(Illustration by Tom Tian, AB’10)


The Maroon guided ’80s preps through the last Lascivious Costume Ball.

Held annually from 1970 until its abolishment 14 years later, the Lascivious Costume Ball lived up to its name with amateur stripper contests, racy films, and skinny dips. The LCB reemerged in 2008 in milder form, but the May 4, 1984, event marked the end of an era. A Maroon preview featured this tongue-in-cheek Essential Preppy Handbook Guide to the LCB:

  • No alligators (preppies are uncool).
  • By all means plan on attending a pre-LCB party. “Funny” punch will only enhance your enjoyment of the party.
  • Wear something other than your usual Sperry topsiders.
  • Come in easily disposed of clothes in case you dare to take a dip in the pool.
  • Are you shy? Afraid of being recognized? Try designer Ray-Bans for a dark and mysterious look.
  • It may seem incredibly lascivious to you to come in chocolate sauce adorned with whipped cream and cherries or some other food. However, don’t then jump into the pool to wash off or you’ll scum it up.
  • Ride the Lasciviously Costumed Bus rather than risking life and limb to streak down the Midway.
  • Remember your friends who attend the LCB probably have no idea how dumb they’re acting.
  • Once you’re at the LCB, keep in mind no one will be taking pictures, no one will remember what you do, and anyway, you’ll never be the wildest person there—so have a good time and don’t get self-conscious.
  • Dressing lasciviously doesn’t always mean being revealing—bathing suits are trite—leather suits are strange—what the heck—come au naturel.
  • Don’t blush if they show Behind the Green Door.