And it's got a huge cash prize. Cosplay competitions have been cropping up all over the place in the last year, though none are quite like this one. This year, Sydney's Sexpo will be inviting cosplayers to show off their most risqué costumes, competing for the chance to win a $2000 prize along with flights and accommodation for one of Sexpo's other Australian events.
Sexy cosplay at pop culture conventions is a contentious issue -- for the most part they're marketed as family friendly events, so at what point should an outfit be considered inappropriate? Some conventions in the US and UK are 18+, serving as an 'outlet' for costumes that otherwise might not be welcomed.
Considering Sexpo has a man running around literally covered in dicks, a sexy cosplay is unlikely to draw even a second glance. While not everyone is going to be happy about it, the Sexpo cosplay competition is actually filling an important void in the Australian cosplay scene.
Competitors will be considered for heat selection, and again during the heats and the final, on two criteria: 1. Most creative and sexy cosplay outfit 2. The most creative interaction the competitor has with the MC/Host and audience
Image via What A Big Camera
While the stakes are high (to my knowledge the largest cash prize offered for an Aussie cosplay comp to date) the competition seems like it's going to be a bit of fun -- all in line with Sexpo's aim of celebrating sexuality, of course. While some people may think this is at odds with the more serious side of cosplay, the hobby actually has its roots in some pretty NSFW stuff. The rules aren't as strict as other cosplay competitions either, with the guidelines inviting cosplayers to dress as literally anything they can think of:
•Your favourite adult star from your favourite movie (before they get undressed) •Create a sexy version of your favourite movie or TV star •Sexy Superhero or Villain •Indulge in kink, latex, bondage or leather cosplay •Video game characters •Anything you can imagine – there are no restrictions on what you can dress as
It's interesting to note that 'video game characters' is the only category that doesn't have a 'sexy version of' qualifier tacked on. Hmm...
The competition will run in four heats of ten costumes each, with each heat winner taking home $500 and the grand final winner getting an extra $1500. With $3500 in prize money on the line, I won't be surprised if plenty of cosplayers get their sexy on this May.