What Is Cosplay?Cosplay is, quite simply, costume play. Dressing up is not only fun - it also gives people an opportunity to emulate characters from comics, cartoons, films, and novels. These costumes might be used for public events, such as the many wildly successful Comic-Cons that showcase the nerd world in all its glory, or they might be a personal expression of admiration for a particular character or figure, or perhaps an expression of artistry or of one's sexuality. In fact, cosplay has a lot to offer those who are interested in experimenting with their sexual identity.
Dressing Up To Get Undressed...Of course, costumes have always been a part of sex. Consider the popularity of lingerie, leather, latex and feather boas as bedroom attire. Masks have also long been associated with fantasy and seduction. But with the shift in pop culture towards all things nerdy, different kinds of masks and costumes are gaining popularity.
New Trends In Cosplay"In the last five years cosplay has grown significantly in pop-culture," says Tanya Tate, director and star of "Cosplay Queens and Tied Up Teens" and a popular commentator on cosplay culture at her blog Just A Lot of Tanya. She has a particular interest in superheroes and tracks their popularity throughout film, television and, of course, comics. "It’s only natural that something so prevalent in our everyday culture would make its way into the bedroom."
Cosplay can refer to sexy costumes and make-up, but it can also reach much further. Role playing comes naturally when you’re already in a costume. If you are keen to introduce cosplay to your sex partner, Tanya recommends you treat it just like any other sexual foray: "I would suggest taking it a bit slow and gauging the comfort levels of your partner, and then going from there."
Before You Get Into Character...Before you come flying into the bedroom wearing your best cowl or brandishing a hammer, you and your partner can get prepared by going to see cosplay in action at different types of sexy events.
When a comic convention comes to town, buy tickets and just walk around the floor, taking in the sights. Cosplay of all different types—from horror to comedy to sexy—will no doubt be on display throughout the event. If you can't make it in person, check out the countless online photoblogs of the amazing cosplay from cons all around the world. If you're at an event and you like what you see, be sure to ask permission before taking any photos.
Get Involved in the Cos CommunityDuring con weekends, some groups throw parties to celebrate all things nerdy. GeekPr0n recently held their Cosplay Ball in Toronto and people attended in costumes that were appropriate to their own comfort level: "If the ball is a general public event you may see some people comfortable enough to do a Witchblade or Emma Frost costume...[but] most people tend to go for a more subdued [look]." Holli Gram notes, however, that "if the party's theme is more of an adult fetish nature," costumed attendees will definitely up the sex factor.
Another sexy event at which to explore cosplay is a burlesque performance. Again, seduction through the act of dressing up is key to this art, and a form called "nerdlesque" has truly exploded in the current burlesque scene. Scarlett LaFlamme, long-time performer and organizer in the influential Toronto burlesque community, first saw elements of geek culture creep into the burly scene a few years ago. With events such as "The Nude 52" and the recent "Garters of the Galaxy," the influence of cosplay evidently brings out the fun in burlesque. Scarlett herself will be presenting her third Game of Thrones-themed show "The Night is Dark and Full of Tassels: GAME OF THRONES BURLESQUE III.
Picking a CostumeAfter you’ve gotten a taste for the world of cosplay, try satiating your desire to dress-up in your own boudoir. After watching a sexy burlesque show, take that inspiration home with you and perform a cosplay striptease for that special someone. Scarlett suggests picking a character that makes you feel "badass and irresistible" or one that you know turns your partner on. But before picking out an elaborate costume, remember that it should be easy to take off. "Struggling with clothing is not sexy!" Scarlett warns. She also suggests that if there's a wig involved in your costume, you leave it on.
Experimenting With Scenarios"The fun thing about sexy cosplay," reminds Tanya, "is that it's about more than just putting on a costume." Indeed, much of cosplay is based on superheroes and villains, and the scenarios those characters find themselves in - being tied up, for instance, can make for some hot bedroom action.
Cosplay can also be a natural introduction to genderplay. Dressing up as someone different (in age, race or gender) can allow a person access to other facets of their identity and is a playful way to experiment with gender roles, which can lead to both sexual and personal exploration.
Cosplay is a potentially limitless sexual experience. It can be enacted both publicly and privately and in either case, the wide variety of characters out there is adaptable to people of many different interests. Maybe someday you, too, will decide you want to be just like Superman, ducking into a phonebooth to slip into something a little more sexy.