a broader outlook in SL just might eventually feed into your own RL mindset.
Children take to naturism easily and naturally. There’s a time when they don’t even notice the genital differences between boys and girls, or men and women. Much more immediate, in terms of inevitable questions, is body hair and breasts. When they do raise these questions, they readily accept factual answers, even though they might not fully comprehend what you’re saying. As a Mum, I’ve never shied away from any queries.
We’re regularly nude around the house, as well as obviously being nude on holiday, so our kids happily accept these situations, and two of them could explain why and when breasts grow, why and when pubic hair sprouts, even if ‘puberty’ isn’t something they necessarily understand fully yet.
Children are an integral part of naturism, and will grow up without body shame or curiosity, accepting their own bodies and those around them. I think it’s a healthy approach, that there’s no mystique taught.
And yet in naturist publications ‘the child’ (up to the age of 18) has disappeared entirely. Where they used to be in evidence in photographs, and in articles similar to this one about the benefits of teaching a child to grow up without shame, they’re absent. It creates the impression naturism is an ‘adults only’ lifestyle, where in fact it’s very much family orientated, and extended-family orientated at that.
The reason for this is, of course, paedophiles. I feel angry at them for existing. I also feel angry at them for skewing the perception of the lifestyle I enjoy, and its representation. When I started in SL it wasn’t uncommon to end up in a naturist sim which contained naked child avatars. As a real life naturist, I’m used to seeing this all the time, and wouldn’t blink an eye. Even then, the word ‘paedophile’ wouldn’t enter my head in an SL context. But it’s certain that there were adult avatars abusing child avatars (controlled by an adult) within SL, both parties complicit in the sordid fantasy. Suddenly, things changed.
Which is only right and proper. It was good to see that sort of behaviour weeded out of SL. One of the game’s strengths has been to keep it pure in some areas of role play. I remember, long before the current, rather idiotic support for Neo-Nazism reared its ugly head, the far right were being weeded out of SL. I know for certain that one (legal) British political party of the Far Right were hounded out of SL by more liberal SL voices. I know this because I was part of those avatars making life difficult for them. There’s no need for Far Right nonsense in SL, nor is there any justification for paedophiles to be anywhere near the game. I’m not so naive to suggest that issues like support for Neo-Nazism or age-play aren’t still happening, but it has been dragged away to some ‘dark SL’ and isn’t in evidence in the manner it once was. So far, so good.
But then there’s a variety of reasons, many innocent, where an avatar might be played as a teen or younger. Indeed, ‘petites’, child avatars on the grid, abound, and there’s blogs dedicated to clothes, hair, skins etc designed purely for ‘petites’. I would imagine the majority just play this role entirely innocently. Perhaps it’s an escape back to their own, idyllic childhood, who knows? There will be as many reasons to play SL as a petite as there are petites. And no one is suggesting there’s anything wrong with that.
What’s not so easy is for me to represent family naturist values in this blog. I’ve an alt set up as a ‘petite’ which I’ve often considered utilising into the blog. I sometimes see naturism through my children’s eyes, and there’s a raft of material I could use, but can’t ever effectively illustrate.
In the photographs above, I’ve used this alt girl avi, which I think perfectly illustrates family naturism in and around a pool, a family simply enjoying time together on holiday, reinforcing a positive family naturism that exists in RL. Even so, I’ve opted to pixelate my own alt avi, just in case someone doesn’t approach it with the right motives. To me, it’s a positive celebration of family naturism. To others, it’s some sort of sick, sexual perversion.
What of a representation of my son (this is just the same alt with a different ‘costume’, incidentally…you’ll understand how this works if you use SL)? Pixelate SL nude representations?
Or show ‘him’ (and my daughter’s representation) in swimming costumes?
And if I do that, am I still feeding some sicko’s fantasy?
In real life naturism, occasionally, you do see naked parents getting their children to wear swimwear on the naturist beach, such is their concern with the exploitation of children. children, when they reach puberty, often recoil from naturism, and some return to it. Others won’t, as their own act of rebellion against naturist parents.
My own son often wears a swimming costume to the naturist beach. He’s not at an age yet where he’s concluded he’s embarrassed by his own nudity, he still is very relaxed about it, but more that he’s at an age now where his imagination is gripped by ‘superheroes’, so his bedroom walls are decorated with images of Wolverine and Spiderman. And once he’d spotted those Spiderman swimming trunks…well, he likes to wear them to reinforce his own identification with fantasy and feed his imagination. That’s his own Second Life! He already understands instinctively he can wear them on the beach, but costumes aren’t allowed by the pool area, and he’ll happily take them off to swim there.
I don’t have teenage sons (or a daughter) – yet! But sometime in the future, I will. How they’ll react to naturism then (many naturist children recoil from it during puberty, then return to the lifestyle) remains to be seen, but let me imagine it.
I’ve one friend in SL who keeps a ‘teen boy’ alt avatar. He doesn’t roll it out very often, but will do so for specific scenarios in SL. Funfairs, driving a car and so on. He does this because, like me, he feels he wants to inhabit the avatar, and the best way to plug into the thrill of a funfair is to visit it as a teen. It’s a fantasy world, and anything that deepens the fantasy is fine. My own son is deepening his pre-teen fantasy by identifying with Spiderman as much as he can.
I asked my SL friend (non naturist) with the teen boy avi to pose with me for a couple of photos to further illustrate the minefield of representation of children in SL.
So here’s a couple of imagined ‘Mum with teenage son’ photos…
Once again, I’ve chosen to pixelate where a depiction of a naked teen occurs. (I particularly like the ‘awkward, gawky teenage son being forced to be photographed with Mum and hating every second’ look)And finally, that awkward pose in its full glory, but in this one ‘awkward teen male’ has opted to reject naturism to wear clothes.
I think it’s important, for the progression of the blog, that we now seek to ensure that, occasionally and where appropriate, children are represented in the blog. I’ve been thinking hard about this for some time, because their perspective is important for the future of naturism. Moving forward, though, I’d foresee that while I will seek to represent children as part of family naturism, I’ll opt to show them in swimwear.
And they that are far off shall come and build the temple of the LORD, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.
(Zachariah 6 : 15)
I’m not a God-botherer, but I know enough about the Bible stories to be able to know where some aphorisms and sayings in modern life originate. I think the same story is also to be found in the Book of Jeremiah, at least, interest research suggests this is the case.
It’s a theme also explored in the film Field of Dreams, where the Kevin Costner character hears a voice telling him to build a baseball stadium in the middle of nowhere. I’m guessing that the film is some kind of allegory for the Bible story, but as I’ve not seen the film, or know the Bible story particularly well, I’m not certain.
…whatever the reality behind it all, I was thinking how it applies equally well to naturism in and out of Second Life.
There’s a thriving naturist community in Second Life, as evidenced by the massive sims at Eden Naturopolis and Blue Lagoon Naturist Estate. Both are excellent builds too, as well as being popular. And that doesn’t take into account smaller, equally popular and photogenic sims, some of which have lasted for years, which is quite an achievement in the context of Second Life. Take a bow, Lupe’s, Su Casa and others.
7 Hills, another naturist location, only closed after its owner/builder, died. Otherwise it would still have been going too. The appeal of naturism, in Second Life, is obvious. ‘Skinny dipping’ is on most people’s bucket lists, and if it’s not achievable in real life, then social nudity in a virtual world could be considered to be some sort of alternative.
Granted, the idea of nudity and SLex (Second Life sex, for those who don’t know), and using text or voice as some sort of masturbatory aid is also part of SL. I won’t criticise, because there’s a world full of lonely people out there, with few friends and no life companion, so ‘SL as masturbatory aid’ is possibly therapeutic.
Many, many people I know trot out the same excuses about real life naturism. ‘My body’s not good enough’. ‘I’m overweight’. ‘I’d be too excited’. All trotted out without making the slightest effort to experience naturism for real and see/experience the reality.
There’s 740m people in Europe. Extrapolated across the continent, disregarding that our European neighbours can and do embrace social nudity better than we Brits, that’s an astonishing number. 43m.
Now…consider this in comparison to skiing. Estimates are that there’s 390m skiers across the world, accounting for 65m ski holidays. I know we’re comparing apples with pears, but it’s clear that there’s a hell of a lot more dedicated ski resorts around the world than there are dedicated naturist resorts. Because ‘naked people!!!!!’.
We remain scared of naked people, despite them being out there. What would happen if we provided facilities?
If we built it, would they come? I’d argue ‘yes’, for the following reason.
In Spain or France, where there’s a naturist culture in some locations, people grow up with the idea of nude sun or sea bathing. It’s how you ‘dress’ for the beach. So it becomes an entirely natural thing to do as a child, an adult, a parent or grandparent. Why spend money on silly costumes?
In Germany, or Finland, there’s a culture of nude sauna. Wearing costumes in there is considered unhygienic.
And even those of us in dear old, uptight Britain are promoting the idea of communal, nude bathing through the Great British Skinny Dip weekend, which is trying to promote the fun and health benefits of swimming freely. No infrastructure is needed -just a tolerant mindset- and yes indeed, GBSD are ‘building’ it as an event and people, many of whom wouldn’t label themselves as ‘naturist’, are coming.
And yet, as naturists, we’re corralled into small areas. Thousands upon thousands of kilometres of European shoreline and perhaps only dozens of kilometres of naturist designated beach? There’s something wrong there.
My argument is that a good naturist hotel, with a good beach nearby, will readily fill with customers.
It’s simply a case of allowing people to immerse themselves in the naturist lifestyle, through the provision of more facilities, and they will adapt their mindset accordingly.
Before trying it, my mindset would have been ‘no, not me, never!’ Having tried it…well, I’ve been a naturist now for 22 years. 🙂
It’s not arousing or erotic. It’s natural. And, even amongst first-time males, often concerned with ‘a reaction’, I have to say I’ve never seen an erection on a naturist beach.
Once again, we’re comparing apples with pears, but the authorities, town councils and such like, have it in their gift to provide naturist facilities, everywhere, around the globe, within a month, passing legislation to make it all happen by the time of their next council meeting. It’s that easy.
‘I’m disgusted’, scream the prudes, faced with something new and alien to them. The same way they screamed ‘I’m disgusted’ when homosexuality was made legal, when gay marriage was made legal, when Pride marches emerged, when -the issue of the moment- transgender issues emerged. Councils and state/county/national legislatures moved quickly, in most jurisdictions, to legalise and formalise the rights of the LGBT folk. Quite rightly too. But why does something that seems to have become ‘a thing’ this year, at least in the eyes of the media and public, transgendered folk, suddenly find itself at the forefront of a race to put legislation in place to accommodate it while naturism, over a century old and with more numbers than transgendered folk around the globe, remain hidden and regarded very poorly in its social position. Legislators capacity to accommodate transgendered people in such a short space of time merely underscores their capacity to provide naturist facilities, beaches or municipal swimming pool sessions, in place, almost immediately. I’m loathe to draw direct parallels between any expression of sexuality and naturism, as it’s unlikely any naturist was ever beaten up or killed for being a naturist, but it’s the only way I can frame the point I’m making in the context of current western society.
So…build it and they will come. As sensible, intelligent people have come to regard LGBT rights as acceptable, normal and desired nowadays, perhaps the time is now to make naturism acceptable and normal in a grown up society.
As a naturist, the summer months are clearly the season I’m going to enjoy most. I’m afraid, though, that apart from my trips to Spain this summer has been an almost total washout as far as home naturism here in Scotland has been concerned. May was quite good, but after that the weather descended into greyness and lots and lots of rain. 75% above our normal, which can be wet enough anyway!
As for the rest of the UK…northern England, Wales and Northern Ireland were in similar positions regarding the rain. Our garden is squidgy underfoot, so goodness knows what it’ll be like in the dead of winter. Of course, given the strange weather patterns that exist now (happy, climate change deniers?) the possibility remains that the rain stops soon and we won’t see a drop for weeks on end.
Boots : Free from Fab Free’s freebie store (no longer available)
Sinking into the mud!
Of course I’ve been in naturist situations where we’ve been caught out in the rain. Often. But it brings its own pleasures. There’s something lovely about sitting in a swimming pool while the rain torrents down, bouncing off the surface of the water. Why should we care? We’re wet already! 🙂
This ‘rambla’, a dry river bed, can fill in a very short space of time when the rains arrive.
But hey! Here I am talking about the weather, sounding like a true Brit!
I started to write this blog entry on Saturday, when we’d had rain every day for weeks. Heavy rain. And sure enough, as I suggested, it stopped on Sunday and we’ve had wall to wall sunshine since 🙂 Once I’ve got the children off to school it even looks as though a bit of early autumnal naturism might be possibly in the sun-trapped patio of our house.