Discuss: If You've Seen One, You've Seen 'Em All

Jul 22, 2011

Yesterday, an invitation to my friend Sam’s bachelorette party arrived in the mail. As is my habit, I decided to open the envelope in the elevator while riding up to my floor.  I removed the card from its pale pink envelope with a carefree air, thrilled to add another engagement to my social calendar.  But my joy was short lived.

As I looked down at the invitation, it took me a moment to realize that I was holding a nine-inch-long cardboard penis in my hand. I heard a gasp from behind me.  

I turned around to see my neighbor, a retired college professor, staring back at me, the look on his face reminiscent of a child who just walked in on his parents.  I suppose it could have been worse, there are a lot of children in my building. But given that this man spends his evenings reading Proust and sipping wine on the roof deck, it was probably a shocking experience for both of us.

I struggled mightily to shove the one dimensional member back into its paper sheath, but being a klutz by birthright, I dropped it instead.  That’s when his geriatric Labrador leapt for the card with the enthusiasm of a puppy.  Several mortifying seconds passed while I wrestled the invitation away.  The dog continued to lick the floor, his snout now covered in pink glitter.  The card was awash in strawberry-flavored sparkles.

That’s right, flavored.  Ponder that mental image for a moment.  And then consider that somewhere, there is a person who thought, “You know how I can make this penis-themed party invitation even better? I can make it lickable.”  Shudder.

I wish I could say that I stepped out of that elevator with my head held high, but I didn’t.  I slunk the twenty feet to my front door hiding the invitation inside my alumni magazine.  The irony of concealing a penis-shaped party invite inside the pages of Catholic publication not lost on me.

Obviously, the rules of the bachelorette party are new to me (the majority of my close friends live out West).  So I decided to ask Sam why she chose that particular invitation, she responded that it was “naughty, raunchy and cute.”  Well, one out of three ain’t bad.

It was also, apparently, part of a package of genitalia-themed party favors, accessories, drinking games and attire.  Attendees to the party will wear penises on their fingerson their heads and around their necks.  They will eat penis adorned cupcakes and drink cocktails from penis shaped glasses.  They’ll also play erection ring toss and beat a penis-shaped pinata with sticks until candy falls out.  

I admit that I am deeply confused as to why such a large number of otherwise classy women use bachelorette parties as an excuse to spend their evening gnawing on penis-shaped candy necklaces.  When did bachelorette parties become a celebration of all things tacky and phallic? And why would an otherwise conservative interior designer who likes damask-printed wallpaper and Johnathon Adler vases turn her last hoorah of singledom into a shrine to schlongs?

“It’s a Bachelorette Party, Belle,” she said during our G-chat.  “You drink tequila, you tell dirty stories and you eat penis-shaped cupcakes.  It’s just what you do.”

So what do you think ladies? Are bachelorette parties an excuse for drunken, genitalia-themed revelry?  Is there a bachelorette party exemption to the rules of decorum?  Is this all just too tacky for words and best avoided?  Or has the penis-shaped, strawberry-flavored party invite become a bit of a cliche? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

P.S. Sam was more than happy to let me tell this story on the blog, because as she put it, “I’ve got $100 that says more women agree with me than with you.”

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  1. Kristin says:

    Sorry Belle, I'm going to have to agree with Sam.

  2. LadyLaptop says:

    There's a happy medium to be found. I threw an 'On a Boat' (a la Lonely Island) themed bachelorette a while back. We all got to wear our best navy and white duds, Captains hats and had a great evening without no one sporting a phallic member. We did give a slightly inappropriate card signed by everyone and played Never Have I Ever where dirty topics were definitely in play but I like to think it remained a pretty classy affair (the bride dancing with a toy fishing rod and inviting people on the dance floor to 'touch her rod' notwithstanding). I think it's according to the bride, some love the raunch, others (like the one I'm throwing the NEXT bachelorette for) not so much. You have to accede to their wishes, but for refusing tequila shots. They are definitely not allowed to do that.

  3. Sarah says:

    Belle – I agree with you! I am so over these penis parties. It is embarassing.

  4. Anne says:

    Gotta agree with her too.

  5. cia says:

    I'm with Belle. I'm not a prude by any means, but I think this kind of thing is, frankly, disgusting.

  6. e says:

    I totally agree with you Belle! I think its tacky and would not want to subject my guests to that! I specifically told my MOH– no penises! But some woman like it- so I guess its up to the bride to be.

  7. Shamala says:

    Tacky. But to each their own. I told my best friends that there had better be none of that nonsense for my bachelorette party. They gave me a look like, “Um duh, who do you think we are?” So while that wouldn't fly with some of my friends (thankfully those in charge of my b-party), I have attended such an event. And, not surprisingly… I found it tacky.

  8. love it says:

    I'm definitely with Belle. And thankfully, I've seen a few nice, non-phallic batchelotette parties… but I wish it wasn't so rare. :-/ Yuck.

  9. prosecutordc says:

    I just don't get it. Do you have a penis party because you are upset you'll only have one after marriage? I just don't even understand why this is a theme. You can have plenty of debauchery and single fun without bringing gentalia into it.

  10. Nina says:

    “You drink tequila, you tell dirty stories and you eat penis-shaped cupcakes. It's just what you do.”

    Sure. But that invitation and the other favors are TACKY. Even the penis shaped cupcake is kind of stupid. This is all extra tacky if you're doing it at a public bar (and probably being super loud annoying all the other patrons) rather than in someone's home. And what are all these penises supposed to indicate anyway? That now that you will be married you will finally be having sex and seeing one?! So regressive. Turning a sexual organ into stupid plastic party favors and giggling over them makes you look like a child. Belle, you are totally right, this trend is tacky and childish.

  11. DB says:

    I agree with LadyLaptop in that it definitely depends on the bride. In this case, lickable penis-invites, penis-cupcakes, necklaces, AND glasses (and more) seems way over the top in my opinion. Maybe it's just me, but I can even imagine a world where my bachelorette party would be thus themed.

  12. Sara says:

    I've always looked at bachelorette parties as the one chance the bridesmaids have to get some revenge for all the crap the bride is making them do… but that might just be because my seemingly-normal friends morph into the scariest Bridezillas you've ever seen once they have a diamond on their fingers!

    But sadly, I've now been a part of so many that I own a penis-shaped cake pan. And at the last one that I helped plan, we stuffed the pinata with candy and condoms–buying 80 condoms for that got me the same kind of looks that invitation got you!

  13. Valerie says:

    Belle as embarrassing as this was, it sounds like something hilarious out of a romantic comedy. Too bad the guy you ran into was an older professor and not a cute younger guy.

    I am still confused about the penis stuff for bachelorette parties; it's not like bachelors go around with ladypart-themed favors and such. Also, if we're going to be literal about it, why so much fuss over man bits if the bride-to-be is going to get her very own man with bits for life?

  14. Meg says:

    Sometimes tacky and childish can be fun. Although, it's not terrible creative to just buy out the penis section of Oriental Trading.

  15. ME says:

    Drinking tequila and telling dirty stories are acceptable bachelorette party activities. But no, penis-adorned and penis-shaped accessories are not at all required otherwise. It's stupid, juvenile, and majorly tacky.

  16. Alicia says:

    I agree with you, Belle. Going penis-overboard, especially in public, is too much. I am fairly conservative…dislike the raunch, but was pleasantly embarassed that the “private” part of my Bachelorette Party (at a friend's house) included a penis-shaped cake. We all had a good giggle, then headed out for some fun, somewhat tasteful bar-hopping. I think it's difficult to expect men to respect us as women when we wander around with penis-shaped paraphenalia during Bachelorette parties. I might be slighted offended and grossed out if men wandered around with fake vaginas around their neck.

  17. RMS says:

    I am with Belle 100%. When did this become the bachelorette party standard?

  18. Katherine says:

    I'm with Belle. I hope you win and that you buy yourself something nice with that $100. I went to one of those penis-fests (thank God none of my other friends were into that crap – they had lovely bachelorette parties) and wanted to die the whole time I was there.

  19. Amelia says:

    I've got to agree with Belle. I'm not saying I've never been bachelorette party that involved a plastic penis or two, but thank god that was in the privacy of the bride's house. I think in public it's embarrassing and usually annoying to other people not involved in the party.

  20. Govvie says:

    Tacky is better than boring. I went to the most boring bachelorette party ever last year, attributable to the fact that the bride was anti-everything and no one really knew each other.

  21. Anne says:

    I completely agree with Belle. Not because I find the idea inappropriate or raunchy, but because I think it makes grown women look like a bunch of giggling tweens in the middle of sixth grade sex ed class. The penis theme for a bachelorette party may have been “naughty” in 1953, but it just strikes me as completely outdated in present day. By the time most women start attending bachelorette parties in their mid-to-late twenties, we’ve all seen one and the overwhelming majority of us have put one to (hopefully) good use. So what, then, is so “naughty” about a penis? The whole idea just strikes me as quite ridiculous.

  22. Clare says:

    Belle, I'm with you on this one. At 25, I am one of 2 still standing out of my college friends, so needless to say, I've been to a lot of Bachelorette parties. I've worn light up HUGE plastic diamond rings. Buttons that say “single,” “flirty,” etc. I've sat through numerous lingerie showers. I've played gift grab or steal (only with wrapped up panties- you could end up with hanky pankys or grannie panties). But, geeezus, I have never been inundated with plastic phalli.

    Maybe it's my southern sensibilities and that all of my friends are southern…but I know that while my friends might nervously laugh at a penis shaped invitation, inside they'd feel super-uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong, we're certainly not prudish. We just prefer the naughty in our lives to be in the bedroom or talked about with good friends over a bottle of bubbly.

  23. alicia says:

    I've been in 7 weddings, and only two of the bachelorette parties had even the slightest bit of penis shaped things (both of which were part of the pre-bachelorette, at people's houses celebration). I am in the camp of it being gross and tacky and unnecessary. Telling dirty jokes and getting drunk is a fun girls' night out activity (who needs to restrict that to bachelorette evenings?), but I really don't want to eat, wear, or drink from anything resembling the male member as part of someone's wedding festivities. It is childish and pretty gross and I know when I get married, a no-penis memorabilia rule will be instituted for my own bachelorette.

  24. Shannon H. says:

    I'm with Belle on this one. It's trashy, and when I see grown women out tee-hee-ing and hee-haw-ing over male genitalia, it's just annoying and sad. I don't look as Bachelorette Parties as a “last hurrah”, but as a classy celebration of what is to come in a marriage. So yeah, phallic accessories (especially by the hundreds) are not classy.

  25. K says:

    Nope, no, no, no. I was married last spring, and my bridesmaids asked me what I wanted to do. I specifically requested NO penis gear, because I find it unbelievably lame. So instead, we went to a friend's beach house, got drunk, and went out. Yes, bachelorette parties are supposed to be fun and wild. No, I do not need to wear a penis necklace to accomplish this. I did, however, get a t-shirt, incredibly ugly hat, massive fake diamond ring, and a pinata filled with those liquor-filled chocolate bottles. We also had a cocktail hour and went out to dinner before the bar-crawl, so it was a great mix of stuff. So there was still the “bachelorette” part, without any phallic jewelry. If you're 22 and doing this, it's still dumb, but somewhat expected. If you're 30, it's pathetic.

  26. S says:

    With Belle on this one, though I think it's really up to the bride's preference. It is the bride's party, but why she would want that party to be genitalia-themed is beyond me.

  27. Sara says:

    I'm on the fence with this one, since I haven't actually been to a bachelorette party yet. Every time I've seen a bachelorette party, the girls always seem to be having fun, whether they are decked out in phallus-jewelry or not (including the bride-to-be who was dancing on the tables at the W last weekend). So, I think it's up to the preference of the bride.

  28. CMF says:

    I agree with Belle! In fact, I'm off to a Bachelorette party this weekend in Nashville- my very close friend is the MOH and I made it clear early on, that I would not be going anywhere public with any “members” as acessories. Here's my thing- If you're at the point in your life where you are getting married, you should be taking the union seriously- and taking the union seriously does not mean wearing fake genital necklaces and rings, as if the other person's anatomy was just soooo hilarious (at least in my opinion).

  29. KLo says:

    I'm with Belle. I think raunchy has its place, but the all out penis decor is silly. It's like they don't know how to have fun without it, and it's all particularly juvenile. I don't want to re-live my 6th birthday party and replace Barbie with sex toys. (I must be a stick-in-the-mud).

  30. AGinDC says:

    Belle- 1, Sam- 0

  31. ashley says:

    I agree with you Belle…I'm all for drunken revelry. I'm all for tiaras and sashes and yelling “I'm getting married.”All of which we did at my best friend's bachelorette just a few weeks ago. But I think the movement towards everything being penis related is just gross. It was the one thing my best friend asked me specifically not to do, and I agree.

  32. Bekki says:

    I'm with Belle. That is NOT classy, and definitely embarassing. I wouldn't attend if I received an invitation such as that, not out of scorn or spite, but just because I would be humiliated to be at a party like that.

  33. Leigh says:

    For a gag gift* or two, yeah, they might draw a chuckle, but party favors? A whole penis theme? It's not that it's tacky, and it's not that it's juvenile, because sometimes we all need to let loose and be a little immature, but it just doesn't even sound that funny (or fun.)

    If it's “the done thing” for bachelorette parties, it's clearly not shocking or novel anymore, and I don't see how penis favors have any appeal if you strip that away. If you're going to run the risk of embarrassing or maybe even offending some of your friends, then don't do it for the sake of something boring.

    Also, I would never lick a flavored invitation. There's no telling who's touched it.

    *No pun intended.

  34. Kathryn says:

    No, that's tacky and horrible. Is she really trotting out the old “everyone does it” excuse?

  35. michelle says:

    Belle, I am SOOOO with you on this one. Whenever I throw a bachelorette party (which happens a lot these days), I lay down the no-phallic-accessories law from the get-go. And, as far as I know, all of my girlfriends have thoroughly enjoyed their shindigs (and haven't been embarrassed by the photos post-tequila rush). Strawberry-flavored sprinkles? Yikes.

  36. Chris says:

    Agree with Belle completely. I've been to many bachelorette parties, and all of them were great fun except for one: Yes, one with penis overload. The MOH did it in her style, which was totally overboard trashy. I can understand a naughty joke gift for the bride, or something silly like that in someone's home. But we were doing a huge bar crawl, and we had penis rings, penis necklaces, penis party horns and penis straws that we were supposed to use for our drinks. Unfortunately, several of us “lost” our penis props over the course of the evening. The bride was a good sport about it all, probably because she didn't live in the town where we partied. I did, so I dispensed with the penis accoutrement as soon as I could!

  37. Ali says:

    Tacky. Wildly tacky. In asking friends to be bridesmaids this month, I made sure to tell one that she was responsible for enforcing the ban on phallic novelty items at the bachelorette party. Here's hoping it works.

  38. Lady says:

    I agree with Belle. Not only is it tacky – I don't even understand what the point of it is. The only thing that I can think of is that since men usually hire strippers at bachelor parties, women decide to buy tacky fake penises because hiring male strippers is even more tacky and disgusting. I'm currently planning a bachelorette party for my best friend and I'm positive that we would no longer be friends if I even mentioned incorporating penises into the theme.

  39. annie says:

    i refuse to go to bachelorette parties. i have no interest in being crude for an entire night with otherwise intelligent women. no penis necklaces, decorations, cakes. even if they don't do that, i find most bachelorette parties to be horrendous excuses for demanding attention from complete strangers. it's either penises everywhere or a tiara, a bride sash, and asking random people to buy you shots because you are getting married. it's all incredibly annoying.

    i've made an exception to my no-bachelorette party rule once: a weekend getaway to the outer banks. no paraphernalia anywhere.

  40. M says:

    I agree with Belle 100%. I despise the penis theme.

  41. C says:

    Oh my goodness everyone – get over yourselves and have some fun! I can't say that I would want a penis-themed party for anything, but let your friend enjoy!

  42. Maria says:

    Belle, I'm with YOU on this one! There's no excuse for the tacky-raunchy invites, munchies, and decorations that accompany today's typical bachelorette parties. When I got married two years ago, I opted for a black, white, & fuchsia-themed lingerie shower (complete with cosmos) with my bridesmaids and other close girlfriends, held two nights before my wedding. No phallic balloons or pasta to be seen anywhere = much more tasteful, IMHO.

  43. DHL says:

    My opinion: Penis party at 22–funny. 3rd and subsequent penis parties–annoying, penis party at 28–embarassing. I found that my appreciation for the penis party (and wearing any bachelorette party accessories in general) is in direct correlation for my alcohol tolerance, in that it has been on a steady decline since law school. I don't mind the giant penis cake or penis brownie, so long as it is not served in public. But that has more to do with cake being delicious and less to do with its shape.

  44. caroline says:

    When I was 22 I was with Sam and we certainly celebrated a couple of weddings that way. At 28 we now do wine tastings and days at the beach for a bachelorette celebrations. I guess that puts me in Belle's camp.

  45. lindsay says:

    I think it's entirely up to the bride and her tastes. Unfortunately, that means some people will make really tacky, penis-filled choices. I would never host a penis themed party because Christ, it's not like we've never seen one before. If a good friend had one, I would attend out of respect for our friendship, but I would seriously question her (or the party planner's) judgment.

    Plus, what about same-sex marriages? You don't see bachelorette parties with vulvas all over. Thank god for that – if only we could get opposite-sex bachelorette parties to follow their lead and keep the party genitalia free.

  46. Kate says:

    As a woman who is 1. planning and preparing for her own bachelorette party and 2. has a Master's degree in Women's Studies, I agree with Belle. Bachelorette parties have become over hyped and over sexualized–penis cupcakes for Sam's last night of freedom? Really? How did we let ourselves believe that an embarrassing and drunken “last night” of whatever is a good way to celebrate a friend's wedding. Personally, I don't like the idea of celebrating a “last night of freedom/fun/sexiness with girlfriends”–like getting married means no more fun for women, especially sexual fun?

    For my bachelorette, we're doing a weekend at a beach cottage with wine and cocktails and my best friends. This is not a “last time for Kate to have fun” weekend. Instead, its a “this is a great time to celebrate with friends” weekend.

  47. Holls says:

    I am surprised so many of you are so against penis' It sounds as if you are more scared of it than anything.

    The bachelorette party is a time to let loose and be crazy! If “crazy” means penis shaped everything so be it.

    I really don't see what the big deal is, it's all in good fun. The bride has to be be prime and perfect for everything else as she prepares for her wedding (not to mention the stress) cut her some slack with this one. I 100% agree with your friend- and this is exactly how I had my bachelorette party. It was a great time with the girls and was nice to let loose and be wild for a change.

  48. Laura B says:

    I totally agree with Belle. Its disgusting to have everything in a bachelorette party be about the male organ. Its suppose to be a party about the last bit of freedom before a marriage to the man you love. Are you trying to worship his member? Or have some fun last memories (the drunken girls night out is also lost on me) to go along with your wedding? When I was invited to me friends bachelorette party, I was slightly concerned that everything would be like what your friend was going to do, but there was nothing even remotely shaped like the male member. The bride even went so far as to say she was so thankful no one did anything raunchy or member shaped. I'm with Belle 100%!

  49. p says:

    I see bachelorette parties as a great chance to blow off some steam and cut loose, they're all about having fun! I personally find penis-themed decorations, etc kind of gross, but I think it's all about not taking yourself too seriously. And if that's what the bride wants, then bring on the balls! If you're the type of person who will be so uncomfortable or judgemental at a bachelorette party that has penises (directing this toward commenters who claim they “refuse to go to bachelorette parties,” not Belle) then for the love of god don't go to the party! You'll just bring everyone down!

  50. L says:

    I'm commenting just so you can win that $100. I agree with you, Belle. This is tacky. Sure, have a party where you drink and tell dirty stories… but why the peen overload? I'm not a prude by any means but it's really just weird.

  51. renee says:

    I completely agree with you. I don't want to have a bachelorette party at all, due to how tacky/cliche they've become. Someone kill me if I'm ever photgraphed wearing a pink penis of any sort, or drinking out of a straw shaped like male genatalia, or wearing the word “bride” in rhinestones…

  52. Tina says:

    Belle, I'm 100% with you. This is tacky.

  53. CMS says:

    I'm with Belle. I insisted that my bridesmaids kept the penises to a minimum at my bachelorette party!

  54. L says:

    There is a difference between raunchy and tacky. It's possible to let loose and be wild with your girlfriends, without being tacky or trashy. Penis themed parties fall squarely in the the trashy/tacky camp; a flavored penis invitation – there aren't polite words for what that is.

    If the thought behind the theme is “she's stuck with only one for the rest of her life,” I'd hope people realize that a penis shaped cupcake/necklace/etc isn't going to soften that reality. Personally, if my friends thought that was “naughty, raunchy and cute” I'd be forced to reconsider my taste in friends…

  55. roro says:

    Lame, lame, lame. Tacky, tacky, TACKY. Maybe these parties were fun before everyone was doing them. Maybe they were edgy at some point. I imagine it's someone's idea of feminism to use a theme of plastic members for a party. Sadly, the result is just TACKY in the extreme.

  56. Natalie says:

    I'm with you. One hundred percent.

  57. Serena says:

    I'm 30, and I've been going to bachelorette parties for the past 8 years, and probably 90% invovled penis-themed decor/favors/food. The penis thing is not novel or cute or even remotely risque or shocking anymore (at least in the context of a bar –the elevator of your building is another story). It's overdone and tacky and cheesy. Go out and have some fun. Do shots, get drunk, act ridiculous. But, for the love of God, please leave the plastic penises at home!

  58. Liz says:

    I'm definitely not a prude, but the penis theme is pretty unimaginative and, frankly, tacky. My bachelorette party consisted of getting dressed to the nines, a fabulous dinner with lots of wine, and a concert at the symphony. It wasn't about raunch, it was about being with my girlfriends. I'm with you, Belle.

  59. Adrienne says:

    I'm with Belle 100% on this as well. It doesn't matter if you are 22 or 32, tacky is tacky. It's one thing to go out with the girls and have a few drinks. It's another to cover yourself with penis regalia.

    In the age of Facebook, I'm shocked that so many girls would do this. If someone is an interior decorator, your business is your reputation. All it takes is one photo getting out, and your otherwise sterling reputation is destroyed.

    People in DC should know that better than anyone.

  60. Sarag says:

    So trashy, so classless, so unfeminine…

    I hate how feminist movement has inadvertently encouraged women to be more like men, instead of embracing the things that make women different.

  61. 6 Time Bridesmaid says:

    PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Your bridesmaids and friends who have to do this more than once do NOT think this is fun. As a six-time bridesmaid, I'm here to tell to you that while I'll happily spend upwards of +$1200 on presents, travel, dresses I'll never wear again, hair, makeup, shoes, etc etc., I will NOT wear a penis around my neck or drink out of a penis straw for you. I don't love you that much. I just don't.

  62. Charleigh says:

    Penis-themed party maybe excessive, but penis-invite absolutely hilarious. You should have just held it up and been like “Bachelorette Party” there isn't a person in America who wouldn't smile and just nod their head in understanding. Why should men get strippers but women be conservative?

  63. TA says:

    Belle, I concur. Why do we go that low? I don't understand. I'm newly engaged and I won't have your “typical” bachelorette party. I don't want anything to happen at the party that could either embarrass me or ruin my reputation.

  64. Marie-Christine says:

    Oh my. This is one more vote for you, wholeheartedly.

    Unfortunately I live near my city's downtown, and every weekend we seem to be overrun with bachelor/ette parties, especially visible in the summer. There seem to be more of them than actual weddings. While I haven't yet been subjected to penis cupcakes (yeeeech!) I assure you that every one of them distinguishes itself by displays of bad taste. In music, in clothes, in behavior..

    I understand weddings of old often degenerated into drunken lout displays as well, as everyone got to evaluate the presumably virginal bride and discuss in detail how it'd go if they were in the groom's shoes. It seems that this has been displaced earlier in the process, since precious few people can now pretend not to know what they're getting into. But why, oh why? Can't this unhealthy curiosity about other people's sex lives be kept in check?

    If I were you, I'd think of some pretext not to go…

  65. Kim says:

    I agree with Belle; penis shaped items are tacky, not fun and naughty.

    For the last bachelorette party I planned, we did matching shirts (at the bride's request) with a ring and a martini glass on them, the bride wore a veil and a sash, and some of the girls wore buttons. It was fun to wear a little bit of paraphenalia, but no one felt the need to wear anything penis-shaped and it was perfect.

  66. LM says:

    I've got to go with Belle on this. It's your friend's bachelorette party, and as long as she's ok with all of it then it's alright. The thing I don't understand though is the whole concept behind phallic imagery being necessary for a bachelorette party. I'm not a prude, I just think it's stupid.

    Also, has anyone ever given much thought to what we would think if there was nothing but breast or vagina shaped paraphernalia all over a bachelor party? Both are equally dumb, but I could see some women who have no problem with the penis stuff being upset if they found similar, female form versions of the things from their soon-to-be-husband's bachelor party.

  67. Angela says:

    Ick, that's just tacky! I mean, if it's supposed to be a girls night out, then why spend so much time worshiping (and beating) penises?? God help my maid of honor if she tries to throw me a penis-themed bachelorette party, I'll probably just walk right out!

  68. Hilary says:

    Seriously, I'm not a prude either, but penis party favors are just unfortunate. No penis jewelry, no glowsticks, no teeny-tiny veil. UGH. Even if I went to a friend's party and she had this stuff, I wouldn't wear it. I'm a professional and I would hate to think that pictures of me wearing some awful penis hat might show up on my facebook page or elsewhere!!

  69. Zoe says:

    I agree with Sam! I think it's all just lighthearted fun.

  70. Jennifer says:

    I guess the penises are designed to get people to lighten up, and I understand that. However, I agree with Belle and most of the posters: they are tacky, especially if party-goers are expected to wear the paraphernalia in public. They are also unnecessary, people can have fun and tell dirty stories without penis cupcakes.

  71. Sarah says:

    I'm with Belle. It's not my thing at all, but it should be up to the bride. To each her own.

  72. CynthiaW says:

    Tacky and gross – thank goodness none of my friends or relatives had one.

  73. Brenda says:

    I've never understood the drop in I.Q. of otherwise smart, intelligent women when it comes to celebrating their upcoming nuptials! As if you can't have fun without an overwhelming amount of the “gross-out” factor. I have always carried one thought with me all my life when it comes to appropriate behavior, no matter what the social situation. I stop and ask myself “How would it make me feel when I have children that they saw photographs of me doing this?” Works every time.

  74. LT says:

    Another one for Belle. I refused to have penis gear at my party, instead opting for NoVA wine tasting and the girls gifted me some pretty naughty lingerie. The penises are trashy and I think they are a good indication as to how sophisticated (or not) the actual wedding will be (think embarrasingly raunchy best man toasts; bad DJ club music; garter toss, etc)

  75. sissyfuss says:

    Ugh. Puerile. Team Belle.

  76. Susan C. says:

    I agree with you, Belle. Sad. And missing the point of a bachelorette party.

  77. E says:

    I'm with Belle – hate raunchy bachelorettes. So unclassy.

  78. Hannah says:

    This is funny because I just went to a bachelorette party last night, and it was penises galore! A lot of people (okay mostly the guys we bumped into after) were asking what was up with all the penis. It is definitely an odd “tradition” but I thought it was fun. Was it tacky? Oh hell yes. But I'm sorry, what's wrong with letting your hair down everyone and a while and laughing over something silly and tacky specifically because it is so ridiculous? I think this spirit goes perfectly with a bachelorette party. Getting married is a major rite of passage, so to me the bachelorette party is the perfect time to be silly and maybe even a bit immature (gasp!). Of course you could embody this same idea without penis favors, and that's great too. Still, I think I have to side with Sam 🙂

  79. VA says:

    A vote for Belle. If I'm trying to have a great time with the girls, I don't want to be surrounded by penis doodads. I'm not a prude but raunchy just for the sake of being raunchy/provocative/embarrassing is tacky to me.

  80. Suzanne says:

    I think I fall somewhere in the middle on this. The tackiness is all part of the fun. It's goofy and silly and I think people have fun with it. However (and I hope she doesn't read this), I think my maid of honor went a little too far with mine. I was a little uncomfortable with it all, mainly because we went out in all our garb. Had we stayed in with it all on and lost it when we went out, I don't think it would have bothered me as much.

  81. Cara says:

    Tacky. To each her own but this would make me uncomfortable.

  82. Stephanie says:

    I'm with Sam. Why does a penis have to be offensive? When did growing older mean that we had to stop having fun? I see nothing wrong with throwing a bachelorette party that makes you giggle like a little girl as long as everyone is having fun.

    The most recent party's have stretched from drinking and serenading the bride at a piano bar to tubing down the river. Whatever the event, the bride is the most important person in this scenario. As long as the party pleases her, who cares what shape the party takes? A bachelorette should entail a few slightly embarrassing surprises, but don't go so overboard that she won't look back fondly on the event.

    It seems like being “classy” is just an excuse for some of these ladies to feel better than the people around them. Stop judging other people, just let them have their fun.

  83. AW says:

    I wouldn't ordinarily consider myself a prude, but I am when it comes to The Bachelorette Party. I have no desire to spend my last single night playing with toy penises, telling raunchy stories, or obsessing over sex. I want to have a FABULOUS night out with my closest friends (fantastic fancy restaurant, dressed to the nines, etc) and maybe swap some “best of the bedroom” pointers amidst just enjoying their company and feeling great. If I was covered in penises, I'd feel ridiculous and unnatural.

  84. Leah S. says:

    23 and younger? Feel free to raunch it up. Wallpaper the darn place with scantily-clad men if your heart desires.

    When you're 24+ you've realized that wild and fun time does not require penis-flare but rather a group of great friends, fantastic location, classy decor, lots of cocktails (that don't require funnels) and food that's more Ina Garten than Sandra Lee.

    Bachelorette evolution girl. I've attended and thrown them all.

  85. missDCdarling says:

    i will DIE if there is one phallic shaped thing at my bachelorette party. tacky tacky tacky. i'd much rather a sleepover with my gal pals, a night out of karaoke, or a big awesome pot luck with lots of champagne… no props neccessary. so gross.

  86. Holly says:

    I don't think penises are required to make a bachelorette fun and not having any penis paraphernalia did not make my bachelorette party any less fun. To each her own with the penises, but I enjoyed being dubbed “bride” by the sash, sans penis hat. And I'm 23. Youth is not defined by how many penis shaped items you can shove into an evening. It is possible to be foolish and have fun in a bachelorette spirit without obstructing the eyes of all those around you.
    On the other hand, my best friend's bachelorette party was penis-adorned. It was mostly fun; however it actually resulted in us getting extended, undesired attention from some strange men. It was silly and fun in the hotel room to munch on penis shaped cookies with blue frosting and coconut shavings, but it wasn't a great experience in public.
    I say, save the penises for behind doors. Every bar attendee doesn't need to know your business.

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