Coskink is a sexual movement born in the anything goes era of progressive America. The Internet, growth of cosplay conventions, boom in superhero movies and '80s nostalgia all create the perfect storm for this emerging sexual market. At the heart of many of the coskink fetish participants is love. The coskink movement has moved out of fetish parties at night clubs and select after parties at giant conventions like GenCon or ComicCon and into the bedrooms of established couples. Mike "Captain Jack Sparrow" Cludgens and his wife, Jessica, are but two of those I spoke to about the phenomenon.
"It really all started one night too drunk after going to a convention in Boston. Jessica always loved my Jack Sparrow costume from a Halloween party when we first met," Mike explained with a sly grin, "Jess couldn't resist me after watching other cosplayers paw at me all night. She loves the pretty, fey pirate searching for evening companionship."
"That is not entirely true. His Bond outfit is far superior, if only because he also does a killer Sean Connery impersonation," Jessica, far more assertive and comfortable with their kink, chimed in, "When he lights a cigarette, slaps me a few times and purrs in that young Connery voice, 'Pusshhy Galore, I musht be dreaming', I melt." This couple is one of many that is taking their love of cosplay and their love of one another to a new frontier in America's sexual playground. Boundaries are being broken down as couples explore not just their fantasy but the dynamics within their relationships.
Nostalgia is an element at play, as some coskink enthusiasts seem to be re-enacting innocent childhood pairings they may have created with their toys in the '80s. This could be due to the cosplay demographic that has the money to pay for elaborate costumes being in that 25-45 age range where '80s cartoons are imprinted in the social and sexual mind. One couple I spoke to had a rather interesting dynamic where they would both be dressed in their respective favorite cosplay outfits but also in other outfits to reflect their partners' desires.
"I noticed Ryan had nudged me along with my selection of convention outfits and assisted me with perfecting my Jem costume [of Jem and the Holograms]," Jennifer Reid shyly revealed, "I loved Jem, but once I had the perfect pink wig, Ryan's sex drive exhibited a noticeable jump. It is not just for him, but it allows me the opportunity to become an 'other' and express my sexuality through music, cosplay, and the '80s."
"My wife is a beautiful woman. Even after the kids, she had Jem's legs. The pink "Lita-Ford-1980s" shaped wig was the final touch. Before she bought it, she looked like the sexy lead singer of Missing Persons," Ryan said with a penetrating stare, "What she fails to mention is that while I did not need to dress as He-Man to provide heroic efforts, she preferred my Skeletor outfit. Skeletor ravishes Jem a bit more than He-Man who takes a noble, neo-pagan route to celebrating her beauty."
Ryan's comments touch on the vibrant diversity within the crowd's sexual tastes. The latex fetish crowd is a fierce force within coskink as cosplayers craft a look, and once aware of their sexual power make new costumes that are latex versions of their former uniform. It is not uncommon to see a latex Sue Storm of the Fantastic Four walk a convention floor, and who knows when and where else she is living as Mrs. Fantastic. One gentleman I bumped into discussed the zoophilia subtext to the lure of his satyr costume.
"One convention... think it was Orlando... I had my full centaur outfit and I was too intoxicated and lustful to remove my leggings. My partner said to leave them on," Hank Durand revealed, "Despite my discrete manner, the Tumblr commuity does talk, and not just about costumes. I have adapted my centaur outfit to become a satyr, and occasionally a woman will be forward enough to say she wants to 'ride the pony'." Hank's cosplay inspired sex allows for self-acceptance and resolution of the inner zoophilia that resides in some women. It is a physical manifestation of the underground bestsellers that Amazon yanked off the shelves.
Diverse tastes, fetish and literature coalesce in other costumes and pairs. Leather fetishists and the S&M crowd are well represented in many regards with a focus on the trust and intimacy required to play out these fantasies. Multiple versions of Catwoman are brought to life whether the classic, campy leather Julie Newmar, strong, independent black women rocking the Eartha Kitt look or the newer, more dangerous vinyl looking 1990s Michelle Pfeiffer. One couple I discovered, who had met through shared interest in dirty talk and cosplay, had incorporated not just the coskink latex fetish into their sexual play but the wife's growth into BDSM after she read the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy.
"I had noticed Nick loved my switch to horn rimmed glasses years ago, often asking me to leave them on during sex," Sara LaRoche said between bites of a panini, "It took several attempts to find a perfect cosplay outfit for the public, but the Baroness from G.I. Joe changed our sex life forever. Nick not only enjoyed me as the Baroness but we discovered a whole new avenue to combine our love of cosplay with BDSM. It is empowering to be dominant and dressed as a powerful woman. He loves when I turn into the Baroness for an hour or two no matter what abuse I hurl at him. It is liberating and exhilarating to be lost in another identity of my choosing with my lover."
"Sara forgets that the true holder of power within any BDSM roleplay is the sub, as the sub is the one who says the safe word and sets the pace. It's about consent," Nick corrected his partner, "The Baroness excited me as a child in her tight leather outfits, shooting guns and saying witty quips. I did not know why until I grew up. To have the Baroness boss me around and insult me is thrilling and only fuels me for when we do finally consummate the moment. I support gun control, but when she takes charge on top with her long, dark hair flowing, holding plastic toy uzis in both hands, I lose it."
They are not alone as others at GenCon in Indianapolis commented on finding a way to incorporate cosplay into their already established kinks. One African-American woman described her journey to full liberation within her fetish was when she combined her inner black girl nerd identity with her kink for "violet wand" play. During the day, she processes forms as a public sector employee. If she finds a new partner through online forums or personals, at night she becomes Storm of the X-Men. For "Storm", electrical stimulation was originally a strike against the white patriarchy as fedora-wearing white nerds loved being shocked by her and then ravishing her. As she has synthesized her kink with her "Storm" persona, it has become a celebration of her triumph as a strong, independent woman, destroying the slurs other blacks hurl at her as a "white man's bitch".
Some may say that this is a juvenile fetish of infantilized adults, but that could not be further from the truth. Some of these coskink participants are married couples, parents, PTA members, white collar management types and taxpayers. They are America. Our open society must keep in mind all boundaries as the sexual politics of America progress and look for new limits to push. The gay community has long had an element to dress up reflected decades ago with the campy stereotypes exhibited by the Village People. Role play is a common practice in many bedrooms whether explicit or implicit.
We must not look down on this community simply because dressing as Wonder Woman or Thor for a night of sex is out of the ordinary. The creative spirit in the sexual realm is always present in humanity and always seeking new endeavors. Coskink takes this to a new yet familiar zone that all Americans should accept and celebrate. Those adults with bags of purchases at the Halloween store out of season may be playing dress up at night even in spring. Next time your Facebook or Instagram feed shows a friend wearing her Rainbow Brite costume for the latest convention, it might not be a once a year cosplay uniform but a costume for her weekly coskink.