We have all seen the memes with statements like "if your boyfriend doesn't smoke cigars then your boyfriend is your girlfriend" and then there is the ever famous "real men smoke cigars". On one hand I get it; I remember smoking cigars as a young man to mimic the neighborhood gangsters until I got bit by the bug. But even the gangsters were doing it for the love of the leaf they were already tough and needed no image boosters.
I talk to a lot of cigar smokers that really believe that smoking cigars is a manly tough guy activity, but how does that explain the massive increase in women that are lighting up cigars across the country. Might they be attempting to tap into our manly perspective? No, they just enjoy a good smoke with a glass of wine, whiskey, or brandy.
And what does the macho cigar smoker mentality bequeath to the culture of cigars? I think its one of the key drivers of big ring gauge cigars. These are cigars that are loaded with filler, which happens to be the cheapest component in constructing a cigar. Every time I see someone light up a 7x70 I ask them why do you like large cigars and more often the answer is that they like the feel of a big cigar. Now everyone can have their own opinion so here's mine. Cigars are about the smoke experience and not the feel of the ring gauge between your fingers. Cigars are about smoke quality, taste, and complexity and not the diameter of the vitola. Just admit it! You feel more manly and tough with a big tubular shaped brown object with veins sliding between your fingers into your mouth (just kidding but really).
Men and women of all ages, nationalities, and economic strata enjoy cigars. Its not a manly activity. Its more of a means of slowing down the world, reflecting on the day, planning the future, and enjoying the company of other smokers. This is not something you do while burning down villages and taking the women. Cigar lovers have complex requirements for enjoying a cigar. For example, we like to make sure that we are smoking in places that have good ventilation, plush leather chairs, and overall comfortable surroundings. We like to spend thousands on humidors, lighters, cutters, cigars, whiskey, carrying cases, and cigar shirts. None of this is particularly manly or tough. In fact I think its more metro-sexual than it is tough and I am perfectly comfortable with that. Lastly, I am a 260 pound man with 19 inch arms and a 400 pound bench press and a beautiful wife who also smokes cigars.