While exploring the world of phallic symbols (inventory of postings to follow), I came across two in which phallic symbols (standing for the sexually insertive organ, the penis) were depicted in combination with a counterpart representing a sexually receptive bodypart: notably, the Birthday Phallus greeting card in “Not at all innocent”, with a phallic candle inserted in a receptive cupcake; and the Phallic Veg collage in “The symbolic and the real, joined”, with a cluster of phallic vegetables surrounding a central flower.
The question is: what do we call the counterpart of a phallic symbol?
Before you rush to write a reference to yoni vs. lingam or similar sex-differentiated pairs in other languages, consider the homo-heavy context of my examples, a context in which a symbolic penis is depicted as being inserted, or insertable, in a symbolic anus (or mouth) rather than a vagina. The counterpart to a phallic symbol is an image that calls up a sexual concavity, or the external appearance of the entrance to such a cavity. Such an image can be interpreted in different ways by different viewers, depending on their sexual desires and practices: a hot dog is a symbolic penis for everyone, but the bun means different things to different viewers.
Another layer of complexity is that actual mouths and lips can serve symbolically as vaginas or anuses, in much the same way that erect nipples on a man can serve symbolically as penises — one body-part standing in for another.
Such cases might provide a route to the term I’m looking for: a bodily concavity that isn’t itself sexual but can stand in for any of the three sexually receptive concavities. I nominate the navel, in ancient Greek the omphalos. So: an omphalic symbol (omphalic already has uses as a medical term). Well, it’s my best candidate at the moment.
An inventory of phallicity postings. The story begins on this blog with “Failure to fact-check” (8/23/10 here) and “Pink Freud” (9/11/10 here) and continues in a series of posings on AZBlogX (several with XXX-rated images):
9/5/10: Phallicity: the introduction (link)
9/12/10: Phallicity: Würste (link)
9/13/10: Phallicity: innocent? (1) (link)
9/13/10: Phallicity: innocent? (2) (link)
9/15/10: Phallicity: not at all innocent (link)
9/15/10: Phallicity: the symbolic and the real, joined (link)
9/21/10: Phallicity: hi-def meets hot dog (link)
10/25/10: Phallicity: high-macho displays (link)