Love Your Costume! Wanna Bang?

by Christopher J.

May 5, 2024

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People who are into cosplay – the wearing of (often very elaborate, detailed, and source-accurate) costumes to become a favorite character from a film, TV program or anime series – understand what actors have known for centuries: Donning a mask and/or a costume helps you get into character and feel that you have magically morphed into that person or, in some cases, thing.

That physical and emotional turn-on doesn’t always have to lead to sex or be incorporated into one’s sex life at all. Many, many people simply enjoy pretending to be a character from their most beloved film or program and sharing that with others who enjoy the same character, film or program, perhaps at a Comic Con or anime convention. But some take the character all the way from the raucous, fan-filled public convention center into the intimate privacy of their bedrooms. That costumed experience can actually be quite liberating, according to Erin Barnhart, owner of a graphic design firm and cosplay practitioner in Cleveland.

“When you put on your costumes you don’t have to be yourselves,” she says of cosplay aficionado activities. “Maybe you’re the dominating character from a TV show that you’ve been watching for five years, and you love that character, and you know that if the character was in the bedroom, they would say this! It’s not something you would say, but they would. So maybe if the person can’t bring themselves to act that way or say that thing to their lover, they might do it because that character would.”

Imagine Don Draper (played by John Hamm) from “Mad Men” sporting his finely tailored Brooks Brothers suit while leading Peggy Olson (played by Elisabeth Moss) into a luxurious hotel room. The show’s costumer Janie Bryant usually had Moss wear “schoolgirl” type clothing like A-line skirts and Peter Pan collars to reflect her youth and inexperience in the cutthroat advertising world of New York. Imagine Don carefully folding and hanging up his suit while Peggy nervously slips off her skirt and blouse…

…Okay, busted! Fans know that never happened in the show. That only just happened in my fervid imagination. But that’s what cosplay is all about. Imagination, pretending, fantasy. All of which can fire a person’s libido quite effectively. Star Wars fanatics, think Darth Vader – a warlord built for BDSM as well as or better than any other character in film history – ordering the gorgeous Princess Leia into his Death Star lair for Yoda-only-knows what kind of kinkiness that would ensue. Yeah, you feel the Dark (Sex) Forces flowing.

Cosplay Your Way Into Giving a Favorite Character as Gift

“Some people will dress up like characters even just for their partners,” Erin says of the often romantic, sexual component of cosplay. “If there’s a gal who never watched Star Wars but falls in love with a guy who loves Star Wars and it’s his favorite thing ever, maybe as a treat on his birthday, she would dress up like Princess Leia for him.”

Cosplayers seeking erotic adventures will often even gender bend or journey into completely different worlds to mix and match characters from different stories who would never be together in a film or television program. For example, picture Aquaman (Jason Momoa) keeping it comfortably wet while splashing around in the hot tub with Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) from the Harry Potter film series.

“Some cosplayers will make characters come together from different universes that would never come together, but they think it would be entertaining,” Erin says. Just like many other forms of role play, your imagination is the only limit to what you can enjoy by merging cosplay, kink, and your sex life.

Cosplayers Can Make Every Day Halloween

If you and your partner haven’t tried cosplay but you’re secretly jonesin’ to be Indiana Jones and make out with your lover as his love interest Marion Ravenwood, the best way to break in is just to have fun with it, Erin advises.

“Anything anybody wants and desires, they should at least have the courage to ask their partner to try it,” she says. “You can always start small with things like, ‘Hey, do you think it would be fun if we bought these Halloween costumes, put them on and played with each other?’ Because that’s an easy way to do it, and you can do it for not a lot of money. And it’s fun because then it turns into your role-play game, and some people enjoy that, especially in the kink world.”

What’s All This about Furry Sex?

Speaking of the kink world, as we are oft likely to do, we would be remiss not to mention “Furries”. They are hardcore cosplayers who take the practice to a whole different level in the convention world. While not everyone who cosplays as a cute creature does so as part of their sex life, for many, it falls under the kink & fetish category, according to Erin. (Of course, WebMD even has an article you can check out entitled, “What is Furry Sex?” )

“We have a group affectionately named ‘The Furries,’ and they dress up like animals,” she says. “They wear these huge, elaborate animal costumes, and that’s really popular in the world of fetish and kink. Even the lightest version that you may have seen in public, where you’ll see girls wearing cat ears or people wearing tails. It falls into girls dressing up like sexy cats for Halloween – even if they don’t know they’re doing it, they’re doing it, and Furry People know.”

Furries make up a large enough subgroup of cosplayers that they often have their own events in many major cities. Not everyone who identifies as a Furry participates in it as a sexual thing; some just enjoy subverting reality and portraying their animal alter ego, or “Fursona”.

Finding Your Way into Cosplay

One of the cool things about cosplay, Erin adds, is if you choose to go public before engaging in your private sexual fantasies, the cosplay world is completely inclusive and accepting. Whether you wear a t-shirt with your favorite character on it, assemble your Harley Quinn costume from pieces & parts purchased at your favorite vintage clothing store or romantic boutique, or spend $5,000 on an elaborate Galactic Republic Stormtrooper costume or other authentic outfit from a TV show or movie.

If you have some fandom fetishes you’d love to realize via costumed copulating, don’t be afraid to check out the scene. You can start by doing online searches for the cosplay network in your region or search for cosplay-themed bars, events, conventions and raves near you. ComicCon season is in full swing right now, after all! And if you want to enjoy some fun and sexy cosplay that leads to some hot animalistic sex, don’t worry about your selection of characters; just have fun with it.

“Furries have been seen as more erotic than some of the other ones, maybe because people will have sexual relations while they are wearing their costumes,” Erin concludes. “But it’s honestly not true. Everybody’s doing it.”

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