In the previous issue of Broadside, a number of writers commented on the popularity of sexy Halloween costumes and expressed disapproval of it.

I agree with their misgivings and commend their efforts to bring the issue to the attention of Broadside readers. However, I think their focus is misplaced. The way I see it, criticizing acts of sexual exhibitionism in practice while supporting sexual libertarianism, or “free love,” in theory is inconsistent and pretentious.

To argue against sexually-exhibitionist Halloween costumes, while supporting sex and romantic intimacy, with little or no restraint is capricious; arguments that are not kind and based on differences in degree are fertile ground for subjective opinion, rather than reason or a consistent worldview. To criticize those who use a liberty that is based on principles you do not question is not only baseless, but hypocritical.

Like the concerned staff of Broadside, I am made uneasy by rampant exhibitionism that pervades the sexy costumes fad. However, unlike the majority of the writers or most people, I am also opposed to the pervasiveness of sexual liberalism in society.

The modern trend of sexual misbehavior in our culture is simply part of a much larger issue: The fact that sex is a subject publicized without reverence or seriousness and that sexuality is considered a means of self-fulfillment or amusement.

This radical use of the human body, fostered by the sexual revolution, has created the problems that are often bemoaned of by rightly alarmed people. The argument that these Halloween costumes are wrong because they are forced upon women by mass media and commercialization are shallow.

All human exchange is commerce. When someone employs an object as something to be shared, traded, given or exchanged, that object immediately becomes a commodity. When a woman treats her body, or more precisely her sexuality in this way, she has immediately turned herself into a commodity.

Western society traditionally holds that sexuality is to be shared between spouses. Note: This does not negate the commoditization of sexuality. It simply restricts it from public preview or wide exchange, thus making it more intimate and, by the decrease of its ready supply, more treasured.
To accommodate an entirely different sort of sexual conduct by widening sexuality’s utilization is one thing. But to support it while at the same time disparaging a legitimate application of that change is foolish.

It would be akin to support the mass production of nails by machines while decrying Home Depot for the sale of them in massive, monotonous quantities, exactly what mass production inherently facilitates.

In the same way, making sexual fondness more plentiful by breaking down the barriers that at one time restricted how people in our society shared their affection has, as night follows day, cheapened love.

If I were severely ill and needed medical attention, I would assume and hope the doctor I visited would identify a cause and propose a cure or remedy, rather than simply point out symptoms I already knew I had. I hope that we, as a society, will stop dissenting not only to those problems we have reaped but also to the sexual revolution we have sowed.

Robert Lewis