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21st Century Sexy: Attracting the Gaze During the Decline.

Warming globe, rising libido.

This time of the year brings two questions to the minds of most Westerners.  First, how will romance find me and how will I find it?  And second, how will we survive after the collapse of society when everything we’ve ever worked for is meaningless?  These intertwined questions can be addressed, at least in part, with a redefinition of amorous fashion.  Because seriously: bikinis?  Maybe for Grandma.  Heroin look?  Right attitude, but too 90s.  Lingerie?  Getting more Sears-catalogy every day.  Hipster Barista?  The heat’s gone out of that half-caf.  Cosplay still warrants the occasional history-clearing Google search, but has a limited shelf life.

Whatever we agree is sexy in the 2010s, chances are it will be something that speaks to our collective consciousness, ie arousing both libidos and a vague dread about the future.

1:  Baby Got Backpack

aka The Hostel Honey.  Few outfits say “spontaneous” and “uninhibited” but yet “can read a train schedule” like this one.  The backpacker look– distinguished by hiking boots, flannel, and a backpack larger than the subject– forms a modern Sisterhood of the Travelling Hot Pants.  No other outfit cloaks the child of privilege in a shell of self-sufficiency and willingness to experiment with anyone possessing a killer accent and a Eurail pass.

avidly backpacker1
Is that Jansport heavy? Wanna see another big package?


2: The Rump-springa

Fellas, what makes your jeans tighter than good girls turned bad?  Aside from laundering on “high”, nothing.  The Amish tradition of Rumspringa is the ultimate Girls Gone Wild experience for the Lancaster set.  There are practical considerations at play here, too: when the oil runs out and we’re living Beyond Thunderdome, a lady who knows how to make a quilt as well as make time underneath it is to be treasured.

Hey, you know that archetypal scene where the leading lady removes her cowboy hat/motorcycle helmet and shakes out her long, lustrous hair in wind-blown 48fps slo-mo?  Now picture that with a bonnet.  I’ll give you a moment alone.

avidly amish-girl-on-rumspringa
Consider my barn raised.



(Say, can we go back to the Backpacker Look for a minute?  It’s just that, whether it’s famine or war or catastrophic climate events, we’re all going to be refugees around 2030.  The ladies who can carry their weight in food and medical supplies have an edge on drawing the eye of the passing gentleman.  And hopefully not drawing the eye of the roving bands of marauders.  Added to that challenge: the marauders will likely be mutants with extra eyes.  What I’m saying is, in the same way farmers of old looked for mates with birthing hips, the smart scavenger of tomorrow will need a woman with strong shoulders and powerful quads.)

avidly  backpacker2
Hey baby, with global temperatures collapsing into a new Ice Age, we’ll both need some extra body heat to survive the night. That’s not a come-on—I’m serious, we’re all gonna die.

But Back to Fashion.

3: Security Forces Chic

It’s just a matter of time before the West gives up its economic eminence to China and finds out what it’s like to live in the rest of the world.  And you know what happens then: riots, unrest, Gathering of the Juggalos.  And while we’d all like to imagine ourselves giving the ol’ french loaf to Katniss in an erotic dystopian future, we have to be realistic about our prospects and settle for the those who can exercise state-sponsored violence and look good doing it.  Trampled human rights– that’s my Susan Glenn.

avidly security forces
Say girl, I know somewhere we could use those handcuffs. Sure, I’ll kneel in front of you. Hands behind my head? Already there. Ouch! You like it rough, huh? What’s with the bag on my head? “Rendition”? Is that the safeword?

Brian Forrest is a freelance hot dog eating champion and 1994 American Legion Oratorical Contest runner-up.

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