One of the truly great things about SL is the chance encounters with other avatars from other parts of the world. We live in times which see us inhabit a dangerous world, an ever less tolerant world. So it’s always inspiring,to me certainly, to meet up with others and share a little of their world. So it was last night when I met Saphierna at Virginia’s Holi Festival fundraiser.
We were introduced by a mutual friend, and struck up a long and wide-ranging conversation. I was immediately struck by her (inner and outer) beauty, her infectious, engaging personality, her dancing and her intellect. Our mutual friend says that when I’m in SL I’m always ‘on’; that is, I’m always thinking about SL Naturist, and how to improve the blog, the depth and breadth of our coverage, the quality of the photos and so on.
It’s true! (Maybe that’s a bit sad, lol). When it turned out that Saphierna was also a writer in the context of SL, and a very talented one at that, I immediately asked if she might like to contribute to the blog. Unfortuantely, around midnight GMT, I had to rush back to RL due to a bit of RL drama (one of my children woke up and started vomiting. All seems well this morning). Imagine my delight, then, when I logged in this morning to discover that Saphierna had written up the background to her and her partner Sasha’s journey towards naturism.
From adversity can come triumph. From personal turmoil sometimes, with naturism as a backdrop in which a person can truly ‘find’ themselves, can come peace. Saphierna’s words are truly uplifting.
A little background.
written by Saphierna Resident.
Sasha and I met at school in 1995. She was born in New York, and I was born in Guianabo Puerto Rico. She had recently moved back to the island after her fathers business in N.Y. had failed. I know children can be cruel, but even as young as we were at the time, most disliked Sasha because she was not born on the Island, and spoke with a very strange accent. I was not popular either.. Some said I had to walk in the same place twice to make a shadow. I was very skinny at 12, almost nothing but bones, Plus I was not from a wealthy home. Maybe it was fate, or just dumb luck? I don’t know, but we became good friends. I think that over the years of grade school we created our own version of the nerd girls. Few wanted any peace or friendship with us.
No one really cared if you were poor or not in Puerto Rico, most people there are very poor by todays standard in the states. The grade schools were mostly Catholic, and everyone had to wear the same stupid uniform. If any person could tell who was who.. they were doing good. “We all looked alike… anyway.” At the time. I suppose neither Sasha or myself could have guessed that in later life we would end up together in a relationship. I look back on it, and only see two typical chick’s living in San Juan… bored out of their minds by catholic Nun’s, and the antiquated curriculum they taught. Yeah, that was childhood… Always planning the great escape to “El Moro” ( the Spanish fort which still stands today in old San Juan.)’ There our imagination was set free, and we could dream of pirates and treasure, Or walking by the huge cruise line ships imagining we were filthy rich people seeing the world. All while giving no thought to reality at all.
Funny how your life changes over time… Sasha and I were split up when we finished grade school, and I moved on to collage. I went on to seek a degree and she found mister right.. or so she thought. We lost touch with each other for several years. I graduated from collage and moved back home in 2006. It was then I learned Sasha was living with her parents in Bayamon. She had just gone through a very bad divorce, and was still recovering from the last beating her Ex had inflicted on her. I was livid, and drove to her parents house to see her. When I saw how bad the beating was.. I almost lost it right there. I didn’t even know it was Sasha, her entire face was one big bruise. one eye was totally shut.. it was awful. I would have liked to stay with her at the time to help in any way that I could, but I was also looking for work. The next year after I graduated I found myself working in a club, and tending a bar. Jobs were just not to be found… anywhere. So it was take what I could get. Sasha was also looking for work once she had healed well, and I told her of an opening where I was.
I guess the strangest look I ever got from her is the day she stepped into the club and saw me behind the bar with no top on. Thats where our path to naturist really began I think. Sasha got a job that day and we worked the same shifts, so it worked out.
Sasha is surprised to find Saphierna working in a topless bar
Life has its moments, ups and downs, then at times… the trip into hell.. In 2007 it was my turn for tragedy. Sasha had gone home for the weekend to see her parents, and I had done the same. that Saturday night, My oldest sister wanted to go into the hotel district for salsa dancing and asked me to go too.. I went. We started at a small hotel and ended up at the El Capitan, which there, my sister and I got separated. I had been drinking a lot, and found out later someone had slipped something into my drink. I woke up the next morning in a hotel room stripped and tied to bed. I had been taken to a cheap hotel in the north end of San Juan, and raped. I couldn’t get the ropes off me that morning, a cleaning attendant found me there around 9 am. I was taken to the hospital. The event changed me a lot. but I realize that since I was out cold for whatever was done to me that night could have been a lot worse. Although I also know it was the combination of those bad things that had happened to both of us, had also bound Sasha and myself together. Over the next year that followed we moved in together. Eventually I found a job in Florida, and we decided to get the hell out of San Juan. I had never been to the states before, but noticed Florida looked a bit like Puerto Rico, but totally flat.. it has no mountains at all. Around mid 2008 we bought a condo and started over. Disney turned out to be the kick, and we go there a lot. I eventually overcame my phobia of bars and we sometimes visit a few.
One of the things that really got to both of us was not having any place to lay out without 100 eyes watching. I honestly hate what people in the states call “a farmers tan”. We stared looking for a private place we could go and lay out without the audience. We had no luck at all in the Melbourn of Titusville area, all those beaches were either owned by hotels or public access. Which is great if you don’t mind being the photo stock for the tourists. That debate and search lasted for several months, until.. We had gone out to eat dinner at a restaurant in Orlando, it was one of those places you want to try just so you can say you did.. it was pretty good too, but really expensive.
During our dinner, the subject of beaches came up and I started moaning about tan lines. The waitress then whispered “go to this place in Poinciana Florida. We asked what it was called, and when she said nudist colony, I think we both nearly choked on our food. Needless to say, we didn’t run right down and check it out. That took a few months to simmer. I eventually did a little looking for info about the place, and it did not take long to find it. I found the web site, and showed it too Sasha. After a lot of excuses and indecision, we chose to drive there the next weekend to see it. The gate was guarded, and it is surrounded by high walls. they wouldn’t let us go in to look, but gave us numbers we had to call and make reservations. The process to me seemed more like we were applying for student visa’s to go to Israel.. I almost gave up on it, but after they finished our background checks we got an invitation.
One note, they don’t like singles.. male or female.. they want couples or families. I guessed it was some kind of atmosphere they were attempting to harbor, but I later learned it was for legal reasons they do that. I actually felt better about the place after going through all that stuff.. I could tell no nut jobs could just walk in there. Our first visit was really awkward.. Sasha and I were dressed, as was many of the store staff and guards. We were driven around in a golf cart, shown the lake, stores, salon, tennis courts, and a lot of other game stuff. We ate lunch at a restaurant in the cove itself. Some people even live there. After we ate, they let us walk around and see it for ourself.. when we got to the pool area I think it was about 90 degree’s F, and 98 % humidity. We took one look at the pool and stripped. It felt so good in that heat, and everyone else at the pool was sky clad except us.
Sasha and Saphierna’s first steps into the naturist lifestyle are complete.
© 2015 Saphierna Resident.
Notes and credits: Photos by Diane Toxx. Models: Diane Toxx and Catin playing the roles of Sasha and Saphierna. Location: De Shadow naturist club. (doubling as Florida). The copyright notice to Saphierna’s story has been added by me, not at Saphierna’s request. I’m always grateful that people take the time and make the effort to contribute, but retain the rights to their work. If re-blogging, please ensure that Saphierna’s work is credited.