A SHORT AND SWEET GUIDE TO COSPLAY
To start with, cosplay is quite straightforward really. The name stands for "costume play" and simply means donning a costume and assuming the role of a fictional character. But if any of you has ever seen pictures from a cosplay convention - people elaborately dressed as manga characters, superheroes or what-have-you - you'll probably guess that it takes a bit more time and effort than your average carneval-get up.
"Costume play" as such is not a new phenomenon. For centuries peoples have - not just privately - dressed up as other characters, taking part in masks, role play sessions, parties and shows. These days, "cosplay" is generally understood as more than "just" dressing up. It's about fully immersing in a character, creating elaborate costumes, re-enacting scenes, scripts and behaviours to fit the role.
And it's not just about anime. Albeit most people will readily think about anime characters when thinking about cosplay, many cosplayers have broadened the spectrum in going for superheroes, video game characters, historical figures...When talking to cosplayers you thus not only get a sense of their admiration or intrigue for the particular character, but an understanding what cosplay can do for a person. It's about acting. Confidence. And a sense of community. Creativity and the love for detail and rigour.
Many cosplayers also stress that it can enhance your sense of self as cosplay gives you licence to easily transcend gender roles, age, race and even body types. In a very ideal version thus, it can be an art form for (also) enhancing body positivity.
But it can, obviously, also play a role in your sex life. I'll never forget the cringeworthy scene in "Girls" where Hannah tries to lure her boyfriend Adam into a cosplay-scenario (she has prepared a wig and everything) and the poor fellow just doesn't get it. Needless to say, it doesn't work out. It would have made sense to get consent beforehand, I guess.
However ideally, that's what could happen: Putting on costumes, creating roles and scenarios with your sex partner/s - I'm thinking hero/villain here - either publicly or privately, to cater for and explore your interests. Really, what you get up to can be boundless. Be Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn, Catwoman and Poison Ivy, or simple teacher and pupil. Whatever you do tho, be safe and enjoy!