It's a strange feeling when you're standing in a costume store and you suddenly realize, "My God, people dress up as ME for Halloween!"

Theoretically, at least. Checking out the racks of costumes-in-a-bag, we've got Xena, French Maid, Witch, Pirate Girl, and oh, here we go--Dungeon Mistress. The cardboard insert features a photo of the purported costume, on a model with too much eyeliner and a facial expression I would associate with having a bad toothache. In the bag: a badly cut black rayon dress and a straggly black wig, to give you that "Morticia Addams: The Wal-Mart Years" look we dominatrixes really covet. Also included: made-in-Indonesia whip, wrist cuffs, and collar straight out of a McDonald's Happy Bondage Meal. (Toy may not be suitable for children under 30!) You'll be scary, all right--but not in the good way.

I say: If you want to be a stylin' dominatrix for Halloween, take some fashion tips from the full-time mistress.

Don't bother with costume-store junk. Want a disposable sexy dress? Try the Leg Avenue stuff--Metro on Broadway stocks the brand, as does Castle Superstore. Broadway Boutique has low-priced elbow-length gloves. Wigs are optional: dominatrixes are actually permitted to have a hair color other than coal-black. But chic mistresses definitely don't wear those ugly pleather Greek fisherman's caps. We hardly ever wear those cat-eye masks, either--but it's Halloween, so a mask is not unreasonable.

A good source for inexpensive props: tack stores. For around $10, you can get a real riding crop, or an implement called a "slapper"--a toy that looks kinda like a riding crop that's gained a lot of weight. Both of these toys are relatively easy to use (which'll come in handy later in the evening, when drunk people start pulling down their pants and asking you to whack them. Don't think I'm kidding).

Major faux pas: Do not wear a collar. Submissives wear the collars. Mistresses don't. They don't wear wrist cuffs, either. This seems like fairly obvious logic to me, yet I see people screwing it up all the time. But if you're going solo, bring that collar and a leash, and slap it on one of the horny boys who'll be following you around.

See me live at one of my next two appearances: Sat Oct 19 at the Paradise Hotel party, 2018 First Ave, and Thurs Oct 31 at Club Medusa, 2218 Western Ave.