by Kiersten Hallie Krum
It’s theme week here at Lady Smut as we celebrate the release of Lady Smut blogger and all-around guru, Madeline Iva’s, new novel Wicked Apprentice, a high-fantasy romance filled with betrayals and power juggling and chained up lovers and all sorts of sexy, magical hi-jinks just in time for Halloween!
In Wicked Apprentice, the heroine, Zephyr, a magic apprentice, has to do a wicked deed in order to satisfy her mistress. This deed backfires in a delicious way when her captive elf becomes her captive lover and soon after, a power shift makes her his master–but you’ll have to read the book to find out how that comes about.
Wicked can mean different things to different people. Evil, obviously. That’s a given. Those from the Boston area have been known to use it as an expression of cool. I tend to use it more along the lines of “naughty”–a little bit of wicked to spice up life. For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been musing on the many ways one can be “wicked” (again, not the evil kind because, bad). Musing and occasionally–let’s say testing things out. A step-by-step approach in ways to be wicked, so to speak.
Enter Halloween, that bastion of wicked deeds done right. The one day a year (other than comic-cons) when people can legitimately dress up in costumes with varying flamboyance and indulge that wicked, naughty side that is otherwise kept, for the most part, under wraps and behind closed doors. It’s the time of the pagan solstice, of Samhaim, a night historically meant for remembering the dead, but one that is now more about costumes and hordes of candy. Hordes.
Every year, my inner feminist heartily frowns–frown, frown, frown–at the proliferation of sexed-up costumes for women. It’s hard to find an advert for an adult woman’s costume that doesn’t include the word “sexy” or pictures that require no added description. Honestly, it’s ridiculous. Sexy maid, sexy cat, sexy pirate, sexy teacher, sexy school girl, sexy plumber (you never know). These days, there’s even sexy Harry Potter characters, though, okay, yeah, who wouldn’t be tempted by that, especially after a peek at this set of Harry Potter boudoir pictures. Acc-ee-ohhhhh.
Fortunately, MTV and PopSugar have put together a list of feminist friendly costumes that may also be sexxed up to the wearer’s preference. Though, admittedly, I think “sexy tampon” or going as a (very large) vagina is a tad too on-point and, well, tasteless. But that’s me.
This helpful post from Bustle even gives assembly tips on how to construct your feminist-friendly costume. Here too is a Pinterest board of the same, and I gotta say, I’m sorely tempted by the Justice Ruth Ginsberg option. Because she rocks that SCOTUS bench hard.
A quick trip through the options left me with an overwhelming sense of pantsuits, but if it’s good for the (soon-to-be) POTUS-elect, then bring it on! Which is, of course, another feminist-friendly and seriously timely costume option (sexy quotient left up to the wearer, natch): Senator Clinton. If I had to guess, I suspect there’ll be a plethora of Clinton costumes on the adult Halloween party circuit this year. What would be really cool if a group of lady friends got together to be Clinton throughout the years. Cue the Google search.
That said, when I found myself in need of a costume for a Halloween party with a Jazz Age/Steampunk theme (compliance not required, bless them), I did not immediately search for a feminist-friendly costume. I immediately wondered if there was a prayer my red flapper dress might fit (it doesn’t) and then immediately went Amazon searching for the bustier/ruche skirt/high boots route. I may even have ordered thigh-highs and garters–okay, I totally did. Because, dammit, I wanna get my sexy on!
And that’s the key. Like lingerie, sexy costumes should, in my opinion, be about what makes the wearer feel sexy, not for another person’s prurient pleasure. (That’s just a bonus, am I right? *rim shot*.)
Look, I’ve been wearing some version of a Wonder Woman costume since I was five years old (surprising no one, I’m sure) and that’s basically just a leotard and a tiara (and a lasso!). I can see me revisiting that tried and true (and awesome) homage in future years, especially given the update the costume is getting in the new Wonder Woman movie next year. And I can’t imagine anyone claiming that Wonder Woman, of all female icons, is not feminist. Ditto the sexy. Because kicking bad guy ass in a sparkly leotard and a tiara (with a lasso!) is freakin’ sexy, y’all. Even a five-year old knows that (kinda) (you know what I mean).
There was a day and age when women’s sexuality was deemed to be wicked and evil. Women were called witches and heretics for daring to speak up for themselves. These days, thankfully, women–even the nasty ones–don’t have to eschew their wicked, sexy ways to avoid being burnt at the stake. They can indulge their inner naughty side and really, they don’t have to wait for Halloween to do it either. In the 60s, women burned their bras in protest. Me, I like my bras–the sexier, the better–and I’m way too frugal to burn them. Instead, this Halloween, I plan to embrace the spirit of the occasion and indulge my wicked, sexy ways without setting aside my inner feminist to do it. A little bit of wicked never hurt anyone…for long.
Be sure to check out Madeline’s Wicked Apprentice and follow Lady Smut so you never miss any of our wicked, sexy ways.
Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Wild on the Rocks, is now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.