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)

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Just One of the Guys

I don’t blog about Second Life freebies for men as often as I do for the women, but there are a couple of nice freebies I wanted to mention today.

Amazing Creations has monthly free group gifts for both men and women (the store group is free to join), and this month’s men’s gift is this casual outfit, which includes the boots (here’s the exact SLURL to find the gift panel in the Amazing Creations store):

The best part of this outfit is that it is all in one piece: the shirt, jeans, and boots are all one werable mesh object. Just alpha out your body and your feet and you’re all set!

Another freebie is available without a group join at the Peak Lounge event taking place in Second Life this weekend. There are three free group gifts, and one of them is a set of beer props (see red arrow):

The set comes with a wearable sixpack of beer for one hand and a beer bottle for the other, both with Bento hand poses:

There’s also a rezzable sixpack for decoration purposes. Out guy is all set for his next party!

I’m not sure how long the Peak Lounge freebies will be available, so if you’re interested, head down there this weekend! Here’s the SLURL.

This avatar is also wearing:

  • Mesh Body and Head: Romeo by Altamura (a free group gift from last Valentine’s Day; no longer available for free)
  • Hair: Anderson by Alli&Ali Designs (which I picked up for free at an in-world conference last year)
  • Animation Override: Daily sLIFE Free Bento Male AO (free gift from Tuty)

TOTAL COST OF THIS ENTIRE AVATAR LOOK: FREE!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Beautiful Free Gowns from Poet’s Heart

One of the things that amazes me about Second Life is that, even after fourteen years of exploration, I still come across stores that I have never visited, or even heard about before.

And such is the case with Poet’s Heart, a store which specializes in full-length gowns (designed for Maitreya Lara mesh bodies only, although most of these gowns will also work with other models of mesh avatar bodies, like Altamura, if you make use of the alpha sections on the HUD that comes with the body).

You can join the Poet’s Heart group for free, and pick up some lovely free gowns and historical roleplay outfits from their group gift wall in-store:

Here my medieval roleplay avatar, Scarborough Fair, will model a few of these group gifts.

The Aerin gown in green has a clear elven influence, and it comes with a separate belt, overskirt, and sleeves that you can mix and match as you like:

The Happy Holidays 2019 gift from Poet’s Heart is the romantic Niniane gown with long, flowing sleeves, and a HUD with lots of options to change the colours and fabrics on various parts of the dress, including the trim:

Finally, this stunning silvery white ballgown is the Happy Holidays gift from 2017. This beautiful gown could easily be turned into a wedding dress with the right accessories:

In this final picture Scarborough Fair is wearing:

Mesh Head: Lulu Bento mesh head by Akeruka  (previous group gift; group costs L$150 to join)

Mesh Body: Maitreya Lara

Hair: Magdalen by LeLutka

Gown: Happy Holidays 2017 gown by Poet’s Heart (free group gift; group is free to join)

Jewelry: Antigone silver and diamond earrings and necklace (a long-ago free gift from Kouse’s Sanctum, a store which has now closed)

Shoes (not seen): Sonnet suede pumps by Hilly Haalan (free group gift; group is free to join)

Animation Override: The Gown AO by Kamilah Hauptmann (available for L$1,000 on the SL Marketplace, it is adjustable to accommodate various sizes of gowns, including bustle gowns and Mantua gowns)

Animated Fan: scripted geisha fan by Tuty (which I retextured with a white lace pattern; it randomly switches between five different fanning animations and is available for only L$50 on the SL Marketplace)

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Sonatta Morales

Did you know that you can help support my work on this blog (as well as the Metaverse Newscast show), and get some great rewards in return? Here’s how.


I don’t usually bother writing up a Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies blogpost for just one item, but I am making an exception for this beautiful ballgown:

Sonatta Morales is a women’s clothing store which specializes in fashion from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. This gown is the free group gift by Sonatta Morales to celebrate their 11th anniversary, and the group is free to join!

This avatar is wearing:

  • Mesh Head and Body: Altamura Estephania (a former free hunt gift from Altamura; no longer available for free)
  • Gown: Eleven gown by Sonatta Morales (free group gift; group is free to join)
  • Jewelry: Arthuriana gold pearls necklace and earrings (a former free Advent calendar gift from JUMO)
  • Shoes (Not Shown): nude flats (part of a free sample pack of Slink-compatible shoes from Garbaggio, available on the SL Marketplace; Altamura mesh bodies have Slink-compatible feet)
  • Hair: the hair is the Pulled Back Bun (black) from the Library / Accessories / Hair Design Options / Pulled Back Bun folder in your existing Second Lofe inventory—free, adjustable, tintable, uncomplicated.
  • Animation Override: Tuty’s Southern Belle & Woman in Ballgown Bento AO—hands down, the very best AO for ballgowns with voluminous skirts! I have not yet found another one that can compare to it. You can buy it from Tuty’s store in-world or from the SL Marketplace for L$650.

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: L$650 (for the animation override)

Picture taken at the bar on the closing night at Bogart’s club.