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Women and Cigars, Our Newest Romance.

By Sharon Krum 

I'm a woman. I know how women think. I know how women operate, and I know the lies women tell. The list is awful long, and you probably know most of them. So I'll spare you the standards, and just hit you with the latest. Women are smoking cigars because they like that nutty, smoky taste. They like the aroma. They like to unwind at the end of a meal inhaling something Cuban, or something approximating Cuban. 

Lies. All lies. Lies, lies, lies lies.

You may have noticed that women, particularly women of the species "yuppius feminas", the same kind that have a penchant for Prada, Versace, and cute looking guys who drive very fast cars, are smoking cigars. I certainly have. And being a student of  popular culture, which roughly translated means magazine junkie, movie junkie, fashion junkie and all purpose media slut, I sat up one day and wondered just what the hell was going on with the sisterhood out there.

I mean  cigarettes sure. Women have always smoked cigarettes to impart some kind of cool.  Who can forget Lauren Bacall in "To Have or Have Not?" Liquor? Where would Sharon Stone be in "Basic Instinct" without a drink in her hand?  We could be bad, we could indulge, but cigars? Wasn't that some all male, velvet smoking jacket, Hugh Hefner inspired  club that women couldn't, or wouldn't join?  Didn't you have to have a certain level of testosterone before they even let you light one of those things? 

Well, roll up a newspaper, smack me on the nose and scream "no, bad girl,  no", because that's what I thought. But then I hit the streets to do a little field research in the interests of  honest reporting, and  found cigars have now hit the radar among the sisterhood. 
They're happening, they're cool, they get you dates, and  frankly, I think they're turning into a  post- feminist icon. But more about that later. 

So here's the deal. Cigars are hot, and you can blame Arnold, Bruce, Hollywood, President Clinton for putting the economy back on track, Gucci for making luxury goods yummy again, take your pick, but humidors are it.  Cigars rule. Don't ask me why, I don't smoke them. But as the nineties bore on and everybody's bank accounts started filling up again, (except mine), guys  starting doing that bonding thing that guys do, except this time they ditched Robert Bly and all that sissy dancing in the forest  for cigar bars. 

And then women, clever wenches that we are, starting asking where all the rich men went, and learned they had descended into some smoky netherworld where we weren't exactly welcome. And you can't do that to women anymore guys, because there are equal opportunity laws and Supreme Court rulings and all that jazz that say that's not fair. So we started coming, and we stayed. Why? Because we liked cigars? As I said before, I don't think so. It's because we like men. It's not exactly Einstein's theory of relativity, but it's the truth. 

Somebody once asked Willie Sutton why he robbed banks and he said,  "Cuz that's where the money is."  So let me give it to you straight.  Women hit cigar bars because that's where the men is. That's where the new mating dance is being danced, step by sexy step. Once we pretended to like baseball and football to get your attention, now its cigars. It's the new singles bar, for a certain kind of single, with a certain amount of disposable income.  So women knocked on the door, and the doorman, fearing a lawsuit,  let us in. 

But then something really cool happened that I doubt anyone figured on: once inside, women lit up, learned to smoke, and liked the feeling that it gave them. The feeling that cigar smoking, if you believe guys who smoke, gives them too. Luxury. Power. Money. Sexuality. Get it? 

So there I am, still in the name of research, undercover, inside one of Manhattan's groovy cigar bars. Forget Dolly, if you want to see some beautiful clones, just hang out at any of them.  We are talking wall to wall men, wall to wall handsome. Every second guy is a Tom Cruise clone, the others all look like Brad Pitt. It's like going to heaven, if heaven was really, really, smoky and God forgot to turn on the lights.  Women are smoking, men are smoking, there is a lot of yuppie flirting going on, and buckets of  testosterone and estrogen in the air.  So I cruise by and ask both sexes,  what gives? And here's what they tell me. 

1. The Women. 

"I'm here to meet men. I find men who smoke big cigars really  sexy." 
"This place is fun. It's a singles bar but not a meat market. Everyone is very laid back, very cool." 
"I know this is something I shouldn't be doing. It's forbidden and that makes me feel cool." 
"It's a power trip for women and why not? We've earned it." 
"I think men find it a real turn on." 

Did somebody say BINGO? 

2. The Men. 

"I find it such a turn on to see a woman smoking a cigar. In a way they are infringing on our turf, but that's okay." 
"I find it really sexy. The cigar is...well...really phallic, and when women hold it like that..." 
(Story Continued)

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