It’s Not a Boy’s Club Anymore

Guest post from Demeka “Nicety” Fritts…

In the beginning there were men and their cigars. Enter women, and everything changed.

tumbleweedI always make it a point to find a cigar shop or cigar bar when I am traveling. It’s a way for me to get out and meet people of the city who also enjoy the leaf. While visiting one near my hotel, I was approached by a man who asked me “How does it feel to be in the boys club? You’re in here where the men hang.” You know it seemed that time stood still when those words were uttered from his mouth. It was if it were high noon in the Old West and tumbleweed rolled across the road.  I looked up over my glasses, put down my Padròn 1964 Anniversary Series Exclusivo and politely handed him his a$$, as I was the only person who was even smoking a cigar in this place. After I finished and saw the stunned look on his face time started to move again.

padronCigar shops, lounges and bars are no longer just for the fellas. They are a place to enjoy well-crafted products in the company of like-minded individuals who enjoy politics, sports, spirits, etc. There is a strong and growing population of women who love to smoke cigars. The number of female cigar enthusiasts is growing every day.  Despite this, there’s this misconception that women only smoke flavored cigars and cigarillos. This outdated line of thinking is much like the thought that a woman’s only roll in the family was that of a housewife. Just like Rosie the Riveter, lady cigar enthusiasts kick in the door of sexist stereotypes; strutting about with their bold and palatable cigars. But best you believe, we are out there in droves…cutting, lighting and smoking our own stogies.

I often get compliments from men on how I make smoking cigars look sexy and powerful, how they wish they could get their significant other to participate. Well I would agree on one thing, me smoking a cigar does look powerful, as any of my Sisters of the Leaf (SOTL) smoking a cigar does because we are comfortable with what we like and can “hang with the boys”. However, I prefer to spend my time in the company of grown men, not boys who think that cigars are just for those born with a Y chromosome.

There are several groups that have been formed across the country specifically for women who enjoy cigars and want to learn more about them. You can find them in every city, on the internet, and all over social media, bringing aficianadas together. I happen to be an active member of The Cigar Women of Nashville, meeting once a month to review cigars, discuss blends and oftentimes meeting with the representative and master blenders for a monthly featured cigar.

IMG_1195Now I know you are wondering what I actually said to that poor, misguided soul in the cigar bar. Well I passionately explained to him that a cigar bar is no longer boys club. I went on further to educate him on the fact that I have several SOTLs and we smoke cigars…flavorful, high quality cigars. That I have a locker at a cigar lounge in Nashville and am the owner of two well-stocked and well-maintained humidors and can break down the contents. I let him know that I watch sports and drink Jack Daniels neat, no chaser…things that only “boys” enjoy, right?

What this guy failed to realize and understand was that his way of thinking is dead. Women are everywhere and appreciate the same things, including cigar brick and mortars bars. So don’t be surprised the next time you walk in to your favorite humidor and you see a woman making a well thought-out and deliberate cigar selection. Respect her for the pioneering, no B.S., take-charge kind of woman that she is. Besides, if you listen closely, some Sisters of the Leaf could very well teach you a thing or two about cigars.

– Demeka “Nicety” Fritts

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