At this point, the sexy Halloween costume is a holiday institution. Pretty much any character or profession or object you can think of has been made into a teensy tiny outfit. Sexy Marvin the Martian? Yep. Sexy Shrek? Uh-huh. Sexy poop emoji? Obvi. There’s even a sexy costume that represents being ghosted by someone, which works well for Halloween on multiple levels.
As the sexy costume industry grows, it calls attention to both how fetishized and how policed female sexuality continues to be in our society. To better understand the debate around dressing as a slutty pencil or naughty nurse for the night, especially in light of #MeToo, we turned to Sovereign Syre — a successful podcaster, stand up comedian, and adult film actress. As someone who has spent the past decade curating sexual desire, Syre obviously has unique insight into the situation, and we value that. We also admire her intellect, which she currently puts to good use as an amateur historian and co-host of Ill Repute, a podcast that reframes the narratives of some of history’s most noteworthy women.
Does the issue of sexy costumes come up again year after year? Yes. But in 2018 it’s a complicated topic that deserves scrutiny, and as the following discussion points out in no uncertain terms, talking about it isn’t enough. It’s time to start examining the individual costumes less and the systems that make them so fraught more.
Ok. Sexy costumes. Let’s get into it.
It’s like in Japan how salary men are allowed to get drunk because the tension of the job is such that anything that you say or do while you’re drunk you’re excused from in Japanese culture, because you have to have an escape valve for really rigid norms. I feel like Halloween is the one time a year when girls get to be a ho.
You know what I mean? It’s the one time of year when girls are sort of allowed to be a ho without any real repercussions. I’m very uncomfortable about taking that away from women. I feel like we’ve all worked so hard to have any kind of freedom. There is this weird backward thinking of ”That’s demeaning” or “super degrading.” It’s like don’t tell women how to women.
The whole point of feminism is liberating, it’s not abolishing liberation. It’s liberating people from patriarchal structures.
The initial pushback seemed to be against women dressing in sexy costumes to seek the approval of men.
And my thing is like, so? And? What’s wrong with male attention? I’m worried about men. If you think a girl’s dirty for having sex with men, what does that say about yourself? You think men are horrible? You think men make women poisoned? Every dick that touches them just destroys them?
It makes me ask “Why wouldn’t you want male attention?” People who are in control and have power? That would be a very smart decision. It may be uncomfortable for people, but, of course, people want to curtsey before those in power. And why wouldn’t a heterosexual woman that’s sexually available, why wouldn’t she want to get the attention of males because one of them she might wanna have sex with?
It doesn’t happen with all men, but she wants to attract men because she might wanna have sex with one of them. I think that’s where it gets a little fuzzy for people. It’s this idea that if you’re dressing for men that you’re dressing for all of them. But no. You’re dressing for the one that you want to fuck eventually.