The SLN Summer of Love, 2017, part 1

You can’t have failed to notice that 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the original 1967 ‘Summer of Love’, and if we take the release of Sergeant Pepper (released May 26th in the UK, June 2nd in the US) as the kick-off point (you may wish to argue a different date for valid reasons, but it seems the release of Pepper is as good a place as anywhere to have some arbitrary start date), then the 50th anniversary celebrations have now begun. We’ll be celebrating it on SLN as well, and highlighting RL events, some of which we’ll try to replicate in SL, throughout the summer months.

I suppose the summer of love had two main centres of existence in the minds of the public. Swinging London and San Francisco. Indeed, beyond ‘Pepper’, kaftanned beautiful people, Hendrix and Carnaby Street, much of the focus of the summer of love would have been in San Francisco, with important counterculture bands, such as the Grateful Dead, emerging from there, and activity around Haight-Ashbury and the Castro district.

In many ways the hopes and freedoms tantalisingly offered by the original summer of love lives on in San Francisco and could conceivably claim itself as the capital city of LGBT activism and rights issues, as well as being an important centre for the visibility and acceptance of nude activism.

Gypsy Taub, whom we’ve written about on numerous occasions on the blog, and even awarded one of our coveted ‘Heroes of Naturism’ awards 😉 continues to fight for nude rights in San Francisco with another march celebrating the summer of love.

 

San Francisco also has a key role in offering both topless, and then bottomless, go-go dancing, courtesy of Carol Doda, at the Condor Club.

While Carol Doda’s exploits aren’t naturism as I understand it at all, we do need to recognise that it was breakthrough moments such as these that would draw nudity, public nudity, more into the open. Previously, naturism (my understanding of naturism) existed behind privet hedges in private clubs. Our ability to enjoy nudist beaches and resorts, to walk public roads in the nude (be it where I go in Spain, or in San Francisco) owe just a little to the likes of Carol Doda. Her breakthrough would have helped to start debate and discussion on morality and what’s acceptable while much naturism possibly still existed out of view, being quiet.

Join us, then, throughout the next 3 months as we embark on a celebration of that first summer of love with an occasional series of blogposts about RL & SL events where nudity is visible and acceptable, thanks to many pioneers from half a century ago.

Ella

 

Full of Eastern Promise : Turkish delight (SL East of the Bosphorus, part 1)

A chocolate (i.e. candy) bar in the UK is Fry’s (the maker’s, now owned by Cadbury) Turkish Delight. I’m not a chocolate/candy person, but I do occasionally binge on a couple of bars of chocolate/candy and then forget about chocolate for another six months.

My favourite, now, is Cadbury’s (the maker’s) Dairy Milk.  Not actually ‘chocolate’, allegedly, as the EU, the European commission -another reason to hate them- tried to say that British chocolate wasn’t actually chocolate. It was ‘vegelate‘, as its chocolate content didn’t meet EU requirements, and Cadbury fought a 30(!) year campaign against the EU to have it marketed as chocolate. Try telling a Brit that, and try telling a Brit that the EU is a good thing if these are the sort of battles it -the EU- is going to fight. Absolute nonsense.

Anyway, Turkish Delight , in the UK, is a confection covered with chocolate rather than the same confection, in rose or lemon flavours, dipped in sugar, the original way method of manufacture.

The TV advert, featured above, comes directly from my childhood, simpler times 30 years ago when there was a sense of the east being exotic, and much less a sense of Turkey being ‘them and us’, in the days when Turkey was more secular than it is under President Erdogan, a man history will hopefully record as anathema to the edicts of Turkey’s founder, Ataturk.  Erdogan’s an asshole, but hey, that’s not so different from most politicians from Trump to Blair to Juncker and Tusk, via Merkel and Hollande.

By the way, if I’ve offended your political ‘hero’ in the list above… good. You shouldn’t have political heroes. They’re flawed human beings like the rest of us and more flawed than most.

Anyway, my point is that the world has simultaneously become much smaller and much more zonal in my lifetime, much more ‘us’ and ‘them’.

Back in the 80s, when I was a child, you could present a sense of ‘exotic Turkey’, in a positive way. It was a place of mystique. A place, along with other parts of the Middle East, that contained a harem. Of course, that exoticism as presented by orientalists was nonsense. The harem wasn’t a place of untold sexual pleasures, a place filled with concubines and belly dancers, but rather a place where women sat separate from the men. But that exotic, mysterious harem persists in western culture.

I’m delighted to see that the Paris 1900 sim has an exhibition of Orientalism on display in one of their buildings, if only for the fact that now is a time in history when we need to garner a greater understanding of other cultures, so any broadening of knowledge, even in an SL context, even if partly historically incorrect, is to be welcomed.

You’ll also find a couple of gifts available. A free male ‘Aladdin Pirate’ outfit, partly modelled by Timiany below, and a female exotic dancer outfit priced at L$10.

Once inside, there’s an exhibition of paintings with some excellent informative panels. The whole thing is exceptionally well done.

Made aware of the exhibition, I teleported over to wander around and enjoy the exhibition for itself, and also because I’m drawn like a moth to the flame where harem pants are available.

 

A selection of his & hers harem pants

I love ’em! Both in and out of SL.

Jim, Mr. Keng, and I owe a couple of pairs each, probably closest in the style shown centre in each of the above photos. They’re great lounging and leisure wear and are a loose, airy garment that we do utilise in the context of naturism, easy to throw on with a T shirt and look respectably dressed (if a little hippy like, but there’s nothing wrong with that) should someone ring the doorbell unexpectedly. They also go on naturist holidays with us and they’re my preferred style of dress for yoga classes I’ve recently taken up.

Ella utilises the Aladdin yoga pants for her yoga class.

In case you’re wondering about my hairstyle in the photo above…all will be revealed on Thursday! 😉

These pants are also ideal for anyone who role-plays any sort of hippy or alternative lifestyle in SL, as they’re fairly commonplace in hippy circles. And, of course, those counterculture lifestyles do often feature reasonable levels of causal undress as normal modes of daywear.

 

Timiany models the pirate pants and its accompanying turban (rest of outfit not used)

Elle McPherson, supermodel, adopts a similar look.

With Spain, and our first naturist vacation of the year, less than a month away, harem pants will go into each of our naturist suitcases.

Worth visiting for the free pants, and also worth visiting for the educational nature of the exhibition, ‘Orientalism’ at Paris 1900 sim shows SL done exceptionally well. I’ll be picking up on ‘hippy’ type clothing, and attitudes to nudity often displayed within that lifestyle, next week.

Ella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disgusted!

Link clicking in pursuit of suitable images to illustrate the blog, I chanced upon this image above. It’s a young woman, probably a Brit, if truth be told, we do have that reputation abroad, having drunk so much she has passed out in the street. She’s either gone out in a short skirt without underwear, or the underwear is a thong not visible to the camera. Such is the way of young people today on holiday. It makes me glad that my first holiday without parental supervision was a (then) wholesome naturist destination!

Worse than the using of  photo is the accompanying text…

Would you

A – Help her into a taxi and get her home safely

B – Take her to your flat and then f*** her

C – F*** her where she is 

Well done, blog writer! You’re offering options to rape. Remember: increasing numbers of European countries are passing legislation whereby if the girl is drunk and incapable of processing consent…it’s rape.

There should be no options other than (a). Well, maybe if options (b) and ( c) are to help her find her girlfriends or stay with her to ensure she doesn’t choke on her own vomit, or wander into a road and get knocked down.  It’s not big, clever or amusing to even suggest, even to readers of a porn blog (I was chasing links and landed in the site which wasn’t remotely naturist) that sex is the remotest possibility. Sure, you were probably trying to be funny in your own head. Sorry, don’t give up the day job, you ain’t a comedian.

Such is the way where young men begin to process information regarding women, and how to treat them, that there’s no respect involved. A woman is merely a sperm receptacle. Who cares if she’s drunk insensible. A stiff prick has no conscience. (And lest you think I’m being crude, that’s Shakespeare!)

This got me thinking…how does SL reflect RL in this regard?

Hmm…’well’ (or terribly), depending how you wish to report it. Lots of sims with ‘rape’ potential, and presumably the reinforcement of the idea that role-play raping female avatars is OK (granted, within SL the likelihood is that the woman is giving her consent, even if it’s advertised as ‘rape’ by hopping onto a pose ball.

I didn’t check out any sims. Just a search for what’s available was enough.

Long, long ago SL pretty much outlawed age-play sims. Having seen what I’ve seen in a search box, it’s clear to me that SL has a responsibility (just as tumblr does) to ban sims that encourage rape. I don’t think that the ‘hey, it’s better people live out fantasies in a virtual world’ stands up at all. As I say, it simply reinforces the whole idea that women are available and easy.

She’s drunk and falling over. It’s time to be a gentleman. Protect her and care for her.

I’ve long been an advocate of banning sims where rape is encouraged, or indeed where female avatars are treated in a submissive manner. We can really live our Second Lives without sims that feel the need to tie women up, put them in cages, or indeed have them naked where men are clothed, in a manner that reinforces male dominance over women. Time for this aspect, as odious as SL child play, to stop!

Ella.

Thanks to James and Lav for playing the ‘drunk girl meets gentleman’ roles in SL!

‘How do you broach the subject of a naturist holiday to your children?’

Hi Ella’, avatar Nancy IMs me. ‘As a sort of naturist mother, I’m wondering how you brought up the topic of a naturist holiday with your children? I’m sort of naturist in that my husband and I enjoyed nude holidays when we were first married. Children came along, and we’ve not had any family holidays abroad, or naturist, in recent years. I’m happy to say we’re now in a financial position to be able to afford to take five of us off on holiday and and my husband and I have discussed a naturist vacation, but I’m not sure how we should bring up the topic. Our kids are 11, 8 and 6’.

You don’t say, Nancy, how you approach the topic of nudity in the home. My children were used to seeing us in the bath or shower, or wandering around naked, before they could walk, so the subject of nudity never bothered them. They understood, from an early age, that we could fling off our clothes on a hot day and enjoy the garden as well. As they’ve got older, they still enjoy that sense of freedom and find nudity totally unremarkable.

Where are you planning to go? If the destination has a website, gather them around and show them your idea. Discuss the whole concept of not needing swimming costumes.

If you have some sense of nude freedom in the home, I suspect you’ve got children who will simply accept nudity can also be enjoyed outdoors. Kids simply love the sense of freedom and your younger ones will embrace the idea. Even if you’ve not brought them up with a sense of naked freedom at home they’ll accept the idea -although if you and your husband are going naked in front of them for the first time on holiday then I’d expect there’ll be some giggling when Mummy and Daddy go naked for the first time in front of them. Be prepared for comments like ‘I can see Daddy’s willy’ or ‘I can see Mummy’s boobies’. 🙂

An hour later they’ll have forgotten all about your and their nakedness.

I would add that, despite my children being aware of their parents’ naked forms all of their lives, my oldest boy did ask questions about breasts and pubic hair when he was old enough to articulate the issue. He was curious about why grown ups had those things, and equally as to why some grown ups didn’t have pubic hair. Ditto the issue of body piercings. I explained it all truthfully. Children will accept facts, and are less impressed by a load of old waffle.

If they grow up with it, being naked is natural as far as children are concerned.

I suspect it’s harder for children to get their heads around the idea of parental nudity the older they are. As they move into puberty there’s likely to be a feeling from them that, as a 14/15/16 year old, their parents are simply trying to embarrass them. Most teenagers find their parents embarrassing, naked or clothed.

They learn their behaviour, all of it, from you!

So if they grow up in a naturist environment from birth, the nudity is easily accepted.

You’ll probably find your younger two children are quite content in going nude. You’ll know your 11 year old better than me, but there may just be a little resistance to them going nude. Never impose it on them. If they want to wear swimsuits, fine. Let them find their own comfort levels in their own time. If they never strip, but accept you do, let it be like that.

I’d be thrilled if you report back having broached the subject and let us know how you got on.

Ella

Manchester

Manchester is 200 miles away from where I live. Regardless of distance, it’s another city in the UK so this week’s events in Manchester are something I feel is close to home.

As usual, though, some elements of the press are keen to link Monday’s events with all of Islam, when we all know that’s not the truth. Most Muslims are peace loving people, and identifying all of Islam with terrorism is ridiculous and wrong. It was 21 years ago Manchester endured, and survived, a terrorist attack by Irish extremists. Manchester survived then. It will again. And today the Irish, in Manchester, aren’t seen as ‘all’ being extremist or terrorist. We can hope that it takes less than 21 years for ‘all’ Muslims in the Greater Manchester area to be regarded as peace loving people, the overwhelming majority as offended and disgusted by Monday night’s events as you or I.

I’m always aware that a Second Life link to real life, in these circumstances, trivialises tragic events….wherever! Be it Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Nice, Manchester, London…

SL, of course, responds. We’re human beings, embracing humanity, even in our SL guises. But now is not the time or place to post a couple of posts I’ve been working on for a few weeks now, regarding Islam within SL and how we, the real people at this end of the screen, can learn from the avatars on the other side of the screen, not only in terms of the Islamic faith, but sexuality, gender issues, colour.

Ella

Carpe diem : Naked cookout

I had intended to be inworld last night (Friday) but the weather was Mediterranean in its evening heat and zero breeze – so it was a case of carpe diem, seize the day, or more accurately carpe noctem, seize the night. With the children in bed, and just settling down to open up the computer, Jim had this mad idea to do a barbecue at 1030pm! The weather was so marvellous we’d not been wearing anything at home since getting in from work/the school run, so there we were at 11pm, doing some barbecuing in the fading light. Because we’re quite northerly here, the evenings go on forever. Not quite Scandinavian levels of it being bright all night, it does get dark, but there’s a marked difference between the evenings here and evenings in London, where I was used to it being pitch dark by 9pm, even in summer. Here, there’s some light in the sky at 11pm and in a month or so it’ll be bright enough (weather permitting) to sit out and read a book in natural light at 11pm. I’m still not used to it after so many years living further south!

So no SL activity last night. Instead, a glass of wine (or two! 😉 ) and some naked al fresco cooking. We wrapped up around 100am, both of us a little tiddly, so I’m a little delicate this morning 🙂

 

Rain is forecast for most of the day today, so hopefully I’ll get online this afternoon or evening with some posts, particularly as I’ve got a bit of a backlog of posts now and I’d like to ‘clear the decks’ before moving on to new naturist blog entries.

Ella

nb: when researching for suitable ‘naked BBQ’ photos to accompany the post, I chanced upon some imagery, cartoons, by Hannah Carding. As it’s copyrighted work, I won’t reproduce it here, but there are some amusing nude cartoons featuring a world BBQing nude, going on the Underground (Metro/subway) nude and doing some field sports, also nude. Worth checking out!

From Rock Star to naturist : From Beau Brummell to ‘John Smith’.

Last October, Harry Leistone, our photographer, dreamed up a back story wherein a rock star, John Smith (you can’t get a more ‘everyman‘ name than that in English) had recorded a long playing record, a concept album and rock opera, called ‘Eden’.

In this ‘rock opera‘, the world, clothed since Adam and Eve ate the apple and suddenly knew they were naked (i.e The Book of Genesis in the Christian Bible), rediscovers its innocence and a sense of peace and harmony via naturism (or, at least, the non-sexualised naked state). Peace spreads across the world which becomes a huge Garden of Eden.

You’re with me so far?

Given the world we’ve inhabited since October, the election of Trump, the decision to press on with ‘Brexit’, a fracturing world punctuated with idiotic acts of mindless terrorism, the concept stands up quite well! Under our clothes, we’re all the same (one of two basic models) and, suitably unclothed, not so very far different from one another in our hopes, dreams, ambitions and aspirations. Peace might just reign, or be more achievable, if we were all naked, quite literally stripped of the uniforms of ‘power’ and need to subjugate one another.

Harry got some of our model friends to pose in roles, we took photos, I got to play a hippy, we mocked up covers to magazines and generally had a bit of fun -mostly clothed- in wearing some outlandish rock star/hippy clothes.

There was the publicity shots…

…cast in an ‘end of the 60s’ style.

The magazine covers…

…and the subsequent breakdown by John Smith, his creative genius and mental capacity destroyed by his drive to complete the double album.

He moves to Morocco with his girlfriend, turns to drugs and subsequently has a spiritual rebirth and decides to live an ‘Eden’ life rather than write about it. Which is the hook we would hang a bit of SL naturism on.

I’m not sure why we then abandoned the whole thing. Possibly the inability to make magazines look authentic. It certainly wasn’t ‘the concept’ itself, as daft and unhinged and wonderfully, deliciously mad as any rock opera or concept album ever issued. From the made up back story, we would move seamlessly to the real life sixties, Woodstock, for example (see the small b&w gallery below) when attitudes to social, communal nudity were changing fast. We’ve not published the SL photos shown above before.

We mentioned the entire idea, briefly, in a blog entry called the Wild Rock and Roll era. And then we moved on without pursuing it further, apart from a ‘naturist as rock star’ post I did in January called ‘Hendrix‘. Many elements of those blog posts had been cut and pasted from the original ‘John Smith’ posts we’d planned.

I’m bringing this up today because another of those ‘dandy rock and roll hero’ type suits Harry (or John Smith) used in the original idea came to my attention, with Carson Caiben at the Fab Free blog modelling it (in the context of a theatre visit).

It’s a free group gift from  Lara Augusta Carnelian.

And it has me wondering if there’s any appetite for a series of posts outlining ‘John Smith’s’ sojourn for enlightenment through naturism. Even if there isn’t, it reminded me that there are parallels between ‘John Smith’ abandoning a pop music career for naturism in Beau Brummel, a South African pop star who had minor hits in England. (not to be confused with San Francisco group The Beau Brummels).

You can read his story, in a pdf file, here (complete with numerous naturist photographs). And, indeed, 60s pop star and 70s naturist Beau Brummell’s suits don’t look so far removed from Lara’s free gift!

He also made a video called ‘Africa’s Naked Tribe’, which can be seen on youtube.

I’ve not decided yet, but there may be some mileage in the whole ‘John Smith’ back story just yet! In the meantime, click the links to read about a pioneer, perhaps the pioneer, of South African naturism.

Ella