Search

Closet Fascination

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

Tag

cigarette

Why Start?

Many of you might be asking why I started if I’m considering quitting. Why take the plunge at all?

If you’ve followed this for awhile, you know that I have a history of being drawn to smoking. So much so that I end up obsessively thinking about giving in and subsequently loathing myself for giving in. And the cycle repeats…

I couldn’t give in entirely to smoking for many reasons so vaping seemed like a good way of giving in, having the experience of being a “smoker” that I so desired, without the emotional baggage I had linked with smoking. And it worked. I’ve had the experience of being very physically dependant on nicotine. I got to vape at a frequency that I never would have allowed myself to smoke at even if I had given in because I would constantly been counting and regulating my consumption.

I’ll be honest, at the height of my physical dependence, I was a little worried about the rabbit hole I had dived head first into. I was waking up in the middle of the night in withdrawal (although I wouldn’t let myself give in) and I wasn’t sleeping well. Slowly, my body told me that it wasn’t sustainable and I weaned myself down from 6 mg to 3 mg. My cravings lessened in intensity and frequency and I felt better at a lower consumption level overall. I am sleeping through the night now and don’t need to vape upon waking.

But the best side effect of this trip down the rabbit hole is that I feel free of cigarettes. Vaping is now what is coupled with pleasure in my mind and while it is still up in the air whether I quit or not, I’ll be happy either way.

Musings on Pipe Tobacco Cigarettes

Since the conference, I’ve rolled some more pipe tobacco cigarettes on two different occasions. I’m getting pretty good at it. What made it difficult the first time is the tobacco I had was too moist.  I’ve since discovered that very dry (too dry to smoke in a pipe) tobacco, crumbled up, makes the best cigarettes.  It is almost like I’ve found a use for tobacco that has dried out too much. I’ve got my paper filter folding technique down and can now create a consistent product.  I actually really enjoy rolling them, almost more than I enjoy smoking them. In fact, I have to stop myself from rolling them, because I often don’t even have any desire to smoke one, but I want to roll one, but once I have the cigarette rolled I feel like I can’t let it go to waste, so I end up smoking it. I currently have one rolled, but yet unsmoked cigarette that I rolled but didn’t feel like smoking.

Now, fetish wise, I used to think that aesthetics were pretty important and that RYO wouldn’t cut it. I mean I don’t like watching people smoke RYO. When I say RYO, I’m not talking RYO made with manufactured tubes and an injector. I’m talking a finished product that looks more like a nicely rolled joint, than a cigarette. However, I was wrong to count it out based on looks.

Firstly, I found rolling them to be a slightly erotic experience, almost as much as or more so than actually smoking them.  I actually really enjoy the process. I enjoy that a certain amount of undivided attention must be paid or the result will be shitty. I also enjoy that it takes a bit of skill to make a nice looking and smoking cigarette. My current ones look more like cigarettes than joints, so I feel better about smoking them in public.

How do they smoke? Pretty decent, now that I have my rolling technique down. They stay lit, are pretty easy to draw on and have a really, really nice flavour. The flavour is my favorite part. Not the same harshness or thickness of cigar smoke, but more flavour than a commercial cigarette. They are slightly stronger, have similar smoke volume and slightly denser smoke when compared to a full-flavoured cigarette but without a gross cigarette breath aftertaste.  What do I mean  by gross cigarette breath aftertaste? Sometimes when I would smoke a cigarette, I would taste it for hours afterward despite having chewed gum or brushed my teeth. The after taste and sometimes the taste of commercial cigarettes were sometimes unpleasant. I’m not sure how I would describe the flavour though. It tasted different from the same tobacco smoked in a pipe. Way different. The paper imparts a flavour unique to cigarettes that changes the taste of the smoke from what it tastes like in the pipe. If I had to nail it down, it tastes like pipe smoke mixed with paper. The paper adds a harshness that I’m not sure I like. I also noticed that when you inhale the smoke, you don’t really taste it as much. I did notice that the smell doesn’t linger on my clothes for long and the smoky smell that it does impart is less harsh than after a cigarette is smoked.

I did notice the effect of not having a filter, despite the fact that filters apparently don’t do much of anything. If you are interested in reading more about that, this article was enlightening. Apparently, the original goal was to create a safer cigarette, but all their ‘successes’ resulted in a less pleasurable cigarette. I guess ventilated filters would work, except that smokers adjust their draw to compensate for the lighter smoke, so they end up getting the same effect as they would out of a full-flavour cigarette. What I noticed is that I was slightly more phelmgy than I usually am after I smoke.

I actually wonder what they smell like to a non-smoker or someone walking by. I almost want to get someone to smoke one around me so I can see. Or burn one without actually smoking so I can smell it. I suspect it smells a bit like someone smoking a pipe crossed with burning paper.

I always thought pipe tobacco would make a delicious cigarette and my suspicions are confirmed.  I’m starting not even want to ever buy commercial cigarettes again, which is good since I made an agreement with my fiancée that I wouldn’t. He is not super pleased with the loopholes I have found in the agreement as he would much rather I only smoke pipes and cigars.

Will this discovery increase my cigarette consumption? Well, I have to say it already has. I rolled and smoked two last weekend and I smoked four this weekend, two Saturday and two Sunday. I’m back to abstaining for the week and probably longer.  Another thing I noticed about these cigarettes is the buzz is different. It feels more similar to how I feel after smoking a pipe, despite the fact that I am smoking it like a cigarette. I also seem to crave them less, despite the fact that I smoked both Saturday and Sunday, I don’t feel like I need to smoke today.  I started writing this post on Monday and on Monday I felt like I craved them less and didn’t feel the need to smoke. By Tuesday evening, I felt a very intense craving to smoke. I started planning to smoke in the morning. After all, I had one already rolled. I didn’t feel like smoking in the morning though, and then forgot my smoking stuff at home and now I feel fine.

What I realized last night is, that in some ways, I’ve been addicted since I took my first real inhale. I spent the early part of my experimentation so worried I would become addicted when ironically I already was addicted. Not physically, but psychologically. Really the physical addiction just heightens the cravings I already experience. I mean I smoke for more than the effect of nicotine, however, a large part of why I smoke is because I like the way that nicotine makes me feel. I like smoking tobacco in all of its forms and each for different reasons. I like the ritual involved with pipe smoking. I like the large clouds of smoke with cigar smoking and the closeness of the tobacco to my mouth. Cigarettes are my first love, and I like the instant effect they have on me. Cigarettes are instant gratification.

It also made me realize how much I like pipe smoking and that by far it is the superior way to consume pipe tobacco. So I’m going to put down the rolling papers for a time and stick to smoking pipes and cigars. I’m not sure how long I will abstain for this time but I feel like I need a bit of space between me and tobacco right now. Until next time…

Strange and Beautiful- Chapter 14

I finally updated this story. The ending has been in my head forever, so I’ve decided to put it on paper. It is almost done, probably 3 to 6 more installments.

So without further delay I give you: Strange and Beautiful Chapter Fourteen

Enjoy!

Part-time Smoking makes for Smokey Weekend

I have to say, I am starting to get quite bold with my smoking. Short of coming out to old friends and my family which I’m not sure I will ever do, most of my current group of friends knows I like to occasionally indulge in smoking cigars and pipes. I have to say, having the support of my boyfriend really helps. This past weekend, I smoked far more than I normally do. It started on Friday. We went out for a few drinks with friends. My boyfriend had some Backwoods cigars lying around. They are not exactly the most expensive or classy cigar, but they taste not too bad considering their price point. I had one of those and this just wet my appetite for more. The next day, we had another gathering to go to. Boyfriend said he would drive so I could drink, but he was going to bring along an assortment of pipes for his own amusement. I said I wanted to pick up a nicer cigar in case I felt like one.

I did feel like one, but wanted to wait until all the children went to bed to enjoy one. At this point in the evening, all the smokers came out of the woodwork. I smoked my cigar, while others puffed on their cigarettes. To see the group, you would guess it was a different era, as there was almost no one that wasn’t smoking. I finished the cigar and we sat around the fire having a couple more drinks. By this time, I was pretty buzzed from the alcohol. With zero inhibitions, I stated that I really wanted a cigarette. At this point, a lovely older lady that was heading off gave me and my friend each a Benson and Hedges menthol 100 I think. My boyfriend doesn’t really like cigarette smoking, so this would be the first time he has ever seen me smoke one. It was a good cigarette, I managed to get through the whole thing without feeling sick. I guess there is something to be said about tolerance. Post-cigarette and for the next two days, I was hornier than I have been in months. Unfortunately, I also craved cigarettes for the next two days. Or maybe fortunately, since the cravings made for some good fantasies.

Sunday I took a break from smoking but I did have a pipe with my Boyfriend when we were out at a friend’s house on Monday to round off my weekend as a part-time smoker. And now I think I might be good for awhile. While it is no surprise to me, for fetish reasons I definitely enjoyed the cigarette the most. I think if the store sold singles, I might indulge more often. Cigar smoking comes in second, as the action is similar to cigarette smoking. I enjoy pipe smoking in that it is something that I can share with my boyfriend and I love that each pipe has a different character. Until I smoke again…

Double-Standards and White Lies

Being unemployed (and temping at my casual mindless job) has given me a lot of time to think. Probably too much time in fact. I’ve been thinking about smoking in general… and then more specific. I’m also really tired now and potentially incoherent, but hear me out. First I started thinking about how demonized cigarette smoking has become. I specify, because we don’t see ads telling people to stop cigar smoking or pipe smoking, even though I am sure there are antis out there that would tell me, “Oh, Don’t worry, we will tackle them next.” There is a double-standard out there, that smoking one type of tobacco is wrong, but it is okay to smoke cigars or pipes because people smoke these less frequently.

What got me thinking about this were various articles, from pipe and cigar smokers that pointed the finger at cigarette smokers saying they were the ones to blame for all the bans and that if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t have smoking bans. Maybe this is true, but maybe not… but what was clear from this is that society really doesn’t demonize the other two types of smoking as much or we wouldn’t have some people trying to play to victim card. Or maybe someone always comes out to play the victim card.

This kind of bugs me, not because I have anything against cigar smokers or pipe smokers, because I plan to become one.  I do have a problem with finger-pointing, especially when I’m not sure it really makes a difference what kind of smoke to non-smokers. The majority of non-smokers (true non-smokers) don’t really like rooms filled with any type of smoke. I like to think that we are all out in the cold together, regardless of how often or what we are lighting up.

Which brings me to another thought I had… I mentioned true non-smokers. Due to the way our society treats smokers, it really isn’t surprising that people lie about their smoking status. People that smoke occasionally hesitate to call themselves a smoker because they are not smoking the majority of the time.  I even had trouble calling myself a smoker for that very reason: I don’t smoke all the time.  Many of us, would rather just lie and say well I don’t smoke (internalized: all the time) or I’m a non-smoker. I wonder how many “non” smokers are actually, occasional smokers, opportunistic smokers or closet smokers. Would we (and I count myself) go as far as to hide ourselves from the statisticians? What if the rate of smoking really isn’t decreasing as much as they think? How many people just aren’t admitting to smoking anymore because of the social taboo?

What started me thinking about this is a thread in the SFK forum where many people said they didn’t smoke, only to turn around two seconds later to say, that they do on occasion. Well do you or don’t you? And I’m not attacking them… because I used to do the same thing. Part of it was because in my mind I still thought of myself as a non-smoker. Funny, since I inhaled quite a bit more smoke from cigarettes last year than any non-smoker. Probably a heck of a lot less than a regular smoker, but still more than none.

I’m not sure this is as common with pipe or cigar smoking. Generally, that might not come up in general conversation unless you bring it up. To be quite honest, I would have less trouble admitting to people I smoke a pipe or cigar compared to a cigarettes. I guess it is that cigarette smoking stigma.

But I guess I won’t knock societies’ tolerance of pipe or cigar smoking too much since it is what is allowing me to venture forth with the pipe smoking hand in hand with my boyfriend. He is totally on board. We are going to visit a tobacco shop together when the pipes I ordered come in. I was thinking of ordering tobacco online, but we a great tobacco shops here and I wouldn’t mind getting the advice of the shop owner since he is well-known for being really knowledgable and helpful. Plus, then I won’t have to worry about how much duty will cost.

On that note… I will sign off for the night. Happy smoking, whether you proclaim it to the world or not. I understand either way.

Cigarette Fantasies- The Sequel

Although I do not really have time to write an extended post, I feel as though I need to comment on last nights events. For more background, you might want to read the first Cigarette Fantasies post where I was first introduced to Hot Cousin. I saw Hot Cousin rather unexpectedly last night. Right now, I am pretty much overworked and really feel no desire to do said work so it wasn’t too hard for my two ex-roommates to convince me to come over to their house for some drinks and some games.

As we made our approach to the gates of the condo complex, we see my roommate’s boyfriend and Hot Cousin standing at the gate. I saw the cloud of smoke from Hot Cousin’s beautiful exhale before I realized who it was. It was my fantasy from so many months ago come true. Hot Cousin was smoking cigarettes again. Guys smoking is hit or miss for me. Sometimes it turns me on, but most often guys do not have the style I crave. They rarely smoke the cigarette like they love it and often just smoke it like they are trying to get the job done. For a guy to mesmerize me with their smoking, there has to be certain amount of romance to their smoking. They have to really look like they love it. Hot Cousin is quite good at this. He channels cool black and white movie stars of the past and you can tell he is unashamed of his smoking and that he loves it just by the way he inhales and exhales.

Hot Cousin is the real life embodiment of the character Drew from Strange and Beautiful. At least his smoking style is…

Of course, this has sent me into fantasies along the lines of going out at buying cigarettes for myself. What stops me now, is that smoking often is never as good in real life as I make it out to be in my fantasies. Or more importantly- how good I remember it to be from back when I was 18. I’ve had more adverse effects in my past year of experimentation that, no matter how strong my fetish cravings are, I fear I have made myself sick a few too many times to actually want to smoke cigarettes in real life. As far as my health goes, it is probably a good thing that my sense of self-preservation has kicked in. But, the other part of me is sad that I cannot indulge sporadically without sickness- at least not beyond a few puffs here or there.

I still plan on exploring other smoking options- ones that do not necessarily involve inhaling. I’m not sure they will have the same fetish allure that cigarettes have for me, but- the idea of still being able to play with smoke, exhale it- appeals to me. And on that note, I am making myself get back to work. In another two weeks I will start working on a new chapter of Strange and Beautiful. The story ideas are all in my head, I just need the time to write them down.

Smoking, Teens and Media: Past vs Present

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, probably because these are some smoking related media that resonated pretty strongly with me. Nowadays you are not allowed to show teens or pre-teens smoking cigarettes, nor do they have the PSA style episodes that they used to when I was growing up. My earliest memory of a response to smoking on television had to be watching the Raccoons. I think this is where my ideas of instant addiction came from. The episode showed Lisa Raccoon trying smoking to fit in with her friend from the city. At one point, they show her being chased by giant cigarettes and I think it really frightened me. I can remember that I always felt both excited and uncomfortable watching these young people/animals try smoking. What was even more odd, is that always wanted them to keep smoking. At least I thought that was odd as a kid. Now it makes a little more sense to me. But as a kid all I understood was that smoking was bad for me and the TV shows were telling me not to start unless you want to be a hopeless addict. And yet, I still on some deeper level I still think I wanted to try it. 

My next memory, is probably of Stephanie Tanner almost smoking on Full House. I was so disappointed that she didn’t. Again, this freaked me out a little that I was gunning so much for these TV figures to start smoking. Next was probably, the chick that takes up smoking on the original Degrassi. Honestly, this episode would be downright controversial and potentially even banned now because not only does the focus character for that episode start smoking, but they are ambiguous as to whether she will quit or not. I guess Degrassi was going for realism over PSA. That was long before the Next Generation years of exporting them to the states. I’m pretty sure that episode would never fly nowadays. 

I also remember Claudia from Party of Five experimenting and probably the most recent teen smoking that sticks out in my mind and probably one of the last incidences that would be shown on TV without some sort of PSA attached is the famous first time Ryan and Marissa meet on the O.C. 

You never did see Ryan or Marissa smoke after this. Sandy tells Ryan that if he is living under his roof he can’t smoke and Ryan obliges. After all, better to live in a mansion as a non-smoker than be homeless and a smoker. Or so the message of the show was. The next time you saw anyone smoke anything was when Marissa’s bad sister comes back from boarding school. She likes to smoke the green stuff and after getting some from her, Seth starts to smoke pot. Until he burns down his Dad’s office that is. I think teens pot smoking on TV is the 21st century equivalent of cigarette smoking in the late 80’s and 90’s. No one smokes pot without consequences and they are usually seen to abuse it in some way. Now they do not show teen smoking on TV because presumably they found that teens might be influenced by seeing the young stars light up on screen and it normalized the smoking. The same logic presumably does not apply to pot smoking because it is illegal. 

Gossip Girl, by the creator of the O.C.,  is based on a popular set of novels by the same name. The show differs from the show in many way but the most striking difference is that you would be hard pressed to find a character in the book that doesn’t smoke something. Nate is a pot head, Dan is a chain-smoker and Serena, Blair and the other girls all enjoy cigarettes with their coffee before class. Of course, they couldn’t have that. I mean they didn’t even show teens smoking like that back when I was a kid, let alone now when they seem to be hyper-vigilant about who is seen smoking on TV. 

Here is an excerpt:

Blair shrugged her shoulders and took a long drag on her dwindling cigarette. “I thought we could hang out by ourselves for awhile,” she said. “No one really comes out until later.”
“Okay,” Serena said. She smoothed out her dress and dug around in her little red purse for her own pack of cigarettes. Gauloises, from France. She tapped one out and stuck it in her mouth. “Want one?’ she offered Blair.
Blair shook her head no.
“There’re kind of strong, but the box is too cool, I don’t care.” Serena laughed. She was about the light up with a pack of bar matches, when the bartender swooped in with a lighter.  

We couldn’t have teens saying stuff like that on TV now, could we? And we don’t. Making Dan a non-smoker took a lot of his edge away. On the show, he is a downright goody goody, that is a writer still, but the similarities stop there. It is kind of interesting the difference it makes, but it does.

Anyhow, I hope you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I’m not sure how much longer I will blog for so do not be surprised if this site one day disappears. I do not want to disappear but I might have to for personal reasons not pertaining to my boyfriend.

Nicotine Amazing, but Temporary

Today, I decided to forego the morning cigarette as much as I was enjoying having one first thing. I mean I really could have used one, what with the four or five hours of sleep I had not to mention how anxious I am feeling about all the exams I am writing. But based on how I felt both Tuesday and Wednesday (great at beginning of day and progressively worse as day went on) I decided to tough out the tiredness, the blah feeling and the anxiousness. And you know what- as much as I loved the way nicotine makes me feel, the effects are only temporary and once they are gone, everything that was bothering you before comes back and life seems that much worse because but three hours ago your brain was riding a nice dopamine high. That is how the cycle begins. I think what I hated most is the feeling that I had inflicted this upon myself. I was far more anxious about everything yesterday than I was today. Today I felt like shit, but it was a nice even steady state all day. I found that easier to deal with, because based on my schedule right now- it totally makes sense. I’m stressed, but it is understandable. 

I guess this adverse reaction- signals to me that I really do not want to become tied to the cigarettes permanently. The idea, while attractive from a fetish point of view, bugs me that I have less direct control over my emotions and state of being. I hated the feeling that I had self-inflicted a mini-depressive episode because my brain decided that it wanted more nicotine. Sure, it would have felt good to give in, but only because the contrast between the two states would have been huge. Even seeing people smoke today gave me a mixed reaction. Part of me, thought, “Mmmm cigarette.” Part of me, thought: ” Do you want to start the cycle again?” I think more and more I think I am going to work towards not smoking because hands down, despite the fact that part of me loves smoking(namely my brain and such) , despite the fact that smoking actually turns me on, on the whole I do not feel that smoking increases my quality of life enough to keep at it. Nor do I think I am capable of keeping my smoking down to some sort of low level. I’d have good intentions, but one would become three, which would become five and I have shit self-control when it comes to stuff like this so likely it would not stop there. 

Along with this- I will have to work something out with the fetish. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to stop myself from being turned on by smoking. It is kind of involuntary. Actually I have no idea how I am going to deal with this aspect, since being turned on by smoking is part of what drove me to smoke in the first place and the two are pretty intimately linked. But that will be a discussion for another time… tonight I learn about the weather.

Coming Down

I think I am starting to understand how the habitual part of smoking develops. So I have been smoking about one cigarette per day (not including Monday- when I had two) since Sunday. Like all scientific research has shown the dopamine is key. The first part of my day is great- I’m happy, I have energy and life is good. But then right around about three hours after my last cigarette, I start to feel – well the best way to explain it is down or almost like I’m hungry, but not. I know that I could make the feeling go away if I just lit up a cigarette. 

I’ve noticed that physical craving, if that is what that is, is much easier to ignore than any psychological craving I have had. I’m not sure why that is, other than the fact that it could be that I am just not accustomed to responding that way, so I don’t. And the physical want for a cigarette diminishes over time. It is actually the psychological craving that eventually gets me to smoke again in the morning. And the cycle repeats. If this is what it feels like to only smoke occasionally or lightly, I’m not sure my body can handle it. It does indeed feel like I am in withdrawal (because no doubt I’m sure my brain misses the party that I give it in the morning), and I am not sure how I feel about that. 

I’m sort of a crossroads of sorts. I’ve been letting my guard down slowly, as being addicted to something (unless caffeine) sort of terrifies me. I think that I am at the point where I either have to go full steam ahead, with no restraint or quit and just deal with having the psychological cravings. I mean those cravings were there long before I ever touched a cigarette so I’m thinking they will continue to plague me. 

I’m sure I could handle smoking occasionally, if I didn’t do it every day. But if I am going to smoke every day, I feel like eventually one cigarette will not be enough. Actually I know myself, and I know it won’t be enough. I mean I can already feel my mood change in a single day just three hours after my last cigarette. But I think now is the time to make my choice since I have this feeling that if I do decide to give in entirely to the dark side, I won’t be coming back from it for a very long time. If ever.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑