This is the end.

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Every seven years, you change., apparently.

For me, if I look back over my life, there’s some truth in that. 14 spells the beginning of a formative age, 21 the beginning of adulthood, 28 the beginning of family life, 35 the beginnings of a new maturity and so on.

It doesn’t hold exactly true, of course. We don’t change each seventh birthday, but around and about each seven years there’s a kind of shift.

At 56 I retired. Not because it was 8 x 7, but because I’d always hoped and planned to retire at 55. It took a year to extricate myself from the hamster wheel of work and actually do it. We (my wife and myself) bought a home in Spain last year where we’ll live at least half of the year and enjoy our middle age and twilight years.

After seven years and four months (2704 days, at the time of writing, to be exact) I’ve reached the end of the SL road, in a sense. I won’t be renewing my rental in a month’s time, and will be exiting SL on a regular basis as a result of real life ‘commitments’. I’m not actually committed to anything, but the death of Prince, almost the exact same age as I am, made me think that I should try to do stuff that thrills me (i.e. music) while I can.

It seems an appropriate time to bring SL Naturist to an end and go back to my first love, music. You’ll probably never hear that music, of course, but that’s not important. The important thing is to flex the creative muscle in that regard. I’ve always regarded SL & RL as entirely separate, so I’m not even going to point you at my real life, real world website (or real life, real world recordings).

With hindsight, no disrespect to Trine and Abigail’s terrific work, we should have closed when Ella and Pookes called it a day last autumn.

We’ve weathered changes in personnel, a shift in attitudes to SL nudity, a shift in attitudes to RL nudity, a shift in the way SL is over that seven years.

It feels like the right time to say goodbye, and close SL Naturist. I’m grateful to Trine, Ella, Pookes, Abigail, Harry, Diane and others for their input over the past four and a half years, but there’s something that’s telling me that this is the time to call a halt. So I will.

SL Naturist, 821,000 visits later, 1000+ visits per day later, is closing. I would like to thank all who have visited the blog over the past four and a half years.

We will remain online, but as from today it’s unlikely there will be few further updates. (I reserve the right to blog on redirecting readers to any new blog the staff may wish to set up, but SLN, in its current form, will no longer post or update).

It has been fun. It has been great fun. But the world moves on, if it’s real life or a Second life, and for me it’s time to exit SL almost entirely, due to a shift in thinking. Of course my avatar ‘lives on’ and I’m not ruling out occasional forays into SL, but regular visits are almost impossible, moving forward. There’s much to do, and SL won’t be an integral part of that, moving forward.

I promise that I will redirect you to any new site, should the staff, past and present, decide to continue blogging on SL naturism, but I’m done, I’m through, I’m finished. The SL office presence in world will exist for about another month, but I won’t be renewing my rent at the Eden Estate thereafter, and will be moving on to pastures new, in the real world.

My very best wishes to you all.

 

Howie

 

 

 

The Naked Hunt begins…

At the beginning of the month we reported that The Naked Hunt was coming. And now it has begun:)

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The starting point is Isle of Punishment, and with each gift you discover, the locations for the next two stops on the hunt are provided along with the gift. You’re looking for a card with the image (above) printed on it for each gift.

I’m not going to race around the hunt and try to finish it too quickly, but spread it out over a couple of weeks and come back to it on a semi-regular basis.

So to kick off…

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…this loincloth and leg bands at the first stop on the hunt, to give you a flavour of what to expect on The Naked Hunt.

I’ve picked up a couple of the other gifts already but I won’t post these just yet. I’ll continue on the hunt over the next couple of nights and update you.

Trine

 

 

Hepburn

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BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S, Audrey Hepburn, 1961

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Audrey Hepburn. In ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s‘. A moment that defined a certain style with the ‘LBD’, the ‘little black dress‘, and continues to define it. There are few women reading this who don’t have, in some shape or form, a little black dress in their wardrobe.

That iconic Givenchy dress continues to be something almost as vital to our wardrobes as bras and knickers, and has been in fashion for half a century and more.

Should you wish to dress in an Audrey Hepburn style, I’d advise you to pop onto the Marketplace, and check out Crazy Pastry’s ‘Audrey’ outfit (includes hat, sunglasses, cigarette and holder) all for just L$165. Bargain!

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Our model poses as ‘Audrey’

So what’s the connection to naturism?

Well, like ‘the little black dress’, the human body is a design classic that never goes out of style. It’s always fashionable. Examine art from the ancient Greeks, to the Romans, to the Renaissance, to photographs made somewhere in the world in the past ten minutes as ‘art photography’, and it’s evident that human beings have been captivated by the naked human form since we practically began scratching images on cave walls.

 

Shouldn’t we be making that part of our wardrobe, a (birthday) suit to be worn -like the little black dress- in the right circumstances? That is, all beach and swimming activities, in our gardens where the weather permits?

 

Trine

 

 

 

Meteo Naturiste

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I didn’t get into SL yesterday because we went to our naturist club. The weather was chilly, and it ended up as a day helping out in the grounds, clothed, rather than enjoying naturism. However, it was quality time spent with friends, and working on the grounds was part of our wider naturism.

If the graphic above, Meteo naturiste, naturist weather in France, is showing the figures in Brittany & Normandy being purple in colour, you can imagine what colour we’d have been, naked, in northern England. Oh, the sun shone, but the naturist’s worst enemy, the wind, blew hard. The wind, in my opinion, is a worse enemy than rain for the naturist.

Anyway, the sun’s shining again today. It looks pleasant when inside looking out, but outdoors it’s quite nippy. Scotland was, apparently, going to get snow over the weekend, so winter hasn’t released us of its death stare just yet. My shoes are off, and I’m tucked into a favourite armchair to spend the rest of the day in SL.

 

Trine

Trump in SL.

I don’t have a dog in the fight, so I’m not going to get too involved in an opinion on this, but I thought that it was worth pointing out for reasons I’ll explain in a moment.

There is a Donald Trump SL Campaign Headquarters in Second Life.

I’ve got mixed feelings about this because I recognise (as does the Republican Party and maybe even Trump supporters) that he’s a divisive figure, but the fact that this building (complete with info, notecards, freebies) exists is a throwback to the early days of Second Life when the real world was very much represented on the grid. Many businesses and universities had a foothold in Second Life, and there was an educational element to the entire game. If that means that people use SL to get informed, and then engage (in anything), that’s a good thing. I suppose it could be argued that SL Naturist fulfils this role for the naturist community, in a small way. Mixed feelings because we sometimes like to use Second Life to escape all this political nonsense.

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So even if you’re in favour or opposed to Donald Trump, the very fact that the real world is dragged into Second Life and we get back to where Second Life once was can only be regarded as positive. Who knows? In a small way will it reinvigorate that real world engagement with SL, making it ‘the next big thing’ in terms of how politics, businesses and places of learning engage with an audience, in a form of social media, the way SL used to be? That would be a good outcome, I think.

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Perhaps the next development would be a Sanders and/or Clinton campaign HQ in response? Or a Cruz HQ?

As I say, I’m not going to be drawn into opinions over an election I don’t have a vote in, and I’d be mightily pissed off at people from beyond the UK sticking their worthless tuppence worth into our forthcoming EU referendum (something I do have an opinion about). So I’m not getting involved in the merits or demerits of Trump.

Even if you’re vehemently anti-Trump, I’d encourage you to visit the sim, if for no other reason than seeing a throwback to how SL used to look, in terms of providing information notecards or promoting a message.

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Trine

Stealthy Freedoms, Persia and signing off.

I wrote last week about ‘cultural  Marxism’, with a context of female flight attendants for Air France being asked to cover their heads when landing in Iran.

The BBC reports that the women have won their battle (or, rather, Air France have side-stepped the issue rather than tackling the issue head on).

The issue also raised the profile of the My Stealthy Freedom social media group, whom we’ve previously written about in SL Naturist. They’ve asked all female visitors to Iran to remove headscarves, and to highlight the ‘freedom’ involved in doing so, and many women are posting photos and memes to the group’s Facebook page.

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SL Naturist has sometimes been about personal freedoms in the issues we write about, with naturism (in the real world, as in Second Life) certainly being a personal freedom we make our demands to pursue, sometimes in the face of opposition. While it certainly doesn’t have the same implications for an avatar, there may be sanctions. Stepping outside the norm in Second Life can leads to bans from certain sims. Being a furry, or another type of non-human styled avatar, might result in a ban from a sim. Being naked, in human form, might lead to a ban from a sim. Going out in public, without a headscarf, in the real Islamic world, could lead to fines or worse (note: in respect of this last link, I’ve no idea if that blog has a demonising of Islam styled agenda in presenting these facts).

I don’t wish to focus too much on Iran, as it is a country that is opening up (as the resumption of the Air France flights demonstrate) much more under a reforming President (although it still has some way to go in terms of how we, in the west, might frame ‘freedoms’). Then again, in some respects, is it the west’s place to interfere in the politics and society of somewhere else just because it’s not our way of doing things? Anyway, people are people, not demons. Iran, meet Uncle Sam. Soccer Mom, meet Iraqi mother.

Really, tell me honestly, how often have you travelled and been delighted by the friendliness of strangers? How much have strangers’ lives mirrored that of your own? ‘I worry about my child…can they get a better life than I have had?’. It’s never any different. We have the same hopes, fears, aspirations as everyone else, and it’s only the damned politicians who mess the world up for the rest of us.

I know that Iran, or rather the wider ‘Persian Empire’, is a region steeped in history and a deep, rich culture, and it’s a shame that it is on the other side of an ‘us and them’ fence. Because ordinary Iranians, Iraqis, Syrians, Jordanians and so on are just normal, ordinary people, and it would be a delight to have a greater, deeper insight into the history and culture of the region rather than being seen as ‘westerners’, or them being demonised as ‘religious nut jobs’. In almost all instances, it’s doubtful they’re anything other than beautiful people under the cosh (as we are in the west) of idiotic politicians working to a ‘divide and conquer’ agenda.

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Tehran, like any other modern city, is in parts beautiful and exciting, while simultaneously being a congested place with the same issues as anywhere else.

I know that Islam suggests that women need to cover their heads, but it’s an Islamic patriarchy who determine this rule over women. I know we read articles written by a metropolitan elite about how women decide to wear a headscarf of their own free will (and an equal number of articles saying this is anti-feminist). Those women wear headscarves of their own free will, some say.

I know I’m rambling a bit here, trying to haul a few thoughts together, but it has some relationship to my next job, editing the Lingerie Lunacy blog. Sales of lingerie by British high street store Marks & Spencer are worth £200m per annum in their Saudi Arabia stores. So you might want to suspend your misconceptions just a little, and I’ll be kicking off my tenure at LL with an examination of that particular fact, and how women around the world look at their purchases of lingerie, how they display it for partners and so on.

I’ve had great fun working at SL Naturist, but I’m also looking forward to developing LL in the coming months. Thanks for reading my stuff, and giving me feedback. But this is my last blog posting for the blog and I’ll be moving onto LL as from now. I expect we’ll have some new posts up by next weekend.

Best wishes and enjoy your naturism, real or virtual,

Abigail

Our ‘new’ staff!

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Meet the ‘new’ staff!!!!:)

Yes, the eagle-eyed amongst you will immediately recognise the pair photographed with me as Ella and Pookes!

With Abi & Diane departing to run a SL lingerie blog, Lingerie Lunacy (I know I’ll be a reader, I love SL lingerie!) a few feelers were put out to see if former favourites might be interested in jobs.

Ella said she’d love to get involved again. ‘Our new baby has been, without doubt, our easiest child, and a midnight feed sees him settled until early morning. Perhaps just a little too early, but I can’t complain at all. The grinding tiredness of disturbed sleep isn’t the same as it was with our first two. So I’d be delighted to climb back on board, just not in an editorial position. I’d love to write the occasional piece, and I’m itching to get back in-world. I’ve missed my SL friends! I didn’t expect a new baby to be quite so easy as it has turned out to be, in terms of night time feeds and the like, so I think that my old routines might just be do-able, and I can get inworld, and do a bit of dancing at some of my old haunts, some evenings, and report back accordingly.’

With Ella back in the fold, persuading Pookes was easy, and she’ll be resuming her old role as assistant editor, with Ella writing on an occasional basis.

A full team now back in place! Welcome back, ladies!:)

Trine