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.


A rest stop on the Naturist Etiquette highway

No sooner had I posted some of the Naturist Etiquette series which is ongoing than my friend Ophidia IM’ed me, to take me to task regarding what she saw as a major omission. The larger sized naturist (whether in SL or RL). And she’s right. I’d not mentioned it mainly because the ‘plus sized’ avatar is almost invisible in SL. Yeah, we’ve been lulled into a sense of the (virtual) world being for a certain body type, the eternally young and beautiful. Just as the media fixates on the beautiful people of the world (beauty being in the eye of the beholder…I would have no aspirations to look like some of the things offered up as role models).

So I asked Ophidia if she’d give a perspective on being ‘plus sized’ in Second Life (and real life ™ ).

Unfortunately I’ve not been able to do this in the same ‘cartoon’ format as the rest of the series due to time restrictions right now (yeah, I’ve been working on the remainder of the series for a number of weeks) but hopefully Ophidia’s words (and photos) will help to offer some balance to my glaring omission.




‘I admit it. I’m ‘bigger-boned’. I’m ‘plus size’. I’m, if you’re going to be judgemental and cruel about it, ‘fat’.

Actually, I’m not fat. There’s barely an ounce of blubber on me but I am, without doubt, not a size 6 dress size in or out of Second Life. In fact, in Second Life I’m so ‘plus sized’ that XL mesh doesn’t fit! (Designers…can we have XXL in mesh, please?) Of course…in Second Life I could slim down in the stroke of an appearance slider, but why should I? My avatar reflects the real life me, bigger than thin, and -yes, it’s true, the stereotypes do fit to a large extent- with an accompanying big, fun, friendly personality. Yes, in real life I’m the life and soul of any party (maybe I’d have been like this as a Size 6 anyway, who knows?)  and, because it’s me at the keyboard, guiding my SL me, I’m like that in SL too.

I’m a naturist in real life too.

Do you know, it’s basically only in a real life naturist environment where I find people judge me for me, not on body shape or size. People accept me for who I am, not how well or poorly I’m performing on the media’s body-shame units of measurement. In a clothed environment I could probably hear snide or cruel comments if I chose to listen. ‘Oh poor her! They’ll never have that in her size’. In naturism, the real life variety, I’ll usually hear comments like ‘Here comes x (You didn’t think I was called Ophidia in real life, did you?)! Let the fun begin!’ or similar. 

I think the message has to be that naturism will never judge on body size. Contrary to media myth, we weren’t all intended to be the same size. In naturism you will be judged, certainly, but on the basis that you’re interesting, intelligent, a great conversationalist, a fun person…all the things that should define us but never do because of perceptions. ‘Clothes maketh the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society’, wrote Mark Twain. How wrong he was, although I’ll forgive him for working/writing (largely) in an era that pre-dates the social naturist movement. In naturism, I am freed to be myself. I am freed to be judged on what there is beyond the pre-conceptions clothes create.

None of us are perfect. Not even super-models, as Elle McPherson once acknowledged, confessing to be self-critical of her own appearance. My message to you, if you do have body issues or concerns, particularly in terms of seeing yourself as ‘bigger boned’ or ‘plus sized’ or ‘fat’ is to embrace naturism. It’s only there that you will be judged on who you are, not how you look. But if you’re a boring b******, personality wise, there’s not much I can do to advise you, I’m afraid’.


Words in italics by Ophidia.

Remainder of text: Pookes.

(Hopefully, tomorrow, we’ll return to our ‘Naturist Etiquette’ series, and find out how our naturist newbies get on).