Do you have a fascination with death and the afterlife? Is your wardrobe solid black? Do you spend more on mascara, pancake makeup, and hairspray than on rent? Do the bands you like have semi-depressing names like Melancholy, Eternal Deformity, and The Vision of Bleak? Then, hello, Goth.
Goths do not merely endure the general ennui of the human condition, they celebrate it. So while in theory, the weight of the world rests on their shoulders and thoughts of despair and loneliness fill their days, they may secretly be enjoying themselves as the express the mysterious, foggy, darkness of their mood. For a Goth, life and art are intertwined. The clothing choices they make reflect their tastes in culture and music.
Goths are generally intelligent and well-versed in literature and music and film history. As a Goth, you can not only understand Edgar Allan Poe but feel like he was talking directly to you and Lord Byron’s epithet, “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to know,” is more like career advice.
- Exploring an affinity for the supernatural
- Romanticizing tragic heroes especially dead ones
- Scoffing at social norms
- Creating scary make up looks
- Navigating the sea of black in their closets
A Happy Goth
By definition, a Goth isn’t happy. There’s too much existentialist angst in the world for them to find true happiness. But sometimes they just can’t help themselves. In that case, Goths enjoy themselves listening to dark themed music, going to clubs and discussing literature with like-minded people. Part of the Goth lifestyle is finding social acceptance among others who are socially unaccepted.
Robert Smith, lead singer of The Cure; Abby Sciuto (this primetime Goth girl is the forensic specialist on the CBS hit NCIS);Morpheus and Death of the Endless (from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic book series; Morpheus is the personification of the Dream state, and he and his sister, Death, are exemplary visual standards for the Goth look)
Goths tend to hang out with other Goths. They also for bonds with the Artist, Musician, Mystic, Free Spirit, and Psychic.
Goth in Love
A Goth in love is a deeply committed partner. Goths are looking for the romantic ideal, an undying passion with a partner for life (and beyond). Superficial and external attributes don’t matter much to the Goth. Their love is more pure and special. With that in mind, Goth sexuality can be extreme. Goths who tend to enjoy roleplaying and the accouterments of BDSM (chains, handcuffs, dog collars) are not uncommon sights.
On the downside, sometimes sex play can get a little rough and the line between real and fantasy gets blurred, especially when it comes to people who believe they might, in fact, be vampires.
As the Goth culture is accepting and open to all who truly have the desire to belong, it tends to attract people who feel they have nowhere else to go. Being a Goth, though, has some inherent dangers. Looking different and being an outcast in general society run the risk of becoming a target and victim of that society. The challenge is to stay true to yourself and your ideals and avoid the confrontations with those who would seek to do you harm.
How to Play It
If you are introduced to a Goth, or know one already, don’t be afraid. Despite the makeup-enhanced pale complexion, the all-white contact lenses blotting out normal irises and plethora of spikes and crosses, most Goths are friendly and inviting.
If you find yourself thinking about sleeping in a coffin or buying a hearse, you might consider checking out a Goth club. Just don’t be a poser. Goths will be happy to have you, but if you try to bluff your way in, they will close ranks in front of you and lock you out forever.