Heroes of Naturism : the story so far & the SL dimension

By now, you’ll be aware that we’ve run an occasional series during the course of our existence where we’ve identified ‘heroes of naturism’, people who’ve advanced the naturist cause, or through their visibility have advanced the normalisation of nudity in society.

So far, the list has extended to Miley Cyrus, the 1980s British naturist film Educating Julie, Australian internet model Vanessa B, French performance artist Enna Chaton, French naturist pioneer Christine Lecocq,  author France Guillain, The Colombian Ladies Cycling Team, Swedish painter Anders Zorn, Brazilian actress Vera Fischer, German figure skater Katarina Witt, Brazilian naturist documentary subject and naturist pioneer Carina Moreschi. While not featured in that ‘series’, as such, we could also add San Franciscan naturist rights & film maker Gypsy Taub and English actress Helen Mirren.

 

While not nude, we could also salute the women behind the Iranian ‘Stealthy Freedoms’ campaign for removing their headscarves in a patriarchal society and striking a blow for further freedoms. Or, while we disagree with some of the methodology, the women of Femen.

There will be further instalments in the future.

What we haven’t done, so far, is to identify some of what we regard as the heroes of SL naturism. I’d like to correct that omission today.

There have, for us, been some stand out heroes of SL naturism over the past number of years. In no particular order, Brenda Hoisin, Elbag Gable, Gray Muircastle, Meikel Skytower, Kaiya Mumba and Lupe.

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Brenda
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Gray

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Lupe

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Meikel

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Kaiya

Over the years, at Eden Naturopolis, at Su Casa Naturist, at 7 Hills Naturist, at Wild Coast/Turtle Beach and at Lupe’s Magical Forest, they’ve provided the sims in which naturism has flourished over much of the source of SL’s life. For those of us who enjoy the naturist lifestyle, their sims have been constant, imaginative & fun. Other naturist locations come and go, but these are probably the premier naturist locations in SL right now, as they were in the past and, hopefully as they’ll be in the future.

It’s probably not too far fetched to say that many SL avatars who aren’t naturist in RL have discovered and enjoyed a replication of genuine naturism at their sims. The people named have pioneered virtual naturism in their own unique ways and they’ve almost certainly spread the naturist message in a positive way.

If SL Naturist wishes to identify ‘heroes of naturism’, these people fit the bill in an SL environment. Too often, we can take naturist sims (or any sims for that matter) for granted, without realising how much time, effort and, yes indeed, money people put in to enhance our second lives. Many people took Evacaroline’s ‘Sweden Naturist’, another former long-standing naturist sim, for granted until it was gone.

In the former eastern Europe, ‘western ideas’ were spread by a samizdat system. That is, dissident activity was spread underground, be it sharing works of literature or bootlegged tapes of The Beatles. Vaclav Havel, the late president of Czechoslovakia and, after its split from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, was also an author who spoke about the value of these samizdat artefacts changing his mindset, leaning him towards ‘western’ ways.

In their way, those listed above will have provided a samizdat style towards their SL projects. People previously unaware of naturism, or the genuine naturist lifestyle, will have been brought to the lifestyle partly through the efforts of those named.

As readily as the list of our real life naturist heroes, those named should also be included on our list.

Ella

 

Heroes of Naturism : Vanessa B & her photographer and husband, Richard.

Naturist photo sites. I’m not someone who was particularly interested in these types of website, but as this blog has developed I’ve found it’s something I’ve had to visit more often for the purposes of providing depictions of the RL naturist lifestyle.

Of course, I recently had a little rant at some of the people who produce them, for their misogyny and for their lack of understanding of the core values of naturism.

Some ‘naturist’ photo sites will be little more than soft, and sometimes hard core, porn that not only treat women disgracefully in the ways they describe them (bitches, whores, sluts), but also cause a ‘guilt by association’ link to genuine naturism by also creating the impression that sex is an integral part of naturism. Of course, sex is part of naturism, just as it is in every other aspect of lifestyle choice, but not in the way that it’s often depicted on some of these websites. And while some naturist destinations have altered their perspective to a degree, Cap D’Agde in France, or Hedonism in Jamaica, for example, to focus more on an exhibitionist or ‘swinging’ lifestyle, they’re not typical of naturism.

On the plus side, this need for research has led me to discover Vanessa B, an Australian model. I’ve been able to discover that she comes from northern New South Wales in Australia and is photographed by her husband Richard. She has done sets in various locations including some splendid landscapes, beaches and indoors. She says she enjoys walking, gardening, surfing, nude beaches and sunbathing, while she’s quoted elsewhere by saying ‘Richard is my husband and photographer. We live in northern NSW, Australia. I’m 49 and have been posting on various sites for about seven years now. Photography is one of our main hobbies, with an emphasis on erotic photography’.

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What I’m particularly drawn to is that not only is she a ‘mature’ (does 49 even qualify as ‘mature’?) lady, looking absolutely gorgeous and content with her own nudity, thus representing a terrific role model to women of a similar age, her photos are uniformly naturist or glamour in depiction. There’s never a point where she needs to be graphic in her photos, never a point where she’s explicit. These are just top quality photos by her very talented husband, superbly showing off his beautiful wife and the beauty of the naturist lifestyle. Even her ‘glamour’ shots have a superior sense of style and eroticism about them. There is never a shot where she’s depicted as being cheap or sordid. She’s simply a beautiful woman, beautifully photographed, in beautiful surroundings. Both Vanessa B and Richard are inspirations.

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Her photos are, equally, a superb advertisement for the naturist lifestyle.

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I also feel the need to pay tribute to her photographer and husband Richard. Until our own photographer, Harry, fell ill, I used to leave the research of SLN’s photography to him, and if you check the back pages you’ll find where Harry has done posts of ‘SL replicating RL’. I often wondered, but never questioned, what the inspiration behind these types of post were. Since I’ve had to take up some of the mantle of sourcing RL photographic material for the blog, it has sort of sneaked up on me that it has been Richard’s photos of Vanessa B, the imaginative, beautifully constructed images, that have been a recurring source of inspiration, to me, to ask our own photographer, Diane, if she could possibly do a shot like this…or that… Looking back through previous posts, without realising it until the last day or two, that it’s Richard’s work that have been the photos used as inspiration for work on this site.

Ella

 

My Nude debut : ….happened! ‘Eventually’, says Karen (part 2)

Karen has awoken to the sound of waves somewhere in the distance, having been surrounded by the naturist lifestyle for less than 24 hours. Today is the day she finally goes nude in a public setting. Or is it? Karen continues to tell us about her first experience of naturism.

Aaron, my boyfriend, had immersed himself into naturism immediately, and was happily standing naked while speaking to the (French) residents of the neighbouring chalet and soaking up the experience, and their experience of St.Maarten, while I drank some coffee inside. The sense of wine-driven bravura from the previous night had dissipated, and it was back to the bikini being on, and the sarong over that.

‘Lovely people’, Aaron enthused as he returned and excitedly told me about all the things we could do and see nude. Did he really need to add that final word? I was still very much of a mind that I could probably get through the two weeks without ever being naked, except in the privacy of our own chalet. So I was rather delighted when it transpired that we could go shopping and wear clothes. Shorts on, tank top on, sun tan oil on, hat on, sunglasses on. Great!

We headed off to the island’s main shopping area, picked up some provisions, had coffee, and I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of sitting there in a whirl of foreign languages. Not that that’s a unique experience to anyone who lives in or visits New York, but this seemed somehow much more exciting than Sheridan Square to Wall Street on the subway.

Aaron had maybe picked up on my sense of unease. He’s a guy, so how much he picks up on feelings is maybe moot, but he seemed to have laid off the enthusiasm a bit, as it had certainly been making me uncomfortable. We had lunch, and headed back to the resort. Aaron said he was going to the beach and would maybe swim, but there was nothing of ‘are you coming or not?’ about it. I said I might join him in a bit, as I was nearing the end of a novel on my Kindle, and decided to finish it before exploring by daylight.pasted image 449x299

I finished the final chapter and put my bikini on again, my sarong on again, and with towel in hand, I headed to the beach where I was shocked, surprised and thrilled to see that it wasn’t busy. Just a few resort residents scattered around. I spotted Aaron’s towel and dumped my bag of things on top of it, then wandered to the water’s edge to speak to Aaron who was splashing around in the water like an overgrown schoolboy, a look of delight on his face.orient-beach

‘It’s fantastic…we need to snorkel….the water is crystal clear…’, the words tumbled out of his mouth in excitement.

Returning to our chosen beach beds, I was emboldened by the fact that the beach was relatively quiet. Sure, there were others swimming, or sunbathing, but not so close that I felt I was under scrutiny, being eyed up and down in a sordid or seedy way, nor being judged for still being ‘clothed’. Suitably emboldened, and not so desperately close to anyone else that I felt directly under their gaze, I removed my sarong and bikini top to sunbathe, face down, on the sun bed. I’d never gone without a top before, and it felt strange, yet deliciously nice, under the Caribbean sun.

There comes a point where it is necessary to roll over, and I was desperately self-conscious when I did so, not that anyone was looking or, by this point in time, near enough to see anyway. There! My breasts. My very small breasts. Bared in public.

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Throughout the afternoon Aaron, nude, and I, still with my bikini briefs on, would wander back and forwards from the sea to cool down, then resume our sunbathing place. As the afternoon wore on, there were fewer and fewer people on the beach, and lying around in wet bikini panties isn’t particularly comfortable. At some point it just seemed the sensible thing to do to lose the panties. Ultimately, there was no big build up, no heart beating fast, no sense of shame or embarrassment, just a sensible decision made.

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Even so, it felt simultaneously strange and wonderful. You aren’t prepared in life for the moment where your most intimate parts are naked, outdoors, under the sun, in ‘public’, even though the public weren’t really anywhere in evidence. It felt good, is all I can say, rather than embarrassing. The lack of crowds helped with the moment, I would say. A glance left and right, no one around, and a quick dash down the beach and into the clear, warm waters for my first ever skinny dip. Wow! Who knew swimming could feel so good, that swimming could feel so free.

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Yes, the sarong went back on for the walk back to our chalet, but it was a sort of breakthrough. As the days went on there was more and more a sense of ‘who cares?’ The terrace at the bar would provide entertainment, and naturists seem to be a naturally outgoing, vivacious lot. I never did go for the topless dancing with Aaron, as other females did, but we socialised and made new friends. Within two or three days I would say that I was probably contentedly sitting there  with the sarong tied at my waist, my breasts bare. It doesn’t take long to realise that you aren’t that ‘special’ in that regard, and men, regardless of size , aren’t that special either. We’ve all got the same basic bits. It’s never quite a case of ‘you’ve seen one and you’ve seen them all’, but 72 hours surrounded by naked people does mean you don’t think there’s anything unique. Yes, of course I was peeking. I was peeking for the first day or so and if I’m honest I did think ‘he’s bigger than Aaron’ or ‘Aaron’s bigger than him’. That stopped at the point, maybe on about our third day, where my confidence had grown to the point where I was wandering around the chalet and had forgotten I was naked, and that I didn’t even notice Aaron was naked either, that I was now waving at out French neighbours and not particularly aware if they were dressed or not.

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Eventually, yes, I was making it to from our chalet to the sea without bothering to cover up, and wasn’t ashamed, embarrassed or, as I say, even aware of the fact.

I could tell you chapter and verse about every little event over the next two weeks, the ‘firsts’ for each naturist event. I could write a couple of entries for SLN based on the experience of naked snorkelling alone. Ultimately, though, my experience was that, with no pressure to disrobe immediately, it all came rather naturally and uneventfully because we were in the proper context for it happening. I started out the holiday a reluctant non-nudist. I returned a convert. Which makes me think…if people like me are given a proper, unpressurised entry into the naturist lifestyle is there anyone on the face of the earth who couldn’t, in those same circumstances, embrace naturism? My personal opinion now is that if the circumstances are right, all of us have an inner naturist.

The only down side is that next January seems so damned far away before I can do it all again.

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Karen, growing in body confidence over the first few days of her vacation.

Karen

Vivre Nu

Vivre Nu (Living Naked) is a film by Robert Salis, and focuses on the French naturist lifestyle in the 1990s.

Featured (at the 28 min mark) is Christiane Lecocq, the ‘mother of French naturism’ who died recently aged 104 and whose passing we reported last week.

At the time of the filming she would have been 82, and the brisk walk and athleticism of a woman in her 80s, as evidenced in the film, is a remarkable testament to the health benefits of a rounded naturist lifestyle.

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French cover to the DVD of the film

 

 

 

 

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English language cover to the DVD

The full film (1 hr 45 mins) is on youtube and is a remarkable document of the French naturist scene in the early 1990s, at just about the time I was taking my own first steps (in France) into the naturist lifestyle. Who knows? I may even be in some of the scenes filmed at Cap D’Agde (when it was wholesome and not a swingers’ paradise)

 

Ella

No body is perfect, every body is beautiful

Being ‘older’ in RL, my SL avatar tries to reflect that. But naturism is an ageing lifestyle, it would appear, and there are many initiatives around the world to try to arrest its ‘decline’.

Personally, I don’t think it will ever die, but younger people will tend to simply go naked on a beach without feeling a need to be organised into a single (by region or country) entity, and possibly will fail to grasp that without a sense of organisation their ‘naturist rights’ will be rapidly diminished.

The AANR, the American Association for Nude Recreation, published a Naturist Bill of Rights, which you can view, download as a pdf and print out and frame, if you wish, via this link.

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With age, the metabolism slows and gravity takes its toll. It’s hard to keep in shape, but the naturist lifestyle does assist in this, lending itself to fresh air, exercise (we all swim, don’t we?) and good eating. Certainly, some of us of a certain age are no longer our younger, more beautiful or handsome selves. Balding, with a paunch, sagging breasts, but comfortable with our own body image. Confident in a way that the more lithe, younger generation lack.

When I do write for SLN it’s almost inevitably from the perspective of being older.

Even Elle McPherson, the stunning looking 50 year old actress and model (and thus a role model for exactly my generation) once said she had all sorts of flaws and imperfections, but refused to name them because she said it would make people focus on them.

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We, the older naturist generation (although I’d put myself down as being at the younger end of the older generation 🙂 ) are well aware of our imperfections and disregard them for the purpose of our nude recreation. None of us are ‘perfect’.

No body is perfect, but every body is beautiful.

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I’m currently working on a series of interviews with older looking avatars (some of whom are naturist) in SL, to see why they choose to adopt such a look in ‘Neverland’, the SL where no one has to grow old, and the freedoms and limitations that adopting such a look entails.

I hope to publish this post soon.

Barbara

 

 

Naturists for real

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We follow a number of genuine naturist tumblr sites, and Naturistsforreal is one of them. I’m not particularly drawn to a need to see a lot of naturist photographs, but they do often prove to be a source of inspiration for the various blog posts we do here (and I’ve said this before). Naturists for Real is excellent in that it doesn’t limit itself to photographs of naturists, but answers questions on the lifestyle, links to pieces of journalism that may be of interest to naturists (example: it’s healthier to sleep nude) and includes photos such as the one above, which demonstrates an implicit understanding of the wider naturist lifestyle.

It’s a communing with nature itself. The bare body is a natural state. Eating healthily is a natural state -fresh produce over processed (which would certainly explain a wide range of excellent seafood restaurants that seem to populate the Mediterranean coastline). And attitude is also important (see the photo below)

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Yep, we need to care for our environment. And naturists’ love of nature ensures that naturist beaches are some of the cleanest you’ll find. We, as a lifestyle group, implicitly understand a need to take away empty bottles, food wrappings and so on to ensure that the animal and bird life near the beaches don’t suffer (choking hazards, etc) that man often carelessly leaves behind, their rubbish being someone else’s problems.

I was particularly taken with the photo and the message that Naturists For Real posted (top of page) which very much demonstrates the author’s love of genuine naturist values.

We do very much need to invigorate our souls in places not rearranged by man.

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Pookes is found at the Amazon River sims, marvelling at a sim which in turn shows the marvels of nature.

This is equally true of SL’s virtual naturism too, because one can get an incredible sense of how much more attractive the world is in a natural setting. Honourable mentions must go to Lupe’s Magical Forest and the Amazon sims, which are marvellous examples of imaginative builders where SL’s virtual naturism can be enjoyed. There are also a huge number of non-naturist sims where the object of the exercise is imaginative building, a project that isn’t predicated by commerce, and pixellated brushed aluminium and smoked glass, as soulless an experience undertaken virtually as it is in real life. To this end, I’d also recommend the Ad Vitam Aeternam blog, whose sole purpose is to bring you a collection of links to sims where the marvel of SL’s builds are the key element. I have to say that, while they’re probably all non-naturist sims, we do utilise the links provided by Ad Vitam Aeternam to the max, tp’ing in to do photo shoots from the various links they provide.

Even if you’re not a SL naturist the blog will provide hours of in world enjoyment that another shopping mall will never achieve. For me, there’s a bit of a failure in Linden Labs economics wherein tier costs are such that people often focus on commerce rather than a build for its own sake, an exercise in invention and imagination. For me, SL’s economics should be structured in such a way that sims that have no economic potential, no effective revenue stream, should be tier costed at a much lower monthly rate, to encourage sim owners to build a sim for its own sake. As a world in which politics are minimised, as a world in which people can display great generosity towards their fellow avatars (and we’ve personally benefitted from the largesse of Brenda Hoisin and Gray Muricastle in permitting us to hold office space in the Eden Naturist Estate & Su Casa naturist sims respectively), shouldn’t we in SL be encouraging a world where we can focus on the important things in life? The nature of the world around us. The marvel of nature’s diversity?

In this, I’d also pay tribute to Tess’s ‘Naked Dreams’ sim, part of the Eden Naturist Estate, wherein she has imaginatively provided a scuba diving experience complete with shoals of fish in evidence, an SL experience where you can simply marvel at the imagination of the builder, and a total understanding of the beautiful natural world in which we live.

 

Ella.

Kinks

You may, or may not, have spotted a new page we’ve added recently called Kinks. This was Pookes idea, and the thinking is that, there are some ‘accessories’ that form part of a naturist wardrobe. Piercings, mostly, and genital piercings in particular. While it doesn’t make enormous sense to devote an entire page simply to naturist genital piercings, we decided that while it isn’t ‘genuine’ naturism in our understanding of it, we have to accept that certain things are part of the naturist lifestyle for some. Not only the likes of genital piercings, but fishnet dresses, enormous stiletto heels and general evening wear one might encounter in Cap D’Agde.

As a result we’ve done this ‘Kinks’ page where you can see items to buy within SL and where to buy them.diana naughty lingerie2_001b diana naughty lingerie4_001b

The page is now open with some naughty underwear (no cup bra and crotchless panties, with optional nipple pasties) currently on sale at Seldom Blue for just L$1.

A couple of photos are included below, further photos and the link to Seldom Blue over on the Kinks page itself.

Not something I think I would personally need, out of SL, 😉 but there are those who’ll enjoy such items in their wardrobe, and for visiting ‘naturist’ sims in SL which are effectively swingers locations.

Apricot