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.