Cucumber Sex in CanLit

An arousing fruit?

Over at the Walrus blog I reflect on the pornograhic potential of produce. Along the way I talk about Lisa Moore, Cynthia Flood, Philip Roth and Andrew “vegitable love” Marvell. You can read the essay here.

An excerpt:

My thoughts in this direction were prompted by the fact that I’ve recently encountered two separate short stories, both from first-rate Canadian writers, featuring sex and… cucumbers.

In Cynthia Flood’s “Watching,” from her 1992 collection My Father Took a Cake to France, the narrator recalls, “Hands. Allan’s fingers. He did that for me maybe seven times in seven years. Once I took a real cucumber.” Lisa Moore offers an even steamier scene of cucumber arousal. In Moore’s story “Granular,” from her 1995 debut collection Degrees of Nakedness, we’re told of this memorable event: “You move the cucumber down the ridges of my neck, chest bone, circle one nipple, a shiny snail’s trail down my belly. Icy on my clitoris, numbing. You hold it gently down against the opening of my vagina.”

2 thoughts on “Cucumber Sex in CanLit

  1. Brilliant post Jeet. One thought: maybe the vegetable love is a hang-over from more puritanical times? Before the advent of retail chains like AOV, people might have had to be a little more…inventive at least if they lived outside major Canadian centers. With a loosening of mores, and easier access (specialty retail outlets & online shopping) the cucumber might become a footnote, rather than a trend.

  2. Thanks Mark. Another example, of vegitable love from Caroline Adderson’s story “The Chmarnyk” in her collection Bad Imaginings: “That night, to keep it moist, I boutght [the cattail root] to bed and put it inside me.” (p. 50) and “I had given my innocence to a cattail root whuile you held its power.” (p. 51).

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