Before I get to talking (cause we all know I can do that quite well), I hope you all had a Boo-tiful day. Also, I won a writing contest on Marcia Richards’ blog! Ya’ll should check her out. She’s awesome and uplifting, both.
As holidays go, this one is a fun one. In fact, next to Christmas, it’s my hubby’s favorite holiday and with good reason. Halloween is FUN! What’s not to like? You suspend reality for a while. You get to pretend to be someone else, hang out with supernatural characters, knock on strangers doors and expect to receive sweet treats!
And then it hit me! Halloween is the holiday where Vanilla people get a chance to explore their inner Rocky Road. If those of us who don’t tend to live on the vanilla side of the bed think about it, this isn’t really a shocking revelation.
Let’s look more deeply at this holiday for a little bit. The obvious place to begin is in the sexy costumes that allow you to be someone else. To role play. Become your inner bad girl or sexy vamp. Heck, there are visual encouragements everywhere these days! Here’s an ad from Party City. Click the link! Take a look for yourself…
Playful, flirty…. And not much different than the sexy, flirty role play costumes that Fredericks of Hollywood offers! Well, except for the Fredericks ones are usually a bit more risqué and better quality. Hey, I know, thereof I speak. What can I say? I couldn’t resist their sexy French maid costume eons ago. Check out some of what they have to offer!
Even the vanilla folk have been known to become sexy witches or cheerleaders or harem girls. Me? I’ve been a China doll, Pocahontas, Tina Turner, Catholic Schoolgirl, and Hawaiian hula girl!
So that one’s easy. We all know how I love masks…
Consider the impact…. Look at those costume parties and masquerades that happen. Tell me that part of the fantasy isn’t the opportunity to be completely anonymous and maybe mistaken for someone else prompting some sort of illicit behavior, excused away by “mistaken identity”. Maybe it hasn’t actually happened. Maybe it has! But isn’t that part of the fantasy?
I know what you guys are thinking… But Kitt, what about the scary part?
Things like decapitated vampire heads or spooky houses….
What makes them so popular with men and women alike? For a lot of guys it’s pretty simple. They enjoy that one time of year where they get to bow up and prove what manly men they are by A) not being scared B) by protecting their lady loves and C) women (sometimes strangers) squeal and jump into their arms.
But there’s another aspect… When a person becomes scared or excited by real or imagined threats, they experience an adrenaline rush. Most of us have been there at some time or another. We remember our accelerated heartbeat, our muscles tightening up, our elevated energy levels as our fight or flight responses are triggered. On a technical level? Adrenaline is another word for the hormone epinephrine, the same epinephrine that’s triggered by exercise and can help the metabolism as well as mood.
So what does this have to do with the not so Vanilla, you ask? Do you REALLY think it’s a coincidence that capture fantasies including women being chased by burglars caught in the act, barbarians, werewolves or other things that go bump in the night are so popular and known to induce the same general feeling as those haunted houses? Heck, it’s actually not that uncommon to take it a bit further toward the submission/dubious consent fantasies as August McLaughlin discusses on her blog. There, she interviews a doctor who explains how this can be beneficial and healing.
Another aspect of the Rocky Road (the word I’m choosing to represent the non-Vanilla folk) that is explored during this season by folks who don’t usually dip their toes into this end of the pool? The “mind fuck”. This can be something simple.
For example. Picture a bedroom set up for romance. Imagine being tied to a four poster bed, then smelling the sulfuric smell of a match being ignited and the scented candle at the side of the bed being lit. Maybe you’d talked about hot wax, so you expect to feel that slight burning drizzle against your skin. Your anticipation is heightened. When you finally feel the burn on your skin, it takes a moment for your brain to register that what you’re feeling isn’t hot at all, but the intense cold of an ice cube. Yes, that’s a fairly tame one, but it gives you the idea.
Isn’t a spooky haunted house where you expect someone to jump out at you….and then no one comes…until you let your guard down and get comfortable again pretty much the same thing? By the way, if you decide to experiment with a couple of the above mentioned scenarios, talk to your partner first. Set some parameters. Make sure there’s a safe word in place. It will keep you both from going too far out of your comfort zone into something you’ll regret. After all, often, with dubious consent, part of the fun is “fighting back” and saying “no”, though you really don’t mean it. It’s important for you both to have a word that lets all parties involved know you’re serious and that you either need to stop and discuss or completely end the scene.
Yes, Halloween is the holiday for exploration of our darker, wilder, baser sides with minimal judgment…
What do you guys think? What kinds of costumes have you worn over the years? Ever had something scary, sexy or downright naughty happen to you unexpectedly on Halloween? Anything else I may have missed? (Hey, it happens!)