New Nudist / Naturist estate in Second Life

BLNE

Outside the main office. I’m actually behind it. Front door’s on the other side.

Some of you may know of my experience with the Eden Naturist estate being less than pleasant. Not on a personal level, but in that they do not allow any non-human avatar elements other than mermaid tails… for “realism” sake they allow mermaids. Yeah… so their policy still grates me…

I’ve been looking for ‘nudist / naturist’ places I could go to and actually live the naturist motto of “be yourself” in SL since 2009… Even during my ‘PG only” phase I was looking for the purpose of finding such a place for everyone else.

It always baffled me that the community that said it was all about “being your natural self” had such up-tight rules about who you were allowed to be…

It wasn’t just Eden… It is frankly a whole LOT of these naturist places in SL, that seem to be a space for only “their kind of people”… One set of odd-rules leads me to thinking about ‘everything else’ and then generally starting to feel uneasy even when I popped in with a ‘rule fitting alt’.

So that negativity aside… On to the positive.

I found it. I found the place I’ve been looking for.

BLNE_Home

My SL Home on the estate.

And it’s been waiting for me since January, but I somehow didn’t notice it.

Blue Lagoon Naturist Estate is an estate of 24 sims subleased out from the Anshe Chung system of estates. There are a whole lot of spots of different kinds left for the taking too.

BLNE_Map

A lot of availability – in part because they keep adding sims. They let you move a few times a month, more if you pay a service fee. So I’m guessing as they expand people spread out.

Split between two basic themes by a hole in the middle. The southern half of the estate seems to have ‘coastal beach’ as it’s theme and the northern half of the estate is ‘temperate evergreen coastline / lake’ in theme. Baja California or Seattle coastline for a west coaster like me. Am told the northern sims take some of their intention from the Nordic countries. If that’s true it just puts more points into the basket of reasons to visit that part of Europe someday…

BlueLagoonSailing_009

The bridge transitions us between ‘beachy’ and ‘temperate’.

The things in geography and greenery that make me feel ‘at home’ are simple: water, hills / mountains, evergreen trees, and the smell of eucalyptus. Eucalyptus has no natural relationship to this, being an Australian tree. However the San Francisco Bay Area was taken over by Eucalyptus trees in the late 1800s or early 1900s as a greenery plan; so I grew up with that smell as a way to know I was “home” when coming over the hills that separate us from the San Joaquin valley. Efforts to return native wildlife and plantlife have since removed a lot of that smell, but I still feel “grounded” anytime I smell that tree.

BlueLagoonSailing_011

These mountain-top bridges often mark transitions in climate zones.

Er… eucalyptus tangents aside… can’t smell through SL… the northern half of this estate otherwise really hits my “this is perfect” button just right.

The layout of the place is friendly to exploring, driving, and sailing; as well as to having a nice ground level home (skyboxes are allowed above 3000m and even some already set up for rent).

The rough center of the estate is a hole with no sims in it. This does mean that along the edge of that there are a few odd looking spots with edges, but they have mostly smoothed things over to look natural. I have yet to ask if the plan is to fill this in over time. In January, my snooping through old notecards tells me, this was 9 sims. Now it is 24. So the place is growing and might not be done growing (hopefully).

As seen in the images, I had a lot of fun sailing the circuit of the estate, and I highly recommend it. In my time here I’ve also seen a number of other people sailing by me.

This estate is not a ‘social dead zone’ even if the sims are mostly residential and only about half filled. There is an active club at the center of the estate, on Rising Sun Isle.

BlueLagoonSailing_021

One of the 3 times I’ve been to the ‘club’ – the other two times had about twice this crowd. Not too small or too busy. Enough to be social and not laggy.

– where they do multiple events throughout the week. If you are unsure – go to some events. From this same spot you can get all the info you will need on sim rules, contacts, open rentals, and even catch an automated bus tour around the estate. I was encouraged to take the bus several times by enthusiastic estate managers.

The estate group also has some friendly chatter in it. Join the group, get a spot, and even before you say anything to anybody you’ll start to feel the community around you. That leaves me with a very good impression.

BlueLagoonSailing_017.png

A spot for rent in the ‘temperate climate’ north half of the estate. Keep or replace the house.

Parcel cost seems to be just under $2L / prim per week. I am paying about $844L for 469 prims. This varies by parcel kind. Boat slips are very cheap, boat houses are cheaper than parcels, islands and parcels are similar to the rate I’m paying. If you rent a boat house, you can remove it and put in your own boat house – but you have to stick to theme. Likewise on parcels, you need to fit a general zone theme. No rezzing an urban skyscraper and beach trees on a northern temperate estate, and no parking your spaceship on the beach of a beach-plot. But the themes are pretty easy to fit with.

BlueLagoonSailing_014

This area reminds me of a swamp. Boathouses with a road one one side and river on the other.

I will leave you with a series of visuals below, and a little note for many of them. Come on by, explore, and rent a parcel. Especially if you are an SL Nudist. And feel free to come visit me if you see me on the estate.

BLNE_Home_Chair

Sitting on the deck of my new SL Home.

Now that I’ve kind of moved here, I have a good amount of mainland land I’m looking to sell off. Starting with my plots on Blake Sea and Roadside Zindra. I looked at the financials on this. I am paying $844L/week. As I type this that is US $3.35/week. In my area, that is called “1 double latte” at a local coffee shop. Easily affordable.

But I could use with trimming my mainland tier a bit, and I will use this as an excuse. More actually about time commitments – I want to be in this community, and I have mainland parcels I haven’t been to in months… so… trim the land I don’t use. Use the land I have.

BlueLagoonSailing_007.png

Boat Houses in the background.

BlueLagoonSailing_015

Some of these small islands can be fully sunk for a water-only parcel. Some have part of the estate on them. Several available in both climates.

BlueLagoonSailing_022

Skydome rentals in the main office. LOTs of availability here. These are un-built 60m diameter domes to put anything you want into. And they give 300 prims / 450L per week.

Skysphere_001

What a skysphere gives.

By contrast the two skybox styles give Stockholm: 100 prims for $150L week, or Uptown: 150 prim for $225L week. These come slightly pre-furnished.

The domes and skyboxes are all on the same sim. My suggestion would be to disperse them throughout the estate for better load balancing.

BlueLagoonSailing_012

The roads and waterways will give you quite an enjoyable tour.

BlueLagoonDriving_001

Roadways connect across the whole estate by going underwater in the southern sims.

BlueLagoonDriving_004.png

And in the northern sims, two functional ferries cross the river.

BlueLagoonDriving_002

A small airport exists in mid-estate, on the sim north of the main office.

BlueLagoonDriving_003

Apartments in the background there are for rent.

BlueLagoonSailing_019

Bouthouses in the southern sim have a unified theme if you keep their design.

BlueLagoonSailing_018

The apartments in the background, with a walkway down to the waterline / swimming area.

There is a whole sim sized racing track in the sky on the sim with the airport:

BlueLagoonRaceTrack_001

BlueLagoonRaceTrack_003

Play with a free racer here.

 

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My Home on Blue Lagoon Naturist Estate before I furnished it. This building is by “Tobias Convair”.

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Changes over the years… Journeying through myself.

How has your look changed over the years? What does this mean for you, and what has driven the choices you’ve made in expressing yourself in Second Life?

For me this has all been about a journey through sensuality, spirituality, and self-identity.

I went looking, and found some of the first images I took of my avatar in Second Life. I’ve put one here next to an image I took over the weekend of my avatar on a new spot of land I’ve got:
2009to2016
I am actually still wearing one item in common in both of these… fangs. I’m probably the only neko that wears fangs, and one of the few that uses whiskers. And as far as I know… it is still the same pair of them after all these years. Just about everything else has changed though.

Originally I wanted dark skin for my avatar, like I now have. But in 2009 the shade you see on the left was the darkest tone I could find, as a newbie.

Self identity changes over time, and I find it very interesting to look back at the journey of self exploration.

I’m a very introspective person – I self analyze a lot. For me that is a big part of being alive. But its also something I’ve been tossed into by the nature of my existence as a multi-racial person born before that was common or acceptable in the USA. My parents where married the same year as the Loving v. Virginia case and my eldest sibling was born right after the decision in that case came down. There actually was a judicial action to prevent my parents from being together on the grounds of miscegenation (race mixing), and I very much owe my existence to the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr‘s civil right’s movement – which had changed the minds of the right people, including those who helped my parents overcome the challenge that was actually brought by my grandparents…

So thinking on who and what I am has been critical to my sense of self from the beginning.

As is known, I am not ‘African American’, yet my avatar is African. But there is a funny footnote to this because I recently found through DNA that I am in fact part African. Yet I grew up under the perception that I was an Asian / Amazon Indian / Caucasian / Cherokee mix. In place of Cherokee, I instead have a number of things from West and North Africa, and the Caucasian turned out to be different parts of Europe than family history had said. So one side of my family has a complete falsehood for every aspect of its ancestry.

Genealogical exploration is a pretty common thing for Americans to get into. We often find surprises. So that’s not the real trigger for me in being introspective. Rather being what Americans consider mixed-race has been the trigger.

I belong to no ethnic group.

When you don’t belong to any of them, all of their various members are very keen to point this out to you on many occasions in your life. It one thing to be the ‘other’ from that other tribe… but when you are the racial equivalent of a ‘stateless‘ person – you have no place to ‘escape back to’. There is no tribe standing around waiting to help me form an identity… I had to carve it out myself through some very rough experiences – some as recent as experiences I have had in some Second Life forum communities. No matter what I state as my ethnicity, I can be called out as a Rachel Dolezal – and I’ve been getting that accusation since I was 5 years old and my mother was trying to put me in Kindergarten… Every action, every thought, every preference gets judged by hostile mono-ethnic people seeking to hold on to their territory.

I am an eternal fake, and because of this I have to get very real.

Most people take for granted the vast bulk of their identity, cultural, belief system, even appearance. I have no such luxury. A person gets very introspective very fast in this situation.

So Second Life has been a blessing for me as a place where I can literally put on a skin, and explore an identity. Through that I learn so much about myself. I find where I stand on issues, how I can shape my sense of sense, and I can stake out an identity that people cannot take away from me and tell me I don’t have a right to because I’m not enough of their kind or another kind of blood for their liking.

And it has been a long and well worthwhile ride.

I didn’t come to Second Life to explore myself. I actually came here to get some goodies for the Poser 7 Launch event, and found out to my disappointment that the goodies were just goodies for a Second Life avatar. That is why my first attempt at Second Life only lasted 2 days in 2006.

One day in 2009 I was bored, and I was browsing or reading something that mentioned Second Life. So I wondered if it would load on my then computer. I looked through my files and found my old avatar’s name, guessed the password (or the forget password stuff, I don’t remember) and logged in. I spent a few days wandering around.

About_Day_3_in_SL.png

Close to day 3 of my return to SL. I got by, barely. I think its funny that I had a newbie prop on down below… Even back then I was keenly aware of how lacking the SL Avatar is.

The 2009 image above is actually my 2006 avatar and not Pussycat. Pussycat was born about 10 days later, because I very strongly didn’t like the avatar name I had.

On coming back in, I had randomly clicked something and found myself wearing a Neko avatar. It was a very crude free one – but it clicked right away.

I had found myself. Now I needed to name myself. I tried a dozen variations on neko, cat, pussy (erm…), kitty, catnip, calico, even koyangi (Korean for cat) and gato (yeah, gato made it into my mind but not as far as they keyboard because that is just way too manly), kittylicious (yeah… /fail) and yes, pussycat.

Somehow even though Pussycat was taken with a few other last names, it was not taken yet with ‘Catnap’… So off I went. I’m glad I ended up with this name… its very fitting for how my personality in SL wavers in different directions. Saying just parts of my name, or where you put the emphasis, can lead to very different meanings. Some people like to just call me ‘PC’ or ‘Cat’ because typing it all out makes them a little nervous I guess. Actually its a handy name for seeing how someone else is seeing you…

So I began in 2009 in SL looking for the sensual side of things. The image I used to start this blog was not the first one I took, the first one was a bit more… intense and unclothed. The 2016 image I used is unclothed, but is a normal pose.

Dancing_SexyNudeBeach

You can see the beginnings of some of my current style. There are my teeth, my eye color, and a lighter shade of red hair. And the face is actually not far off from the dials I use now. I used to love that little video game remote, and kept it on every outfit for a good year.

I spent a few months exploring that scene. I think a lot of people who come to SL have to go through that and they either stay with it or move on. I more or less moved on. But in the journey I also realized that I really like the idea of being clothes free, minus the weird politics of naturists.

I even tried exploring the adult erotic side of Second Life. But I quickly learned this was not me. In part due to encounters with S/m people. It took me some time to be able to relate to people from the S/m community because I am very militant about Equal Rights and even a roleplayed expression of submission or dominance bothers me. That has not changed, and will not change. What changed for me over time was learning that these people truly feel their relations are equal, so I accept them for themselves while recognizing that I am on a very different path.

However a major break for me on the erotic side of Second Life was just realizing I found these little cartoons engaged in ‘the act’ to be comedy, while others were trying to truly express themselves or have an experience in those moments. I felt it would be rude of me to be laughing while the others were feeling something more.

After a time I started to try and expand my perspective. I think finding the shop Bare Rose was key here – it was and is a Cosplay place, so there were all kinds of outfits in radically different styles, and they were cheap. At the time usually 150-250L for a full outfit. So each time I bought one, I could put it on, run around, and see if it felt like I’d found a new me. After I went premium most of my weekly money went to this shop throughout much of 2009.

Proportionstesting

Here you can see that even by July 15, 2009 I was already obsessed with fixing the bad proportions of the SL avatar.

I went premium about a month and a half back into SL. That really changes things. Premium is a commitment. Its not just renting a spot somewhere, once you’re premium you can see the bank statement, you’ve “subscribed” to this “free to play MMO” and there’s some land out there somewhere that you now have the privilege to buy, and once you… you’ve got to make sure you got your money’s worth out of it. So once you have your own land you end up spending a lot of time on it, and that time is often alone.

FirstSLHome_July21

I didn’t know at the time that it was my own trees there that caused this home to be super laggy at ground level. This was taken on July 21, 2009. Probably a few days into owning the place. I remember being so proud of my build, and that I had managed to find a rare roadside spot. Back then not much land was abandoned… The unpaved road is actually the bottom right corner of the top image – diagonally butting up against where I put plants.

Wandering through various Second Life clubs led me down the path of a spiritual awakening. Reading a random notecard left outside a Reggae Club got me curious. It was a card about Rastafarians, but it wasn’t very thorough. When you’re introspective the simple answers never work for you – so I went off to read more, and came back realizing I was always Rasta. Now Rasta is very much a leftist movement, not a liberal one. There is a marked difference that many people don’t understand. But it is also militantly non-violent, unlike your usual leftist movement – and that can lead many to mistake it for a liberal movement.

But I’m not exactly on the same page as the Rastafari in every aspect. I’m more fond of the sensual, and I take the Equal Rights and Justice angle to mean such for everyone. So as Apple Gabriel says, Give them Love.

Rasta is not a unified doctrine, unlike many organized religions. Each of us finds our path within that core concept of Equal Rights and Justice and the recognition of Yeshua Christ, Ras Tafari (Haile Selassie), and the holy land of Ethiopia – home of the oldest branch of Christianity, that predates the Catholics.

ExploringFurry

I didn’t start with cats for Furry. No, I made an alt just to get a furry look, and started with this.

After a journey through ‘am a furry’, I moved away from nudity. This was some time after finding Rasta, but before I was openly talking Rasta everywhere I went in Second Life.

Furry is interesting to me, in that I see the spiritual nature of an anthropomorphic self. A sort of ‘totem animal spirit’ if you will. In that regard I enjoy furry avatars a lot. But I’m not a part of furry culture at all. It baffles me, and I humor it. No opinions either negative or positive though.

Furries are very often gender ambiguous though (hermaphrodite avatars), and that is something I don’t relate well to at all. It is a common theme in Second Life, and I am accustomed to accepting it, but I don’t relate to it. I’m a leftist, but I’m not exactly a liberal.

PussycatCatnap_Egyptian

Now there’s a riot of themes.

I tried using Second Life to explore Rasta. I made a club, I wandered through events and other clubs, I made groups, and so on. Nothing really ever clicked here. There are a lot of people wandering around in SL with Rasta themes lightly in their look or venue – but they’re closer to what Rasta calls a Rentafari. A Rentafari is a male prostitute with dreadlocks who services white tourist women…

So yeah, that is an insult. What I found in SL was a bunch of people who equated Rasta with a black version of Cheech and Chong, for white people. Go to Reggae clubs, and they are usually run by white women, or Rentafari men.
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So I kinda pulled back a bit from Second Life as my journey through Rasta kicked off.

Some might see me as appropriating by having a black avatar, or even in that my religion is Rastafari. But you should look to a person’s intentions, words, and deeds before going down that path. Snoop Lion is a black man who has been rightfully called out as appropriating Black Culture, while Jah Sun is a white man who is very real in where he stands.

When I go down a path, I go deep. As an introspective person I can’t just grab the surface of something. The Rentafari experience will not do for me because I see it as fake and that spoils it. I may love running around as a naked avatar, but I also have a very deep sense of the spiritual – and using religion to sell sex rubs me wrong. Even if I at the same time embrace the sensual in the spiritual.

Its a bit like the difference between Leftist and Liberal (think Malcolm X vs. Martin Luther King Jr). You might not see it, but its there, and pretty concrete. The sensual and spiritual go together naturally, but to use one to sell the other is a perversion of both.

So when I came back around to being active with Second Life, I started toning myself down a bit. That’s more or less where my break with nudity first occurred. In part also driven by the virulent racism I encountered on the SLU forums. I decided to stop engaging in some circles, and to alter my image a bit.

MeditationBuild

That’s about when I started calling my supposed shop in SL ‘Zion Kitty’, as a way to announce that I was looking at things spiritually now.

Rastafari Building in SeconfLife
Not too long after I even put up a Rasta ‘Church’ build based on a temple in Ethiopia. Churches as a building / location is not a Rasta thing, and that is why I eventually took that place down. People should gather anywhere to be spiritual, and without leaders. Pastors, Rabbis, Imams, and Priests are all mankind’s method of stealing spirituality from one in order to give political power to another.
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That is something I’ve always known, and had to remind myself of.

Second Life has been a very useful tool for me in exploring identities, and in finding my spiritual self. It has also re-affirmed for me the notion that the spiritual is not in conflict with the sensual unless one is used to sell the other.
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And that is a bit of why I have returned to being openly nude in Second Life. I see nothing wrong with this and my spiritual side. And whereas I have a lifetime of people challenging me for my mere existence in my real life, in my SL I can stand up and say that and hold to it. It is me, it is how I genuinely intuit my reality.

Reggae_SpiritualandSensual

As I recently noted in my post about Nudity in Second Life:

For me, nudity, even public nudity, is a spiritual thing. I suspect that confuses a lot of people. We are born nude, we are created nude, we return to a natural state when this life ends.
. . .
For me, the nude form is a spiritual form. Yes it is also a sensual, in fact erotic form. And these are all by intent, by design. By Jah will. We are made to love each other, to strive for community, caring, and an appreciation of the beauty of life and the beauty within each other and ourselves.

And while that is not necessarily something I learned in Second Life, it is something I hold firm to. And it is something that Second Life is perfectly suited for letting me express.

Fake non-person with no ‘branded identity’ who belongs to none of your ethnicities that I am, I come here to get real.

This is a part of my journey.


So where are you headed?

 

 

 

Clothing Optional and Nude Friendly signs.

Nothing special today, just promoting a simple item I’ve put up for sale. Complete with naked pic to catch your attention. 🙂

I have some signs people with nude friendly venues can put on their land:
NudeOnlyAndClothingOptionalSignshttps://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Clothing-Optional-and-Nude-Only-Signs/8349227
These are $15L for the set of both, and come as Copy/Trans, plus two texture standalones that are Copy/Mod in case you want to use the image in your own sign design. Clicking them will give someone a copy of the signs (but not the standalone textures) and ask if they want to open a website link to this website.

If you get these signs, please tell me about your venue so I can add it to my page on Nude Friendly place in Second Life. In fact if you don’t get these signs, please also tell me so I can still add you to my blog’s list of nude friendly places. The more places I have on the list, the better.

I am working on an article of more substance though, and one not even about my recent fixation on nudity – but about something totally different.

Page on Nudism and Nude friendly places in Second Life

I’ve added a “page” (untimed article, so it doesn’t show on the wordpress timeline) to my site here on the topic of Nudism and nude friendly places in Second Life. In future it will be found on my list of callout links on the side of the blog.

Pussycat_As_Baba

When I was new to Second Life, naked avatars were everywhere. Mainland was full of people running around nude either in a liberated state or in some form of kink-wear. Two very different communities, but each sharing that same space in the Second Life social dynamic.

Nudity in Second Life seems to be a rarer thing now. The Terms of Service have not changed, but the Second Life community has. It is not all too different from any other fad I guess, including Neko – which was everywhere when I joined, and now its rare for me to find another Neko.

I’m hoping I can either stir up some interest, or get some help in finding places to go that I have overlooked.

So, enjoy the full page, and send me some suggested places.

 

Getting Aspect Ratio right on a mesh photo frame

After my last long and technical post. Today I have a simple thought, with a bit of fun. 🙂PictureFrames

I probably waste a LOT of texture cache on putting up photos all over my SL house… I’ve bought my fair share of mesh frames for this, and find none of them are set up right for the aspect ratios of the images I upload.

This is one of those ‘rather basic’ building things a first time and maybe even experience land holder / renter / person with SL Home might struggle to figure out a way to deal with.

How to get that wonderful screenshot they’ve uploaded to not look stretched skinny or wide, despite putting it into a mesh frame that was supposed to look just perfect.

I tend to upload all of my screenshots as images I have saved at one of

  • 1:1 (the aspect ratio of the modern profile system).
  • 4:3 (old TV and old monitor aspect ratio – in Landscape)
  • 3:4 (basically old TV on its side – portrait ratio)

My mesh frames come in all kinds of random. Usually they are the correct ratio by the numbers on the prim size… but because the builder didn’t check how wide the shadow prim or frame was… the image part can be all over the place…

The ones in this image are from {What Next} – Anna Picture Frames. I have moved the positions a bit for my own setup.

I once tried fixing this with math… and it was a mess. So now I do this:

Rez another prim, set it to one of:

  • 1m tall and 1m wide (1:1)
  • 1m tall and 0.75m wide (4:3)
  • .75m tall and 1m wide (3:4)

Then color it red and made it 40% transparent, and make it thicker (depth) than the photo frame.
PictureFramesRedPrim
Move it over my frame, and use the “gray” corner to stretch it right. DO NOT use the red, green, or blue corners as those stretch individual sides – you want to stretch the whole thing uniformly.

Once it’s “close” to where I want, I switch prims to the frame:
PictureFramesFramePrim
And stretch that on each individual side (red, green, blue) – until my red prim fits ‘as nicely as I can eyeball’ inside the frame.

Now I can put up my pictures and not have them look stretched.

PictureFramesDone

And here you have me Pussycat, and my alts Bunny and Reggae. Which is a lot more personalized than the random stuff that came with this frame.

As I make a bit of a bold return to being a sometime (or maybe mostly or maybe rarely, not sure how it will end up yet) SL nudist, it seems fitting to put up nude art. Good way to test my comfort level with this and see this is really me, or just a passing mood.

I used to / have a lot more alts. But this is the active scene for me now. Recently took the rest of my crowd – deleted their profiles, and tossed them onto an empty spot. Most of them were made back in the days when I was testing things like new welcome centers, the then new single word name thing, and so on – but I kept feeling them temptation to go shopping for them… so I had to cut this down to a manageable list… 😛

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