Dear Kat: I really want to get laid (with a girl, BTW) this Halloween. What recommendations do you have for a costume that could make this happen?
Guy in Need of a Costume
On any normal night, the tools that will help get you laid include charm, humor, creativity and availability, not to mention good looks if you've got 'em. Halloween is the one time of year you can definitely fake all of these.
Of course, getting laid depends on who it is you wish to sleep with, and since you've specified you're a guy looking for a girl, that helps with some of the specifics. Still, your "type" might be very different from the generalized statements I'm about to make, so keep that in mind. I can't tell you how to bed a certain girl, even if I know who she is and what kind of guy she goes for. There's a lot of free will and random chance that goes into this. But Halloween kind of ensures people are going to find their way to their respective sacks.
Allow me to delve into the tools I've listed above.
For your costume, try to pick a character or archetype that is charming or intriguing. This should be easy, but you have to be careful about stepping over the line into psychologically scarring. I'd advise against such fascinating characters as Alex from A Clockwork Orange or Dexter. While you may get lucky and meet someone who is so into film or literature she can't help herself, it's a safer bet that few women want to go home with a rapist or serial killer.
Options: Fireman, Nick Fury, a villain-
This is why going as the latest superhero from 2011’s crappy movie remake can work against you. Not only does it say "I couldn't think of anything," it also makes you blend in with the crowd. And you have to know your crowd to get creative. If your crew is all sci fi fiends, going as Han Solo or Spike from “Buffy” is cute, sure. But creative? Not so much. And while Hunter S. Thompson may be a great costume ("I'm literate! I'm funny! I'm cool with drugs!"), every other guy at Burt's Tiki Lounge will already be dressed that way unintentionally. Try Ernest Hemingway for a change—masculine, literate and perhaps not as recognizable as ol' HST, so you're going to get the opportunity to explain who you are (bonus!). Another great way to get creative is to take a common costume and put a spin on it.
Options: Optical illusion, Justin Bieber as an adult, space cowboy
Funny costumes may be the key to getting laid because they become a conversation piece. Also, having a humorous costume typically means you're going to stand out a little, which can only increase your chances. Again, remember that you've got to balance the charm and creativity with the humor: A flasher may be funny, but does it send the right signal? Also, it's really easy to crossover into corny territory. Luckily, if you max out on charm and creativity, the humor generally follows.
Options: Internet meme, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses, Kid of Kid ‘n Play, Shaun from Shaun of the Dead
Do not, for any reason, consider a group costume. Sure, the pieces from Tetris could be amazing, but you need at least three friends around to make it work. And having three friends around means you’re that much less likely to go home without them. You could go as a member of the Super Friends or the Justice League, because those characters stand on their own. But you still run the risk of having needy Green Lantern tailing freewheeling Aquaman a bit too closely. Also, remember that you want to appear to be sexually available, which means going as a monk or a eunuch might give the wrong idea. (Although who's to say? It could be a total naughty aphrodisiac for some girls.) A lot of sexually available costumes are old hat but terribly classic.
Options: Don Draper, Dracula, James Bond
Yes, you can wear a mask or makeup, but I think it's generally a better idea to augment your mug with an attractive costume. Everyone can look good on Halloween. While it may add mystery, a mask also makes it that much harder for a girl to pick up on your signals, so don't hide your face. Eschew Frankenstein or the full-body furry and let your good looks shine through.
Options: Old Spice guy, El Mariachi, Captain Malcolm Reynolds from “Firefly”
As an advice columnist with a conscience, I have to say: If you have to settle for just scoring a someone’s number, get it and be glad.