‘Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke.’ Lynda Barry
MASS SEX APPEAL
The association of smoking and sex was fired up by Hollywood and the advertising world, with stars like Bogart and Bacall apparently inviting the smoker to share their exotic lifestyles. Ad campaigns in the 19th century had used risque pictures of scantily clad women and dancers. In the 20th century, however, smokers wanted to identify with their pin-up idols, to acquire some of their sexual charisma. They were duly bombarded with sophisticated advertising that promised men sexual success and women mystery and allure. Stars like Rock Hudson, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Lana Turner were used. Artist George Petty, whose famous Petty Girls were usually found in Esquire, produced ads for Old Gold in the 1930s: a small bald guy was accompanied by leggy young dream girls, with the message’For young ideas! Stimulating… but never irritating.’ In 1952, Marilyn Monroe appeared on Diplomat Cigarettes in a sexy black lace number this was actually an overprint on a nude photograph she had posed for in a 1951 calendar, but the effect was equally appealing. Audrey Hepburn, with the must-have sexual fashion accessory, a cigarette holder, dangling from her fingers, epitomized elegance in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). In 1969, cigarette commercials were banned from TV.
Sex and the cigarette
‘A woman is an occasional pleasure, but a cigar is always a smoke.’ Groucho Marx *
Cigarettes and sex came as a package; a shared cigarette began a relationship or ended a memorable sex session. In Now Voyager (19), Bette Davis and Paul Henreid shared cigarettes as a metaphor for sex; in Chinatown (1974), Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway share a cigarette after sex; in Grease (1978), the moment Sandy becomes sexy and finally wins Danny’s desire is when she coolly impresses him with her new habit and stubs out a cigarette with her c stiletto sandal. Airplane (1980) parodies the post-coital cigarette cliche in the scene where Julie Hagerty and Otto the inflatable automatic pilot smoke after she has blown him in a scene made to look like oral
‘I have always wanted a mistress who was fat, and I have never found one. To make a fool of me, they are always pregnant.’ Paul Gauguin, 1848-1903