Body works, Part II: Mytilid Matters

(Some frank discussion of the female body, with a racy food photo. Use your judgment.)

A photo on Facebook from John Dorrance, with the comment “These things are obscene”:

Well, they’re striking vaginal symbols (vulvar symbols would be more accurate anatomically, but just think of this commonplace use of vagina as metonymic).

Before I go on with this, I should point out that I’m a long-standing mytilophile, a lover of mytilids (mussels, in the family Mytilidae), or in street talk, a mussel fag (forgive the play on muscle fag, which I am not)  — see my 11/1/15 posting on mussels, with some foody photos — but many people find the creatures uncomfortably, um, life-like, and that includes some gay men like JD (I note that gay men are often charged with hostility towards women, and sometimes that’s a fair cop, but JD’s not in that crew); some straight women; and, yes, some lesbians (one of whom confessed as much in a comment on JD’s posting).

The problem with symbolic genitals that are edible is that the more realistic they look, the more uncomfortable a diner is likely to find them. I am extraordinary well-disposed towards penises, especially up close and personal, but truly realistic edible penis-simulacra would give me pause: eat dick is, after all, figurative.

While I’m playing around with language: to use a common vulvarity, I think I deserve some points for vaginality.

3 Responses to “Body works, Part II: Mytilid Matters”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    I’ve never seen mussels as particularly vulval, but then again my experience of vulvas is, shall we say, limited.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Of course you want it to be vulval, since the derivational suffix is normally -al. But after a base with l as the last consonant, the l of the suffix dissimilates to r: uvular, curricular, etc.

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    Of course you want it to be vulval rather that vulvar, since the derivational suffix is normally -al. But after a base with l as its last consonant, the l of the suffix dissimilates to r: uvular, curricular, etc.

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