Friday, October 24, 2008


This column ran in The Independent Florida Alligator (local Gainesville/UF rag) and enraged me enough to write the editor.  Below is the column, which ran Thursday, and my response which ran today:

Thursday, October 23, 2008 1:56 AM EDT

Halloween treats adults to more than just candy

By STEPHANIE DUNN, Alligator Writer
I'm convinced Halloween was created for the sole purpose of getting boned. No other holiday compares. When mischief and moonlight abound, someone is going to get laid. Throw in a chintzy costume, garish makeup and orange beer, and you're done for.

Long gone are the days when you relentlessly sought the creepiest costume, the one that would really make your Nana piss her granny panties when you popped up from behind the couch spewing fake blood and guts. We college students still take our costume hunting seriously, but in a decidedly naughtier direction. That angelic little girl who, a decade ago, was happy with a wand, glitter and plastic pumpkin for trick–or–treating has morphed into a ravenous, raunchy little hooker – but just for Oct. 31. Unless you go to FSU, then it's a year–round ordeal.

This is apparently the formula: Take any character or profession and whorify it beyond recognition. Really slut it up – underwear will suffice. Oh, you're a Victoria's Secret Angel for Halloween? How clever. You can be a sexy nun, a sexy soccer mom, a sexy sex slave. It doesn't matter, as long as it's transparent, shows butt cheek or cleavage, and comes equipped with an accessory that can double as a sex toy later on – fishnets or a whip will do. Since when are Disney princesses cock–mongering whores? Since now. Guys are minimalists. If they put any effort into their costumes at all, which is a rarity, they go for the funny costumes or at least ones they think are funny. Dead celebrities, political parodies, cross–dressing, the usual. But I think that deep down, they want to be sexy for Halloween, too. Whether they're 12 or 22, guys fantasize about being Batman, Superman, anything ending in "man." They can fulfill their boyish fantasies for a night, even if they'll ultimately be disappointed in how they look in a bat suit, and I get that. What I don't buy is the guy who starts hitting the gym in September, oils up his abs and quads, and slaps on a four–inch long loincloth thing because "King Leonidas kicked ass in '300'!"

Couples should just pick each other's costumes because it's a free pass to hand–select who they want to take home at the end of the night. It's like cheating without the guilt. Any other night of the year, if you dress up for sex you're either kinky beyond belief or your relationship has gotten so boring that dressing up is a last resort. Not so on All Hallows Eve. The one thing that hasn't changed since we were kids is that Halloween is all about indulgence. If you have a fetish, tonight you can go all–out. A fetish doesn't necessarily have to do with feet or body fluids I'd frankly rather not mention. It can be as simple as a "thing," and everyone has a thing. You're bound to find at least three people from your fantasies parading drunk down the street, so why not take advantage?

I know that not everyone gets all skanked up for Halloween and that some of us have an ounce of originality left. I daresay it would be more fun if we still dressed up in scary costumes. But somewhere along the line, it clicked that fear and sex go together in a sick Freudian way (hence the adrenaline–filled horror movie sex scenes). Eventually, we decided to leave out the unpleasant fear component and just go with pure sex. So, in honor of Slut–o–ween, treat yourself to a trick and leave the candy for the kids.

Friday, October 24, 2008 1:11 AM EDT

Halloween sex column lacked substance

By Liz Martin, 4LS
I was bothered enough to feel compelled to write about Stephanie Dunn’s Thursday article “Halloween treats adults to more than candy” in this week’s edition of Sex on the Avenue.

I’m impressed that the Alligator has the gall to run a seemingly sex–positive column; in fact I applaud it whole–heartedly. However, this writer has continually missed the mark and simply enraged me this week.

I do not approve of the way in which Dunn presented her case against scandalously clad women on Halloween. Is Halloween really the one holiday “created for the sole purpose of getting boned”?
   What about New Year’s Eve? Or Valentine’s Day?

The way in which Dunn discussed women’s costume choices both degraded and reinforced the objectification of women and their bodies.  By calling women “sluts” and “whores,” Dunn recreated the image that women are objects asking to be ravaged, exploited and “boned.”  It’s highly degrading to construct women as inferior beings who don’t seem to have enough sense not to dress up like “raunchy little hookers.”

Then Dunn moved on to men. Why are men continually painted as brutish, lazy and sex–crazed? These stereotypes hurt men just as much as they do women. They encourage men to act in a hyper–masculine manner and send the message that something is wrong with them if they don’t behave this way.

There were many other things that bothered me about Dunn’s work, but what was most frustrating was the lack of any real critique or content.  I would rather see the space used to actually discuss these constructions and people’s seemingly sex–driven Halloween choices than some crap about how women are all sluts on Halloween, how dressing up is an excuse for people to play out their “kinky beyond belief” fantasies or pretend their partners are someone else because on this one night, it is socially excusable.

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