But I noticed something this year that I haven't caught in years past: this same costuming behavior in underage girls.
There were no less than three different girls this year that I noticed that were dressed beyond provocatively; one in particular wearing a see-through dress with a thong and electrical tape who was seriously flirting with guys in their 40's.
I found her lack of pants disturbing.
A rather attractive young woman friend thinks I'm a prude for being disturbed. Her take on it is that the age of consent is sixteen, so as long as she's at least that old, there is no problem, and that the girl is probably wanting a man who actually knows what to do with a woman. Said rather attractive young woman friend is also a wet dream waiting to happen, but I digress.
I'm split. I'm obviously tittilated (which is the point), and moreso because of the forbidden nature of the fruit in question, but I'm also concerned because I know that although I do have gobs of social skills and a decent amount of self-control, this is a convention where there are a fair number of men who have never touched a naked woman in their lives and who have the social skills of a wombat on quaaludes. Plus there is alcohol.
I'm all for alcohol and scantily-clad women. But alcohol and scantily-clad underage girls is a powerful dangerous combination in my head.
There was also a girl who was certainly not even sixteen-- I'd say probably fourteen-- in the hot tub at one point, wearing a skimpy bikini top that wasn't particularly willing to contain her breasts, and she was nipples-to-the-wind on enough occasions that I have to think it weren't no accident. I don't know-- they may have been new enough to her to still be unruly, or the bikini top may have been new and she not used to it, but she sure didn't seem embarrased or even particularly modest.
Part of me is prude, yes. In the intellectual sense, they are simply nipples, and nudity is pretty much okay in my book, even with kids. But there is a difference between being nude in a place where nudity is accepted (like a nude beach or a resort) and flashing bits of usually unseen flesh with the intent to tittilate.
And you know, I'd even be okay with that if it werent for the worry in the back of my head that all it would take would be one inebriated horny geekboy with no self-control, and there would be an incident. And before you say that there wouldn't be any such thing as a horny geekboy with no self-control, consider that that is how most geek babies are made.
I've seen some underage girls at previous conventions wearing (or not wearing) provocative clothing, but it's usually been something simple and quick, and I've pretty much written it off as chance weirdness, or teenage hormones, or... well sheer luck. But this year it seemed like all pretense of accidental was gone. There was purpose behind it, definite intent.
I don't have kids. I don't pretend to know what goes on in their heads, nor do I know how to parent. I know that teenagers are sexual beings, and I remember the power of puberty. And maybe I'm just too old for the newness that is the society of today, but I have to ask where the parents are in this whole process? Is there some obliviousness that creeps in when both parents have to work and their daughter resorts to flesh-baring and flirting to get attention?
Or am I out of touch? Am I too attached to matters of the flesh that this disturbs me?