How do women adorn themselves, and why? Fashion designers and sales people obsess over it, of course, as do their potential customers.
For me, as a male writing in the M/F branch of the erotica genre, it’s a topic that can be more than a little daunting at times.
The way I see it men wear clothes and, if they have hair, they comb it. And that's pretty much all a man needs to know about how other men look. OK, so I know it’s different in the M/M branch of the genre, not to mention F/F and transgendered characterization. Oh, right, and fantasy, paranormal etc. But let’s stick with vanilla for this.
Sometimes the women in my stories push me to the edge of the known male universe. My version of the male universe anyway.
For instance, a female character saunters into my plot. Well, for a start, does she saunter? Or does she sashay or perhaps strut? If she were a man, she could just walk. But no, with women the details seem to count more.
And then there's that top. Is it a tank or tee, a blouse or a bodice? Is it sheer or a scoop neck? Satin or silk?
That's just a start. Then one has to consider what she actually looks like apart from those clothes. There's a bewildering palette of make-up shades and hair tints. Do her peepers blink beneath mascara or eye liner? Is that blush or bronze on her cheeks? Is that smudge of lipstick on his collar burgundy or hot pink? And is it lipstick or lip gloss?
In my blinkered view, men come in three or four colors at most. The way cars used to. You can have your man’s follicles in brown, blond, gray or black. Eyes are blue or brown, occasionally something fancy like cobalt or emerald. But be careful. The guy's a hunk, right? Even if he has skin as smooth as titanium and eyes of a deep chili ocher, he's not likely to be uncool enough to draw attention to it. All right, he might if it gets him what he wants.
The list goes on, and it's got me studying magazine spreads I never thought I'd notice. Girly stuff that's supposed to be about fashion rather than erotica — unless you've got special needs like mine.
I still hardly know a pump from a platform heel. But this isn't a bad way to get an education. And, of course, I'm not a total idiot. Character is more than skin deep, I know that. She has to say "yes" in so many words, or I'm out of a plot. Then again, what does she really mean when she says that? Maybe? If you do it my way? Those women. So many nuances.