Capitalistic societies have their problems. They’re rife with income inequality, workers rights are routinely ignored, and the jobs worth doing are the ones that pay the least. But there’s something beautiful about capitalism: money motivates people to create the most bizarre and amazingly unnecessary products. The prospect of making money fuels the imagination. And our imagination is fueled by our most basic instincts (drives for sex and food). That’s why we see so many sexual sales pitches for hamburgers, chocolate, and Italian subs. (All of which my students showed me during their presentation on sexualized advertising.They know me well).
But there’s another, less remarked upon way to incorporate the themes of sex and food and that’s by creating food that’s shaped like sexual and excretory organs. Although sexual sales pitches for food have a better track record than food shaped like sex organs—which is why Hershey’s calls their candies Kisses and not Tits—genital-shaped candies do exist. So, in the spirit of Halloween, I’m surveying the genital candy universe. I’m even testing some of it out. Although no major candy company produces sex-organ-shaped candies, the fact that they exist and are purchased in large enough quantities to justify being mass manufactured, shows that they have earned a place in the dank basement of consumer culture.
Why do genitals spur this particular type of creativity? It’s because they’re so frequently eaten. Think of the verbs we use to describe oral sex. They’re very similar to the verbs we use to describe eating candy: suck, blow, lick, eat, devour. So it feels like a natural fit.
The candy category is ripe for this type of innovation because it skews to the fantastical. Candy is imbued with childhood wonder (see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and nobody expects candy-makers to take themselves too seriously. It’s the one food category where mass-market retailers frequently sell their products in toilet-shaped containers, and nobody blinks an eye. But toilet training is associated with childhood, so I guess there’s a slight connection. However, the innocence and whimsical nature of the candy category chafes when it runs up against the dark and forbidden realm of sexuality, presenting a jarring juxtaposition.
The genital candies on the market today are predominantly penis-shaped.The most popular and innovative category is the penis lollipop. Lollipops lend themselves to dick shapes, so it’s only natural. Here we have the Jumbo Rainbow Cock Pops and the ethnically diverse white, milk, and black chocolate penis pops.
Unfortunately, vaginas don’t get the same treatment in the candy realm, probably because internal genitalia doesn’t look good on a stick. Although, for those so inclined, things like Tiny Pussies to Go do exist. Breasts get a better showing because so many candies have historically looked like them, so a number of options exist, including Gummy Titties, Succulent Fruity Boobs, and Pert Peppermint Nipples.
Even the lowly anus appears in this parallel candy universe. Ironically, it’s the one category that has candy that actually looks like it would be tasty. The Edible Anus: The Anus that Made Britain Great is the star player and it’s made out of pure Belgian chocolate.
Although on the surface it seems frivolous, my foray into the genital-candy world was deeply instructive. I learned that like any proper muse, genital candy is better in the abstract. The best muses are those we keep at a distance. The closer we get to them, the less they can serve as an ideal image. Thinking about penis-shaped lollipops stimulates my imagination, launching me into a sexual phantasmagoria. But actually eating these noxious creations brings me crashing back to earth, where genital-candy manufacturers aren’t demigods of food and sex, but merely businessmen who strive to produce the cheapest penis-shaped high-fructose corn syrup creations their factories will churn out.
1. Penis Lollipop: Glistening red, the Pipedream Products All-Day Penis Sucker (shown right) looked delicious. However, upon my first lick I noticed a note of harsh cleaning chemicals, and by the second and third, I felt like I was eating the solidified backwash of a two-day-old Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper. Not only can I not recommend it, but I’d go so far as to say that it may be one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever eaten. (For the most disgusting, see below). Grade: D-
2.Gummy Tits: Tasting of pineapple fluoride treatment and death, the desiccated gummy boobs I bought were so tough that I couldn’t even bite through them.Not only did they taste awful, but they were also of indeterminate manufacture. So there’s a good chance I’m dying of lead poisoning as I write this.Grade: F
3. Gummy Condom: If I had to declare a winner, of the sex-candy universe would be this candy prophylactic. Even though its texture was that of an off-brand Peep covered in melamine and I had to spit it out, at least tasted like candy. Grade: D. Side note: Since it wasn’t shaped like an anus or genitals, it doesn’t really count.