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Closet Fascination

A blog about a journey, smoking, not smoking, vaping and everything in between

Month

November 2008

Maybe not so weird…

Like I have mentioned before, I’ve had a smoking fetish since before I knew what I fetish was. As you might imagine, this could be pretty distressful for a young person to go through. I mean, every time I thought of smoking, I would get aroused except I didn’t know why I was getting aroused. I honestly still don’t know why watching other people smoke, gets me going. If someone were to ask me to explain, I’d have the lamest explanation. “Uh, I think it looks cool…” Or if they happen to look like they are enjoying the cigarette I seem to get more aroused. I can understand a bit more why a guy might have a smoking fetish. I mean you could probably draw the parallels yourself- cigarette somewhat phallic, girl sucking on cigarette, you get the picture. But why me, a woman, would find it attractive? I’ve got nothing.

My favorite theory that I have read so far was proposed by Donald Winnicott. The wiki on sexual fetishes seems to be pretty well written and that is where I got the following:

In 1951, Donald Winnicott presented his theory of transitional objects and phenomena, according to which childish actions like thumb sucking and objects like cuddly toys are the source of manifold adult behavior, amongst many others fetishism. [5]

The use of a transitional object in infanthood is a healthy experience (Winnicott, 1953). To understand the origin of a fetish object and of fetishism, the infant’s use of the transitional object and of transitional phenomena in general must be studied (Winnicott, 1953).
In his article ‘Transitional objects and phenomena’, Winnicott says about fetish: “Fetish can be described in terms of a persistence of a specific object or type of object dating from infantile experience in the transitional field, linked with the delusion of a maternal phallus” (Winnicott, 1953).

In other words, a specific object or type of object, dating from an experience during the period where the mother gradually pulls back as an immediate provider of satisfaction of the child’s desires, persists as a characteristic in adult sexual life.
Before this transitional phase, the child believes that his own wish creates the object of his desire (specifically the qualities of his mother that fulfill his needs), which brings with it a sense of satisfaction. During this phase the child gradually adapts to the (frustrating) realization that the object cannot be controlled to serve the child’s needs.

The transitional object is always the result of a gratifying relationship with the mother, specifically with the maternal body. It stands for the satisfying qualities that the object (the mother) of the first relationship the child has. The child adapts to the impact of the realization that the mother is not always there to ‘bring the world to him’ through fantasizing about the object of his desire while using an object (a teddy bear, a piece of cloth). He creates an illusion of the previous object. In relation to the transitional object the infant passes from (magical) omnipotent control to control by manipulation (involving muscle eroticism and co-ordination pleasure).

In opposition to this, the fetish represents the impossibility of pleasure with the body of the mother. The transitional object may eventually develop into a fetish object and so persist as a characteristic of the adult sexual life (Winnicott, 1953). Normally, the child gains from the experience of frustration during the transitional phase, although the infant can be disturbed by a close adaptation to need that is continued too long or is not allowed its natural decrease.”

I mean I had a blanket that I used to carry around and suck for the first 5 or 6 years of my life. I wouldn’t be without my blanky. So if I am understanding this theory properly, I should have a blanket fetish, not a smoking fetish. I guess, since both my mom and Dad (who was my primary caregiver) during my first few years of life both smoked when I was little so maybe it was an association with my parents. Was it because they let me suck on my blanket for too long?

Who knows? I’m a little sad I didn’t develop a blanket fetish instead. It would be a lot healthier and maybe even something I would be willing to share with people. Instead I got stuck with the smoking fetish- which in a world that is primarily non-smoking, combined with the fact that smoking is deadly is a pretty crappy hand to be dealt.

Instead of caving in, I…

I think I left the last post off by saying I did smoke again. I did- but I never bought cigarettes again. I mainly smoked when I was drinking and only about one a year. Unfortunately, throughout that whole time I’ve been fighting the urge to start smoking. I’m sure some people might find that weird, but I think it make sense for me considering how long I have been obsessed with it. I think it has something to do with the fetish- since I find it sexually attractive that I might want to do it myself.  I wish I could quit both- the fetish and the obsession with starting smoking. Neither are healthy despite the fact that neither will give me cancer, make me smell etc. I was thinking that maybe hypnosis or something like that might help. The fetish is so ingrained in me that I don’t know that it is something I can consciously beat. I’ve tried not thinking about smoking that way but it last about as long as until I see another person light up. I concurrently am turned on, repulsed and want to start smoking.

This morning was bad. My craving to go out and buy cigarettes distracted me throughout my class. I had devised all these elaborate plans about purchasing said cigarettes and smoking them after class. Not that you really need an elaborate plan for such a thing. But I do, since part of me is disgusted by that side of me. If you have read the leaked chapters of Stephenie Meyer’s Midnight Sun which is Twilight from Edward’s point of view- I liken it to the first time Edward smells Bella and she is the most delicious thing that he has ever smelled. He spends that whole class devising elaborate plans to kill Bella. He is discusted with himself that he would even think about killing a human (since he doesn’t eat human anymore) and calls himself a monster. He never eats Bella. Well that was me this morning in my class- except I spent a whole class making plans to smoke. And I never did smoke. So both Edward Cullen and I have something in common. We were both tormented by something we really desired and resisted. Only, if I’m lucky, I’m not going to fall in love with the cigarettes.

Instead of carrying out said elaborate plan I went to my next class and did everything in my power to distract myself. It worked and instead of smoking- I went and watching my friend shave his head for cancer. A far healthier and more productive activity. I wish I could stop wanting it though. With all my heart.

No, you can’t just have one

A couple of months later, I smoked again. I was working at a law firm downtown and my hours were 10 to 6. This gave me ample time in the morning to sneak off to my ravine spot and have a cigarette before work. I only did it twice though, on two consecutive days. The first day, I enjoyed the cigarette and managed not to poison myself before work. That, in itself, was a feat considering what I had done to myself a few months before. The next day, it was a lot colder outside. I decided I didn’t care though, because I wanted to have another cigarette. I went to my spot and because of the wind and the cold I had trouble lighting the cigarette. I wanted it so bad that it made me upset that I couldn’t light it. I finally got it lit and smoked it but that brief moment of panic I felt when I couldn’t light the cigarette really scared me. I mean, I’ve hardly started and already I was, at least mentally, craving it. I thought about this as I smoked the cigarette. I mean, it was sort of a crossroads. Should I go down the path to addiction or stop now and be free of it. I was pretty disgusted with myself by the time I was back toward my house. I quickly made the decision to chuck the almost full pack of cigarettes in the dumpster and never think of smoking again.

But I did think of smoking again. I mean, how could I not? Smoking is addictive that is why. And I was or at least the pleasure centers of my brain were definitely enthralled. I didn’t smoke again for another three months. I got my opportunity when my mom went home for the holidays. The first day she was gone, I stopped at the convenience store on my way home and picked up a pack of Matinee Slims Menthol- an ultra light cigarette.

These cigarettes were almost too easy to smoke. It felt like inhaling air and the feeling of inhaling menthol was just well cool (Pun intentional). That and the pleasurable feeling returned immediately. I was almost instantly riding a wondering nicotine high with no adverse effects.I smoked inside, knowing that as long as I stopped long enough before my mom came back from her holidays that I would be able to get rid of the smell.

I smoked again that morning after breakfast but before my shower. As I smoked it I could tell that these cigarettes were designed for addiction. This time that realization didn’t scare me, even though it probably should have. All day, I couldn’t stop thinking about smoking. The moment I got home, I got my cigarettes out and lit up. I dragged and inhaled my normal sized puff and nothing happened. I didn’t feel the pleasant relaxed feeling wash over me like I had the last cigarette. I decided I must need a bigger puff. I drew on the cigarette as long as I could and inhaled and finally received the feeling I was looking for. It scared me a little, that after only two cigarettes, I was already becoming tolerant to nicotine. But I didn’t let this worry me for long, but I did decide that I wouldn’t smoke in the morning.

Physically, I felt fine all day despite not having the morning cigarette. This pleased me since I didn’t want to get physically addicted because I was going to have to stop before my mom got back. I still wanted a cigarette when I got home. I smoked one right after supper and decided that I wanted another one. I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea to have another right away, lest I want to poison myself again, but I only managed to wait 10 minutes before I lit up again. I got through most of the cigarette fine and didn’t really start feeling sick until I put it out. Oops, I did it again. I OD’d on nicotine. My lack of self control scared me this time. I wrestled with whether I should throw the rest of the pack away and decided against it despite the fact that smoking was really no good for me.

I kept that pack for months without smoking, although I certainly did think about it. I threw them away as I was getting ready to go away to University. They were probably stale anyways, but for me it was an affirming action- that I wasn’t going to smoke again. But I did, because as me and many others have found out, smoking cigarettes is like eating Lays potato chips- bet you can’t have just one.

My First Full Cigarette

There were a few more puffs that night, but for some reason I never smoked with that friend again. I had numerous fantasies about me being her cigarette supplier when I turned 18 because I was older than her and she sometimes had trouble getting cigarettes. It never happened.  Also, she seemed to become protective of me. Like she didn’t want to be the one responsible for getting me started on smoking. I wasn’t one to push things either.

I couldn’t stop thinking about smoking. It became a bit of an obsession. So much so that I decided I would buy cigarettes on my 18th birthday. Only once it came time for me to go purchase them, I chickened out. It would take me another two months before I had the courage to go buy my own pack. I bought a pack of DuMauriers Lights (regular length). I wanted a pack of DuMaurier regulars because I knew I like the way they tasted, but I was too chicken to tell the sales clerk he had made a mistake. Besides, it didn’t really matter at this point. To be perfectly honest, I’m surprised that I got the words out. Just buying the cigarettes was a rush. Probably because I knew that it was the first step to doing something I shouldn’t be doing.

I took the cigarettes home, got my lighter that my friend had given me awhile back for candles and walked to the ravine by my house. I didn’t really want anyone to see and besides- the view from the top of the ravine is beautiful. I couldn’t really think of a better place to smoke my first full cigarette.

I sat down cross-legged on the ground, and unwrapped the cellophane from the cigarettes. I took a deep breath and took one of the cigarettes out and placed it between my lips. It always amazed me how light cigarettes are and this moment was no different. It took me a few tries to get it lit because of the wind but I managed. It was from here on that I started to make mistakes. First, I was taking in giant drags. I was light headed from the first one, which at first was pleasant. The problem is I kept taking large drags. Also, I smoked this first cigarette way too fast as if it was going to be the last one I ever had. The combination of my large drags with the speed at which I was smoking made me dizzy. I didn’t stop. I was determined to smoke my first cigarette to the filter and so I did.

At this point I was feeling pretty ill. I stumbled home, starting to think that my choice of ravine edge smoking spot might not have been the best place. I immediately lay on the couch. I wasn’t aware at the time, but I had just given myself nicotine poisoning. I didn’t lie there for long before I had to run upstairs and puke. Puking provided immediate relief. After I puked, had a shower, threw my clothing into the wash (to hide all evidence) and had a snack to settle my stomach. I almost threw the cigarettes into the trash after just one. I probably should have. But something inside me decided I should keep them. Probably the part of the brain that enjoyed what the nicotine was doing to it. Stupid brain. Damn dopamine and its pleasurable effects. Because I kept the cigarettes it almost guaranteed I would do it again at some point. And I did. On more than one occasion. 

Man Starts Smoking at 46

More on my experiences later, I found this article last night about this man who started smoking at 46 years old. He didn’t just start smoking though- I wanted to get up to a pack a day by the end of the month. People thought he was crazy. Hell, I sort of think he is crazy. But only sort of, because I can understand his curiosity. I admire him in a lot of ways, because I think if I ever tried a stunt like that I would not be able to quit after a month. 

I think his insight into the world of smoking is what makes this article so interesting to read. Especially for a non-smoker. He sort of taps into all the “why do people smoke?” questions that he had as a non-smoker while looking at them from the point of view of a smoker.

Beginnings

I think I’ve always been fascinated with smoking. There is just something about that draws me in. I can remember having dreams when I was only 6 about being kidnapped and forced to smoke by my captors. I was always returned to my parents, but with the need and want to smoke.  This dream recurred throughout my childhood and both scared and fascinated me. It was drilled into my young mind that smoking was bad for me. For the life of me I couldn’t understand how or why people kept doing it if it was so bad for them. I concluded, despite what I was being told, that there must be something good about it.

By age nine, I noticed that if I started thinking about smoking, I would become aroused. It was pretty frustrating to feel aroused and not know what to do about it. Not to mention, I had been taught that smoking was bad. I started to associate the arousal as something that happens when I thought bad things.

I didn’t figure out how to deal with my frustration until I was 15 when I was home alone watching Rocky Horror Picture show and found myself turned on. The light bulb went off and I finally connected the overtly sexual things I was watching with arousal. I promptly became a huge fan of self-pleasure.

I was always a good girl, maybe even a geek. I got good grades and I had a pretty solid group of friend despite not being “popular”. Because of this image and the fact that I never wanted to disappoint my mother with whom I am very close, as much as I wanted to try smoking, I didn’t. When I think back, grade 9 would have been the best time for me to start. This is when all of my friends started to experiment. What did I do? Instead of going against my goody goody image and lighting up I decided that it would be best to alienate them and become a loner. High School became miserable. So miserable, that I decided to switch schools.

Surprisingly, the first friend I met at my new high school was a smoker. Naturally, you think that if I really wanted to smoke so bad, that this new school- with my new friend that smokes would be the most convenient way to start. She even got me to hold on to her pack overnight. I almost stole one, just to try it without looking stupid but I decided she would notice.

As I became more involved with some friends I had met through band I drifted apart from my smoker friend and didn’t have the opportunity to try it until the summer after tenth grade.

That summer I was doing an exchange program where I spent the summer in another region of the country to improve my French. In my exchange group there were only two smokers- Lia and Emily- both girls. The guys were giving them a pretty hard time about smoking but neither of them cared. It got to the point where it started to eat away at Lia so she tried to quit. Us being the evil 16 year olds that we were asked these two kids (10-11 years old) that we ran into over our lunch break smoking under the bridge if we could bum a cigarette. Lia is going nuts by now since she has gone without smoking for the whole weekend.  Since we are being evil, we decide to split the cigarettes amongst us non-smokers right in front of her. We each had puff before we let Lia have the rest since she was almost on the point of tears.

I was surprised that I actually enjoyed the taste of the smoke. I loved the way it looked coming out of my mouth. I wanted to do it again. If conditions had been different that summer, if the guys had been less against smoking, I probably would have tried it a few more times. I really wanted to learn how to inhale, since I was pretty sure I hadn’t inhaled my first puff.

On the train ride back, I hung out in the smoking car with all of the smokers. I tried smoking once more in the car, but still didn’t inhale. I think I tried twice before I gave up; no one did a particularly good job explaining how.

By twelfth grade, I had a whole new group of friends, even more anti-smoking than the last. But one of my friends from a different circle called me up one night and confessed to me that she had started smoking. She was a bit of a rebel. Okay- that is a bit of an understatement, she had major issues and was pretty much trouble.    

She expected me to lecture her like everyone else did, but I didn’t want to make the same mistake I had made with my first friends when I was younger. I saw this as my opportunity to finally try it.

This is when I found smoking stories and Dr. Humo guide to starting smoking. This is also when I discovered my smoking fetish. I couldn’t stop reading the stories and Dr. Humo gave pretty detailed advice on how to inhale that I was pretty sure the next time I tried it I would be inhaling.

One night in February, I got my chance. I was having a sleepover at her house. Her parents weren’t home as they worked for the airlines so we stole a bottle of red wine and drank it and she decided she wanted to go for a walk and a smoke. She asked me if I wanted one and I said no- although in retrospect I wish I had said yes. Later, she asked if I wanted a drag and I said yes. Finally, I thought, in my head. So I took the cigarette from her, took a small puff in my mouth and whoosh inhaled without even thinking about it.  Because I didn’t think about it, she had to remind me to exhale. I didn’t cough, and felt well glorious is the only way to describe it. In that brief, split second moment- it all made sense. Up until that point, despite all of my fascination I did not understand why people smoked. Now I did and I could not wait to do it again.

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