So one of the pipe and cigar blogs I follow posted the following ASMR pipe cleaning/smoking video. I clicked on it and watched a women speak in hushed tones cleaning her pipe and then smoking another for 25 minutes. As mentioned before in this blog, I have the attention span of a gnat so to watch something like this for 25 minutes straight is impressive. I can’t explain why I was so captivated. Was it ASMR? What is ASMR? I’m so confused. Okay, I’m not really confused, but you might be right now.
Here is the video in question:
Now before you start thinking this is some fetish thing, I had no sexual response to watching the video whatsoever. But I did feel really relaxed after, almost as if I had completed some sort of meditation. Which isn’t that surprising I guess, since I find the act of pipe smoking/cleaning very relaxing and somewhat meditative.
You might be wondering what ASMR is. I know I was. I had heard about it awhile back but I’m always the skeptic when it comes to stuff like this. ASMR stands for Autonomous sensory meridian response. Wikipedia describes it as: “a perceptual phenomenon characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or cognitive stimuli. The nature and classification of the ASMR phenomenon is controversial, with much anecdotal evidence of the phenomenon but little or no scientific explanation or verified data.”
When I first heard about this, I watched a trigger video (this is what people in the ASMR community call their videos) and nothing. Actually I don’t even think I made it through 30 seconds of one. But this was different. Maybe it is because I have such a psychological connection to smoking in the first place. Who knows? Was it ASMR? No idea, but I swear I felt a few tingles watching this. The sound quality is impeccable, because that is what they are trying to capture. You can hear everything perfectly and I think that is what makes it so pleasurable for me to watch.
You probably won’t be surprised that I watched her video on cigar smoking:
This one was more seductive and I found it doubly enjoyable to watch. And since I was on a roll, I watched this final one for the night. The last one was my favorite because I felt like she was letting me in on her own secret world.
Anyhow, I don’t know if I have experienced ASMR, but what I do know is I found these videos immensely pleasurable and relaxing to watch. I get why smoking would be a trigger for me so I’m not really surprised.
I guess I should warn people, watching these videos may trigger a desire to smoke a pipe or cigar. She does a good job of making these activities look immensely pleasurable.
Anyhow… until next time.
So I just recently got over a cold and all I could vape during this time was the Ice Berry flavour that I reviewed in my last post. I feel better today but still love that menthol sensation. I guess it makes sense since despite my low level cigarette consumption, I without fail bought menthols every time I bought a pack. I guess you could say I was a dedicated menthol smoker.
When I was reading reviews of juices last night, I noticed a few people saying that one of the juices I recently acquired tasted good with menthol. The flavour in question was Monkey Paw, by Vapor North. It is a Banana cream dessert vape. At first I thought, weird menthol and banana. Then I was reading more reviews at a different site and apparently some people add menthol to all their juices. I guess it makes sense when you love menthol.
So I decided to give it a go. I had half a tank of my ice berry left and I topped it up with Monkey Paw. Results: yum. I mean, I’m not really surprised I loved it because, like I said before, I love menthol. I don’t think it is for everyone, but I think if you were a menthol lover pre-vaping and you are feeling like there are a lack of good menthol flavours on the market, it can’t hurt to experiment a bit and add a bit of menthol to a juice you already like. I know this was my first experiment, but it probably won’t be my last. I’m currently looking for a good menthol only juice that I can continue these experiments with.
I do want to try Monkey Paw by itself, but for now I’m happy vaping my Frankenjuice.
Until next time…
Over the next little bit, I’m going to be posting reviews of e-juices that I liked and perhaps some that I didn’t.
This first one, I’m almost out of. I bought it when I was craving menthol cigarettes big time. While craving, I decided to go with a higher nicotine level than I usually vape, 12 mg. I only vape this on my 1.2 ohm coil as I’m pretty sure it would be too much for me at 0.5 ohms.
The e-juice is by a Canadian company called Vapor North. I didn’t order it directly from them. When I visited their website, I was impressed that the company offers numerous levels of PG/VG. The ice berry I have is 50%PG/50%VG, but I’d be interested in trying it in a higher VG blend. That said, I think this level of PG/VG probably was partially responsible for the intense cigarette-like throat hit that I actually liked. I normally don’t care too much about throat hit and tend to be satisfied with juices even when they lack one. But I was craving a cigarette.
Throat hit: intense, but not harsh probably due to the higher nicotine, the menthol and the PG/VG ratio. Exactly what I was looking for from this juice.
Flavour: Berry Inhale. A bit fake tasting, like a fake blueberry or blue raspberry. If I could change one thing about this juice, it would be the berry flavour. That said, I like the taste enough that I can vape this all day if needed. Exhale, the coolest, intensest menthol I’ve ever had the opportunity to experience. It reminded me of the intensity of menthol when you crush the little ball in one of those brands that has the crush ball.
Vapour production: To be honest, I really didn’t care about clouds with this juice, but it produces the expected vapour level for a juice with this PG/VG ratio.
Overall, a solid menthol vape that kept me from picking up a pack of menthol cigarettes. I’d buy this again, although I think I’ll pick up the 6 mg so I can vape on my 0.5 ohm coils.
Until next time…
I am now two and a half months into vaping and it feels very natural and normal to me now. I have to say, I’m much happier now because I feel like it has given me a way to use nicotine in a way I can get behind 100%. I’m also, not surprisingly, quite addicted to vaping. I expected this and it occurred pretty quickly as I was really, despite my low levels of consumption, already dependant on nicotine.
When I hear that vaping hasn’t worked for someone, I’m honestly a little surprised. It got me thinking about why vaping works so well for me and what might be missing that smokers who say they want to switch but ultimately go back to smoking cigarettes because they say vaping just isn’t as good. I happen to think that most of why a smoker ends up going back is psychological. I say most, because I do think some smokers go back because they honestly miss the other pleasurable chemicals that cigarettes deliver.
I think in order for vaping to work for someone as a complete replacement for cigarettes, they have to want to quit smoking. This seems like maybe an obvious thing but a lot of smokers don’t want to quit. I really didn’t want to smoke anymore. I’m still glad I never really smoked cigarettes regularly, as much as I like them.
But the fact is my attraction to smoking was on more than just a physical, “I want nicotine.” If it was, I could probably have quit. I mean as much as I enjoy nicotine, being without it wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the psychological side. My psychological attraction to smoking, what drove me to smoke in the first place, had become intertwined with my sexuality. My own smoking was a major turn-on, which I won’t deny, absolutely made smoking something irresistible to me.
Vaping allows me to entertain the part of me that, psychologically, really wants to smoke. For me, the physical addiction to nicotine is simply a side effect of my psychological drive to smoke. You might ask, why not eliminate the nicotine, if it is just the action you crave. I thought about this, but it seems my attraction to smoking was tied to the physiological feeling given to me by nicotine. Vaping mimics that only when it contains nicotine. I was surprised at how well vaping replaced smoking for me. I was skeptical, but I really wanted it to work for me so I think that is why it did.
I’ve been playing around with levels and I think I probably should have started on 3 mg. I currently vape mostly 6 mg, using 0.5 ohm coil in a Kanger Subtank mini. I also have a 12 mg ice berry that imitates for me the throat hit and nicotine hit of a menthol cigarette, since I had been craving those recently. I vape this on a 1.2 ohm coil in again a Kanger subtank mini. The difference in resistance seems to reduce the impact of the 12 mg juice, I think it might be too strong for me on a 0.5 ohm coil. My consumption has leveled off and remained about the same over the past month. I recently ordered a 3 mg juice for times I want the action of vaping, but less nicotine.
Anyhow, that is all I have for now. Perhaps I will write more on what I like to vape later.
I went into vaping knowing that it wouldn’t be exactly like smoking cigarettes or really smoking anything because it isn’t smoking. What I was greeted with is something, that for me, has far surpassed smoking cigarettes. Yes, I’m still using nicotine. Am I addicted? Yes. Does that bother me? No. At one point it might have, but with vaping it feels different. I went back and read what I wrote here on being a nicotine junkie and it is still true, only now I’m both physically and psychologically dependant on nicotine.You might be thinking, ‘Wow that didn’t take long!’ But you have to remember that I’ve been using nicotine for much longer than simply two weeks. I’ve been dabbling to various degrees since I first successfully inhaled at 17.
To be fair, I never really let myself give cigarettes a chance. I suspect I never let my body have a chance to get used to having carbon monoxide in my blood all the time or all the other toxins. But I kept coming back for the nicotine. The result is that while smoking cigarettes was pleasurable, I would still have some of the ‘negative effects’ that new smokers suffer like light-headedness and nausea. These would occur randomly and unpredictably.
With vaping, I get the nicotine I so craved, but without the other junk. The effect feels different, but still very good. For me the effect is better. My body is much happier without the other stuff that cigarettes were delivering. I mentioned before that it was hard to track when you are done with vaping compared with smoking as when you smoke a cigarette, you reach the end of the cigarette and you are done. I’ve gotten better with this with vaping. It is more reliant on listening to your body. I found I had to slow down a bit to let the nicotine enter my bloodstream. What is nice, is now that I have an idea of what ‘satisfied’ feels like, I haven’t overdone it on the nicotine. Sometimes, it is just two or three hits. Other times, it is more.
Initially, I purchased two flavours of juice: watermelon and chai. I kind of regret the watermelon now. That must have been the kid in me picking that one out. The Chai is really nice. I find the flavour complements the bite of the nicotine better than the watermelon. I don’t know that I will finish the watermelon as I decided after vaping it for a few days that I didn’t like it very much. I could probably vape chai forever. I have since picked up another two flavours: one that tastes like a strawberry milkshake, smooth and creamy, but not to sweet and another that tastes lightly of peaches but again not too sweet.
I’m also slowly starting to come out with my vaping. It is hard because smoking, for the most part, is always something I hid. Sure, I smoked socially in very specific situations, but nobody would ever call me a regular smoker. What I am finding works best is just telling the truth to people. That I started closet smoking again (truth), did not want to continue smoking cigarettes or hiding (truth), I’m not ready to live without nicotine in my life (truth) and I am using vaping as a harm reduced way of ‘smoking’ without actually smoking. I’ve only told one friend so far and they were pretty accepting. I suspect I’ll get a variety of reactions and that some people will want me to quit.
While I recognize that it would be better to not be addicted to a substance and that abstinence would probably be healthier as while vaping is less harmful, it still isn’t clear what the level of risk is. The only thing that is known is that the level of risk is much lower than smoking. I know that I would have continued to find ways of justifying my smoking because I was smoking so little. Because I was smoking so little, it was easy to delude myself into thinking I wasn’t addicted.
I’m interested and excited to see where things go from here. Right now, I’m glad to have found vaping as it has freed me from the cycle of conflicted feelings I had when indulging in smoking cigarettes, something I couldn’t seem to stop myself from doing despite all of my negative feelings about it.
Today was my first full day vaping and I have to say I don’t miss smoking real cigarettes at all. Today, I experimented with different amounts of time between sessions to make sure I can still go 3-4 hours without and not be a total wreck. Turns out, all of my weeks of smoking on and off and thus going through worse withdrawal over and over again has me pretty well trained to deal with times when I won’t be able to vape.I actually find cravings are easier to deal with now that I know that I will eventually be able to deal with them. And for the most part today, my only real cravings were in the morning and after a 5 hour hiatus.
The only thing that bugs me is that I have no idea how much I am consuming. Perhaps this is a good thing for the girl that used to keep a count of the number of cigarettes she had smoked in her lifetime, but still. It would be nice to know. Best I can tell is I’ve consumed about 1.5 ml over the past day and a half or about a third of the tank. One bottle of juice is suppose to be equivalent to a carton so using a crude proportional formula, I’ve vaped the equivalent of 10 cigarettes. This explains why my body and mind were so unhappy with me smoking one or two cigarettes a day. I guess I have a base line now to compare to as I go on.
I would say to anyone who wants to quit smoking cigarettes but does not want to stop using nicotine this is the way to go. There were also a lot of people in the shop when I went looking for something to replace the action of smoking without the nicotine. I’m not sure how it works in that regard, but I guess it could be used that way.
Tomorrow, I shall get to see how all this works out with a day of work.
I finally feel free. Odd that freedom should come from submitting to my desire, or perhaps not. Smoking occasionally wasn’t working for me anymore. Last week, I smoked 1-2 cigarettes every day except Tuesday. By Friday, my body was quite upset that one was the quota for the day. Since I find it psychologically impossible to reconcile smoker me with my non-smoker image, I decided to try a harm reduction strategy instead.
What is harm reduction? Harm reduction provides people that are unwilling to stop using their drug of choice with a safer alternative.
I chose to start vaping. It was a hard choice because it meant admitting to myself that I’m addicted. After my initial excitement, I vaped about every 3 to 4 hours or so. I realized that I had been living in a state of withdrawal since March.
I also threw out my pack of cigarettes. There was only about 10 cigarettes left which I had planned to smoke prior to purchasing my vaping rig.
I also came clean to my now husband. He took it very well and will soon be the owner of a new pipe since that was our deal if I bought a pack.
Anyhow, I’m sure I’ll post more on this later.