Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die – Herbert Hoover



I hope my friend Kat Feldragonne doesn’t mind me utilising a photo from her blog, one she used in her ‘Look of the Day’ about a week ago, a photo also featured on her Flickr page. You need to check out both the blog & flickr page. I dearly love the quotes, epithets and sense of the poetic in the words Kat adds to her posts, such as the one above. Why? Because it’s the sort of thought-provoking words, as much as the sense of SL style, that help to inform the work on this blog.

Twelve words…but oh so true of the real world as well as in some parts of SL. Nigeria’s boy soldiers…the actions of Boko Haram…the de-sensitising of attitudes to death in things like Call of Duty, often played by adolescent boys. The ‘normalisation’ of kidnap and rape as a ‘legitimate’ part of war being waged by this inhumane groups like Islamic State...

Yes…War is always good at making little boys fall in love with it, and the current generation, as never before, are being exposed to a hygienic, de-sensitised, romanticised version in which there’s always another computer life if there’s a fatal shot fired. Call of Duty, and its ilk, will never contain the screams, the pain, the graphic open wounds, a slow darkness and silence descending as the victim falls into unconsciousness or death. Perhaps if they sold it on the basis that ‘if you’re shot, the game cartridge will never work again’ people might think their approach to it. Likely?

Happily, SL’s gameplay is never likely to be as immersive, in respect of war, as games dedicated to it, so it’s not going to be as popular in SL as….dancing! Or, come to that, naturism!

But Kat hits the nail, firmly on the head, in the quote from her post. The world’s governments and armaments manufacturers will always manage to engineer situations where their profits take precedence to humanity. The ‘war on terrorism’ often little more than a ‘war on a peaceful world, if the overwhelming majority of its citizens had their way’. Do any of us have markedly different hopes and aspirations to anywhere else in the world? Does a mother in the 20th floor apartment of a Manhattan apartment block have radically different views as to her children’s future than one in Nigeria? In Gaza? In Jerusalem? In Syria? I don’t think so.

In the meantime, dark forces conspire to ensure that War continues to get the little boys to fall in love with it. Without that love, war can’t thrive.

An absolutely wonderful and thought provoking quotation, Kat. Thank you.



National Geographic (& Amazon River)

We’ve all seen copies of this long running magazine without, I imagine, as much as flicking through a copy.



National Geographic has been published since 1888, and from 1896 has been featuring nudity, almost certainly exclusively with regard to ‘primitive’ peoples, or ‘noble savages’.



I mention this because I was recently talking to a person (in the real world) who said that the magazine legitimised nudity when he was a teenager in the 1970s. Because it was ‘primitive peoples’ it was OK for him to view these things, everywhere from his school to his parents purchasing copies at the local newsagents. He suggested that the feeling may well have been that copies of a naturist magazine wouldn’t have been considered acceptable, by either his teachers or parents, but unclad women in ‘primitive’ areas of the world was fine.






(Above: from (before) 1944 to the 1980s, nudity has been featured regularly in National Geographic)

Indeed, he suggests that the magazine was his only regular source of semi-clad women. I wasn’t aware of the magazine as ‘eye candy for teenage boys’, but I can understand how and why they might have had such interest in all things geographic. Of course, from our perspective in the 21st century we can look back at 30 year old magazines, before the internet made all manner of nudity available to all, and regard them as bit exploitative. I imagine there was something of an editorial policy that suggested that we, the ‘enlightened, religious west’ were somehow more advanced for embracing clothes and that we knew ‘shame’ and the need for the body to be covered. (Who, again, is it who is more ‘enlightened’?)

Scouring the internet will reveal that ‘tribal nudity’ is something of a…I’m not sure if ‘fetish’ is the right word. It’s certainly something internet users do regard as ‘a thing’, at least. It would be very interesting to know how much of this ‘thing’ had its seeds in the minds of men of a certain age reading National Geographic.






We’ve done our own National Geographic front cover (photo and mock up by Diane, based on the original cover -top of page)


I’ve said before how SL is enriched by cultural diversity and how, also, this diversity has diminished in recent years in SL. While Amazon River, the location where our mocked-up photo shoot took place, concerns itself only with one eco-system, it is the benchmark of what can be achieved. While visiting, I ran into Tadeseu and Samomopopucu, two avatars who discovered Amazon River, began role-playing within it, and who have adopted a ‘tribal’ approach to their avatars. ‘We wanted to live SL very much as we might as members of a jungle tribe, the look, the experience, everything. Gradually, as we’ve played it, we’ve both been able to adopt something of a tribal look -tribal tattoos, hairless bodies, good looking skins of darker tones’.

They’ve also been surprised how immersive and educational Amazon River has become to them. ‘We both read about it a lot. Not exclusively the Amazon, but other areas under threat from ‘civilisations’. These tribes have had a same way of life for thousands of years, and then civilisation comes along to threaten them, or wipe them out, within a few generations. How does that enrich the globe? To lose those languages and rituals, the innocence of nudity…’.





Amazon River prides itself on being ‘eight regions, one river’, and is certainly somewhere worth visiting in SL if ‘something different’ is what you yearn.


The male thong: why?

hugh thong_001b

Hugh is still a relatively new SL player, and as such I still tend to point him at any male group gifts I come across on my travels. One such LM offered recently was Faboo, who do swimwear, and one of their group gifts for guys is a thong.

hugh thong2_001b


Hugh found their L$1 male thong amusing, and I have to say that, SL or RL, I agree. Because if your swimwear reaches this level of ‘skimpy’, it begs the question ‘why bother?’

I’m not criticising Faboo. I think they’ve brilliantly captured the accuracy of such RL swimwear. They, like so many other great SL stores, simply reflect the stupidity of fashion in the real world. I do see these in RL from time to time, and with a bottom essentially fully on display, and genitalia almost fully displayed in outline, it would surely be more comfortable to simply go fully nude. Granted, there are circumstances where you may not be on a nude beach, and this offers the closest to nude you can manage without breaking the rules, but why lie sunning yourself on a beach adjacent to a naturist beach, or even on a C-O beach, in this?

We all know what a penis looks like. Indeed, if you’re wearing this we have a damned good idea what yours looks like, despite an expensive bit of cloth a quarter of the size of a handkerchief covering it. I can only imagine how uncomfortable -front and back- such an item must be to wear. Ditch the thong, fellas. It’s time to embrace naturism if you’ve caught yourself lingering over this sort of thing in a clothing store.


Two sets of eyes are better than one

jj pubes_001b

whisper pubes 5_001b


Whisper pubic hair from Posh Tales (L$50 marketplace)

jj pubes_001b

jj’s pubic hair L$0 Marketplace

Two sets of eyes are better than one. Or maybe it’s because I’ve established my look that I’m less aware of certain elements of avatar ‘design’. Sylvia has experimented with SL for much of the afternoon, and now she’s getting a hang of the controls I decided to introduce….the Marketplace!

Of course, within a couple of minutes she has unearthed the two items shown above, for wear down below 😉

Not only to both look fantastic, they’re very, very affordable. One prices at just L$50 and the other is absolutely free!

(For photographic purposes I did ask Sylvia to remove her avatar’s clit ring.

Incidentally, these groomed, trimmed but still visible styles of pubic hair are what we’ve been seeing this week.

When I set Sylvia’s avatar up initially I added a nipple ring to the avi (once again true to RL). An afternoon on SL’s marketplace has led her to change this to a bar. I’ve been explaining a little of the ‘SL replicates RL’ concept of SLN at times, and she has decided that the reverse can also be true. Tomorrow, apparently, we’re off in search of a tattoo/piercing parlour to see if she can swap her RL nipple ring for a RL nipple bar.

I did say it would be a different, interesting, and ‘hold on tight’ sort of week.


Stunning photography

I’ll not make this one of the ‘Postcards from Spain’ type postings as (a) Sylvia and I haven’t done anything today (so far, it’s 830am) to report and (b) it doesn’t particularly fit into the Spanish theme. I could stretch it into a Spanish-themed post, I suppose, but I’d rather not, and just focus on the talent I’m about to show to you.

Sylvia went to bed about midnight last night and I hopped onto SL to go dancing at Commune Utopia’s usual clothing optional Friday night dance.

ella by fabio lazuli


It was my absolute pleasure to run into, and talk to, SL avatar Fabio Lazuli, who is an extremely talented photographer and he snapped me at the Commune (above). This is just….wow!

I’m always in awe of those who can photograph in SL properly, as opposed to those of us at SLN who are merely enthusiastic amateur snappers (with the caveat that the blog doesn’t always need stunning photography, just a sense of a naturist place)

Fabio has his own Flickr presence, which I’d encourage you to visit because his photography is majestic, moody, SL-related and involves ‘the nude’. His page is well worth visiting, and I hope he’ll be adding more photos to it soon.




Postcards from Spain: 2015/1, Day 1, A bit of a shock


I landed in Alicante earlier today, and then had to hang around for 90 minutes in the airport until Sylvia’s flight arrived. Next week it will be her who plays the waiting game, as I’ll be flying home while she hangs around waiting for her flight.

90 minutes wait was fine. I texted home to let them know I’d arrived safely, then killed time with a couple of cups of coffee. I don’t like coffee much, being much more of a tea person, and getting proper tea -English breakfast tea- is a tough ask in an airport. Much easier in resort, where there’s enough of an ex-pat community to understand what you mean by ‘a pot of tea’. 🙂

So it was a couple of cups of over-priced decaffeinated coffee and a ‘read’ of a Spanish newspaper. After several years holidaying in the country, I can usually flick through El Pais and pick up the gist of the stories, even though my Spanish is rudimentary.

I’d pre-arranged to meet Sylvia at the baggage carousels when her flight arrived. She recognised me although she was…almost unrecognisable when she came running up and gave me a hug! The person I remembered, and re-imagined for SL purposes a couple of weeks ago has changed quite a bit.

sylvia C

My SL re-imagining of Sylvia as I recall her the last time we met in RL.


sylvia B


Once we’d driven up to the resort and were getting settled in, I had to hop onto SL in order to revise my re-imagining of her for this week’s ‘Postcards from Spain’ series.

Her hair is almost shaved at the side now, a more masculine (to my eyes) kind of look. We unpacked and undressed…well, we undressed in our respective bedrooms first and then started the process of unpacking. And I put the kettle on. Yes, more tea.

Tea made, bags unpacked and clothes removed, we sat in the shade, on the terrace, for a further catch up; the two hour drive from Alicante was a constant buzz of us talking that still isn’t exhausted. We shared photographs, memories, and laughter before Sylvia opted for a bit of a lie down, leaving me here on my own, and not feeling exhausted for once. Often, I find travelling exhausting but I feel absolutely alive right now.

I had a quick rummage around the SL blogosphere and, courtesy of Julianna Seriman at the Fab Free blog, I spotted this long tank, which is on sale (L$49) at Mrs. B’s Designs. Intended to be worn with a matching denim skirt, according to Julianna’s review, I opted not to purchase the skirt 😉 because this is very much something that can be worn as nightwear and, in my current circumstances, early morning day-wear for that early morning trip to the beach, and maybe an early morning skinny dip (depending on the waves). I have, indeed, packed something similar for nightwear purposes this holiday, and so I’ve opted to model it as I may do tomorrow morning on the playa.

ella sunrise long tank_001bc

Photo taken at Su Casa Naturist

In a departure from the usual ‘what I saw today’ postings that form the basis of the ‘Postcards’ series, I’ve decided that what I’ll try to add into them when I post is a secondary theme, ‘How I stocked my holiday wardrobe after the airline lost my suitcase’. It has happened to me before. Fortunately, it happened when returning home. My plane landed at Manchester, my suitcase in L.A!

There’s such a lot of great summery things around at the moment that I would like to imagine the need to head out with a credit card in order to be able to quickly build a wardrobe. Even naturists need clothes!

I’ve no idea what we’re doing for the rest of the evening. I may get on to SL a little later. Oddly enough, I find that my in world time increases when on holiday. The blog has one focus, the ‘Postcards’ series, and I can concentrate on merely replicating what I’ve seen in a RL naturist context during the day.






A return to replicating RL in SL (Hommage a Harry)



I saw this photo on a naturist blog and thought it very much reflected a sense of SL. If one visits, for example, the various Eden Naturopolis harbours or Blue Lagoon Marina (also part of the Eden Naturist Estate), you will get a sense of the scene photographed being very similar to what you’ll find in SL.

Harry used to do an occasional ‘SL replicates RL’ kind of post, and it’s not something we’ve repeated since he took leave of absence of Second Life. Incidentally, he continues to recover, but it’s a slow process and as far as I’m aware we cannot expect his return any time soon.

I asked Hugh, therefore, if he would do the honours of trying to replicate the scene above in an SL setting, and his photos can be seen below.

diana katja3_001b_Fotor

katja and diana_001b_Fotor

katja and diana2_001b_Fotor



I’ll begin this post with two links. One, there’s a ‘social media campaign’ going in which ladies are invited to hold a bottle of coke, in whatever ‘imaginative’ ways they can, between their boobs. And two, criticism of the same campaign.


As is often the case, social media appears to be the natural home for anything moronic, a place that I hope history will record as a brief phenomenon belonging to the narcissistic and shallow.



‘Cock in a sock’, ‘no make up’ and maybe the most idiotic of all, the ‘Ice Bucket challenge’, the latter even tipping over into SL, and which we blogged about previously, these are things people indulge in.

Yes, I’ve heard the arguments that some were ‘in a good cause’, but eventually the money or awareness raising elements of them were bypassed for no other reason than people wanted to act like ‘good sports’ or ‘idiots’ on their chosen social media.

The instigator of the hashtag  is quoted as saying “We never thought it would take off like it did. But it did. And then people started posting it was for charity and it was for breast cancer awareness. We had never plan [sic] on that nor thought of it. But since that’s what people want to do it for, we said why not do something good with this. So we went with it. They can ether [sic] do the challenge, donate to their favorite charity, or both. It’s up to them. Let’s face some real facts. Not every woman does their exams or goes and gets a mammogram. Several people are on the mind set it will never happen to me, I’m to [sic] young or old for it to happen to me, my boobs are too small… and so on and so on…We tell people to get their mammograms and to donate to any breast cancer charity they want too [sic].

OK, so it didn’t start as a ‘charity campaign’ but as a bit of fun. Fine. And it seems that those doing it have turned it into a charitable event (maybe). Also fine. The instigators are now, in retrospect, telling people to get checks or donate to charities because a bit of fun has gone viral in a way they never anticipated. Equally fine.

But it doesn’t get away from the fact that it’s certainly exploitative of young women (again!) who may regret their participation in events like these in later life. Or maybe their narcissism and shallowness is such that these sort of things are, sadly, key highlights in their lives.

I expect the first ‘hold a coke with your boobs’ pose to turn up in SL within a week…



edited to add: One Mum with breast cancer goes full on about the meme in the UK’s Daily Mirror newspaper today.

Further edited to add: The bottle cap nipple pasties as displayed in the top photograph are already an SL Marketplace item. This is not a criticism of the designer (and they look to be an item that pre-dates this current internet meme). SL designers and builders merely reflect or, in this instance, pre-empt what RL sometimes does.

There are also Coca Cola cans widely available in SL, and I assume it would be relatively easy to replicate the meme’s style by choosing to attach these to the avatar’s chest or spine rather than attaching them to the hand.

Be proud, you’re beautiful

I’m delighted to read Mischa’s post on the SL Destinations R Us blog, wherein she comments on the issue of body-shaming, and how people, particularly young women, are subjected to pressure from a beauty image.8374956812_8e0cc045b5_z

For a while some of us who are less mainstream in our SL blogging have been saying the same thing, but it rather appears that that sense of fighting back against the shape-shamers has boiled over into SL’s more popular clothes blogs, that we as a community of SL bloggers are now all beginning to say the same thing, that enough is enough.


Time to be proud of who you are, regardless of what a beauty industry says.



‘Older’ women don’t rock much, apparently.

I’m not a movie buff, so I confess I didn’t know who Maggie Gyllenhaal was prior to reading this story. It rather appears she’s ‘too old’, a 37 year old actress, to be the love interest in a movie opposite a 55 year old man.

Thirty seven, eh? I remember that like it was…oooh…last year!

I’m sorry, but am I the only one who thinks she’s drop dead gorgeous with to-die-for cheekbones?



I’ve seen Jennifer Aniston ‘act’, and essentially I don’t think she can act; she has no depth. Anything I’ve ever seen her in she pretty much plays ‘Jennifer Aniston’, and personally I’d dismiss her from ‘the love interest’ in anything because I find her wholly unconvincing. Oddly, at a decade older than Ms.Gyllenhaal, she still seems to be getting ‘love interest roles in films that come with what I regard more as a public health warning as a genre: ‘romantic comedy’.

I’ve not seen Ms. Gyllenhaal act, the movies listed in her wiki entry apparently as lightweight as anything Jennifer Aniston has done, but I’m not in a position to judge Ms. Gyllenhaal on her acting abilities, or capacity to convincingly be the love interest of an older man. But let’s leave aside my (lack of) knowledge about the movie business.

Let’s get to the hub of the issue: sexist ageism.

Predictably, the media has blanket-covered the matter, and rightly so. It’s Hollywood’s version of ‘social engineering’, again. As usual, from James Bond to…whatever…the action hero has to be seen wooing women young enough to be their daughters. Isn’t there something slightly wrong, on all sorts of levels, with this?

Presumably, there will come a time when Hollywood needs an older woman for a role. You know, someone exactly the same age as the leading man, required to play the mother of the leading man’s main squeeze.

Where might these women be? Retired from Hollywood, mopping tables in Burger King? I don’t know. I’m so far removed from Hollywood that I’m unsure how ‘Tinseltown’ really works. Nor do I really care.

What I do care about is that women are treated to this sort of routine gender-based ageism. It makes me angry.

As usual, though, there’s a need to have a Second Life perspective on this, and following on from my ‘Older Guys rock!‘ post, I began to analyse the role and function of ‘age’ within Second Life, a platform that sometimes appears to adopt a similar position to that of Tinseltown, demanding that women, more than men, fall into a framework of the eternally youthful. Certainly, men in SL are just as willing to take the ‘Neverland’ approach and never grow up, or old, in many instances, but it seemed to me that it’s women who are…not ‘pressurised’ as such, but encouraged, or persuaded, to adopt that more youthful look.

In this, I turned to Barbara, who pretty much functions as SLN’s ‘older avatar correspondent’ a lot of the time, because I know that she is very interested in such things:

‘In my estimation there’s a Catch-22 situation with SL. Skin designers make young skins. They’re widely available and you can often find good ones free. So people find it easier to create a good looking younger avatar. Skin designers are more reluctant to do older ones, and the older ones that are created are often prohibitively expensive. Why pay L$1000 or more for an older looking skin when you can probably get a good skin for free?

‘Hair is a little easier. Just buy grey or white instead of blonde or brunette, but a lot of the emphasis of the game is that ‘alternative’ life, so clearly people are drawn to that element of it. I understand why people may want to shave a decade or two off their real life age and re-live their youth. Just because we hit 50 doesn’t mean we don’t remember our wild youth like it was yesterday. Cyber…again, it’s a guilt free replication of our teenage years, without the fear of teen pregnancy or any ‘reputation’ applied because your avatar is promiscuous, very much removed from the RL experience. Of course people want that. I’ve read Canary Beck’s survey too, and can completely understand the reasons why people have the SL sex lives they do.

‘There’s a kind of a flip-side to being an obvious ‘older woman’ in SL, incidentally, which I think does diverge from what you’re suggesting is the Hollywood experience, in that the ‘older woman’, as an obvious avatar, can sometimes become a MILF or yummy mummy figure. This would be part and parcel of my SL experience, in that my avatar’s look, and my profile, clearly identifies me as an ‘older woman’ and that, I think, is attractive to younger males in SL. Sometimes, that feeds back into what you, Canary and Vanadis identified last week as ‘unwanted attentions’ and how to deal with them. By creating an older avatar you create a set of circumstances wherein, being older, you become more attractive, at least in the sense of being another notch on the SL bedpost.’

babs d

Is there an appetite for women to wear older looking avatars in the manner Barbara does?

Barbara would appear to suggest that skin designers have a role to play, wherein they could diversify and create a wider age-range of affordable skins of varying age. Indeed, if Barbara’s last point, the ‘older woman as object of sexual desire’ is correct, such skins might well have a ready-made attraction for some. She confides that he would love to be able to purchase a ‘middle aged’ skin. ‘I think the skin I use, while designed for a younger avatar, works…apart from around the face. It’s easy to create a shape that replicates middle-age by thickening the body a little and making the boobs saggier, but there remains a problem with the face. We tend to get more wrinkles, around the eyes, in real life, and without being able to age the face accordingly it does make me still feel I’m living a little bit of a lie by not being true to myself, although the lie is being perpetuated my skin designers rather than me wishing to be something I’m not’.

As SL ages, so the perspective of its players change. Personally, I’m finding that more males are adopting an older look where once they would have bought into the eternal youthfulness that SL offers. This is quite apparent to me at some of the naturist sims I visit, where some males, beyond the SL friends I wrote about in the ‘Older guys rock’ post, now feel confident enough to adopt older avatars. Like Hollywood, it’s obvious that being 55 in SL or in the movies, isn’t necessarily seen to be a bar to playing the romantic lead. I did recently investigate what I would call a non-genuine naturist sim where a balding, white bearded male avatar was indulging in a threesome with two youthful lovelies. And no, you didn’t see the sim reviewed and blogged for that specific reason 🙂

So SL replicates Hollywood, from the older man/younger woman perspective. Is it working in the opposite direction? Apart from Barbara’s reported ‘milf’ scenario, I’ve certainly never seen any evidence of it. There simply don’t appear to be many older looking female avatars chatting or dancing with younger looking male avatars from what I can see.

I think it’s good that males are confident enough to adopt older looking avatars. I welcome that development. However, it seems to me that SL replicates RL to a degree where the older guy can get the younger female, but the older female -even the SL equivalent of a 37-year-old Maggie Gyllenhaal- remains (the likes of Barbara notwithstanding) almost invisible.