Skinny-dipping.

Skinny-dipping.

Whilst it involved nudity, I classify it distinctly from naturism, purely on the basis that there’s a different set of circumstances that surround it.

Generally, skinny-dipping involved non-naturists, maybe people who’ve never experienced the simply pleasure of swimming without a costume before, and might often involve young people doing things for a (drunken) dare, or such like.

It holds its own special magic. Because it has been estimated that somewhere between 54-71% of the adult population have skinny-dipped, and a huge percentage of people have it as part of their ‘bucket list’ (things to do before you ‘kick the bucket’).

It’s easy to understand why: it’s relatively easily done, has a frisson of naked body excitement about it, and can be achieved at any age. Apart from the drunken teens who might do it as a dare, or rite of passage, I often see/hear people remark that it’s something undertaken to mark a significant birthday, at any age from 18-50 and beyond!

Few would consider themselves naturist. It’s something that gets done, maybe only once, but for others the pleasure of swimming without clothing is, perhaps, the first step to discovering the naturist lifestyle in greater depth.

In lockdown, with swimming pools and local naturist swim nights closed, many people have sought out alternative (textile) swimming arrangements, and open or wild water swimming has exploded in popularity. It barely matters what happens to society in the future: many, many people have made a discovery that will live with them the rest of their days and the idea of a municipal pool will have paled in attraction to those for whom a couple of hours swimming each week has lost its appeal. Of course, there are others who will go straight back to the pool when it re-opens.

Thus it has been for me: the regular naturist holidays and swim nights local to me have been lost for over a year, and thus it has become important to seek out alternative swimming opportunities. I’m lucky enough to live beside the sea, the garden backing onto it, so ‘skinny dipping’ is achievable at any time of day or night. However, this secure, naked bathing is undertaken within the family, the ‘social bubble’, at all times and I can’t really recall a time when I invited friends over to share what I have on my doorstep. Largely because most, almost all, have no interest in naturism.

As a long-time naturist I’d never thought of skinny-dipping as something of particular uniqueness or risqué, but as lockdown progressed last year, and I joined up with different open water, wild swimming groups for regular (textile) swims, it occurred to me that there were many, within that broad sorority/fraternity, for whom skinny-dipping held some kind of draw and appeal.

And as lockdown progressed, rules eased (or strengthened) and I found myself away from home one day a week or more, and by now utterly drawn to a parallel wild/open water swimming culture, I’d find myself in relatively sparsely peopled locations where I could indulge, whilst driving home from a work location, my new wild/open water passion.

To this end, I kept a bag in the car containing my swimming gear, and I could, at a moment’s notice, pull into a car park, change, swim and dress again. This went on for quite a bit of a very mild UK spring last year, with many wetsuit-clad swims undertaken.

Silly me! It was only by the time I got to around May/June last year that there was the gradual realisation that not only could I wild/open water bathe, but do it in a skinny-dipped manner!

And that is what I did for much of the summer and autumn.

The small gallery below shows, in the first photo, my garden fence and the beach beyond, the other two the sort of sparsely populated countryside I inhabit, and which allows for me (or anyone) to pull a car onto the grass verge, and swim in the adjacent sea.

Whilst the beach adjacent to my home is ‘secure’ in terms of being overseen or offending anyone (and if they are, they’re trespassing!) I have to confess that I did find it rather exciting to be stripping off by the car and going into the water in locations where it isn’t strictly allowed (legally, it is, but it might still attract the attentions of the local police were someone to report me, or anyone, skinny-dipping. And that sense of ‘on the line legality’ did add to the enjoyment!


*****

A word about SL itself. The naturist landscape within the game has altered since the end of 2019, and jewels in its naturist crown, such as Eden Naturopolis, appear to be no longer with us in their previous incarnations. I’d say that the genuine naturist landscape, within the game, is much reduced in the past 15 months. However, we’ll continue to try to bring naturist news, from within and without SL, and to this end I’ve got expressions of interest, to contribute to SLN, by James and Maggie, both photographed below.

Ella

Daft in Dubai

I know that I said it would be a weekly thing, but no sooner had the words landed on the screen than naked-related stories began to appear that required blogging.

You may have read a story where numerous Ukrainian models were arrested in Dubai for outraging local decency laws.

Flying to Dubai, posing naked on a balcony? Well, it has a certain frisson of excitement about it, particularly if you can squeeze a few landmarks into the photo that clarifies your location in a Muslim country.

All of the models involved were, apparently, under ‘contract’ to an Israeli porn-site, which adds to that sense of being risqué, Israel organising in a Muslim country??? I can see how those who set the thing up might have a particularly wry, tongue-in-cheek mindset involved here. Either that or a nose-thumbing exercise.

Either way, perhaps utilise semi-sensible models? Because it appears that the models, having posed naked (nothing particularly outrageous in that) then post about it on social media. This, as opposed to ‘an outraged UAE’, appears to be what found the local police hot on their tail!

By all means go, pose naked, be arch/wry/outrageous outside local decency laws, but for goodness sake at least have the simple common sense to keep it off social media until, at the very least, your plane is back in the air on its way to Kiev.

It says much about current ‘thinking’ (or lack thereof) that the need for validation or likes outweighed the consequences.

I had imagined the men (always men) who set the thing up might have been flying back to Tel-Aviv or wherever, leaving the women to their fate. Maybe that was actually the case. Fortunately, the Ukrainian President is due to visit the UAE in a few days, and the women have been deported, rather than there be some kind of awkwardness between Ukraine and the UAE as a result of the ‘event’.

The cynic in me immediately thinks it was potentially thought out in advance, the ‘Plan B’ being that this would be the outcome. In the meantime, an Israeli porn site (and the models themselves) have received more free publicity than anyone could imagine.

I’m on the fence here. It all worked out ‘OK’ (depending on the women doing it under their own free will and getting paid), but ultimately…why? Well, obviously why, for reasons given above, but still…

Look, many of us have posed naked in situations where it wasn’t strictly ‘legal’. Personally, I’ve posed at places where the presence of a policeman might have seen me arrested and charged with whatever the laws suggest here in the UK (it’s not actually illegal anywhere unless there’s proof of a desire to deliberately offend, but the officer present might not know that and proceed to arrest, prior to that arrest’s subsequent withdrawal after analysis of the laws) but I’ve posed anyway in ‘public’ locations. Yes, a deserted beach, a river in woodland and so on, but still not publicly acknowledged naked/naturist locations.

The bottom line is, always, ‘be sensible’ and putting it out over social media suggests these Ukrainian models were less than sensible. Why bother? Might as well have posed on balconies in Kiev or Jerusalem.

Anyway…in lockdown, with much closed (including my local naturist swimming night) I’ve discovered ‘wild’ or ‘open water’ swimming. Often swimsuit clad, occasionally wetsuit clad, occasionally nude and skinny-dipped, next week’s post(s) are going to focus on skinny-dipping, with many naturist venues and locations closed due to the pandemic.

Ella

We’re back.

Hi!

What a strange 18 months we’ve all endured.

I thought the time had come to put the blog to bed, and that it had ‘run its course’, back in December of 2019.

Little did any of us know what lay just around the corner, with 2020 effectively wiped out, for all of us, in terms of life as we knew it!

I spent much of last year ‘home schooling’ (or, at least, supervising home schooling) whilst working from home myself. Garden naturism was, of course, possible in an incredibly wonderful UK spring, but holidays -for all of us- was a no-no.

Had the blog been still operative, the likelihood is that I’ve had to mothball it anyway due to real-life circumstances.

A year on, we’ve all adapted in so many aspects of our lives. It hasn’t always been welcome, the changes made, but it has happened anyway.

None of us have visited a cinema. None of us have attended a concert. Few of us have seen all of our family.

This isn’t to diminish from those who’ve suffered a much greater loss – that of friends or family. Their loss cannot compare to the simple loss of seeing ‘the new James Bond’, for example.

So we’ve all adapted to so much, and it feels like some equilibrium has been achieved over a long, steep learning (and re-learning) curve for all of us. No, I haven’t, and won’t ever get used to the idea of wearing a mask. As someone who hugs friends, the lack of a hug has been difficult, and it saddens me (even though I understand) why people recoil in terror if I’m forgetful and go to hug them.

Back in Second Life, there have been many changes to the naturist community. Sadly, it appears we’ve lost Eden Naturopolis as the jewel in the SL naturist crown, although other, new naturist venues appear to have sprung up in the almost 18 months I’ve been away from it all.

In recent weeks I’ve been reacquainting myself with SL, in the context of its naturism and elsewhere.

Some lovely sims are there to be explored, and written about.

Those who’ve read the blog previously will be aware that it often became a daily thing. That is unlikely to be the case this time, with blog entries probably being weekly, but lengthier as a result. Of course, as the (adapted) world continues to re-open, there will be mainstream media stories related to naturism that I may report on as well, as they break in the media, but in general I see this new blog as being a weekly thing.

A word on how we’ve all adapted. Obviously, naturist clubs, venues and gatherings weren’t possible in lockdown. I don’t know how it is with you, but here in the UK there has been an explosion of open, or wild, water swimming as people sought out ways in which to do their (government approved, hour long) period of physical exercise. Not only good for their physical wellbeing, but as much (and maybe more) for their mental wellbeing too.

This is how I spent -when not supervising children- much of 2020, and I have to say that I’m as well kitted for wetsuit swimming now as I am for any skinny-dipping!

And, yes, of course, there was, for me and the family, plenty of textile and skinny dipping during the course of 2020!

It didn’t, it couldn’t, replace the full naturist experience of Spain that we used to enjoy twice a year, but…adaptation!

As a result, let me ease back into the blogging experience with a small gallery of SL and RL directly related to skinny dipping.

Back next (or during the) week, when I hope to be introducing a couple of people I’ve met in SL in the past few weeks, and who might well be able to contribute to the blog.



Ella

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