Rant: Anatomy, anyone?

NOTICE: The subject of this post is of an erotic, fetishistic and outright sexual nature. If you are not legally allowed to read such material, and / or if such topics and imagery offend you, I suggest you leave right now.

I’ve always been amused by the way most people in Second Life, especially those in the BDSM etc. communities, tend to position their “naughty” attachments – and by “naughty” I mean such attachments as anal and vaginal sheaths (usually for latex outfits), butt plugs, and the like. It’s just anatomically off. I’ll admit that those designers who make rigged mesh genitals and anuses are more diligent. But this is not usually the case with sex toys (especially anal ones), and it most certainly isn’t with BDSM-related avatar accessories: all too often, I see commercial photos on the SL marketplace with the anal toys inserted in the wrong place (i.e. where a human body doesn’t even have a cavity) and at the wrong angle. The same goes for vaginal toys that are attached to the avatar; wrong place, wrong angle. And I see these errors in photos on platforms like Flickr and DeviantArt, and I can’t help wondering if the people who make these toys and / or take these photos have ever actually seen a female body in the flesh.

Now, let’s have a look at the female anatomy, as shown in the picture below.

The basic parts of a woman’s nether region; the tract in front of the vagina is, of course, the urethra. The image here is a derivative work, based on an original image by Tsaitgaist on Wikimedia.

And where do SL content creators and even SL users place their “naughty” accessories? Hmmmm, let’s see. Nah, I think I’ll let a picture do the talking.

A typical SL placement of a dildo (left) and a butt plug (right) in a female avatar’s body. Again, the image is a derivative work, based on Tsaitgaist’s original.

As you can see, this is a tad ridiculous. I understand that many SL photographers think this helps with the conspicuousness of the attachments, but no. It only makes the resulting photo look just plain ridiculous and ruins the viewer’s suspension of disbelief.

For illustration purposes, I whipped up a composite image for comparison where I’m wearing a butt plug. On the left, you can see the typical for SL, but anatomically wrong, placement. It’s not as jarring as some other placements I’ve seen, and it certainly does make the plug and its jewel more visible, but it’s still quite wrong. On the right, you see the anatomically correct placement. As you can see, the plug is indeed somewhat obscured by my right buttock. This is, sadly, expected: in RL, the rigid metal plug would push the soft flesh back, but we all know there’s no consideration for this in SL. To counteract this in a photo, I suppose you could resort to measures like taking two shots, one with the body and (if you’re not using a Bakes on Mesh version) the layer on which the catsuit is applied removed, one with the body attached, and then work in your photo editor of choice post-capture. I didn’t do this here, though, as my aim was to show and explain things.

On the left, you see the typical, but anatomically wrong, way most people place items like butt plugs on the SL avatar body. On the right, you see the anatomically correct placement. A pose with somewhat spread legs was chosen in the right-hand picture for the sake of visibility.

It is obvious, of course, that the anatomically correct placement doesn’t make the attachment as prominent as the anatomically wrong one. But still, it’s the realistic one.

The situation is even worse in the fetish realm. In an attempt to mimic the vaginal and anal sheaths featured on several (really, really expensive) RL latex catsuits, some SL content creators have come up with some tube-like contraptions; some of them even feature lockable lids shaped like drain plugs. These are invariably unrigged, are typically made from prims or sculpts, and are designed to be put in the wrong place – look at the picture with the dildo and the butt plug and imagine two tubes in their place. I know there are capable designers out there who make really good rigged mesh fetish gear: corsets, boots, hoods, gloves, and the like. I’m sure someone could come up with a set of similar items that will not only be comprehensively scripted, but also properly designed, conforming to the mesh of the popular mesh bodies, and with anatomically correct placing.

As for SL photographers, please, please, please, acquaint yourselves with anatomy before you attach and adjust any avatar’s “naughty” attachments for your photoshoots. You may sacrifice some visibility; you may have to do some extra work to make things appear more real; you may need to adjust the placement of your camera. But the end result will be more rewarding, because you’ll have created a far more believable image – and it’ll be sexier for it.

The poses I used for this post’s accompanying composite photo are from the “Rosalia” set by STUN Poses.

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/monaeberhardt/50999476673/in/dateposted-public/