The Venus Flytrap: At The Mercy of Her Bite

Standard

Let me just tell you straight up that I have penis envy. Every Rorschach test you could possibly give me will prove it. Like O’Keefe, like Freud, like – Oh! – Hinduism, I can’t get the nethers off my mind. I discern shapes, nature and various abstractions as phallic or vulval. The latter I find sexy, spiritual, artistic, but complex, unlike the former. The former make me laugh, they make me ogle. The former have me fascinated by their humour, simplicity and ultimate alienness. For a pretty ballsy woman, my lack of supplementary equipment entertains and holds my attention to no end.

There, now that that’s out of the way, feel free to celebrate my complete discrediting from the feminist movement by lighting up, very aptly and traditionally, a cigar.

It was a cigar and a conversation with a male friend surprised by the sight of a woman smoking it that got me thinking about my penis envy and expressions of it. Coming to consider this, it surprised me too how few women take to the cigar. Like all the usual paradoxes of the more tasteful vices, it seems the premise of only sophisticated men and strange women.

From Che to Churchill, bastions of masculinity seem to like sticking big long objects in their mouths and sucking on them. Cigars are sexier, less subtle versions of the sceptres and swords of yore. The underlying motivation is practically kindergarten-level Freud to analyse, but worth the giggle.

Yet it remains risqué for women. Someone suggested it’s the gracelessness of it; essentially, one fellates a cigar. But if that were the case, we wouldn’t eat in public, either. Anything involving the mouth – including speech – is inevitably sensual.

After all, it’s mainly a decorative accessory; cigar-smoking is an art, not an addiction. And what could possibly be more sensual than a woman sitting by herself in a dress too fancy for the bar she’s in, sipping a gin and tonic, wearing shoes to tango in, exhaling from a Cuvee Rouge as she looks you in the eye?

I heard your breath still. See what I mean?

But back to business – do other women not smoke cigars because they do not have penis envy? Or could it be because – let me just throw this wild card in – the idea of a woman controlling a phallic object, having it literally at the mercy of her bite, is too disturbing to the (male) viewer to digest?

It’s important to note, of course, that as far as phalluses being evocative of power go, only the erect ones count. So good girls can eat spaghetti, no matter how long and uncut, without conjuring up any primal images in the onlooker. This is also why the cigarette, too skinny to be of consequence, is invalidated. Penis envy is not sex – on this count, size definitely matters. If it’s not obscene, it’s not an expression.

Let’s just assume, for the sake of argument, that the rooster-synonym is king. Men have their walking-sticks, their neckties, their Papua New Guinean penis sheaths. As well as their fleshly counterparts. What’s a woman with penis envy to do to take her power back but put a symbol between her teeth? What better way to deal with an object that can’t be owned than to objectify it?

A parting-shot defense of penis envy, then (because while it may be true that I’m a gay man stuck in a woman’s body, I’m thrilled it happens to be this one): war, after all, is just a manifestation of menstrual envy.

An edited version appeared in The New Indian Express. “The Venus Flytrap” is my weekly column in the Zeitgeist supplement.

Advertisements

20 responses »

  1. the only way i’d love this more is if you had a cigarette with you, while typing away at your laptop in your undies.

    darn it.

    now i’m all turned on and shit.

    my favourite so far :)

    “But back to business – do other women not smoke cigars because they do not have penis envy? Or could it be because – let me just throw this wild card in – the idea of a woman controlling a phallic object, having it literally at the mercy of her bite, is too disturbing to the (male) viewer to digest?”

    oh honey…

  2. And oh yeah — that bit you quoted is exactly why I think the idea some people have that blowjobs are degrading to the giver is complete BS. That fragile thing is between her/his teeth! How can they not be in power?

  3. I beg your pardon, missy!

    I most certainly refuse to let the jewel of my anatomy be reduced to an attention-seeking pleasure-giving-taking egotistic orgasm-conscious object!

    Because. It’s a little more than that. =P

  4. Hey what’s wrong with mine! I mean, I don’t particularly fancy va-jay-jay, but i’d flash you if you’d fancy so =P hahahaha. Oh, I tickle myself.

  5. You guys are gross.

    I cut myself shaving. If that doesn’t make me a man, I don’t know what will.

  6. “… only the erect ones count. So good girls can eat spaghetti, no matter how long and uncut…”

    I think I basically had to take a breather at this point, before continuing my read of your brilliant (as usual) piece, as I was laughing so hard.

    It’s easy being controversial. Only you, my dear, can do it with such panache! ;)

  7. Brvvn — If this weren’t a public forum, I’d have some fabulous rejoinders. Till the next bitch session then, my love? :P

    Kenny — Did you see the hate mail I got? :D

  8. Long time visitor. First time commentator.
    Too good! Had me in splits!
    Btw, if you remember, we met during the photowalk.

  9. here in italy where i live, the “second sex” smokes more. probably it happened as an attempt for a transition from penis envy to penis holding (as in control).

  10. ” (because while it may be true that I’m a gay man stuck in a woman’s body, I’m thrilled it happens to be this one)”

    LOL. I used to say I was a lesbian woman stuck in a man’s body to my ex.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s