What is it about Halloween that gives us an excuse to dress provocatively? To quote Mean Girls (the obvious mecca for proper girl advice), “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” I myself have been a sexy nurse, sultry Alice in Wonderland and sensual Batgirl. I was even a cat, too, though that was a full body suit I wore when I was eight and it was modeled after Cats the Musical (but that’s besides the point).
As I walked down the aisles of Diddam’s searching for Halloween costume ideas for this year, it was, as always, difficult to find a realistic version of anything. From princess to nurse costumes, there was not a single outfit that did not feature a busty lady wearing “come ravish me” boots on the cover. But isn’t that the whole point of Halloween? To be something we are not, since we don’t have to worry about being judged by anyone or people developing preconceived notions about us?
So, is Halloween a time for us to live out our fantasies? Freshman year I kissed a guy at Mausoleum who was dressed as an old man … or something with a onesie. Does this mean I want to hook up with geriatric men? No, not really. He just happened to be cute, and I am a sucker for onesies. And to be honest, I have definitely been hit on and/or hooked up with guys while wearing zombie makeup. We are talking white face makeup, fake blood and a black eye. I doubt many people go to Halloween parties and think, “Wow, I really want to make out with that dead-looking chick tonight!” Or maybe they do, in which case, lucky me.
So, I set out to ask a few people what their ideal costume fantasy was (for an intimate context). Some responses:
“A doctor. There’s something about going to a doctors office and getting examined … thoroughly.”
“A farmer … with muscular arms and a farmer’s tan.”
And of course, the ever-popular “sexy librarian or a catholic school girl.” A lot of people, it turns out, desire the sexy librarian, but how many of us have actually seen a sexy librarian? My high school librarian was about 100 years old, short grey bob haircut, and topped out at 4 feet 11 inches. This might be your type, but I personally did not think, “Whoa, I wish my partner would dress up as her tonight!”
Even after Halloween, though, dressing up sometimes for your partner can be really fun and special. There are a few golden rules when it comes to role-play and dress up, however. We all have our fantasies, and it is very important to be sensitive when our partner confides in us what might turn them on.
This can be difficult; some of our fantasies are very private and it may take your partner a lot of courage to tell you what they are into or would like to try. This doesn’t mean you have to dress up as something that you are uncomfortable doing, by any means, but try to be kind and open-minded with your partner’s fantasies.
As one of my fellow SHPRC counselors always says, “Don’t yuck someone’s yum”: Don’t make someone feel bad or shunned for something that turns them on, unless they are unwillingly hurting others.
Next, I wouldn’t recommend playing dress-up role-play on your first date or first sexual encounter, but after dating someone for a while, it is nice to keep things exciting by dressing up every once in a while. It is also another way to really get to know your partner on an intimate level. And for the guys reading this, I personally would love to have my man dress up too! I love to get dressed up for my partner, so it would be even more fun if he returned the gesture!
But why can’t we wear what we want and show off our bodies and feel sexy on a daily basis? Why is it a negative thing to wear something that makes us feel confident? Why does this have to be limited to one day or during a role-play in our bedroom? This is not to say that you should go to class dressed as a fireman in hopes of attracting potential partners, but whatever you decide to wear, just own it. In my opinion, you look how you feel. If you feel confident and sexy, others will start to think so too.
But remember, just because someone is dressed in a way that you might deem provocative, that does not mean that they are asking for sex (*note: for more support or info on this, check out Stanford’s “Slutwalk,” supporting the campaign “A dress is not a yes.”)
Everyone should be able to wear what they want without having to worry about being labeled as a “slut.” I know it seems like a lot of the items that make us feel sexy seem immodest, but maybe covering up more and leaving something to the imagination makes you feel sexy — that is cool too!
On a personal note, if you and your partner have a Stanford Tree dress-up fantasy, the answer is no, I won’t lend you my costume. But I’d love to help you make your own.
Editor’s note: This story was written by the student who is currently the “Tree” of the Stanford Band. The views expressed here do not reflect those of the Stanford Athletic Department, Stanford University or the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band. They are the opinions of an undergraduate student who requested some anonymity but allowed The Daily to identify her as a significant campus figure.