Wednesday, July 23, 2008

To Shave or Not to Shave that is the Question

How to write this post has been plaguing me for months. First off and so so important is the fact that this is NOT a put down of skin creators, that is very very important for me to make very clear.

In the months since this first occurred to me, I have wondered how to do this post , I have mentioned doing it numerous times , but always worried that it would come off strange, the other dilemma was of course how to show without showing.

I ended up using the eloh base and removing any genitals layers, so that I could preserve my own modesty and also not make it as in your face as I had to endure for two hours of taking the pics and then more time making the pic in layers in the first place , I swear I don't want to look below my belly button again for a very very long time.

On that alone I applaud any skin makers, because that area would have to be the worst part of the Phils Place template there is. I also wore a template uv map pants layer over the eloh to make the base its not as defined as the usual template its very basic but it gives you the general idea of how they work , and also how much they change pixels wise on an in world form.

Ok so on to the post , yes I kind of rambled because I am hoping that the pictures end up cut when appearing on the feed. Now another important thing is that I am NOT including the names of the skin makers, they are numbered yes , but that is more for me to know what and who was who, and if any skin maker who knows I own their skins is really curious what number they are they can contact me in world.

The reason I did this comparison was to kind of prove my sanity, I have mentioned numerous times that I think that all skin makers should offer a shaved version with their skins, and that has come into debate many times. I remember a long time ago that Linden Lifestyles did a post on the preferences of people in that area , and of course now I cant find it in their archives when I want to link to it.

Now many back then commented I think I remember rightly, saying things about it being eww and kinky and whatever, thing is it isn't at all, in Phils Place that would be the least kinky thing there is lol. There are so many reasons people can come up with to say no to the idea, and I respect that , I just want to put some yes reasons out there too.

I have an abundance of skins, many I have purchased and many have been given to me to blog on and they all rock for many different reasons. But lets talk about purchasing skins.

In the LL post that time, it amazed me - again I am going by memory of nearly a year ago so excuse me if I am incorrect - but one thing that stood out first off was that no one seemed to comment from a partner perspective. Everyone seemed to mention what THEY preferred, and in such a world as Phils Place that struck me as odd.

I have had two relationships in Phils Place in two years, and in both of those relationships there have been skin purchases, the first one was at a time I made my first real big skin purchase, you know the one , where you take that big plunge and are willing to spend a few K on a skin pack and really believe its going to be the one you stay in forever - my goodness that was a long time ago - I remember standing in my house naked in front of my partner at the time and asking him to be very certain that he liked every aspect of my skin, because there was no way in the world I was going to buy a skin that he hated the bum on or the nipples or the knees and YES that area too.

The same issue has come up in my current relationship as well, the preferences he has for that area, so when I make skin purchases its always something I have to consider, and I doubt very very much I am the only girl in Phils Place that does that.

Now step back from that part for a bit , and lets move on to another factor when purchasing skins, and no I am not going to talk about make up and shading etc all that is not what this topic is about, this is only about the down there section of the skin.

You want to go into modeling in phils place and you know that you need a good skin to start with , many girls starting out can't afford at first to go an buy a mix of different skins for different looks , that comes later. So you have saved up and you are ready to spend your money on a skin pack that will cover you for the time being.

As a model there are many different things you will be called upon to model. Lingerie , Swim wear, Gowns , Casual etc the list goes on and on. You are going to make a very very crucial purchase but you are going to have to put allot of thought into that purchase , you will need a skin that can move easily from one look to the next and will also cater to all those things you may need to show.

This is where the pictures come in , first off the top picture shows 21 different designers skins, some of the skin designers do both options of with and without hair, so they have been shown on both sides. Look at the different placement on a body. Now firstly my measurements for hips are 50 height , 57 width and my torso is 63. It is also important to know that I took every single picture on the exact same frozen camera setting and then layered them exactly the same way on the layers so that they show exactly on my body where the very top part of that section ends.

Just like skin makers as you can see , clothing makers vary on where they end a pair of pants, underwear or bikini bottoms. Even some skirts if made as micros can be very low. So taking back into account being a model and having to be able to show each and every item on the skins available to you , you would need one that had that section low enough for it to never be an issue.

How do I know that to be true, well for one I have been there, I have put on an item to blog and taken pics and then moved my camera to realise that the top of my hair line actually showed above the item I was showing , and had I not moved the camera inwards enough I wouldn't have noticed as it was very hard to tell from taking a full body shot. Which of course led to me panicking that I could have also teleported to somewhere dressed that way with that skin on and given people a potential eyeful without realising , because how often do we examine our fronts before leaving the house , especially down there.

Again though back to our model idea, if a model came across the same dilemma and had that area visible , she would either have to run off and buy another skin or worse lose the modeling job as her skin wouldn't be acceptable. If that occurred the reaction from the model could also possibly be disappointment in her skin for losing her the job, and that stays with you, it would become about the skin and not the fact that the clothes were very low cut.

Ok so now lets skip away from the models for a second, and on to lifestyles for a sec. Many of us know people in the D/s BDSM lifestyle, or if we don't know them we have at least seen them shopping or around phils place. One thing with Submissive's and Slaves in Phils Place is that they wear very little clothing, and I don't mean little as in barely there as silks especially usually have lots of fabric to them, but little as in barely concealing certain areas of the body, and one area is down there.

Now allot of the time what they wear is chosen for them, and in that incidence again , if the skin is not with options and they already own their favourite skin , it makes silks wearing difficult , and they possibly have to change skins altogether, or if they don't have a favourite skin and they have the ability to buy another , then its going to be from a skin designer that does give them those options of a bare down there area , so that in whatever item of clothing they wear they are not revealing anything they shouldn't be.

Many people will think it doesn't matter , they don't have those sorts of customers , well you don't actually know that :P, you can know that you have never seen a girl in your store in silks , but you can't ever know that the glamorous fashionista in the latest fabulous fashion doesn't run an alt that is her D/s avatar , and that if your skins suit her needs then she will be back to purchase, lol and as for the alt being the Submissive, its the fashionista that could be the alt lol.

You will also find that many many many of the Dom/me's in lifestyle relationships do the shopping but thats a whole other story, but again the point being that unless a person straight out IM's you and asks if there is a possibility of shaved you have no idea if not offering it has lost you a sale, because a huge percentage wont do that, they will just go and find one that does.

Also consider one of the biggest industries in Phils Place , Escorts and Strippers. Their skin choices make them money, and they aren't greedy about sharing that money around , these women spend thousands in Phils Place on costumes, lingerie and all the other things that they need to perform in, Escorts especially need options to cater to their clientelle , if the client has a preference for that area they are going to make sure they cater to that whatever the preference may be because that is where their money comes from.

Again THOUSANDS of dollars are spent from that industry in skin stores, and I mean dollars not lindens, and for every stripper and escort you win over with your product you get not only loyalty but a dozen referalls - I had an escort customer when I managed HOZ that not only brought all her dancer/escort friends to the store , but the angel would bring new residents in that she came across hand me a K to dress them with, she would have to have done that at least ten different times.

Now I have to refer to the second pic because its a bit confusing especially with the background being my regular shape. But again something occurred that made me think about it from another angle. When I used to sell Menswear and would tell women looking for suits to purchase Mens suits they would always be surprised that they would fit , yes thats true and more than a dozen times that took place, the surprise part I mean.

But its a good example , clothes stretch to the shape, as do skins and so will your clothes, but lets consider skins as that is the topic. Shapes vary in Phils Place , in a huge way, unless you purchase a no mod shape there is not going to be anyone identical to you , the chance of that would have to be a billion to one - ok I made that up but you know what I mean, sliders by 1 number make us different.

As I said my hip length is 50 and many are smaller than that and many Im sure are higher , so I made a shape at 10,20,30,40 all the way to 100. Wore the same skin and watched as that area changed, this is something you will have to do to really see how it works , but again going back to that trying on skins naked in your own home.

If for example the down there section had hair and it was for example number 1 in the pic at the top, well if your hips were closer to 100 than my 50 that area would stretch which would bring it visually to where 16 is , and without thinking of the impact your shape has on the skin you MAY react to the area as it being too much for your tastes. I can't imagine anyone loving a skin so much that they would mod their shape to make that area smaller visually, so the outcome again would be possibly not purchasing that skin.

You can't dismiss the facts too that so many designers have such different areas they end that area at, and this is just the skins I have , there are hundreds out there that I have no clue about what options they offer. Also many end in exactly the same spot , there were more but I was getting dizzy trying to draw straight lines between others and my straight is another persons wobbly :P.

What I am hoping is that skin makers do consider offering more than one option down there, not for any other reason that to make sure that if your skin is so loved with make up and tones that its not that area that changes things for the customer. Many have adopted options for down there, and it is way easier for a new creator to do that, testing the market , seeing whats out there and offering that bit more.

Ask your customers, do something like one skin creator did a while back and get people to take a survey on their preferences, see what the statistics say. I can also imagine that people that have those options in one skin maker will be spoiled on that and find it really hard to make a change to get less from someone else.
So even if they want to change skins get more make up, add to their skin range , its very hard to go from a skinner that gives you lots in your pack to one that only gives you one option, anyway thats just how I look at it from a customer perspective, its like buying a car that gives you power steering and airbags and all the fun extras , going to get a new car and getting none of that for the same money.

Skin buying has become like shoe buying in Phils Place this year , people buy new skins so much more than they ever did , not as many stick to one skin pack for 6 months to a year like they used to even longer some of them, and I see stores coming up with new things to entice them with, I think that this should be one of those things , and as I said it has become that for a few designers, so consider adding the options to your older lines and your newer ones, and keep your customers happy and loyal - giggles imagining a customer telling a designer they changed skins because of the extra down there options , it would probably never ever happen. But I do know that people I know haven't bought skins because of the lack of options there.

Now I hope to never ever have to explain that again when I'm talking to a skinner and begging them to make that option too lol.

xox Sasy xox



13 comments:

Stein Shilova said...

I haven't heard the phrase "down there" used so much since the dreaded menstruation hygiene video in Jr. High.

"I want a car to attract a woman with a shave down below."
~Borat Sagdiyev

Kyrinnia said...

I personally have my skins be bare because when I first started modeling, I only had my one good skin and it had hair, and I got kicked out of a lineup for a fashion show featuring bikinis because they were skimpy and and it just doesn't look pretty to show everyone if the carpet matches the drapes.

Phoenix Chapman said...

http://lindenlifestyles.com/?p=503

Sugarr said...

Can i just say i love you, i personally prefer to have options for the showing or not showing thing. Nothing is worse than showing your landing strip above your bikini line.

Sakuradawn Lei said...

I also prefer the shaved option and wish more skin makers gave this option. I had a bad run in a long time ago with a bikini and hair O_o

There have been many skins I decided to pass on simply because they had hair and no other options.

Anonymous said...

Working at ETD I get asked quite often where to find a good skin. A handful of times people have IM'd me to say they didn't like the pubic area, did I know where to find a hairless skin. People do ask, and they do care, I wish all skin designers would do both, I'd even be willing ot pay a little extra to have both, depending on what I am wearing.

-Marissa Goodliffe

Chav Paderborn said...

The skin I'm usually in is smooth like a Barbie. I find it a bit disturbing when they have a vagina but no pubes, like they're underage or something. I can see the practical clothing-related reasons for it but it makes the avatar seem less like a woman and more like a doll. They're only pubes!

Autumn Heyse said...

I think all skins should be hairless just because it works with all clothes. If you want to show off your rug then its likely you aren't wearing much of anything and hair on an underwear layer would work just fine, whereas putting on a hairless layer makes almost no sense. Another benefit of the added layer is multiple style choices.

SunShine said...

@Chav:

I am bald in RL, and I can assure you that I am 1) not underage and 2) not any less a woman.

That being pointed out, I vote for hairless pubes...I never wear a skin for any length of time unless it is bald.

P.S. Although I am a member of the Doll community in SL, it has nothing to do with my personal decision for no pubic hair.

Siddean said...

A simple solution would be for skins to be made hairless, and for pubic hair to be offered on separate pants and underpants layers.

As a skinmaker, I can't begin to tell you the amount of work involved in setting up skins with and without freckles, with and without pubic hair in 2 styles, in 8 skintones with 6 or more makeup options each.

It's a nightmare job, which is why I now only offer my skins bald. Pubic hair layers are in my todo list. The great thing about pubic hair layers is you can wear them with any shaven skin. The same cannot be said for a shaven layer option to cover a skin that has pubic hair.

Chav Paderborn said...

Oh sorry I did not mean to insult your IRL baldness (which is quite a different thing, no?), I just harbour something of a squick for shaven bits.

That said I think "Magical Pube Pants" are a good compromise. I think I have some of those that came with my skin though I leave her featureless in the "womanhood" department. Plus there is something hilarious about Pube Pants that makes the thing appeal to me.

'Kota Buck said...

Personally I don't really mind about pubic hair options in SL, which is just as well considering how many different skins I wear. I never wear anything that's low enough to show pubes if there were any and I really think that maybe pubes are a good thing for the fashion community at least. If your pubes are showing over your waist-band it's the least of your appearance worries.

I wish more skins were lady-parts free like Nylon's or Toasts actually... to remove the problem of one of my personal genital peeves - 'gines that look like gaping infected stab wounds.

Alyx Sands said...

@Chav: I use the same skins as you I think-and I found the Pubes Pants (tm) a nice idea, though I have yet to wear them-I think I just never wear stuff that exposes my belly that far down....I'm an SL prude....