Naked men, naked women

My function, as editor of SLN, has sometimes been to explore avenues I’d previously been unaware of. I’ve written, before, how I’m not overly excited by nudist websites where photographs are the focus.

To me, the textual content of a website is the primary source of interest. Thus: you’ve been to Koversada in Croatia…tell me what restaurants I should try. What’s worth seeing in the area? Even if it means putting on stupid clothes in that heat.

But I’ve been recently going around numerous tumblr websites dedicated to ‘the nudist’ on the basis that they inform my decisions regarding SLN. If ‘body painting’ seems to be a thing in real life naturism, shouldn’t we cover that? If pubic hair, circumcision, genital piercings, swingers or anything else are vexing RL naturists, shouldn’t SL naturism reflect that? Well, of course.

What I see on those websites do have an impact on what SLN covers.

So here’s the deal. You look at a tumblr archive. What’s the deal, in this context?

naked men naked women
What do you see? Tits? Cocks? Shaved? Unshaved? Big cocks? Small cocks? Big tits? Small tits? Shaved? Hairy? Fat? Thin? Gay? Straight? Black? White?

You’ve got it. Eventually it all bends into one, and the focus goes back on ‘people’, not their generally accepted ‘private’ parts. Eventually, you’re thinking ‘that’s a gorgeous beach, where is it?’

Eventually you’re thinking ‘I need to think about booking holiday there, wherever it is’.

We become more than the total of our genitalia.

Congratulations. You’ve ceased to think like someone surfing ‘porn’ and begun to think like a true naturist. It’s only when you look at it in a ‘tumblr archive’ way that the idea of ‘naked’ and ‘private parts’ slips away to become ‘people’. And real life naturism is like that. Eventually ( not a long period of time from your debut. An hour? Two hours?) you’ve stopped even thinking of people as being naked. You’ve begun to see them as people.

Admit it. You’ve stopped looking at the photos -too much to focus on- and begun to look at the words -what people are saying.

That’s just what RL naturism is about. Judging people according to their words, their personality, not how big a cock or tits they have.

If you’ve not experienced RL naturism then look at the photos above for a second, then look away. Can you describe anyone in the photos? No. It fades into one large mass.

And the RL naturist beach is like that. You aren’t focussing on an individual. You can’t think of an individual. Some are bigger, smaller, younger, older, more tanned, less tanned than their neighbour. In conversation, you’ll focus on what they say, not how they look. Reflect, too, on whether any individual in the photos might look back at you. No, you aren’t that beautiful, attractive, gorgeous. You’re a human being with bits in the right places.

So what are you waiting for? 2015 is the year you’re embracing naturism. 2015 is the year when you cast off the ill-judged concerns of textilism.


Happy Hannukah

We pride ourselves, here on SLN, on being all-inclusive. Gay, straight, black, white, we’re all one big family of virtual naturism, and we do not differentiate between peoples.

And that’s no different when it comes to Diwali, or Milad un Nabi (aka Mawlid, the Prophet’s birthday, January 3rd, next) or Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, which began tonight.



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Ofra, a former conscripted member of the IDF, lights the first candle of Hannukkah


At SLN, our only concern is that you embrace, or are a supporter of naturism and commune with the wonderful world God/Allah/or whoever your chosen deity is, provided.

As as result, I invited my Jewish, Israeli friend Ofra over to ‘dinner’ tonight at my place and we lit the first candle of Hannukkah. (well, the truth is, if I’m online and any of my SL friends wish to pop over, it’s an all-embracing open house. Ofra happened to be online, so the invite seemed appropriate).

It reminded me of a time when I did work for a Jewish couple and they partly paid me in an array of sweet foods while we discussed the Jewish people’s place and plight in the world. A lovely couple, whose parents’ had escaped Germany a couple of months before World War 2 broke out. A time of hate.

That time of hate goes on, towards the Jews, towards the people of Gaza, and internecine feuding within Islam. You’ll have read the news today. 132 children and nine staff dead in a pointless, idiotic attack in Peshawar, Pakistan. Even the Taliban in Afghanistan are describing the attack as ‘unIslamic’.

I’m not a particularly religious person, but Ofra offered a small prayer to those who so needlessly lost their lives in Pakistan today, typing it in local chat in Hebrew. I didn’t understand the words or, indeed, even the characters of the alphabet she typed in, but I understood the sentiment.

At this time of year, שלום עליי אדמות, רצון טוב לכל הגברים, or السلام على الأرض، والنية الحسنة لجميع الرجال. Peace on Earth, goodwill to all men. I hope Google Translate has got that right for me.

I’m thrilled whenever Ella comes back with some stats from the blog. We’ve had ‘x’ readers in Israel, ‘x’ readers in Saudi Arabia, ‘x’ readers in Iraq, ‘x’ readers in Pakistan. It seems, to me, that a common interest in naturism, real or virtual, unites all those viewers/readers of the blog. And I’m proud of that, even though my role is kind of minimal in its publication. The kudos should go to Ella and Pookes in producing something that, briefly, virtually, unites us all. A celebration of the human body, a celebration of humanity.

Let’s ensure that 2015 can be a year when we all, Christian, Muslim, Jew, black, white, gay, straight, can begin to row back from the horrible, hateful world we’ve inhabited in 2014. Shalom Salaam.

A Shalom Salaam flag, integrating the LGBT rainbow

One of the delights of SL is that I have met and befriended people from around the globe, of different faiths, colour and sexual orientation. I’d not have had that luxury in my life without SL. It’s a thrill and a delight to see those people online and say ‘hello, how’s this wonderful thing called life?’. It has enriched me as a person in the real world.

Would I, sitting in the UK, have had a chance to meet the likes of Ofra without SL? Doubtful. When January 3rd rolls around, I shall also offer my best wishes to my Muslim friends in SL celebrating the Prophet’s birthday. Without SL would I have met them? Equally doubtful.

We’re all on this earth for a short time. I’m closer to my ‘exit stage left, pursued by a bear’ point than I am to my entrance to it. I embrace the wonderful diversity of humanity in real life too, sharing my real life naturism with gay & straight people, people of different faiths, people of different colour. I am enriched by them being in my life. I am enriched for having Hanukkah explained to me by a fellow SL user with real life experience of it.

When The Beatles were at their peak it was said that in some eastern bloc countries their message of love, spread by samizdat tapes, was undermining communism. Let us hope that, within SL, naturist or not, the same message is being spread around the globe. A message of love. Not a message of hate, death and division. Happy Hanukkah, everyone.

Howie Lamilton

Single males

Single males have, not unjustifiably sometimes, a bit of a negative reputation in naturism.

They’re sometimes the voyeur types hiding in the dunes with camera (or penis) in hand. They’re the sad, ugly guys who can’t get themselves a girl. They’re the gay men using nude beaches as a pick-up location. And naturism, without ever being homophobic, we’re too laid back to pass judgement on others’ sexuality, but well prepared to criticise displays of sexual activity on naturist beaches, be that of the gay or heterosexual variety-the last link targets doggers and swingers performing sex acts on a naturist beach- does carry a patina of anti-single men attitudes. This is particularly apparent when single men might try to join a naturist club. There’s good, logical thinking for disbarring single males, and that’s to keep a balance of the sexes in place. Men are, by nature, more likely to happily strip off in public than women, and so there’s a constant fight to ensure that a balance between the sexes remains.

Of course there’s no bar on ‘single’ (i.e. unaccompanied) males going to a naturist beach, and it’s a familiar sight to see a male arrive alone, lay out his towel, and then sunbathe without bothering anyone. Gay? Straight? It hardly matters, as he won’t be indulging in any sexual behaviour, of any type, to irritate and annoy others. He sunbathes, he swims, and he goes home.

Single females, too, are often apparent in real life naturist settings. Work ends, and they head to the beach to squeeze in a couple of hours tanning before the evening meal. Wives, widows, single women, schoolgirls reluctantly heading home to do homework, you’ll encounter them all sunning solo, without annoying anyone, without being harassed by anyone.

It’s slightly different, I have to say, in SL. Pop yourself down on a towel in world and wait for the 2-3 minutes before a ‘hi!’ IM pops up from an avatar you can’t see…and can’t even see if you pull up a mini-map to try and identify their location.

It can rapidly go downhill from there. ‘Nice tits’.

It doesn’t happen like that in RL naturism. Women will be left well alone, not subjected to sexual harassment. Which is, quite often, the behaviour all too apparent from some male avatars whether they’re clothed or not!

Me? I’ll talk to anyone, but if the conversation has ‘nice tits’ or similar in it, you can bet your bottom dollar you’re muted instantly without response.



men together3_001b


A rare sight in SL (in clothed or unclothed settings) is friendship between male avatars.

In RL naturism we’ll also see gaggles of people arrive for a bit of tanning, often after school gets out. A mum with her children. A teacher just finished for the day? An elderly woman with her middle-aged daughter and sometimes teenage grand-daughter turn up. A couple of guys might arrive on a moped to grab a quick swim before homework, a night out, football training, an evening job.

They, too, are ‘single’ males, except there are two of them together, but they never seem ‘seedy’ or suspect in their behaviour. The naturist beach is a means to an end. Here, we see another difference between behaviour in real and virtual settings. A couple of naturist men can turn up on the beach. Gay? Hetero? Who cares? Their behaviour is not likely to be sexual and even if there is a display of gay love, two of them kissing for example, no one will bat an eyelid any more than they would kissing between a male and female. A bit of petting…gay or straight…would be a different together4_001b

A couple of male avatars sitting together practically anywhere in SL is much less likely to occur. Male avatars rarely make friends with male avatars. It just looks ‘too gay’. Not that anyone has said as much to me, but my observations suggest that  male avatars aren’t likely to strike up ‘hi’ conversations from distance in the likelihood that the other guy is an interesting kind of guy, judging by his profile.

Fellas, I’m saying to you, don’t be afraid to start up conversations with other male avatars.



Die Berliner Mauer, FKK und ein Wiederaufbau der ideologischen Grenzen*



"Berliner Mauer" in Berlin-Spandau

Signs set into the pavement show exactly where the Berlin Wall sliced the city in two.

* Blog post title reads, in German, The Berlin Wall, naturism and the rebuilding of ideological borders

Twenty five years ago, next week,  The Berlin Wall began to fall, quite literally, and thousands of Germans from both sides of the divided city spilled through it. Even though I was a child, I recall my parents watching the TV in amazement as ‘The Iron Curtain’ was dismantled over the next momentous year or so.

Of course, the dismantling process of the Soviet Bloc had begun before November 10th. Poland had begun the domino effect as recently as August 1988, as it sought to wriggle free of Soviet control. Other Warsaw Pact countries followed suit. Hungary had begun removing its barbed wire border fence with Austria, effectively meaning those in the communist east could walk straight into the democratic west unhindered. But it was on a chilly November night, 25 years ago, the symbol of Europe’s division came down.

Other countries’ revolutions (largely peaceful) would follow from there. With the great symbol of division between east & west gone, the game was up.

Wismarer Bucht, FKK-Strand Ostsee, Sonnenbad

Two images of east German naturism, pre-1989 (source : wikipedia)

Behind the wall, life was very strictly regulated in East Germany. There were few freedoms, and people’s actions were controlled by the secret police, the Stasi. Because of this, naturism (‘FKK ‘, freikorperkultur or ‘free body culture’) was massively popular and remains so.

You can get a sense of how and why the FKK movement became so popular in East Germany here, in a (UK) Indedpendent newspaper report from 2009. In a way, naturism was one of people’s few freedoms, and they embraced it in a huge way.


Since the fall of the wall there’s been something of a mini-industry in books that have attempted to explain the movement’s appeal. You can also find a couple of videos here of archived TV footage (from the MDR channel) in which a female TV reporter, fully nude herself, interviews German naturists who are totally relaxed about being on TV naked. The one here (also listed in the previous link) is specifically about east German naturism, filmed in 1978.

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Since then it has seemed as if that political earthquake that led to freedoms for millions who grew up under communism has, rather than shatter old certainties, seen them coalesce in different ways. The ideological border of communism has been replaced by a world oddly less free, and more intolerant, than it was 25 years ago.

 I know you’re thinking that you know what I’m thinking. ISIL. Islamic fundamentalism.

Well, yes I am, and no I’m not. They’re easy targets as pillars of intolerance. I could probably reel of pages on what I find to be abhorrent about Islam compared to the paragraph or so which would cast it in positive light. But I could do exactly the same thing for Christian fundamentalism.

 The issue is why is the world an increasingly intolerant place? In the last 25 years we’ve seen people commit vile inhumane acts on one another, a decrease in manners and patience, an increase in not being able to tolerate the views of others, be it in naturism, in aspects of religion or anything else. It’s all rather depressing that what might have seemed like a new, more liberal world 25 years ago has turned into a more conservative place, with the views of others not being allowed to thrive within their own boundaries. Some research will show that, where East Germany’s widespread embracing of the FKK lifestyle saw thousands bathe and sun themselves nude on the Baltic coast and around lakes, unhindered, 25 years ago, reunification with the west has shown an increase in intolerance to the lifestyle. Indeed, shortly after the fall of the Wall, and West Germans began holidaying in the east, the extent of naturism shocked them to the extent German media began referring to Höschenkrieg – the Panty War. In the home of naturism, where naturism was widespread in the eastern half, the Ossi’s (the Easterners) suddenly found their bare beaches would require labelling, to that everyone would know where they stood on the issue.

Twenty years later, the Usedom beach near the German/Polish border would also become the scene of a small naturist ‘war’ over the right to bare arms…and everything else 🙂



Naturism has its own language. Mini-ten is a game played exclusively by naturists, for example, and it’s essentially mini tennis played with not so much a racquet as a boxed like ‘glove’ racket called a ‘thug’. It was devised in the 1930s to permit a tennis-like experience on a cut down court, as many clubs wouldn’t have had the space to fit in full sized tennis courts.

And then there’s ‘textiles’. Clothes-wearers (on or off the beach), in other words.

And ‘cottontails’?

White bottoms. Textiles who convert to naturism while on holiday will display cottontail. They’ve been in the sun for a few days, tanning, before they’ve maybe summoned up enough courage to go totally bare, and find the skin is going to be paler than the bits already exposed.

cottontail_001b cottontail3_001b cottontailed


By necessity, even experienced naturists find themselves ‘cotton tailed’ on occasion. You can find beaches, close to home, where topless sunbathing is permitted, but not full nudity. And so naturists of many years experience can sometimes go off on holiday with cottontails in evidence. The look is easy to replicate in SL, as ‘tan line’ tattoos can be applied to the avatar. In the top photos I’ve added a tan line tattoo layer to show that I’ve had bikini briefs on for my sunbathing. There’s also another tan line for boobs as well. You can find them scattered around the grid, sometimes free, sometimes with a nominal charge applied, and there’s a range of similar tan lines on the SL Marketplace.



Vintage Season : Adam and Eve (part 2)

Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

We are taught that, originally, the act of being naked was in the Garden of Eden was not ‘sinful’. But on disobeying God -the sin of eating the apple, the fall from Grace- Adam and Eve suddenly became aware they were naked and clothed themselves in fig leaves.

I’m not going to get into a theological discussion on what all of that means. What I am going to argue that it’s only on thinking that sin is involved does nakedness become something ‘shameful’.

Naturism separates the learned sin or shame or embarrassment we learn and are taught from a young age, literally strips  away that learned condition and leaves us back, without shame, with the state of being nude.

I’ve said before that I’m not a church-goer. That’s not to diminish anyone else’s faith system or try to attack it.

I simply think that, in Genesis, the ‘cover up’ arises because suddenly nudity is equated to sex. In genuine naturism nudity does not equate with sex. We quickly learn that there are two basic models of humanity. One has a penis, the other a vagina, both are beautiful and cease to become a focus. We focus on the person, rather than what lies beneath their clothes -the clothed state being one that can often lead to sinful, impure thoughts. How often do we hear phrases like ‘he has a nice firm bum in those jeans’ or ‘she really fills out that sweater’? Yes, we’re focussing on what lies beneath in a sexual way.

Stripped of our clothes we can see what lies beneath. Am I going to focus on the size of that guy’s penis? It may be a whopping 8 inch long thing, but does it make that man? No. He may be interesting as a human being. He may be shallow. I will judge him, very quickly, on that element of his existence and be drawn to a man with a fierce intellect, great conversational skills, life experience or whatever else is going. His penis size is the least interesting thing about him.

And it works in the opposite direction too. A huge pair of boobs or a ripe, round bottom may be the elements the media fixates on in the 21st century, aspects which are reinforced as a female’s defining attributes. My naturist friends include elderly folk whose ‘sexuality’ is none too apparent (within a media regulated framework of what is ‘sexuality’). They’re shrivelled, wrinkled, paunchy….and wonderful company comfortable in their own skins.

In naturism judgement on a person is much, much less defined on physical attributes, much more on personality, much more on the person.

In naturism there is no ‘shame’. There is, instead, a full celebration of God’s greatest creations, man and woman in their natural state of being.

While not a church-goer, I do find that naturism makes me dwell on the diverse and wonderful nature of our planet, actually dwell on the idea of some sort of Divine plan. Lazing on a beach, totally naked, my thoughts are going to focus on nature. The sea, just a few steps away, will have fish swimming around my feet. A warm breeze, a cloud, the grains of sand I’m running through my fingers, the rustle of the trees behind me, my own body, the bodies of those around me equally ‘plugged in’ to nature and -it comes with the naturist territory- caring for that nature around us.

Shame? No. A gratitude to God for providing us with the skin we’re in and the world He created for us to enjoy in our personal Gardens of Eden? I think so.

And yet those who do profess to be Christian or Muslim or whatever will attempt to shame us about our own bodies. For me, being out in the world God created for us, with the richness of its flora and fauna, marvelling at His works, and ‘clothed’ in the manner in which He created us, is a wonderful thing. I feel no shame. I refuse to allow anyone to project their own body shame (particularly those waving a Bible or a Koran) onto me.

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Photos: dressed as nature created us, enjoying the pleasures of nature around us.



Second Life Naturist Vintage Season

SLN Vintage seasonbBefore we dive into our ‘festival of vintage naturism’, let me establish a few ground rules.

1. For many people, the 1990s will qualify as ‘vintage’. For our vintage-fest, though, I’m going to consider the 1970s as the cut off point for ‘vintage’. Why? In illustrating what is vintage naturism (with photography from both real life and Second Life), I want to concentrate on b&w photography. Yes, I know that there was colour back then, and even long before that, but I feel that in the main naturist magazines would have been largely b&w (the cover excepted, or an occasional colour shoot) in the pre-internet era, and thus that sort of photography does lend itself to having a patina of ‘vintage’ about it.

2. ‘Vintage’, in this series for the next few weeks, may therefore cover anything from Adam & Eve (the first nudists?) right through to….somewhere in the 1970s, when an increasing level of naturist acceptance was felt. I know you may disagree on the 70s as a date, and may willingly point me at a lot of post-war naturist club activity around the globe, but I can say from this viewpoint that the only real changes in naturism since the 70s have been an increased visibility of the lifestyle, and a ‘fracturing’ of a straightforward naturist lifestyle to encompass things like ‘swingers’ (Cap D’Agde for example).

3. The SL elements of this vintage fest will attempt to recreate certain periods in history where nudity was apparent, and how society responded to it. Ergo, God appears to Adam & Eve and says ‘get dressed’. Painters make the nude (particularly the female form) a recurring theme of their work. Missionaries imposing clothes on ‘uncivilised’ tribes in Africa. Sparta. Naked Olympians. And more. We may not get to cover all of that, but we’ll drop in on periods of history where nudity was evident, where nudity caused some kind of stir, and replicate that on SLN. And if I haven’t mentioned key landmarks in the history of naturism and visible social nudity above, feel free to comment on what you would like us to cover (particularly if it seems likely that we can also replicate the period within SL).

4. As many historical photographs are undated and lack a location, please don’t write to tell me I’m a decade or a border out! 🙂 If it looks contemporaneous to the period under discussion, I may include photos that aren’t strictly of the exact period.




Plus sized midnight skinnydipping

One observation from last week was the presence of a couple who didn’t appear to use the pool by day and would leave it almost to the stroke of midnight before emerging to take a ‘cover of darkness’ skinny dip, and a scene I would have reported there and then had I been doing the ‘Postcards’ series this time, because there’s a bit of a lovely ending to it.

The wife was very plus sized. Whether it was a bit of body consciousness, or whether it was a first time on a naturist holiday I’m not sure. I suspect the latter, because at midnight the first time I observed them, the wife emerged in a one-piece full body swimsuit, which is a naturist etiquette ‘no no’ at a naturist pool. We all accept there are people on the move where clothes are sometimes necessary -going out to the supermarket for example- so even experienced naturists sometimes need to dress sometimes. But you do not wear swimwear in a naturist pool. It is simply frowned size3_001b

Within the context of naturism you often encounter CMNF or CFNM (clothed male, nude female and clothed female, nude male, respectively. Something of a sub-genre in erotica/porn, where it is used to depict a sense of ‘humiliation’ in some instances, it’s a fact of naturist life. Often I’ve had conversations with other residents, in the apartment block or at a beach cafe, where I’ve been nude and them clothed, and vice versa. We spoke, last week, about ladies (myself included) sometimes throwing on a pareo to walk the distance between where they’ve parked the car and the beach, being de facto ‘clothed’ while conversing with fully nude males. It just happens. You run into a friend who is dressed/naked while you’re dressed/naked, and a normal conversation ensues. It’s a normally of size5_001b

But the ‘naturist police’, other residents of a naturist complex, will take you to task for wearing clothes by the pool. And Spanish naturists are sometimes so militant that the appearance of clothed people on the beach will lead them to stand up and slow handclap, in order to shame what they believe (sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly in my opinion) voyeuristic non-naturists. To me, there should be some leeway provided in order for naturist newbies to grow to accept the normality of the nudity around them, adjust their perceptions and almost invariably strip off in time, while the slow handclap can scare off size2_001b

But let’s get back to our midnight skinny dippers. The first night, the wife wore a full, one piece suit. Although her husband was nude, there was an element of uncertainty in his body language, which is what makes me believe it was a first time for both of them. Suitably emboldened by the fact that it went ‘OK’, the next night the wife was reduced to a thong. By the third night she emerged from their apartment (always at midnight) fully nude. Perhaps not wholly comfortable with the situation, but obviously with some sense of growing confidence, even if it was under cover of size4_001b

By Monday, during the ‘siesta’ period when the pool is traditionally empty and many are lying low, she managed to make her way to the pool in daylight. I suspect that baby steps, and being allowed to embrace naturism in her own time, at her own pace, at the time of day of her choosing, has led her down a path of saying ‘yes, I’m naturist’.

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Very few of us who embrace the naturist lifestyle have the confidence to simply throw off our clothes and wade into a life of nudity. We all have our hang-ups, some degree of body consciousness. It does take time, for some, to ‘grow into’ naturism. I was no different. Incremental steps. The bikini top coming off…breasts exposed…then the bikini briefs coming off…sat in a position where nothing was on show…then the ‘face down’ bare-bottomed sunbathing…then the *gulp* face-up sunbathing (in a quiet corner of the pool area)…then the ‘damn, it’s hot I need a swim’ moment where it’s a heart-pumping, heart in mouth moment where you have to stand naked in public for the first time and make that walk or run to the pool and, maybe even more unnerving, the walk back to your sun lounger.

After that, it all seems quite normal, a case of ticking off the ‘first time I ever did that nude’ list. The walk around the streets, the cycling, the first naked swim in the sea, and so on.

For guys, I’m sure there’s an equal ‘but how do I measure up against the other guys?’ moment…the old myth of ‘will I get an erection?’…and so on. Sure, we all have our concerns.

But what was lovely for this lady is that there were no pressures placed upon her. She was discovering the pleasures of naturism for herself, at her own pace. I’m sure, within the garden of their apartment, or just sitting eating or watching TV, there was also a journey of discovery for this couple. Few of us will sit and watch TV at home naked, but once in a naturist environment doing that, making some dinner or doing the washing up nude is a whole new series of experiences.

Nervous and uncertain she may have been, but I’m confident that the slow pace of acceptance chosen by her has led her on a path to ensure that, last week, two new more naturists were born.


Heroes of naturism : The Colombian Ladies Cycling Team



You can’t have missed this photo that has been all over the media in the past couple of days, of the Colombian Women’s Cycling team in their new outfits for the Tour of Tuscany…

I’ve chosen this particular photo above because the wrinkles in the ‘skin’ part of it are clearly evident. No, they’re not semi nude, of course, it’s just the way the outfits were designed. Many other shots of the same outfits are just a little bit less wrinkled, a little bit more uncertain in the clarity and at first glance maybe needing a second look to decide….’are they? aren’t they?’

The ladies aren’t in all probability naturist. Maybe not even a topless sunbather between them. No matter. They’ve achieved enormous publicity over the past two or three days, from ‘bravo!’ to ‘outrageous’ to ‘fashion disaster’. And what makes the ladies heroes of naturism is their bravery in wearing them, knowing what the reaction would be.

The debate surrounding the outfit is interesting that, even in a global society that accepts the use of women in the flimsiest thongs in advertising, this can still ‘shock’. Anything that opens up further debate on the presence of the naked body in society (and remember, you aren’t seeing any of these ladies naked) is fine by me. In the 21st century we should be reaching a point where we can say ‘they’re naked in what are generally non-naked social situations, so what?’

Nudity is everywhere around us in advertising, and accepted. For even a little pretend nudity, the cycling world and beyond expresses horror.

I note the President of some cycling organisation has said ‘we need to look at this’. Because of the depiction of nudity, of course. Would the sporting world have the same concerns had the ladies been sponsored by, for example, a company that peddles in death. An armaments company, for example? I suspect not.

Anyway, we’re going to award them ‘heroes of naturism’ status for what are fabulous cycling costumes (and where can I buy one?)


Kate Humble : A hero of naturism

Kate Humble is a British TV presenter, best known for her work on wildlife programmes. She knows her stuff, and in the UK probably has something of a reputation as ‘thinking man’s crumpet’.

This is Kate…

Kate Humble

…for the benefit of those of you from beyond the UK. Not only is she a terrific, knowledgeable presenter of wildlife programmes, but a well-known naturist, and her semi-regular comments on the lifestyle turned up again this week in the Daily Telegraph. Sometimes I think it may be a little bit of an albatross around her neck, a part of her life probed by (male?) journalists.

She made similar comments in the Daily Mirror as recently as May.

As she says, The Naturist Society love her for it. And why not? Her wholesome image is something that can only lead to naturism being seen in a wholesome light, and that’s good for naturists everywhere. Too often, where celebrities celebrate their fondness for naturism, the emphasis is on them being ‘kooky’ to greater or lesser degrees. And the list the link leads to adds in names like Janet Jackson and Amy Winehouse. Personally I don’t think going topless and being snapped by the paparazzi essentially qualifies as being ‘naturist’, but we’ll let that slide.

The only thing I would take issue with in the Daily Telegraph is that it’s described as her ‘eccentric’ way of communing with nature. Naturism is not eccentric. It’s a logical lifestyle choice, and certainly no more ‘eccentric’ than golfers going around in loud plaid trousers, pink sweaters and one glove.