Why might you want to have your avatar be nude in Second Life?
Maybe you want to create artistic nude pictures like the one above? This picture was taken with special lighting by Morpheus, a SL friend with much better virtual world photography skills than mine. My avatar’s body in this picture is the standard type, not mesh. It doesn’t look too bad from this angle, but the shape of the breast isn’t very realistic. It looks like a lump of clay, not the sensual curve of a woman. The feet are also squished flat, neither realistic nor attractive.
Contrast that picture to the one above, in which my avatar is wearing a Maitreya Lara mesh body. The curves of the breast, feet and pretty much everything looks both more natural and more attractive.
You might want to play around with virtual sex or adult roleplay, which is going to be more fun if your avatar and your partner’s look attractive. It’s also going to be more fun with good-quality adult furniture and animations, as well as good emoting or voice communication.
As well as a nice realistic shape, one also needs a good quality skin. With a mesh body, the skin is applied with appliers that go into the HUD (Heads Up Display) for that body.
Of course your avatar doesn’t have to be naked for you to want it to look good. This picture shows my avatar wearing a TMP mesh body & an applier layer bikini.
This one shows my avatar wearing a Maitreya Lara mesh body with a partially mesh dress. (The mesh part is just between the legs. The rest of the dress is basically a “painted on” applier layer.)
Male avatars may want to look good too. This picture shows my male alt, Evan, wearing a free TMP mesh body at the nudist sim, Naked.
You might not even want your avatar to appear human, but may still want it to have an attractive shape & skin. This is a scaled mermaid skin from Lumae.
What are the down sides to having a mesh body?
1. Monetary cost. Most range between $ 10 to $ 20 (US dollars).
2. Rendering cost. Mesh is harder for one’s viewer to render than standard mesh bodies. The result is slower rendering that makes partially rezzed meshed bodies look like oddly floating body pieces.
3. Script-based lag. Mesh bodies have scripts in them than may add to your lag & that of others in SL. Some bodies have more scripts than others. They may not add more lag than mesh clothing does though.
If you have a mesh body, but don’t want to wear it all the time, you can opt to wear a standard body with standard or mesh clothing on it in high lag regions. Since most of the mesh body would be hidden under mesh clothing anyway, you might want to only wear mesh hands and feet, especially when your clothing covers most of your body anyway.
If you’re interested in getting a mesh body for your SL avatar. Check out the Mesh Body Addicts Blog for reviews & comparisons of all the major brands. Don’t get a brand that is unpopular, since it won’t have as much clothing made to fit it. Do get one that’s Omega applier compatible, since these can use more clothing & often less expensive clothing. Do try the demos for any bodies you’re interested in. Do join the store group and wear the group tag before you purchase a mesh body, in case there are discounts accumulated when you purchase that store’s products inworld.