Pulling Together a Male Avatar Look Using the Free Catwa Freya Head: The Joys and Perils of a “Unisex” Head

You might remember that I was able to pull together a male look in my first blogpost about the Freya unisex gift head, using one of the Bakes on Mesh male skins from Digital Nude Art (DNA):

But like many others, I was curious to see if I could use a combination of the freebie Catwa Freya unisex Bento head with the Classic male mesh body from Meshbody, applying a Catwa skin applier from one of the many quality men’s skin stores on the grid (since no male skin was included with the Freya head, just female skins). Let me share what I learned with you.

So I ventured out to Birth, but I found that both of the skins I preferred looked terrible on the Freya head. It would appear most of the Birth skins are meant to work best on specific, more masculine models of Catwa male heads.

I then went over to Stray Dog, and tried on demos of dozens of skins, with mixed results, before settling on the one you see here:

Now, you might think that I needed the collar to hide the neck seam between the Catwa Freya head and the Classic body, but I was actually able to get a close match between the Stray Dog skin applier I used on the Catwa head and the skin tone of the Classic body.

This is Stray Dog skin tone 5, which matches up almost exactly with the Classic body’s skin tone 11, and the included neck fades in the Classic package make it look almost completely seamless! There are even step-by-step instructions on how to apply the appropriate neck fade to the Catwa head. It works well.

No, I needed the collar to hide this rather ugly side view of the neck:

No matter how much I fiddled with the neck sliders, I simply could not avoid a neck that was noticeably thinner at the top than at the bottom. Increasing the neck width or the neck length made the problem even worse.

Another problem was the quite noticeable bulge where the Catwa head meets the Classic body at the front (see the red arrow). It’s a much larger bulge than can be explained away by a man’s Adam’s apple. The best course of action was to cover up the area completely.

So while yes, you can select Male or Female on the included Master HUD for the Freya head to work with both male and female bodies (see the red arrow in the image below), you should be forewarned that the neck area can still look a little weird on male avatars.

So you need to keep in mind that the Freya head, while “unisex” in name, might not work very well with many store-bought male skins that would look okay on a Bento mesh head with more masculine features. So demo, demo, demo before you buy!

I used the eyebrow shaper that came with the Stray Dog skin applier package, and for my starter male shape I used the free, full-perms gift shape from the NoYourOtherLeft sim, one of the three spots where you can pick up the Catwa Freya gift head (just look for a large box opposite the row of kiosks). I made the jaw more angular and square, and the ears a little bigger; the rest I left unchanged. (I noticed in particular that it wasn’t advisable to make too many changes to the nose shape.)

Here is the overall final look for my avatar, which I am quite pleased with:

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head: Freya unisex Bento mesh head (free group gift from Catwa; the Catwa group is free to join; more details here)

Mesh Body: Classic male mesh body (L$1 group gift from Meshbody; The Shops! group is free to join; more details here)

Skin Applier for Head: Surman by Stray Dog (L$590 per skin tone)

Hair: the Chris hairstyle in ash blonde is a gift from Alli&Ali Hair (this freebie comes from the free hair wall at The Free Dove; I tinted it a darker brown here)

Collar: Nina unisex choke by RxK (available for free from the main floor of the freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil; comes with a HUD with four colour choices and two metal choices)

All the clothing is specifically designed for Classic mesh bodies (remember to look for The Mesh Project or TMP on the packaging before you buy):

Shirt: Pepe shirt (free gift from KingalStores, available at The Free Dove)

Jeans: Stone jeans (free gift from Dreams, available from the men’s section on the third floor of the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil)

Sneakers: Jumpov sneakers by VERSOV (free group gift; the VERSOV group is free to join; these sneakers come with a HUD that allows you to change the colour of every single part of the shoe)

Animation Override: Tuty’s Daily sLIFE Free Bento AO (free from the Tuty animations store)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR LOOK: L$591 (L$590 for the Stray Dog skin applier, and L$1 for the Classic mesh body)

I Had a Dream…

Photo by Randy Tarampi on Unsplash

You know that something has really become an integral part of your life when you starting dreaming about it! Well, I am on holidays from work this week and next, so I turned off my alarm clock and slept in late this morning, and I just woke up from the most vivid and detailed dream, where I was at a social VR conference!

Here’s my dream, in as much detail as I can remember, first thing in the morning while many of the details are still fresh in my mind:


I wound up at this conference, held at the University of Western Ontario, quite by accident. I am an alumni of UWO (which is true in real life), and I was there visiting my old campus residence, when I stumbled across this conference, which was being held on campus. Attending were venture capitalists, designers, and representatives of various companies who were building and selling social VR platforms.

A cameraman had captured a video of me trying out a VR experience, wearing a VR headset and holding a rifle-like gun, and I got to see the video. I was having an ecstatic first-time user experience, and he captured it for all to see! I was so happy that I asked for a copy of the video, and he sold it to me for $60. (I even remember hunting around in my wallet for the right amount of cash!)

I was talking with vendors and having them give me business cards so I would remember their details so I could blog about them later. In once case someone, whom I recognized as a fellow computer science student when I was at the University of Manitoba (which is a true detail from my real life) asked me for my phone number so she could call me, and I tried to tell her first my work number, and then my cell number—and each time, I discovered that I had forgotten the last few digits!

One of the events at the conference was Strawberry Singh‘s wedding—to a woman named Raspberry! In real life, Strawberry looked exactly like her avatar! (I had absolutely no difficulty recognizing her in real life.) At one of the events afterwards at this conference, I went up to Strawberry and Raspberry to congratulate them—only to discover that I had laryngitis and I couldn’t speak above a whisper!

One of the VR companies showed a promotional video about their new social VR platform, which included pictures taken in real life at various locations of people trying out their product. I immediately recognized some of the locations as pictures taken at the high school I had attended, Transcona Collegiate (which is true in real life), and in the video I also saw a photo mosaic of people trying out their product, which included a picture of me!

Just before I woke up, I was at the lunch for the conference attendees. I had to hunt around a little bit to find it in the building, and in one of the rooms I looked in before I found it, the walls had large displays of various bloggers’ blogposts about social VR—including posts from this blog! I remember standing there looking at this and thinking: Holy shit, I’ve made it it. People are talking about me at a conference.)

At the lunch, I asked the moderator for permission to come to the podium to speak to all the conference attendees. She said yes, and I went up to the podium to speak, and the microphone was having technical problems and I seemed to have some sort of laryngitis, which were interfering with my attempt to tell everyone how wonderful this whole experience was and to thank them for letting me be there, even though I hadn’t registered for the conference…

And then I woke up.

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

This has got to be one of the more vivid and detailed dreams I have ever had! Several times throughout this dream, I actually thought to myself, “This is a dream, this can’t be real“, only to wake up in my dream while still dreaming and realize that it wasn’t a dream—it was really happening to me! Crazy. I wonder what my dream means, if anything.

I love how the dream sprinkled in various details that corresponded to my real life, including my old high school. And I do find it interesting that at least three times in my dream, I had difficulty in communicating with other people at the conference. I’m not sure if my subconscious is trying to tell me something significant, or not!

P.S. I forgot to mention that in my dream, in one room at the conference, there were a bunch of well-known drag queens from my favourite reality TV show, Ru Paul’s Drag Race! I recognized Shangela there. The drag queens tried to warn me about someone who was at the conference, from whom I had obtained detailed information about their soon-to-be-released social VR platform, which was still being kept secret from the public. They warned me that he was not a good person and that I should be careful!