Agde Memories No.3

My last posting on Agde memories reached the point where I’d made a public nude debut as far as the pool and back. I’m still some distance from being a confident naturist, The days were long, and Sylvia and I would be tired on our return to the apartment we were sharing. The following gallery paints a rather idyllic picture of apartment life and a round of lazy coffees and pillow fights. In reality it was decrepit, two teenaged girls finding out about a rather more low-rent existence than we were used to.

Hot water…sometimes. No air-con. A couple of camp beds and our ‘wardrobes’ were the suitcases we’d arrived with. But it was OK in the sense that we didn’t have to stay there for much of the day, it was really only for sleeping, or washing clothes -initially- that we returned to it.

Our day finished when we’d done the dishes and prepared for the next day, and we quickly learned that the washing machine went on to do tea towels, dish clothes etc, so by the second week, when the shutters went down, we’d actually strip naked in the cafe’s kitchen, throw our clothes in there, and do the last of the washing up while naked. We were still bringing a change of clothes for the walk back to the apartment at this point.Sylvia then decided that it was a great idea to wash our clothes, hang them up to dry in the tiny back yard area, and walk home nude. Then, the following morning, we could simply roll out of bed, have a shower, dry in the morning sun and walk nude back to work.

The kitchen after closing time? Yes, it was something very much like this.

Which is precisely what she did for the next week or so, while I still wandered back and forward in a T shirt and shorts. I could serve naked people all day, but still didn’t have an enormous amount of self-confidence about my own nudity.

Sylvia always seemed cooler and fresher for her nude walk to and from the cafe each day, while the sweat was trickling between my shoulder blades. It might have continued like this until a leaky bottle of olive oil dribbled into my bag one night, and my fresh clothes, for walking home in, were left swathed in oil. I could walk home wearing them, put on my still wet clothes out of the washing machine, or follow Sylvia’s lead. I followed Sylvia’s lead.

Walking home nude at midnight

You have to remember that, after dark, naturists often dress for dinner, and so naked bodies on the streets are rather rarer than they are by day. But there was something about the cover of darkness that gave me a little more confidence.

Once again, the photos above show a bustling Cap D’Agde, while in reality our near midnight walk was along much quieter, almost deserted streets. Almost anyone we encountered would be clothed, but because anyone we encountered was almost certainly naturist, no one blinked an eye. Besides, we found a route away from the main thoroughfares which meant we could get back to the apartment most nights without encountering a single person. We weren’t doing it to be coy. It was simply that taking the back streets was the most direct route to our apartment.

The cafe opened at 1000am, and we had to be there at 900am to set the tables and chairs out again and set the cutlery. The sun would be long up, and people moving around, naked, by the time we left for work, heading for cafes and breakfast, already making moves in the direction of the beach and so on. Agde was waking up to another naked day in paradise, and now I was part of it!

I surprised myself at how quickly, during that second week, that nudity became normal, comfortable and natural, and by now I was looking forward to our next day off. Of course, we still had to dress while serving coffees, croissants and baguettes. Right across the street from our cafe was a shop that sold sundresses, pares and such like. Having been paid for our first week I splashed out on a couple of sun dresses that were more comfortable than shorts. For one thing, they allowed me to go without underwear, and a cool breeze made working more comfortable with…certain parts free to that breeze!

By week two I’d enough confidence that I’d have happily served nude, inside the cafe or out on the terrace, but the proprietor insisted on clothes being worn, mainly for hygiene purposes, so a sundress, without underwear underneath, was the second best option.

By the time our second day off rolled around, I felt like a happy, confident, contented naturist, such was my rapid acceptance of the lifestyle. All thoughts of shame or embarrassment had evaporated.

Ella

Peer pressure (Agde Memories No.2)

One thing I’ve learned over the years with regards naturism or, indeed, any form of collective public nudity is how much peer pressure plays in getting someone to disrobe. From the Roskilde fun run, to coy, collective topless ‘hand bra’ shots on holiday, to the WNBRs, to Tunick shoots or even first time on a naturist beach, peer pressure often plays a role.

Last week I wrote about my first summer job in a naturist cafe in Cap D’Agde (consider this post to be ‘Agde Memories No.1), and how our day off at the end (strictly speaking, a Monday, the beginning of the week) allowed my cousin Sylvia and I to immerse ourselves in naturism.

Sylvia had previous experience of the lifestyle, I had none, so on our first day off we headed to the pool at the Heliopolis complex. It’s the large semi circular building(s) you see in many Agde photos.

The following photo isn’t me (we’re essentially in the pre-digital, pre-mobile phone days, so photography didn’t feature the entire holiday, and rather sadly, no photographic evidence of us exists on that holiday) but it’s the very pool where I would make my nude debut.

Back then, Agde hadn’t lost its innocence, it was a strictly naturist location, and the following photos capture images that would be in line with my memories of the place. Innocent naturism. No silicone, no genital piercings, no tattoos, no genital shaving. Possibly my outlook on naturism remains coloured by that first experience of the lifestyle.

 

Which brings us back to peer pressure.

There was a fair bit of communal nudity within the confines of our tatty apartment. No air con, hot nights, having worked ourselves into a lather during the clean up and wash down at closing time meant we’d come back, strip off and flop onto our respective camp beds. I’d always been an enthusiastic swimmer, so a bit of communal nudity in a changing room never bothered me, and didn’t bother me when it was Sylvia and myself in our apartment. The idea of public nudity was something else again, though.

Our first day off saw us striding towards the pool area, Sylvia nude, me clad in the bikini I’d specially bought for this working holiday.

Sylvia swam. Sylvia sunbathed. I sat on the sun lounger. And then I sunbathed in my bikini. Eventually I got as daring as I was going to dare to be, and undid the clasp of my bikini to let my back feel the full benefit of the sun.

And all the while Sylvia was gently reminding me that it was a naturist place. Some gentle pressure was being applied. The day was getting hotter, I was beginning to break out in a sweat and that pool did look inviting! And so…with a great big lump in my throat, I managed to slide off the bikini briefs while remaining seated on the pool lounger.

It’s fine, I would tell myself. It’s only my bottom now on display in public. No biggie! Stay calm Ella and enjoy your book!

I was positioning myself such that even though men and women were walking up and down next to my sun lounger, nothing important was on display. And I was bare in public, I’d remind myself. I was exceptionally brave, I told myself. But that sun was damned hot and I needed to cool down quickly. Eventually it got too much.

A dash to the pool side, everyone, the whole world, watching me as I attempted to reach the water with as much of me hidden as I could possibly achieve, like these ladies below. Everyone was staring!!!!!!!

 

Actually, no one gave two hoots for me, but that wasn’t how I saw it at the time. The water was terrific, though and I stayed in for ages, quite contentedly swimming around and innocently oblivious to the fact that anyone wearing a pair of swim goggles could see all of me anyway.

The run back to the lounger was equally half-covered, red-faced with embarrassment,  and sure the eyes of the world (in reality, no one) was looking at me. Again, refer to the gallery above…

But I was now a naturist! Not a very confident one, admittedly, but small steps and all that…

To a small degree, I felt cajoled into it, gentle peer pressure from Sylvia. And I guess that’s the same for many people in Tunick shoots, WNBRs or even mad (perhaps a little drunken) midnight skinny dips on holiday. ‘Hey, let’s all get naked and hit the…. (Tunick shoot/WNBR/sea at midnight/delete as necessary)’. Great idea, says someone else, and the next thing you know you’re willingly or reluctantly signed up for some form of public nudity. And you don’t want to be the shrinking violet, the one who baulks at the idea and seems afraid. You go along with it. Sometimes that’s the way into public nudity in a naturist sense. There’s strength in numbers.

I’ll subsequently pick this up in another of my postings that recall Cap D’Agde, and my discovery of naturism, next week.

 

Ella

 

 

 

Naturist groceries and the sarong

It’s hard to say how genuinely naturist the photo above is, but I’m going to say that it is naturist, rather than some sort of voyeur/exhibitionist photo. Why? Supermarkets in holiday locations often frown upon customers in swimwear, let alone just wrapped in a pareo/sarong (which are often diaphanous and show almost everything anyway). At some naturist locations, shopping nude is acceptable, but some naturists still put on something for shopping.

 

I confess that, like the lady in the very first photo, I do throw something on in a naturist supermarket. Mainly because the building is often air-conditioned, so a little cover up helps with the chill that might otherwise be experienced.

I love my sarongs! So practical in so many ways! They also look great on guys! While conventional wisdom suggests they’re for the younger, rugged, handsome male, I actually think they look fabulous on more mature guys as well As the next small gallery shows, there’s lots of ways to wear one as well.

 

 

We’re a naturist blog, of course, so ‘clothes’ aren’t uppermost in my thoughts when blogging, most of the time. I will make an exception for sarongs and pares, though. Whenever I see one on any of the SL blogs, I have to have it! My RL naturist suitcase usually has about 4 of these that go on holiday with me and, even so, I’ll often come home with a couple more.

Ella says that a sarong or pareo can also look terrific on SL & RL males, regardless of age

Back to where this post began, with supermarket shopping in the nude. While supermarkets aren’t two a penny in SL, there’s a couple of them around, and they make for a great backdrop to capture an essence of your SL naturist holidaying experience.

Ella

The naturist cafe

The post on ‘aqua gym’ got me thinking of how well organised French Naturism is. It may be ‘camping’, in a sense, but it’s very luxurious camping. Even when we used to drive to sites in a car and with little more than a two person tent and a gas camping stove, we were amazed how inclusive it all was. We weren’t made to feel like ‘poor relations’ by those in motorhomes (RV’s, for those of you in north America) or extensive, superbly appointed tents.

Campsite facilities are second to none, and all of the facilities one might find in a typical French village are generally in place, from a shop selling beautiful fresh fruit and veg, to a patisserie selling freshly baked croissants in the morning and warm bread for your meals later in the day. Many also have terrific on-site restaurants.

In another of those happy coincidences that grab SLN from time to time, Harry has been out doing a photoshoot with model Esme, in a patisserie!

We do use Bitcacora Viajera’s website to locate some fabulously photogenic sims for photoshoots, and it was from there that Harry discovered the Indigo Patisserie sim. In keeping with the remit of this blog, Esme modelled as she might at a French naturist campsite. Truthfully, she might have had a few more clothes on than she does in this terrific set of photos! The food on display is exactly the sort of fare you might reasonably expect to find in any French patisserie, textile or naturist.

This got me thinking that while I’ve talked about my own entry into naturism, I have never actually done one of our stock-in-trade themes, that of replicating it in Second Life.

And so…I rounded up Harry, who rounded up the same male model, Guillaume, as he used in the Esme shoot…and off I went to the patisserie to re-enact my first foray into naturism 22(!) years ago now.

For those who don’t know, my cousin and I secured waitressing jobs for a summer in Cap D’Agde, a naturist resort in France. Then, it was the future of naturism, an entire naturist town with shops, accommodation, pools, recreational facilities, its own police station. Now, its reputation has diminished, or advanced, depending on your point of view. Today it’s a magnet for freaks, libertines, exhibitionists, wife-swappers and such like, and has no real place being regarded as ‘genuinely naturist’. Oh, there are pockets of it where, particularly by day, it can still be a family, naturist location, but at night, and even by day in certain parts, it is apparently possible to witness public sex involving multiple people, oral sex, penetrative sex, all taking place in the dunes in daylight, while after dark it just resembles a human zoo.

Back then, aged 18, bookish and never having had a boyfriend (sad but true!) it was an eye-opener to turn up, dressed, for work serving in a cafe full of naturists. On the upside, my French was pretty good and despite long, 12 hour days, one day off per week, the work not too taxing. Exhausting, but not taxing. Tips were good, but Sylvia, my cousin, and I would walk out at night like zombies after a full day on our feet, and collapse into our beds in a a small, barely furnished apartment.

Sylvia, a year older, more worldly-wise and with a little experience of naturism at home in the Netherlands, kept on all that first week about how on our day off, we could spend the day lying naked under the sun and recharge our batteries. I had no intention of doing such a thing!

At work we were, as I say, dressed, mostly because the proprietor was rightly keen on food hygiene. The food prep area would see is in hair nets to ensure no stray hair in food, and in the heat of Agde to ensure no one was dripping sweat in the food either. Shorts and a singlet vest were the order of the day, and an apron (see photo above).

Ella doesn’t know where to look!

It was strange, very strange, to be taking coffees out onto the terrace to a variety of singles, couples and families, all of whom would be nude! I didn’t know where to look, but by the end of the first couple of days I think I’d seen all there was to see! Back then, of course, pubic hair was still in fashion, genital piercings just coming into fashion, so shaved genitals (on either sex) and a variety of piercings (on either sex) weren’t common in the way they are even in mainstream naturism now.

One or two of the girls who worked with us would go topless while serving, but the proprietor insisted that shorts and apron stayed on.

Below, I’ve added a small gallery of the sort of naturist dining locations typically found at naturist campsites and locations…

Several of the above certainly evoke memories of my time in Agde.

It’s also important to give a sense of the more wholesome nature of Agde naturism as it was back then, and the next small gallery is intended to illustrate that…

Everything looks very typically mainstream naturist, doesn’t it?

Let’s reflect on the sort of zoo Agde has become. Below, a gallery which shows the more exhibitionist side of Agde, the sort of circus freak show that comes to town as the sun goes down. Remember, these are tame photos. It’s a relatively easy task to find photos of all manner of wild, public, sexual encounters from Agde on the net. Not the remit of this blog, nor something of which I approve, so none of those types of photos are included.

Neither have I included photos of the likes of leather-clad males leading leather-clad females around on leashes. While the behaviour may be ‘consensual’, it has nothing -absolutely nothing- to do with genuine naturism and nothing to do with creating the mind-set for society wherein females and males are equal. Submission and domination has no place in naturism either.

Contemporary Agde style clothing is also wholly possible in Second Life

In a subsequent companion piece to this blog entry, I’ll try to do an SL replication of what happened when, at the end of a long week, we did get our day off and my first experience of naturism finally happened.

Ella

 

 

Aquagym

French naturist campsites are exceptionally well organised for sporting activities, none more so than in and around the pool, where you can find aqua gym exercise classes going on most days. And if memory serves me correctly, in the years BC (before children) when we used these sites they were very popular.

Some French campsites are also fitted out with superb pool facilities, including water slides, and land-based yoga classes will always feature strongly too.

Some yoga will be organised, while others prefer a ‘free range’ approach.

 

Within SL, many of the same activities are possible. Below, our models relax after some aquarobics, do some free-range yoga on the beach, and indulge in an organised yoga class within SL.

Ella

edited to add some more aquagym/yoga photos…

World Naked Gardening Day (a preview)

 

World Naked Gardening Day is just three weeks away, on Saturday May 6th.

There are dozens of exceptionally photogenic gardens scattered around SL, so there’s never been a better time to celebrate naked gardening than by taking your avatar out onto the grid and capturing a few photos, even if they’re only for your own album.

Remember the date! Well be doing an extensive post featuring RL and SL naked gardening scenes.

 

Ella

Happy Easter

Not really our usual type of  photo, and little to do with naturism, per se, but the photo above made me laugh.

I know several clubs and resorts will be opening up their shops and cafes this weekend, as the naturist season is well and truly declared ‘open’. Like you, I hope for another excellent summer’s naturist activities in and out of SL. It finally feels as though the long winter is behind us!

Ella