Saturday, March 10, 2012

Among the Nudists

     Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display. The nude is condemned to never being naked. Nudity is a form of dress.

                                                               John Berger

Several days ago, I received an invitation from Frau Jo Yardley from The 1920’s Berlin Project in Second Life (SL).  Some may remember my last blog about the sim.  It is a very realistic simulation of Berlin during the Weimar Republic. 

The invitation was to a nudist event at the Bath House.  Nudity was required and not optional.  I thought about this for a bit.  Since being arriving in SL, I’ve avoided participating in the adult sim scene.  Not being judgmental.    It just isn’t my scene.  But, The 1920’s Berlin Project seemed a safe way to do something I wouldn’t normally do in Real Life (RL).  (Significant Other is still laughing at the suggestion of my doing something like that.)

The event was meant to recreate Berlin’s involvement with the Free Body Movement popular during the 1920’s.  (Caution, the link contains nudity.)  Like I said, it sounded safe.  I had precedent.  One of my favorite RL bloggers, Emily Yoffe, had gone to a nudist camp for a story in her Human Guinea Pig series to say she had done it.  This was legitimate journalism.  This was part of my exploring SL.  I decided to go and sent my acceptance back. 

Next, came, OK, now I’m committed what do I do?  I reached out to Frau Yardley to discuss the etiquette of an event like this and whether it was appropriate to show full frontal.  She quickly reassured me about the proper protocols and also informed me that genitalia were welcome as long as they were inactive.  (This is SL after all, nothing can be taken for granted.) 

I also learned from Frau Yardley that she wouldn’t be participating herself because she was too “old fashioned.”  (There will be an interview shortly with her that besides talking about the sim will ask how does she get all her friends to come together and undress without her.)  I was really feeling good about now.  (I’m known for my sarcasm.)

After that was settled. The next matter to be dealt with was my appearance.  How does one become naked in SL?  My first efforts kept leaving me in my underwear.  I had to learn how to put on a skin that would leave me in a total state of undress.  Next, I had to go about getting the equipment for full frontal.  My earliest followers may recall that when I first put together my appearance, I did it for nothing.  First, I’m cheap and, second, I’m the proverbial struggling writer.  No loose cash lying around for improvements. 

To make a long story short, I finally managed to put together a nude look for myself that wasn’t too embarrassing.  (And, it wasn’t just me, even Significant Other was impressed.)  Of course, I had to keep remembering to detach my full frontal equipment every time I put my clothes back on.  Oh, by the way, those who are expecting to see nude pictures of either myself or the other participants included in this blog, forget about it.  As my friend Glorf Bulmer likes to say, this isn’t that kind of blog. 

The event occurred in the Bath House in the sim.  Only adults could attend and all nudity had to stay within the confines of the building.  All participants had to be fully undressed.  A policeman would be outside to enforce the rules.  The only glitch for me upon arrival was lag and I got tossed out a couple of times (for technical reasons, not unruly behavior) before I finally got rezzed in.  At one point, I thought I’d be arrested for public indecency because I was naked when I almost got tossed out.  See what I go through to bring these stories back? 

I was among the first arrivals.  There was a mixed crowd of men and women with the latter in the majority.  Some of the women were nervous and giggling.  A few people started with swim suits but these quickly came off.  I met two old friends, Rosemary Thyme Chesnokova and Wulfi Blitzen.  Rosemary had guided me during my first visit to 1920’s Berlin and had also accompanied me for part of my twenty-four hours in SL last year.  Wulfi had recommended the SL Manchu Picchu ruins that I blogged about. 

The nudists’ event was strictly a swimming event, not an “adult” event as SL sometimes implies.  Think of it as a pool party in Berlin where everyone was naked.  Everyone was swimming, diving, or just hanging out and talking.  Once again, I had the sense of community that I always find on occasions like this in SL. 

This was the first time in either SL or RL that I was naked with a mixed sex group and I didn’t feel uncomfortable.  Of course, one of the advantages of group nudity in SL is that one doesn’t have to worry where one’s eyes wander to and men don’t have to worry about any natural reactions.  (Remember all the genitalia were inactive.)    

This was the first authorized nude event in 1920’s Berlin.  Some attendees had been to other inworld nude events.  When I asked why they had come.  I received several answers.  The most common was this was part of the historical reenactment and they wanted to participate.  Next, some wanted to be with their friends.  And, finally, others just wanted to do it. 

In addition to the pool, there were showers and a steam room.  (I’d encourage visitors to drop even if it does mean going clothed.  Check the sim’s dress rules before visiting though.)  The event lasted an hour before the policeman told everyone to dress up or be locked up. 

I had an enjoyable time and was disappointed that the time went by so quickly.  The event was natural and non-threatening.  I would do it again and would encourage other residents to do so if invited.  Once again, I found a group of SL residents who enjoyed each other’s company and made a stranger feel welcome. 

I would like to thank Frau Jo Yardley for inviting me and all the attendees who made me feel welcome. I’m also grateful to Wulfi Blitzen for giving me a tour of the neighborhood and later inviting me to the El Dorado club to mingle with the regulars. 

As always, I’m grateful to all for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at

     If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.

Photo No. 1: Bath Hour Poster

Photo No. 2: Bath House

Photo No. 3: The Pool

Photo No. 4: Bath House Neighborhood


Lynne Hand said...

Nice blog post. This would have been a useful event for me to attend before I came to Germany. As a Brit going nude in saunas was a shock, maybe I could have prepared myself in advance.

BTW - You wrote "1020s" I think you mean "1920s".

Lindal Kidd said...

There are several full time nudist communities in SL. Possibly one of the most popular (and best regulated) is The Wild Coast. This is an entire "nudist resort" region. One must be a group member to use the area, and there is a hefty fee ($L400, as I recall) to join. Upon arrival in the "staging area", one dons one's group tag and removes one's clothing, then walks through an entryway into the resort proper. Sexual activities are not allowed in the main resort, but last time I was there, there was a screened-off "adult area" where one could find poseballs and such.

webspelunker said...

Thank you for your comments and the typo catch! Also, thanks for sharing your personal experiences. Sometimes SL is not so different from RL!

webspelunker said...

Lindal, TY for the references and distinguishing between regulated and non-regulated nudist regions. TC web