Liberte, egalite, fraternite et nudité!

I reported last week on a public beach in France, used by textiles and naturists, being closed to accommodate the security of the Saudi royal family.

It now transpires there has been a public demonstration, by naturist swimmers, at the beach’s closure.


I suggested, last week, that the French approach to ‘egalite, fraternite and liberte’ might be waning. I was wrong and I retract that statement. The spirit of the French Revolution is alive and well. It seems that it’s more a case of liberte, egalite, fraternite et nudite! Vive la France!





Facebook nudity

I’ve no idea how long a video from a naturist group in France will last on Facebook, but it seems to me that the company is fighting a losing battle against ‘skin’. They just haven’t acknowledged it yet.




In the video, a young woman appears to be providing instruction into the best way to use a pareo.

(I found the video on a blog called Naturiste Lyon France, by the way. Yes, I do keep up with some websites that will highlight events happening in the world of RL naturism, events often gven their own SL twist for the purposes of this blog).

Clearly you don’t need any assistance putting a pareo on in SL, but there’s a rather gorgeous dollarbie at M&M fashion on the Marketplace.








Heroes of Naturism : Christiane Lecocq 1911-2015



Christiane Lecocq was regarded as the doyenne of the naturist movement. With her husband, Albert, she founded the world’s first naturist holiday resort in France and spearheaded the International Naturist Federation, an organisation that now has some 16 million members in 38 countries.

She was born on April 6, 1911 in Tourcoing, northern France, and grew up at a time when women were beginning to expose their ankles and arms, but otherwise remained strictly covered up. Naturism, defined by the International Naturist Federation as “a lifestyle in harmony with nature, expressed through social nudity, and characterised by self-respect of people with different opinions and of the environment”, was not invented in France.

Nude bathing had been traditionally practised in Scandinavia and Russia, but it was in Germany that an ideology of social nudity, known as Freikorperkultur (free body movement), originated in the 1870s. The practice was introduced into the rest of Europe, including France and Britain, in the 1920s.

Christiane first came across the practice in 1932, when she was invited to join the Club Gymnique du Nord, a sports club at Fort Seclin near Lille, where members played sports in the nude. It was there that she met her future husband Albert Lecoqc. They married in 1933 but for many years had to keep their naturist activities clandestine. There were no naturist camps or beaches: “We went to a place in the cliffs near Rouen where we were able to strip naked in secret at high tide,” she recalled.

For the Lecocqs naturism was about much more than nude sunbathing and skinny-dipping. It was a way of life: they did not drink or smoke, followed what would now be called a macrobiotic diet, and promoted “social nudity” as offering health and social benefits to people of all classes.

In 1944, during the German occupation, the Lecocqs founded the Club du Soleil France, an underground organisation dedicated to promoting what it called “family” and social naturism, with the aim of establishing naturist clubs in every city in France. The following year they opened a Club du Soleil at Carrieres-sur-Seine, which became an important centre for meetings as the movement grew.

In 1948 they founded the French Naturist Federation and the following year published the first edition of La Vie au Soleil, now the world’s leading naturist magazine. In 1950 they opened the world’s first naturist holiday resort, the Centre Helio-Marin (“centre of sun and sea”) at Montalivet, in the Gironde. Despite initial local opposition, the CHM Montalivet has grown from a simple makeshift camp to the most important naturist colony in Europe, attracting some 20,000 visitors per year. In 1951 the Lecocqs created the International Naturist Federation.

Lecocq continued to promote the cause after her husband’s death in 1969, regularly attending the General Assembly of the French Federation of Naturism, of which she was honorary president. She continued to follow the naturist way of life until she was more than 100 years old, by which time France had become the world’s leading naturist destination, spawning an industry said to be worth 250 million euro to the French economy.

In later years, however, Lecocq felt that the movement had lost some of the idealism of its founders. “Initially, we wanted to live in harmony with nature, to open ourselves to others, to pay attention to our diet,” she recalled – but the development of naturism as mass tourism meant that that spirit had largely gone.

Another one of those heroes you might not know of, but a vital figure in the development of naturism around the globe as we know it today. Christian Lecocq has passed away, aged 104.

We salute all she did for naturism for several decades.


Heroes of Naturism : France Guillain


The Naturist Living Show present an audio interview from July 2008 with France Guillain, the author of Le Bonheur d’être nu. Le Naturisme, un art de vivre. (The pleasure of being nude. Naturism, an art of living.) France has written many books on naturist health that have sold millions of copies throughout Europe. She has also shared her knowledge and experience through hundreds of articles, radio interviews and televisions shows. She currently teaches healthy living at conferences, seminars and through naturist retreats.

Ms. Guillain shares with some of her philosophies about naturist health, child rearing, sexuality and gender roles. She also talks about her fascinating life raising 10 children (5 adopted) as naturists. Finally, we discuss naturism in France and at her home club, Heliomonde.

Author of the book ‘Le Bonheur d’être nu, le naturisme, un art de vivre’ (The Pleasure of being naked, naturism, an art of life), I urge you to listen to the podcast (via the youtube link) to get an insight into her remarkable holistic approach to naturism, where the lifestyle isn’t just about being naked, but embraces a whole set of values that most of us involved in genuine naturism share.

You probably won’t have heard of her, but her views are fascinating.


Je suis Charlie

By now, you’ll all be aware of the horrific events in Paris, France, in which twelve people died, most of them journalists from the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine based in the city.

All of us who are Brits are, covertly or overtly, Francophiles. We admire our Gallic cousins. Their weather, their wine, their cheeses, their lifestyle. They, in turn, admire Britain, to the extent that France’s second city (in terms of the number of French domiciled within it) is actually London.

Tonight, we all stand united against those who would attack our freedom of speech.

All of us in the UK will almost certainly have learnt the French language, above any other, in school. This, the language of one of our nearest neighbours, gives us a bond with our friends across ‘La Manche’ -the English Channel- that divides us  from continental Europe. While politics sometime divides us in the UK from the rest of Europe, tonight we are united. Tonight, ce soir nous sommes tous Charlie. We are all Charlie.


Tonight, we thank President Obama for his support in the fight to unearth, and bring to justice, those who murdered, allegedly in the name of Islam. While I consider him to be one of America’s great presidents, I recognise there are those who disagree. Some fear Obamacare, his colour, and his alleged secretive ‘Muslim’ past. The difference is that those who disagree with me won’t challenge that view with bullets, only with words. Which is how it should be. However vehemently others may disagree with my view on President Obama, they will accept my right to express it. Without bullets. Those of us in the UK, in the US, in continental Europe, recognise and accept freedom of expression. We have not been poisoned.

(Edited: originally this post contained an image of some of the events in Paris during the past week. The brother of a policeman slain during this murderous attack has spoken of his grief at the photographs spread around the world. In respect of his view, and that of the family, I’ve edited the post to remove that image, which I originally included due to its impact, and the fact that it perfectly illustrated what was wrong, what was inhumane, what was evil about the events. I got that wrong, and I’ve moved to remove it on reading the policeman’s brother’s words. This is why I leave the blogging, in the main, to Ella & Pookes: such errors of judgement don’t happen on their shift. My apologies. Howie)
Today, even the lowest common denominator ‘rags’ of the British press have the tone right. The photograph from today, Thursday’s, ‘Sun’ (UK) newspaper, shows allegedly Al-Qaeda terrorists seconds from shooting a French policeman, believed to be Muslim himself, to death. It is an image that should horrify all of us, but frighten none on us. It simply unifies us against a horrific, medieval world view that, mark my words, will be defeated, should it take the length of 2015 or the 21st century.

I would call on all people, whether they call themselves Christian, Muslim, Jew, or any other religion, to declare their opposition to this sort of action.

Tonight, today, we are all Charlie. Tonight, I am Charlie. Tonight, I hope you, too, are Charlie.

Howie Lamilton




S’il vous plaît, pas de nudité. Nous sommes Français!*

I picked up this story in The Independent newspaper today.

Essentially, France is in uproar over a children’s book, Tous a Poil (Everybody naked) that depicts (drawn) nudity. By ‘uproar’, I mean a little known book until the hand-wringers and conservatives get a sniff of it, after which it becomes one of Amazon France’s best selling titles.

And the hand-wringers, the loons and conservatives are getting their welded-on knickers in a twist about it, led by Jean Francois Cope, President of the UMP political party. Quite why isn’t clear, other than he’s hitching his wagon to a conservative, right-wing train.



Essentially, as you turn the pages, different professions strip off and finally (see above) go for a collective naked swim. The policeman gets naked, the school teacher gets naked, the baker gets naked.

And so what?

The final scene probably shows an accurate reflection of social nudity. Smiling faces, imperfect bodies, everyone different.

There appears to be a train of thought that Mr Cope has an agenda here, using it to (inaccurately) suggest there’s some sort of socialist agenda to undermine French family values. Excuse me? France has long had an easy relationship, in real life, in the cinema, with the naked body. You can hardly blame recent socialist governments for appearing to embrace the naked body. Unless you’re a right wing politician with an agenda of sorts.

From what I can gather, Mr Cope’s remarks about the book ‘making his blood boil’ have been widely mocked in the French press, and rightly so.

The blog of Clementine Beauvais probably gives the best description of this moral crisis in France, to the point of being laugh-out-loud funny at the hilarity of Mr. Cope’s (and other conservatives) views.

While researching the background into this storm in a teacup, I discovered the following hilarious cartoon depicting Mr. Cope and an elderly couple.


Come on now, people! Books, cinema, art, the news are filled to overflowing with graphic images of death and destruction. I find it nauseating and depressing that ‘the news’ can sometimes be reduced to the role of officially sanctioned snuff movie preceded by a warning and a voyeuristic intent, particularly if those doing the ‘snuffing’, or killing(s), don’t meet with our ‘democratic’, Western agenda. We’ll never see a European or American soldier killing anyone. We will see Africans or Arabs do it all the time, as if to reinforce the agenda that we’re right, they’re wrong, and we should all follow the political agenda being sought in our own countries.

Ultimately, the book shows a few drawn willies, vaginas, boobs. Those depicted are (accurately) shoown as having enormous grins on their faces as they indulge in social nudity. Aimed at children, it is going to demystify the naked body and show social nudity as normal. These are values we, of course, wholeheartedly endorse at SLN. These are values we wholeheartedly endorse in SL. It’s possible to be naked for purposes other than sex, in RL or in SL.


*the French title to this post (hopefully) reads ‘Please, no nudity! We are French!’