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. Continue reading