Cosplay may be presented in a number of ways and places. A subset of cosplay culture is centered on sex appeal, with cosplayers specifically choosing characters known for their attractiveness or revealing costumes.
However, wearing a revealing costume can be a sensitive issue while appearing in public. People appearing naked at American science fiction fandom conventions during the 1970s were so common, a “no costume is no costume” rule was introduced. Some conventions throughout the United States, such as Phoenix Comicon, have also issued rules upon which they reserve the right to ask attendees to leave or change their costumes if deemed to be inappropriate to a family-friendly environment or something of a similar nature.
Cosplayers in Japan used to refer to themselves as “layer”. Currently in Japan, cosplayers are more commonly called kosupure, pronounced “ko-su-pray,” as reiyā is more often used to describe layers. Those who photograph players are called cameko, short for camera kozō or camera boy. Originally, the cameko gave prints of their photos to players as gifts.
Increased interest in cosplay events, both on the part of photographers and cosplayers willing to model for them, has led to formalization of procedures at events such as Comiket. Photography takes place within a designated area removed from the exhibit hall.
Since 1998, Tokyo’s Akihabara district contains a number of cosplay restaurants, catering to devoted anime and cosplay fans, where the waitresses at such cafés dress as video game or anime characters; maid cafés are particularly popular. In Japan, Tokyo’s Harajuku district is the favourite informal gathering place to engage in cosplay in public. Events in Akihabara also draw many cosplayers.