What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful that the garment with which it is clothed?
Earlier, when I blogged about my two visits to a nudist function in the 1920’s Berlin sim in Second Life, a couple of readers commented that if I was interested in checking out nudism inworld then I should visit The Wild Coast Naturist Resort. I was told that this was a full time nudist location with decorum.
Well, I’m not always sure if places known for their decorum will necessarily want to have anything to do with me. But, I’ve gotten used to rejection in life, both SL and Real Life (SL). So, I decide to go visit.
Wild Coast is a nudity required sim. Here, I was committing to more than an hour in a controlled environment as I’d done on my two previous forays into nudity. But, after having wandered around strangers with all of us nude previously, this didn’t seem like all that much of a big deal anymore. (Maybe there is something to the old saying that once you start doing it, it becomes natural. Sorry, bad joke.)
During one of my initial research trips, I met Sweety Basevi who functions as the general manager for the resort. She agreed to meet me for an interview and I was all set.
Before I go any further, I want to talk about terminology. (Give me a break, I’m a writer, words are very important to me.) I keep saying “nudist” or use derivations of the word. Sweety very quickly pointed put to me that Wild Coast is a naturist (Caution: link contains pictures of nudity.) and not a nudist resort like other sims inworld. Looking at the resort’s rules shows why. Wild Coast is naturist in the classic sense. People come together in a state of undress to enjoy one another’s company and enjoy SL unclothed just as naturists do in RL. Public sexual displays are frowned upon and can get one booted out. One prominent rule posted in Wild Coast is that men cannot have erections because Wild Coast is a mature sim in SL parlance and from a female perspective, it is threatening and intrusive. (If only RL were that simple.) There is another sim, Turtle Coast, which is an adult sim and is more liberal. (Now that I’m so comfortable running around in the altogether, maybe another story in the future?)
With that cleared up, let me return to my interview with Sweety. Like me she is nude. Standing a little shorter than me (Come to think of it, how tall am I in SL?) with windblown (Aren’t AO’s something else?) shoulder length brunette hair, and tattoos, she is tanned from all her inworld hours spent at the beach. (Look, if I said it was all the result of some clever programming in somebody’s basement in Detroit, it just wouldn’t have sounded as good would it?)
We meet at the Wild Coast resort at the appointed time and I begin with my questions. I ask about the start of Wild Coast. Sweety replies that it is the third sim of Kaiya Islands and when a decision was made five years ago to open it, there was also a decision that it be a naturist site.
I inquire about the sim’s current moderate rating as opposed to adult. Sweety explains that this goes back to the earlier PG and mature ratings. Due to other business activities like land rentals the decision was made to stay with the moderate rating when the ratings changed. This is when Turtle Coast was established as an adult sim. She continues saying that flirting is the most typical activity that occurs in Wild Coast and while there are secluded areas affording privacy, they are very careful about staying within the ratings guidelines set forth by Linden Lab (LL).
My next question is about the one time membership fee of $450L charged when one joins. Sweety explains how the fees help to pay the tiers for the venue, as well as the staff that work here, helping to ensure that everyone has a great time in a welcoming and safe environment. From my visits, I can say that they have succeeded.
From my recent visits with the SL BSDM community I know that many there practice the lifestyle in both SL and RL, I ask Sweety if she has seen this with naturism? She responds that she understands how that can happen and suspects that people may first try naturism in SL and then be more comfortable with it in RL.
I then ask her about why she’s a naturist in SL. Sweety says working with the Islands, she goes where she’s needed. She was a bit reluctant to strip initially she admits. But after a short period of time, she got over it and now it’s second nature to her to be naked, she laughs as she tells me this. Sweety says she can now sympathize with people who come here for the first time and are not used to being naked. (I can sympathize as well.)
Our conversation turns to how being naked in SL is easier than in RL. (Those wandering eyes and normal male reactions I’ve written about elsewhere.) Sweety states that we still associate our avatars with our own feelings and inhibitions. She observes that once a newcomer has been naked for five minutes or so, they actually stop feeling self-conscious. I wonder if it has something to do with us looking a lot better in SL than we do in RL?
Social activities, as Sweety explains, besides the aforementioned flirting, include DJ's, concerts, and parties. We discuss the appeal of Wild Coast. Sweety uses terms like welcoming, enjoyable, and safe. She admits this is probably the result of the controls in place. There is none of the rude behavior that I’ve seen or friends have reported to me about other sims. Whenever I arrive, I notice that others are rezzing in as well and as they enter, people call out their names and greet them. I haven’t seen that in too many other places inworld. There appears to be a very tight community here in Wild Coast.
Sweety rethinks her use of the word “controls” and suggests that it’s more about making sure the rules are followed enhancing the members’ experience. She speaks of the enjoyable vibes at the resort.
Sweety also credits the staff for getting and keeping things going, and are truly awesome in her words. The friendliness, she thinks has a lot to do with the members themselves. For her, they are wonderful. (I get the sense that this woman really loves her job.) Coincidentally, while interviewing Sweety, a friend IM’s me and asks what I’m doing. I reply that I’m doing an interview at a naturist resort. She responds asking if I’m at the most famous one in SL, Wild Coast. Turns out she’s a member too. The grid’s getting smaller!
The membership at 24,000 is very large. (I wish I had that many readers!) Average daily traffic for the sim is 19,500 which is another good number. The biggest problems that Sweety encounters with members are those who try to break the no clothes, no shoes, and no erections rules. (I have a very open minded SL friend, actually, she’s more of an anarchist, who has a problem with the resort’s no clothes rule. She believes it’s another imposition of authority. I’ll probably find her inworld someday dressing in protest of something or other.)
We talk next about what are the most popular spots within Wild Coast with the members. Sweety says the public area at the arrival point and the main dance area by the beach are probably the two most popular locations at the resort. The secluded areas are also popular for folks to go off to when they want some privacy to get to know one another better.
My time with Sweety comes to an end and I thank her before taking my leave.
Wild Coast is everything that I was told it would be. A friendly, safe, and enjoyable environment fostering friendship among residents. Besides the social aspects, the resort is beautifully done and always has good mood music playing. For anyone looking for a naturist experience in SL, I recommend Wild Coast. Yes, there is a fee. However, it’s trivial compared to what can be gained.
The resort, in my opinion, follows in the tradition of RL naturist communities which were about enjoying nature and other people without the restrictions and prejudices brought on by clothing.
One final point, I paid for my own membership fee to the resort so I could walk about and check things out for myself. I will also return looking for new material for my blogs.
I would like to thank Sweety Basevi for her time and openness with me.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life please click here.
If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life please click here.
Photo No. 1 Sweety Basevi
Photo No. 2 Wild Coast Arrival Area and Entrance
Photo No. 3 Public Area
Photo No. 4 Members Only Common Area
Photo No. 5 Members Only Secluded Area