I’m currently reading Mark Haskell Smith’s book ‘Naked at Lunch: A reluctant nudist’s adventures in the clothing optional world’.
It’s an exceptionally interesting read, and covers a fair bit of the naturist movement’s history. As a bit of a self-style naturism historian, there’s lots I knew, but other bits that were new and enlightening to me. I’d recommend it to anyone who has even a passing interest in naturism.
I’m currently at the chapter ‘Trends in Genital Topiary’, which examines the way in which naturists have bought into what started as a porn industry trope, one for removing pubic hair, pretty much became the norm within naturism (as it also has for many people who aren’t naturist, with pubic hair becoming as endangered as pandas or white rhinos in some societies).
Let me pick out a couple of quotes, and then apply them to SL.
‘Smoothies are men and women who prefer to be completely hairless...(because)…taking off this last layer of covering will ‘promote the classical aesthetic idea of a smooth and hairless body”.
The author then quotes some ‘smooth naturists’, and one of their websites as ‘It is cleaner and more hygienic, especially for women. The smooth skin is more sensitive and it enhances sexual pleasure in many ways!’
To his credit, the author questions this statement, rightly so, because some medical professionals say that removing, and the act of removal, can sometimes cause cuts and abrasions that will lead to genital warts, so bravo to the author for raising an eyebrow at this. He also questions how a lifestyle so intent on promoting the non-sexual nature of it then has mavericks who say they’re naturist, but whose body hair removal seems to to be for the purpose of sexual pleasure and an ‘aesthetic’ that demands women have a pre-pubescent, little girl look. The thought appears to be formed in the author’s head, although unvoiced, that there’s some slightly disturbing about this. It’s a concern I’d share, sometimes, when I read online ‘naturist’ websites who voice similar ‘aesthetic’ and ‘sexual pleasure’ and ‘looks like a girl’ attributes. Sometimes it’s more than slightly disturbing.
‘It’s ironic that men and women are spending so much time and money grooming a part of their body they are reluctant to reveal’. Indeed. Often, shaving is presented as a side benefit (for both parties) where oral sex is concerned. Again, there may be something in this, I don’t know, but it’s patently not naturism and patently for the purpose of sexual pleasure. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking sexual pleasure, but it’s not part of the naturist movement and I worry, sometimes, that -as swingers and exhibitionists have poisoned the naturist atmosphere of Cap D’Agde in France- the ‘values’ of ‘smoothies’ are possibly poisoning traditional naturism. By all means do it because ‘I like the look’. That’s no different to saying ‘I like long hair, short hair, curly hair, dying my hair blue’. We’re all different and try to achieve different looks. But when phrases such as ‘looks like a girl’ are tossed around, alarm bells ring in my head.
The nature of the way that SL avatars are constructed means that the addition or removal of pubic hair from a female avatar is neither here nor there. The female avatar’s genitalia will be represented ‘accurately’.
The male avatar is different. Because the male’s genitalia are fixed as an add-on (the only way to make a male fit clothes properly), it’s always been a case of buying genitals that sit separate from the body.
Because of the colouration of skins (and separately produced male genitalia) it means a colour match between avatar body and genitalia is sometimes not particularly accurate. It’s made worse by the fact that, sometimes, men seem unconcerned about matching the colour of their avatar’s skin to that of their genitalia. Are SL males colour blind? Why not spend some time tweaking the colour? After all, most of them seem capable of tweaking the size to ridiculous proportions.
Even with tweaking, the colour may not be exact, and the addition of pubic hair can ‘soften’ the colour mis-match. It also ‘softens’ the obvious break-line between body and genitalia.
Pubic hair gives a male avatar a natural finish
With no pubic hair (this skin coming with ‘pubic hair’ as part of it) the ‘join’ between skin and genitalia is pronounced.
It is made more evident when the skin is hairless, the join looking unnatural and unrealistic.
With many SL avatars preferring the ‘hairless’ look, I think it’s incumbent on males to, at the very least, work on the colouration of their appendages.