This place is beautiful….where is it?

I do like to get anyone involved with SLN to ‘mix it up’ where photographic locations are concerned. Yes, the naturist sims look gorgeous, but in order to keep things fresh it’s likely that I’d encourage our photographers to split an infinitive and ‘boldy go’ to places where they can seek out new, photogenic locations.

But where are they? I routinely check out the sims that are reviewed on the Ad Vitam Aeternam blog. Bitacora Viajera is another go-to blog for location searching purposes.

I’d be certain that other bloggers do the same thing, and I do utilise their location links, where provided, to check out if it’s suitable for a bit of naturist photography. For instance, I spotted that Caitlin had mentioned Tuck’s Misty Isle as a location on her blog, so I hopped over there, checked it out and then sent Diane the link to Tuck’s. The result is a few photos from there, taken by Diane, and visible on our Flickr page. Naturist…naked…call them what you want, there’s no real story behind them, so the Flickr page seemed the most appropriate place to publish them, rather than on the main blog. Besides, the Flickr page gives those who take photos an opportunity to break out a little. We don’t need ‘artistry’ a great deal on the main blog. Snapshots of locations or ‘wardrobe accessories’ don’t need to be shown off in full artistic light, in my view (although I know many bloggers do give their photos a lot of artistic input and they routinely look great as a result).

wendy tuck's mistyl isle5_001b

The photo, above, is one of those taken at Tuck’s which isn’t featured on the Flickr site.

One of the things we, as a blogging community, do is to get excited by a particularly photogenic sim, as it certainly frames the shot(s) we take and shows off clothes, hair, shoes, skin in the best possible light. One of the things missing from the blogosphere, I think, is a ‘photogenic sim aggregator’ to extend and expand the excellent work that Ad Vitam Aeternam and Bitacora Viajera do, to source lovely looking sims that bloggers can use.

One disappointing element of photographing in various sims is that, on teleporting into a sim, there are often rules that state ‘No Nudity’. Not a great start for this blog, certainly. And not a great start for many other SL photographers, who do like to take nude photos and share them on Flickr. SLN is linked to many of the people who do take photos, and I’m in awe of some of the great work they do. You can see SLN’s favourite photos, by others, on the ‘favourites’ page of our Flickr presence.

For me, everything is about ‘context’ in terms of taking nude photographs. I know that our photographers will routinely ignore the ‘no nudity’ rule where the situation permits. That is, they will certainly take photos where ‘no nudity’ rules apply if there’s no-one around to ‘offend’. I wouldn’t ask, expect or encourage them to go out of their way to start snapping nude photos if there are others around, but there are times when there’s no one else on a sim. Ignoring a sim rule that actively discourages nudity doesn’t seem too radical in those circumstances.

SL map

 

Hugh tells me that his favoured approach is to simply pull up the SL map (above) and simply select a sim that looks interesting in terms of build…rural, urban, desert…and teleport in. He suggests it’s a hit & miss affair but he has been able to source some nice sims this way, sims he would otherwise have been totally unaware of.

There are a lot of wonderful sims out there, and for many of us it’s a case of finding out where they are.

If you’ve got any favourite spots you use for photography, let me know. Some of the builds out there are so wonderful that it’s a shame they exist in semi-secret.

 

Ella

 

 

 

 

Naked selfies: Another view

I’ve had an exceptionally satisfying few naturist days in SL. St. Patrick’s day dances, new friends made, the Holi Festival, and caught up on some of the backlog of posts planned. And it’s not over yet. I’ve got today and tomorrow before I go back to work! Hooray! Another 48 hours living SL.

Before I move on with some other posts, let’s backtrack a little.

Last week I posed the question as to whether women are becoming more comfortable with their bodies. It was a debate that then opened up a little both here at SL Naturist and on Hontouniheart’s blog ‘Penguin Love’, as well as being re-blogged elsewhere. I then moved on to note that Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Again, re-blogged several times. A third post examined the issues around ‘Revenge Porn’.

In those posts, I expressed a little concern at the phenomenon for posting naked selfies online, or sending them to others and thereby losing control of where they end up.

I subsequently received a message telling me that I was ‘out of touch’ 🙂 Hehe, it’s what happens when you get to be as old as I am 🙂

The text of that message is reprinted further down, and we’ll come to that presently. But it got me thinking, so I’ve done a little research. I love research…it takes up the vast majority of my SL time and ensures I’m never in world as much as I would wish.

A google search and a Cosmopolitan article later and it appears my correspondent might be correct! Apparently 90% of ‘millennial’ women now take nude photos of themselves. (‘Millennial’ women are, apparently the demographic of ‘Generation Y’ -which followed ‘Generation X’- with their age range being from those born in the early 1980s through to the early 2000s…so that tells us nothing, really. Just another convenient marketing/shoe-horning term that is, essentially, drivel).

I only just miss out on being part of the demographic, yet my mindset appears to be markedly different from those are within that demographic.

90%????

Now intrigued, I moved on. Dear goodness! A Guide on how to take good naked selfies????? I am getting old!

It was a relief to find an article wherein the author’s views mirrored my own.

Another article I found suggested 88% of all selfies online were stolen (source: The Internet Watch Foundation, via the BBC). Another article posits an Australian perspective.

By now, it’s clear. The practice of taking selfies is a phenomenon. A global phenomenon. The practice of taking nude selfies not much less of a phenomenon. By now my research had led me to some of those places I don’t really want to see on the internet, porn sites which were offering Hijab wearing girls wearing…only their Hijab! Enough!

Back to my correspondent and critic. Here’s what she had to say…

Hi Ella. You’re out of touch with today’s youth. Everyone I know takes selfies all the time and they’re part of our culture. We post on Facebook and Instagram a lot. These are not always nudie shots but there’s hardly a day goes by when I don’t post some sort of selfie somewhere. It’s just a modern diary of where I was and who I was with and where I was on a particular day. You probably don’t get that this is how we young people operate today.

If I buy a new bra and it looks nice I’ll do a photo of me in a bra. No biggie! I’ll do the same with a new dress or a top or something. It’s just a picture diary for everyone I know. My friends do the same. We can’t post nudie shots to Facebook but I’d use Snapchat to send my friends a photo of me in a new bra. ‘How do you like my new bra?’ I’d ask. My generation doesn’t break things down to friends being boys and girls either. I see no shame or embarrassment in sending photos of me in a new bra to some of my male friends. I get responses back. ‘That bra makes your tits look bigger, lol’. This doesn’t seem like those guys are sexist or anything to me. It’s just a comment. Sometimes the comments from guys are more useful. If the bra does make my tits look bigger that’s useful to know when going out, lol. I want to look attractive or look my best.

Sometimes I take nudie selfies because I’m feeling good. My friends do this too. Even the guys. They’ll take photos of themselves in new boxer shorts. Maybe they have their junk hanging out. I’ve probably seen 80-90% of my male friends cocks via things like Snapchat. I guess that the same number of male friends have seen my tits or my pussy or ass.

I keep the photos I take because they’re my diary. I want to look back when I’m old and remember me being young and looking good in my youth, not to look in a mirror and see me old and wrinkled.

I’ve got photos of me kissing other girls not because I’m gay or anything but because it’s a laugh. It’s a memory of us out clubbing and having a laugh.

I’ve not taken photos of me doing sex acts, not because I don’t want to, but because there’s not been circumstances where it has been asked or it didn’t occur at the time. If a guy wanted me to take a photo of him getting a blowjob from me I might say yes because it’s going to be more memories or a time and a place. This is our world today.

I think I might be a bit embarrassed if a photo turned up on the internet with me giving a guy a blow job but I’d not be embarrassed at all if a naked selfie of me turned up on the internet as long as I look good in it. 

Snapchat, I learned following further research, is a smartphone app that allows you to send a photo that self-destructs after a short time. The fact that it is only a temporary photo may be key to why people do feel a self-confidence in sending nude photos.

The problem being that there are other apps that allow Snapchat photos to be saved. So those risqué, naughty, nude or semi-nude shots could still end up online. But back to my critic…

You’ve said you’ve posed on a nude beach. What’s the difference between that and what my generation do?

In one sense, none. I don’t actually pose, I have to say, but we take holidays photos of him sunbathing, me swimming and the same stuff people would do in swimwear. So you’re right: there’s no difference. But those photos are private. We don’t post them online. We don’t keep them ‘in the cloud’. They’re confined to memory cards which are locked in the safe in our house. Occasionally we’ll sit and go back over old holiday photos on one of those photo viewers you can buy (the memory sticks don’t get attached to a computer) and personal safety is paramount. That’s not simply the case for nude photos. I would treat all photos with the same sense of personal security.

What if someone was to sneak a photo of you on a nude beach and put it online?

Maybe it has happened, I don’t know. With today’s technology it’s nearly impossible to know if someone is filming or photographing with key fob or pen cameras. No, I wouldn’t be embarrassed about it at all, on the basis that it’s within the context of a naturist beach, amongst other naturists. I would, however, be very angry that someone had taken a photograph of me without my permission. But in that respect, I’m happy enough that it’s unlikely to have been an issue much over the years.

Besides… :)…there are photos of me online, lol, with my face (and the rest of me) clearly identifiable (to me). I took part in Spencer Tunick’s photographic happening in Amsterdam a couple of days after my 30th birthday (it was my birthday treat 🙂 )

tunick shoot amsterdam me

 

Can you spot me? 🙂

Again, there is nothing embarrassing or shameful about this. I imagine the majority of people in this photograph are ‘recognisable’ to friends, family and co-workers. Most would not classify themselves as ‘naturist’. You may not agree, but for me the contextualisation of the photography is paramount. The Tunick photo above does not focus primarily on breasts or male or female genitalia, so often the main focus of selfie styled photographs.

You seem to be a great champion of the normalisation of the naked body. Don’t you think that naked selfies help to do this? Isn’t it a good thing that we’re proud of our bodies and aren’t afraid to share our naked photos?

In this, I’d agree with you, up to a point. If the ‘naked selfie’ is a phenomenon of a particular demographic embarking on life, then many of those featured are facing a period of their lives when such photographs could come back to haunt them when applying for jobs, or finding there’s maybe even some form of ‘blackmail’ element involved when that person finally wishes to establish a long term relationship. Maybe you’d like to come back to me on this: my perspective would be that it could be damaging or destructive to a relationship to find, or be shown, photographs from before the people in them became ‘an item’. Maybe that’s an old person’s term you young folk don’t use anymore 😉 Not so much in respect of nudity per se, but in some of the other types of photographic ‘selfies’ I see take place, such as where people are performing sex acts. Perhaps you disagree and think that those types of photographs also form part of a ‘diary’. I would love to hear your views. Indeed, I would love to hear anyone else’s perspective on the ‘naked selfie’ phenomenon.

Am I old and out of touch? Are ‘naked selfies’ to be welcomed in the manner in which they make people ore self-confident about sharing their own nudity? Please, let me know your thoughts.

Ella

 

 

Naked in Cambodia

The Guardian newspaper reports today that there is something of a mini outbreak of tourists in Cambodia posing for nude photos in front of the country’s sacred temples, with several having been arrested and deported.

There’s a time and place for everything, dears, and while we’re broadly in support of nudity in many places, trampling barefoot over a country’s sacred (or other) sites is not the way forward. Basically, you come across as boorish, ill-educated, disrespectful western morons.

A little research has shown that this story is essentially old news, with the Guardian away behind the game in this respect, The Mirror having reported the same story two weeks ago. As for ‘nude’, at least one case appears to show ‘topless’, not quite the same thing, really.

3025-Two-sisters-arrested-for-taking-naked

That’s not to condone the behaviour, far from it.

But it’s not just ‘abroad’ that people like to take risqué photos in front of tourist attractions, the Empire State Building also having filed a $1.1m law suit against a photographer who took photos of a bare-breasted model on the city’s observation platform in August last year.

We’re all in favour of nudity. All in favour of ‘Free the Nipple’ campaigns. But there’s a time and a place, and it’s not at Angkor Wat, Machu Pichu or on top of the Empire State.

I particularly liked this almost Second Life youtube video re-enacting two American sisters taking the photos that got them deported from Cambodia.

Not because it was such a smart thing to do, but because the accompanying video does have a Second Life look and feel to it.

So…what to do? Get out into Second Life and start snapping? Would it be possible to get the Second Life equivalent of deportation, banned from a sim, by undertaking such shots?

Let me have a quick whistle stop tour of the grid, taking in some of the world’s better known landmarks…

amsterdam_001b amsterdam2_001b eiffel tower2_001b eiffel tower3_001b hollywood_001b hollywood2_001b

 

big ben_001b

 

Amsterdam, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Hollywood and London…

Nope. No one batted an eyelid, despite me landing nude in occasionally very busy SL locations (Ella adds: part of this may be down to the introduction of ‘mesh’ clothing. Previously, landing naked in a sim was immediately obvious and would have resulted in some remarks made. Only very rarely ‘negative’ in intent, and most of the time more of a ‘hey, hun, did you know you’re naked?’ variety. Since the introduction of mesh the clothing seems to tp in horizontally to your body so you might end up briefly naked before mesh clothing fits itself to your avatar. I think most avatars are now used to this to the point where it’s now unremarkable to occasionally see a naked avatar at a clothed sim).

I could have kept on my whistle-stop world tour, but it seemed pointless. Which is a very good analogy to what people are doing in historical sites around the real world. Pointless.

We need to remember that we’re in a different culture, where offense may be taken in situations we might not find offensive. So if you are going to take nude photos of yourself for publication on Facebook or a blog, I’m supportive: it shows that the taboo of being seen, or embarrassed to be seen, naked is no longer the case. We are all becoming increasingly self-aware of the beauty of our naked bodies. That’s a grown up attitude to be applauded. Offending other nations’ cultures is not, however, such a great idea. In fact, it’s dumb. Don’t do it.

Anne

In the age of digital technology, is there anyone who HASN’T posed naked?

This is one of the posts that Ella had begin before her accident, and I’ve been working to try and finish it today.

During the journey, I got a little distracted by the need to, as Ella has done previously, get my man involved in SL, for the simple reason that his and my views on private, nude photography don’t dovetail with those of Ella’s, which became apparent as I was writing it, and so we (‘Mr Pookes’ and I) spent a while today getting him avatared up. We’ll come back to him later on. In the meantime, in italics, is the bit that Ella had written, with the idea of developing further (note: all posts in draft form can be seen by other staff members prior to publication, and we regularly will read each other’s work and bounce ideas off one another accordingly).

On holiday, the camera comes out, and photographs get taken. We’ve all probably got a photograph in a box or on a hard drive, of ourselves in swimwear, or posing in Times Square, beside Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower. Memories of the event, a way to prove that we were there in clothes and hairstyles now as wretchedly out of date as a cigar box full of yellowing snaps from a previous era.

As a naturist, I know that we take photographs of us doing normal holiday stuff, the exception being there are no clothes. No different from anyone’s trivial, mundane holiday photographs other than the lack of clothes.

As a result of this being part of our holiday routine, naturist beach activities interspersed with visits to local landmarks, I confess we don’t feel a need to have a vault of ‘naughty’ photos somewhere, unless you include the naturist holiday photos. We don’t categorise those as remotely ‘naughty’, I have to say.

Let me ask this question, though. Is there anyone reading this who hasn’t either posed for or been the subject of ‘naughty’ photos in the era of digital technology? Few, if any, will be putting their hand up and saying ‘no, I’ve never done that’: even me if nude beach photography qualifies as ‘naughty’. Because digital technology has allowed all of us to take, for fun, for a laugh, for arousal purposes, nude photos of a partner, or allowed a partner to take nude photos of us.

It’s a double-edged sword. On one hand, it has led to an explosion of voyeuristic type photos easily taken on a smart phone, an invasion of others’ privacy. On the other, it has probably made each and every one of us more comfortable with the idea of being photographed nude, and viewing the results instantaneously.

And I suspect that it’s the smart-phone generation, those still under 30 and, in many cases, under 20, who have embraced the ‘nude selfie’ as an expression of both their own nudity and, by extension, sexuality.

Ella

So let me pick it up from there. As I said in my pre-amble, I do take a slightly different view to RL nude photography, in that ‘Mr Pookes’ and I do indulge in it on a regular basis. No, it’s not us sending ‘taken in a mirror’ full length nudes. ‘Mr Pookes’ is a professional photographer, and away from ‘the day job’ (weddings, portraits) he still likes to capture ‘art’ or ‘erotic’ photographs that sometimes have me as a muse & model. That may be a backlit, silhouetted breast, for example, unidentifiable as me. It’s just a silhouetted breast.

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tumblr_ngzze6TG3L1tb5l95o1_1280
The photos above aren’t of me, I should add, although some photos of me, and others taken by Mr Pookes are online (but using those would create circumstances where I could be identified…not the purpose of SL) although you get the idea of the sort of photos I pose for. (The third photo I can positively identify as the work of Helmut Newton)

pookes lupes3_001bc pookes nature_001bc
In SL, and on SLN, we’ve occasionally tried to undertake, via Harry & Diane’s work, similar ‘arty’ kind of photos as well as simple naturist travelogue photos while zipping around the grid.

As I’ve said, me standing in my undies or less in the bathroom mirror and sending them to my beloved isn’t how we roll, mostly, but there have been times where I have done that when I’ve bought a nice bit of lingerie I want to share before he gets home 😉

But many do. A quick check will reveal that there must be thousands upon thousands of nude and semi-nude people out there who’ve done just that.

o-SELFIE-BEAUTIFUL-WOMAN-facebook

I’m not going to ‘shame’ anyone by plucking some random nude selfie off the net (who knows? They might be delighted), so instead I’ll illustrate the point with the photo above. Who amongst us hasn’t posed nude, or semi-nude, in a bathroom or bedroom mirror? Very few.

If the naked selfie isn’t the thing, then admit it, you’ve wandered into the bedroom to find your other half on the bed, snapping away on their smart phone as you wander around nude, hair in a towel. Or been photographed in the bath. Who amongst us hasn’t, in one format or another, been the subject of a naked photograph in the digital photography age?

Pookes