Facts & Info

Cosplay for Kinky People

Cosplay, that is to say “costume play” is the act of dressing up like a popular character from fiction. Sometimes the person in costume can appear in a dramatization based on the character, and sometimes just appearing in public (at a convention) is enough. And sometimes the dramatizations get sexual.

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Obviously, if you’re a Star Wars fan, for example, you may feel aroused at seeing Princess Leia in that gold bikini. Now, Star Wars is PG movie. You will never see more than that in the film because everything has to be kept sanitary for the kids. Also, Carrie Fisher had a certain integrity to maintain. She didn’t necessarily want to prance about naked on screen, despite the world wanting to celebrate her world famous good looks.

At conventions, in enactments, and in related photo shoots, countless other Princess Leias have taken the fantasy to every logical extension of flagrante delicto. The mind need not wonder what it would be like for Leia to copulate with a giant phallic space slug, nor even with her own mother, Natalie Portman, from the Star Wars sequels. All of the possibilities have been played out by actors of varying suitability for the roles in question.

Cosplay has a name and specific rituals attached to it now, but as a thing it is as old as we are. There are images of shamans dressed up as deer that were captured in the Neolithic Age. Precious children have dressed as Jesus and the Virgin for the entire length of Christianity. The carnivals and Halloween have always allowed us to take on the roles of characters we adore, and in a sense to dramatize them.

Cosplay simply codifies this behaviour and makes it a year round thing. The influence of Anime and video games on cosplay, meanwhile, has been enormous. The influence of the action film genre, as well, should be mentioned. As elaborate costume design evolves, so does the impulse to try and recreate those costumes.

Cosplay allows fans to fill in the sexual blanks that the prudish entertainment industry leaves open. The industry can never produce material at the same rate that fans wish to consume it. The industry moreover, can never contain the possibilities of the story after it leaves their hands and is presented to the public. A great example of this is the sexualization of My Little Pony, which thankfully seems to be waning.

I’m sure that the people who originally produced a show aimed at little kids would ever have imagined that it would cause (at least physically if not mentally) mature men and women to dress in pony costumes and have sexual intercourse. The world is a funny place.

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Tell us what you think!

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