The New Chocolate Finger of Pleasure
Last May, my husband's boss asked him to move to London to open a new office. If he accepted this mission, we'd be there for four years. The potential move sparked mixed emotions in me. Although I've lived away from my family for the past 14 years, it is pretty easy to hop on a plane from New York to Chicago for a visit. From London, that's a much bigger journey. Leaving all my friends behind also pained me. On the other hand, I love London, and always wanted to live there for a spell. There are many reasons for this, but I fess up that one of them is how much I love British chocolate. I feared moving there and gained 100 pounds from all the candy bars I'd cram down my lonely gullet.
How silly I was! First, British authorities foiled my plan for nonstop chocolate consumption by removing the candy vending machines from the tube platforms. (Seriously! When I heard about that, I was so relieved that the move was canceled!) Then, the plan for the new office fell through, so I remained in New York. Finally, a few weeks ago Mars introduced its latest tempting product for the ladies: the Fling.
How does the Fling ruin my love affair with British candy bars? NPR explains:
Wrapped in a shiny pink and sliver package, this delicate "chocolate finger" is intended for women. The word "finger" is an industry term for a long, slim confection, Mars spokesman Ryan Bowling says, but with ads that invite you to "Pleasure yourself" in pink lettering, consumers might come to other conclusions.
What the fuck? I have yet to forgive Nestle, the makers of the super delicious Yorkie, for their evil slogan ("It's Not for Girls!"). Every time I see that damn wrapper with the circle and bar over a female cartoon silhouette, I want to find the responsible parties and poke their eyes out with a chocolate appendage. Several years ago, Gena Haskett at Out on the Stoop took Yorkie down a notch:
...The original concept was to market this as a man's chocolate bar, due to its size and volume. The tag line in the ad was "men don't have much to claim for themselves anymore" and the candy is "too big for a woman to handle."
Puleeze - I ate the original Chunky as a kid. That, my friend, was a hunk of chocolate. I can't speak for the modern version but back in the day there were actual raisins and peanuts surrounded by chocolate worthy of clamping down on full force. With real sugar too! I take off the U.S. nutrition label.
Setting aside Yorkie's concern that "men don't have much to claim for themselves anymore," the idea that only men can handle a big, long, thick hunk o' chocolate is hilariously homoerotic. I love it! It actually makes me want to eat Yorkie (which is pretty tasty) far more than that nasty 80 calorie "finger" treat. As Julia at Trysting points out:
...rather than giving us a subtle reminder of how sensually delicious chocolate is, they've decided to shove it down our throats with a marketing campaign written by someone who has read one too many Danielle Steel novels. I'm surprised it doesn't vibrate.
Also, it has no nuts. What kind of a candy bar is that?
Exactly! What hetero woman finds pleasure in a partner who has no nuts? (Heh heh. Oh, Mars - you make it too easy for me.) Sarah Gilbert at WalletPop also takes issue with the Fling:
And do you know what? That packaging looks to me like a feminine hygiene product... This product's marketing is wrong, all wrong, and whoever developed it should be sent back to the 10th grade. We may love chocolate but we don't make love with chocolate. Honestly.
What? Women don't make love with chocolate? Perhaps this is why the official website says it is only available for now in California. (You know how those weird Californians are...) Or, as Kjerstin Johnson at Bitch reminds us, "If it's anything like other pleasuring devices, I will not be seeing [the Fling] anytime soon in AL, GA, KS, LA, MS, TX or VA." (Johnson also dissects how the chocolate incorporates mica to get a shimmery appearance in three different colors. Women like variety in our pleasure sessions, you know.)
Mmmmm.... shimmery fingers. All of this research is making my "mouth" "water." Sorry, Fling. You may be the first new candy bar offered by Mars in 20 years, but I'll stick with the experienced when it comes to quelling my cravings. It may be true that it's not the size of the boat, but the motion of the ocean (to mix metaphors), but it takes Mr. Big* to really satisfy my "hunger." Oh yeah - cue the Barry White as I wrap my lips around this one.
*Explains Cadbury: "Mr. Big is the original big bar made to satisfy your hunger in an exciting way, without weighing you down. Mr. Big Original is a delicious vanilla wafer covered in fresh roasted peanuts and rice crisps, all smothered in a chocolatey coating. Mr. Big is a big bar packed with lots of different ingredients that has a bold, unapologetic personality."