Cancel that wake!

Don’t buy wreaths just yet, or write out the eulogies. Because I think we might just have replacements for Ella & Pookes and SL Naturist may just be able to continue. I think I’ve found a couple of writers. Female, again, as females are by far the best bloggers where SL is concerned in my opinion.

Nothing has been nailed down tight yet (including the SL Naturist coffin lid) but we may be able to continue, which would be amazing after the gloom of the past few weeks.

I’m off to Spain tomorrow, Sunday, for a week to sign the papers for our new ‘retirement’ home out there, so there’ll be no further updates on this until next weekend.

Fingers crossed we can keep SL Naturist going anyway.

pam and howie_001bc_Fotor

 

 

Howie

Naked Groceries

Recently I’d moaned about the lack of cultural diversity in SL, a lack of alternatives to the ‘mall’ shopping experience. It was therefore interesting to read on the Fab Free blog that there is a Grocery Store & Market sim in SL.

Model Helene popped over there (dressed) and grabbed the free, wearable shopping trolley you can add to your avi to wander around the store. Because this is SL Naturist, she quickly lost her clothes (the sim isn’t naturist, so be sure to tp in wearing something!) because I’d asked her to do a bit of an SL replicates RL post for me.

Why?

In many naturist locations you can shop nude. Indeed, a search on Google for ‘supermarket nude shopping’ quickly revealed that photos from this blog are immediately viewable, as it’s a topic we’ve covered before.

supermarket5_001

supermarket7_001

 

Yes, we covered the topic of nude grocery shopping before, away back in issue SLN8, at another grocery location in SL.

It’s all quite pointless, of course, but enormous fun to do a bit of fun pointlessness in SL from time to time. And, of course, recreate part of the SL replicates naturist RL experience.

FlevoNatuur Supermarket

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On my next holiday, a bit of this will be part of my daily routine (I walk the beach to the nearby naturist hotel and usually pick up a copy of a British newspaper each day when there. Not quite grocery shopping, but nude shopping nonetheless).

helene supermarket3_001b

helene supermarket2_001b

So here’s a couple of photos of Helene prowling the aisles, obviously intent on ensuring the fridge/icebox is stocked with cold drinks.

 

 

Ella

Update on the blog

Last week, bowing to pressure from the great SL public (OK, a few SL friends asked me to reconsider my decision to close the blog), I’ve been ‘interviewing’. The CVs have trickled in, and in some cases almost immediately been weeded out.

Anyone reading the blog over the years will have known how much faith Ella placed in ‘genuine naturism’, and hers was pretty much a one-woman crusade to reflect family orientated, non-sexual, social nudity. It’s pretty depressing to then get SL-CVs from people who ‘look forward to getting [pixel bounced] at a bondage sim’ and similar. I don’t know what you do, but if I’m applying for a job, or a new role, I do some research. I’d make it my business to know that [pixel bouncing] isn’t part of the gig.

I’ve no idea, right now, if we will find an applicant who is suitable. If we do, will one applicant do? After all, it was an Ella & Pookes joint effort, a lot of the time.

Pookes has signed off on the blog, and I’m sorry to see her go but would take this opportunity to say ‘thanks’ to her for her work on SL Naturist. Ella’s still here, until September as previously arranged, so the blog posts won’t dry up entirely.

I was thinking about Pookes today because I was flicking through some of the SL blogosphere and spotted an item that I thought I wanted, and was via one of the blogs, SL Freebies & more, that Pookes championed.

There’s two free gifts at their current round of the ‘Cosmopolitan’ event. One’s a day bed, which I took a copy of anyway but haven’t unpacked yet. The other is the item I specifically wanted. A pot of lavender. That’s correct. You did read that right.

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I keep an idiosyncratic home in Second Life and it has to kinda reflect me. Silly things that are aspects of my real life are in evidence.

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Stone owls, record players, books. I’m not much of a gardener but I do like to grow tomatoes and fresh herbs. I know this isn’t a kind of ‘sexy’ thing and quite boringto be written about and photographed in SL Naturist but home grown tomatoes taste better, haven’t been plastered in phosphates, and our herbs add taste to all sorts of cooking. We like to do that too. Lavender, we grow. My missus likes to make lavender oil from it. So seeing lavender oil as a free gift was something I had to add to my Second Life home. Really I should lose the house I own at Eden Naturopolis and set a greenhouse there, surrounded by an expansive herb garden. Who needs sex beds when you’ve got a thick, luxuriant rosemary bush?

While I was at the event I spotted a ‘man bag’. I suppose it’s meant for the girls, but it’s something else I use in real life as I usually move with my phone, kindle, iPod, a camera and some sort of wet weather gear in there. A couple of pockets in your trousers or inside jacket pocket no longer is enough. I paid L$100 for this (see the photo below). It made me think of Pookes because it seemed like the sort of item she’d have blogged as ‘naturist accessory’.

howie & editor applicant_001b

The lady in the photo is an applicant for the SL Naturist editor’s job by the way.

If pressed for an answer, I’m going to say that it’s not looking good to get a replacement for Ella, and that I’m not hopeful we’ll go on past September. I’d love to be able to say differently, but that’s the reality. It’s not looking good. If there’s any change to that, I’ll let you know.

Have a good weekend!

Howie

 

Daily Portrait (Day 7) and Thanks for your support

pert dp3_001b

Markus has photographed Pert.

 

***

With the publication of the seventh and final portrait in the Daily Portrait series, one based on a real life project undertaken in similar circumstances, my time as a photographer with SL Naturist comes to a close.

This has nothing to do with current turmoil on the blog or with Ella quitting. I had announced my decision to quit to Ella a while back, but felt there were one or two things I wanted to finish off and tidy up before I did leave.

I can’t thank Ella enough for giving me a window into the wonderful world of Second Life and the opportunity to display my work on the blog. I’m a photographer in real life, but I found that Second Life presented a different set of photographic challenges to be overcome, so it did take some time to start to feel comfortable with what is essentially an entirely new photographic medium.

The reason why I’ve decided to quit is because of SL Naturist’s editorial policy, and the expectations of their naturist photography. I found this a bit limiting, as I’d like to broaden my SL photographic work into glamour, erotic and even more risqué photographs, none of which would meet the demands of SLN editorial policy. I find SL to be a thoroughly entertaining waste of time, and I do like the challenge of producing nude photography from the perspective of a model with limited movement, thus placing extra demands on the photographer.

As a result I’ve decided to step out on my own in SL, and to photograph people and situations without limitations.

My own Flickr page is now online, and this will feature more artistic, more edgy, more political, more sexual works from the virtual world of Second Life.

No, there was no option to continue within the SLN ‘family’, because of what Ella felt would be ‘guilt by association’ if I were to continue photographing for both SLN and my own outlets and a ‘blurring’ of her avowed editorial policy of promoting only ‘pure’ naturism, not linked to the erotic or political or sexual. We’d agreed to go our separate ways prior to Ella’s announcement to step down. As the blog looks like it might be closing I’d have needed my own outlet anyway to do what I wanted to do.

How I do see myself proceeding in Second Life is the establishment of a website and possibly the establishment of my own gallery within Second Life, not just for my work, but similarly glamour/erotic/sexual photographers. It’s early days in my Second Life to say right now that this is how I’ll move forward, but those are the plans in my head.

Thanks for the support and the kind words afforded to some of my photographs during my time as a photographer for SLN. I hope to catch you on the grid sometime and, male or female, maybe get you to sit for me.

 

Hugh.

 

 

S***storm: Help wanted

My post a couple of days ago announcing that, with Ella stepping down, I had decided to close SL Naturist has resulted in me creating something of a considerable s***storm for myself.

I’ve been in SL for quite a long time now, frequented a lot of naturist sims and therefore have a lot of SL naturist friends.

The tone of IMs I’ve received in the past 48 hours from some of them can essentially be boiled down to one general response. ‘WTF are you doing?’

Ella remains adamant that she wishes to quit the position of SLN editor, and hers are considerable mesh flip flops to fill. I’ve taken for granted that the posts would be there, that Ella & Pookes would post, that the standard of writing would be good. Faced with that void, why continue?

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Filling an empty chair

Can we get someone as committed? Can we get someone with the same standard of English? Can we get someone with the same knowledge of RL & SL naturism? Probably not. But some of you seem to believe that’s no excuse not to try. I’ve already outlined my thoughts of this, that it’s best we go out on top, but some people obviously disagree.

On that basis…

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I am making no promises about this. People may not fit the bill. I may decide to still follow my first instinct and close, as planned, on September 14th. As several people have said no, please don’t, and others have expressed a desire to try to fill an Ella-shaped void, I owe it to you to maybe try to see if there’s a suitable replacement out there. The fat lady may not be singing just yet, but my own view is that she’s sipping a honey & lemon drink and practicing some scales backstage.

Howie

A word from the publisher

As Ella’s already told you, we’ll be shutting SL Naturist on September 14th.

The entire thing has been a blast, and far more successful than I think Ella or I imagined. We’ve known each other since the very early days of our respective SLs, which seems a long time ago and some bad skins, hair & AOs away now. Ah! Some of the naturist sims Ella and I have seen, been members of, watched close… By the time we kept turning up at the same ones, night after night, we were chums. 🙂

The blog will remain online after ‘closure’, so if the links work you can still reference them.

I don’t expect to make any further comment on the blog, so I’ll take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us (which means Ella, basically) over the last four years. I just provided a ‘home’ for the writers and threw some money at the avatars so they could best reflect how much fun naturism in SL can be.

As Ella’s already also told you, I expect to launch a new blog towards the end of the year, which will reflect on music-making within SL. Lots of people perform in SL. Let’s profile them. Let’s get their recordings available in the blogosphere. Let’s get those performers in ‘the SL charts’. Let’s present them with gold records…or whatever. That’s my next project. Actually, that was my first project, four years ago, before Ella & I cooked up the idea of SLN.

Sincerely, folks, thanks for supporting Ella in particular over the past four years. We’ve had as much fun as it’s possible to have with our clothes off. 🙂

All that’s left for me to do is grab the (SL & RL) missus, stick some cool jazz (‘Hello, Pork Pie Hat’, if you get my meaning) on the ghetto-blaster just out of shot in the photo and lead her to the surf for some sunset naked dancing.

howie & pam_001b

 

Be sure to keep enjoying the wonderful SL world we inhabit. It’s a great game, and I think in some ways we’ve only just scratched the surface of its possibilities.

Love to everyone, and see you all around sometime.

xx

 

Howie.

 

Growing up with naturism

I think I need to give up work and just write this blog full time. 🙂

Why? The more immersive the SL experience, the more satisfying it becomes. The more time you get in SL, the greater the sense of fun. As if my weekend hasn’t been action-packed enough -let’s blame the Irish for their capacity to drag us along to their party, yes? There have been many well-attended St. Patrick’s Day parties this weekend which have certainly manifested themselves as well-attended clothing optional events). May I raise a glass of stout to St. Patrick for that – I tp’ed into Blue Lagoon (again!) this afternoon. More pix of this afternoon’s dance coming up…

Their St. Patrick’s Day party was still going on. From Friday night????? While there Brenda, co-owner of Eden Naturist Estate, IM’ed me. We spoke about a range of topics (yes, I’ll be sharing some of the other matters we discussed here on SL Naturist in due course) but Brenda and I were focussed on one thing in particular: a post she’d received from Swedish avatar Kynlif.

Kynlif had hoped that she could share her words, her experiences and her photographs on the Eden Naturist web page, but Brenda thought that Kynlif’s contribution fell more into SL Naturist’s domain, and that it might realise a greater, wider audience here. It’s a beautiful story of a young girl’s first experiences of nude bathing due to her Mother’s sensible, logical conclusion that swimming naked at a bathhouse on their doorstep made more sense than a 40 minute round trip to swim at a textile swimming baths. 

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Swedish avatar Kynlif, author of the experiences recounted below

That resonates with me. I keep arguing that if naturist facilities are provided, people will overcome any fears, shame or embarrassment to readily embrace the naturist lifestyle. The only thing that prevents the availability of such readily available facilities are our legislators. Those of us in Europe, in particular, may argue we live in a secular continent, but the reality is that far too many of our politicians nail their colours to the mast of their religious faith, their Christianity. And the main Christian denominations, based in Europe, still hold power and influence over our politicians and legislators to ensure that the act of going naked or being naked is still being outlawed or limited because of a couple of verses at the beginning of the Bible.

Ella

*********

 

When I refer to my ‘first’ experience of nude bathing it was not my first experience of swimming nude, but rather the first nude bathing I had done in the presence of an ‘audience’.
The summer I turned thirteen we lived in a small town 30 kilometers northeast of Gothenburg.
When we were out in the boat there were hidden coves along the river, so we had swum naked as long as I can remember.

secret swim
When I was a child we swam naked in hidden coves

But the summer I turned thirteen we moved to the coastline near Gothenburg.
Five minutes walk from our new home was a nude beach, Saltholmen Bathhouse. (website in Swedish)
The nearest textiles bathing was twenty minutes drive away.

cold bathhaouse
The entrance through the fence looked exciting. I fantasised about what it looked like on the other side of the entrance.

A sunny warm weekend my dad was out of town on business. My mom and I walked past the entrance to the cold baths: the Kallbadhus (Ella adds: from what I can find, there are numerous Kallbadhus in Sweden, and it appears these refer to organised cold water swimming areas, complete with facilities, and would be differentiated from what might be classified as ‘warm’ bathhouses such as Turkish Baths.)

‘I wonder how it looks in there’,  I said.
‘We’ll find out’, responded mom.
‘Do we dare?’, I said with a thirteen year old’s inbuilt cowardice.
‘Of course we dare’, replied mother. ‘Everyone is naked in there, it’s not (as if we’re going naked in the) town square. Now, let’s go and buy some sleeping mats, towels and coffee, and then we’ll go in there. It’s silly to travel twenty minutes to another bath when this one is so close’.

When we went into the Bathhouse on a beautiful day there were naked people bathing everywhere, young and old.

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These older people told us that they had swum here since they were small and could not imagine going anywhere else

For the first few minutes it felt a little strange. Both Mom and I had swum topless before, but now the panties had to go too!
The older ladies were very curious about who we were. But in a nice way. They sat down next to us and we talked and drank some very nice coffee. And had many lovely swims.

We were also told that the beach was divided into three parts; Ladies, Men and Families with children.
So the next time we bathed we got Dad to accompany us too.

My three children have followed this tradition to go to the nude beach since they were little, so for them it is completely natural to bathe naked.

Moreover, they now have, aged 10,12 and 14 years, a very relaxed attitude to nudity. They know that nude is one thing and sex is another matter.

I perceive a nudist beach as a a place to reduce segregation (and division), which otherwise is very evident in Gothenburg. Being nude we lack “insignia”. Everyone is equal and can interact in a nonthreatening manner.

naturally speaking

Anyone can hang out on equal terms on a nude beach

Kynlif

Credits: Words, RL & SL photography and photo captions provided by Kynlif. Many thanks to Brenda Hoisin for providing me with Kynlif”s article.

An English language page about Saltholmen is available here.