Well, I officially went exactly 5 months without smoking until I gave in again.
I figured since I started posting to my blog again, and was discussing close calls, that I was getting close to giving in. My urges, while not bad, had been getting a bit stronger. However, I did not expect it to happen as soon as it did.
The cave happened Saturday Morning. Since this was my first cigarette since I started this blog(all my previous cigarettes happened well before I started this blog) I figure it would be best if I waited 48 hours before writing about it. This way I could write with a clear, unbiased mind, instead of writing off the emotion and adrenaline of the cigarette.
This cigarette was completely unplanned. It started off as a normal Saturday Morning. I had errands to run. Groceries, working out, and I also wanted to go try on some clothes at the mall for the 4th of July sales. I worked out first, and went to the mall. When I left the mall, it was still early, around 10:30am or so. I still had grocery shopping to do. Then I got into my car in the mall parking lot, and spotted someone smoking. I began to think about it. My heart began to race. The urge came over me like a wave. It wasn’t the strongest urge I have had, but it was definately the strongest I have felt in months. I’d say a 7 out of 10 on the intensity scale.
To make sure this wasn’t just a false alarm, I decided to grocery shop first. Thankfully, the mall I was at was far enough away, and there was a Walgreen’s right next to the grocery store I planned on going to. I told myself if I was still having these urges after grocery shopping, I’d buy a pack of cigarettes. The thing is, I have told myself this many times, that if I still felt up for it after running so and so errand, I’d buy a pack, but the urges faded and I never did.
Not the case this time. I finished shopping, and got back in my car, and the urges flared up, a bit stronger than the ones I had in the mall parking lot. So I was officially doing this. I pulled into the Walgreen’s Parking Lot. I’ve always hated the part of buying the cigarettes, and this was no different. I was also in somewhat of a hurry since it was getting hot and I had groceries in the trunk that I didn’t want to melt or spoil. I got into the store and it was somewhat busy. I was going to have to buy these cigarettes in front of others.
The cashier was really nice. I wanted to buy Benson & Hedges Menthol Lights 100s. Unfortunately, they only had the “Premium” Menthol ones, AKA Full Flavor. They were out of the lights, and I wasn’t up for the full flavor. I knew the Kroger down the road has the B&H Menthol Lights, but I felt uneasy about buying cigarettes infront of even more people instead of a more quaint pharmacy setting, and I didn’t want to waste any more time with the groceries in the trunk.
Here is my deal with cigarette brands. I am picky. First, I avoid bugdet brands. Those are brands intended for heavy smokers who smoke a lot on a budget. I figure since I smoke so infrequently, might as well go for the good stuff. Marlboro is the most popular brand with a lot of varieties, but I have had two bad experiences with them. Maybe if I tried them again it would be better, but I didn’t want to risk it. Then you have brands like Newport, KOOL, etc. which aren’t budget, but not on the upper tier either. I don’t know what I will get from them. That pretty much leaves me with B&H, Parliament, Salem, and Camel. I have never tried Salems. I like B&H, Parliament was OK, and Camel has a lot of different varieties that I would be open to. However, since there were people behind me in line, and I was in a hurry, I didn’t have time to think about it, and just went with a brand I had gone with before, Camel No. 9 Menthe 100s. I paid and left the store.
Right off the bat I was not thrilled with my purchase. I was dead set on the B&H Menthol Lights 100s. Have I had good experiences with the Camel No. 9’s Menthe in the past? Yes. Was I excited to smoke them again? No. Here are my main complaints about the Camel No. 9’s – they are way too light. And the menthol isn’t really menthol, at least compared to the B&H Menthols. It’s very subtle. I figure if I am only going to smoke infrequently, might as well go with a cigarette that packs a little bit more punch.
Unfortunately, I had made the purchase and had to live with it. $9 pack of cigarettes. I didn’t really feel like driving all the way home and then back 20 minutes out again to smoke, so I decided to just smoke now. I had a place in mind to smoke them, in the bleachers of a middle school football field nearby. I pulled into the parking lot there, but some guys were playing football on the field. Around 11:30am on 4th of July Weekend, I figured a lot of people would be out and about so it would be hard to find privacy. I don’t mind smoking around strangers, but not a bunch of guys playing football where I am sitting there in their view. A passing by walker or jogger, fine.
I drove down the road and found some ball fields with bleachers, but a game was going on. With groceries in the trunk, I was running out of time. I finally pulled up to a park with a bench next to a dumpster under a tree by a basketball court. Not the most ideal location to smoke, but I was in a hurry. I sat down on the bench, and out of nowhere two young girls came out to start playing basketball. I didn’t want to smoke infront of them, but was out of time. It was now or never. I tried my best to be out of their view.
I took a cigarette out of the pack, put it between my lips and lit up. Even though it wasn’t windy, I didn’t get the thing fully lit on my first go. Only a little bit was lit. So I had to light up again. I think I had it lit up, but with these cigarettes, they are so light you don’t even know if smoke is in your mouth. I took a drag and didn’t inhale, just to see if I had smoke in my mouth, and a cloud of smoke came out of my mouth. So it was lit.
I took my first drag, and coughed on my first inhale. Not a good start to this cigarette. I guess since it had been 5 months since smoking, my throat wasn’t prepared for the smoke. I took a shorter drag, inhaled successfully, and exhaled, but could barely see any smoke come out. By this time it was around 11:45am or so, the sun was up, and so it was hard to see the visual effect of smoke exiting my mouth, but to be honest, its just because these cigarettes are so light. It’s like sucking air of out a straw.
I took another drag, longer this time to try and get more smoke out of it. In the back of my mind though I was worried about coughing again. I inhaled, and exhaled, and still, it was barely visible. And I wasn’t really feeling a buzz yet. Not only are these cigarettes very light, but the draw is very loose. A tight draw, for example, would be drinking a thick milkshake through a straw. These cigarettes are like sucking nothing out of a straw – it doesn’t take much to get the smoke to come through the filter.
I was 3 drags in and honestly was not enjoying it at all. They were too light. It was like smoking air. I was getting no buzz. I couldn’t even notice they were menthol. The taste wasn’t as great as I remembered. I was sitting next to a dumpster out in the heat and trying to stay out of view from the young girls playing basketball. I looked at the cigarette in between my fingers and honestly thought about just putting it out then and cutting my losses. I wasn’t enjoying it, so why force it?
But, I hunkered on. I told myself I didn’t waste all this time to just take 3 bad drags and give up. I was going to see it through. I took more drags. I took more inhales. I exhaled. Things didn’t get better. The taste didn’t get better. The exhales didn’t get thicker or more visible. I still wasn’t getting any real buzz despite taking longer drags and inhaling deeper into my lungs. I was about 75% of the way through the 100s length cigarette, and probably had a good 3-4 drags left, but put it out. I was done. But even the extinguishing of the cigarette didn’t go well. I thought I had stubbed it out, but it was still lit. I had to stomp it out.
And that was that.
It was definitely not one of my better cigarettes. In fact, it was probably my worst since the two failed attempts at smoking when I first started.
Let’s have a recap of what exactly went wrong:
- Walgreen’s didn’t have the brand I was looking for, and had to settle for a brand I wasn’t really interested in smoking.
- I couldn’t find a good place to smoke, so had to smoke next to a dumpster within sight of two young girls playing basketball.
- I failed to light the cigarette the first attempt.
- I didn’t even know smoke was in my mouth on my first drag
- I coughed on my first inhale
- My exhales were really weak and barely visible. I like to make tight, neat, pretty cone shaped exhales, but it was impossible.
- I got no buzz. When I was done smoking and driving home, I felt a very weak buzz, but it was barely noticable. I knew I had a buzz, but it was the minimum.
- The draw on these cigarettes was too loose.
- The taste isn’t as good as I remembered and the menthol is very subtle
- I didn’t extinguish the cigarette on my first attempt.
- The sweet potatoes I bought at the grocery store exploded in my trunk.
A recap of what went right?
- I ashed the cigarette fine. But it’s not like that’s rocket science!
Yeah… thats about it.
It’s a shame. After 5 months of no smoking, but plenty of fantasizing about it during that time, you don’t want your first go after the 5 month hiatus to be bad. You want it to be glorious, like it was worth the wait and everything you dreamed of. With a fetish, you fear the real deal never living up to your expectations that you fantasize about. Perhaps the most common fetish, cross dressing for males, is one that I research to find parallels to my smoking fetish. A lot of male cross dressers will say that actually cross dressing never lives up to the way it plays out in their mind. That their fantasies are always better than the real thing. However, I’ve had successful cigarettes that did live up to my expectations and fantasies. This just wasn’t one of them.
So I could not get home fast enough. I wanted the taste out of my mouth and off my clothes and fingers. It was actually repulsing, which hasn’t happened since my first failed attempts. I kept spitting because I didn’t want to swallow. I got home, put the groceries on the counter, threw my clothes in the wash, got in the shower. As I turned on the water I took a huge swig of Listerine, and that still didn’t get the taste out of my mouth. The taste in my mouth lingered all day. I had fajitas for lunch, and the bell peppers grossed me out because I thought they tasted like the tobacco. I couldn’t even finish my food because it was making me feel like puking. The thought of the taste of the cigarette made me sick.
To be honest, my entire mindset from the moment I put out the cigarette was “That was awful, I never want to do it again”. I naively thought that my smoking fetish would die because of my bad experience. Now you see why I chose to wait a couple of days before writing about it, because the tone and message of my entry would have been just that, I am not doing this again, it was stupid, smoking is terrible.
But, I woke up the next morning with a different mindset. The thought of smoking again wasn’t grossing me out like it was the day before. I wasn’t ready to smoke again, but I knew I was willing to give it another chance eventually. I chalked it up to a single bad experience. I’ve had bad experiences in the past that didn’t kill my fetish even when I thought it would, and this was no different.
I did chuck the pack of Camel No. 9s. I just wasn’t interested in smoking those again, and probably won’t ever again. I did have success smoking them at the hotel back in January. But those successes were less about the cigarette and more about the situation. Smoking on a hotel balcony 10 stories up in a clear Winter Night Sky overlooking a city skyline, and smoking socially for the first time. I was willing to look past the negatives of the cigarette on those occasions. But when I had nothing going for me situationally and was just smoking, these cigarettes are not ideal. They are just too weak and burn too quickly. When a tiny 5’4” girl like me who rarely smokes gets no buzz from them, you know they are weak. I think Camel No. 9s are designed for young female smokers to smoke in social situations. They are very light and give a weak buzz, so they are fine to smoke just to smoke at, for example, parties when drinking. But when you are like me and only smoke every so often, you want to get the most out of every cigarette. These didn’t do the job. I like to test myself with my exhales and make them pretty, and its hard to do that with weak smoke that you can barely see. I like to get a buzz. I like the cigarette to have a tighter draw and last longer instead of burn quickly.
For these reasons, I think in the future, I am willing to give the Benson & Hedges Menthol 100s Premiums(Full Flavors) a try. I am intimidated by full flavor cigarettes, but mainly because of the cork style filter. The B&H Full Flavors don’t have a cork style filter, its white, so that psychological barrier wouldn’t be there. I just want a cigarette that has actual menthol, a tighter draw, thicker smoke, and one that gives me a buzz. I had a good experience with the B&H Menthol Lights 100s in the past, but I want to see what the difference is with the full flavors. Maybe the full flavors will be too strong for me and I will have to revert back to the Lights 100s, maybe the Parliament Lights again, or some of the stronger Camel Brands like Camel Crush Lights or Camel Menthol Lights. This is what I hate about cigarettes, you can’t just buy one to try out, you have to buy the whole pack, so if you are dissatisfied, its a waste of money.
I also think I am not going to smoke in broad daylight again. The sun and bright light takes away the visual effect. Smoking at night is probably my favorite, as you can see the smoke better, and the glow of the cigarette cherry is at its brightest. Smoking early in the morning before the sun is higher up is also great because it is relaxing and starting the day with a cigarette is a nice bonus. Then you have smoking at sunset/twilight, which is also calm and like the sunrise but a bit darker for the visual effect. This was actually the first cigarette I can remember smoking in broad daylight. I smoked socially at the hotel during the day, but it was underneath an overhang so the sunlight was not direct and we were in the shade. My first successful inhale cigarette(Cigarette #3) was in the daylight, but I didn’t really care about the visual effect for that one. All my other cigarettes were at sunrise, sunset, or at night. So that is one thing in the future I will definitely have to plan for.
One aspect I didn’t really feel this time was guilt. I have felt guilt in the past, but not this time. I felt some shame and was like “That was stupid, why did I do that”, but it wasn’t rooted in guilt. Perhaps since it was such a bad experience, I didn’t have anything to feel guilty about. I usually felt guilt after good experiences, because I was guilty about enjoying something I shouldn’t be.
As far as smoking again is concerned, there is no doubt in my mind that I will smoke again. But, it won’t be any time soon. Probably not until next month at the earliest. I think I need to take a step back and learn from this bad experience. I am worried if I smoke again too soon and have another bad experience, it will make things worse and I will try to chase a good experience. I don’t want to double down on a bad experience. I need a reset. I will smoke again when I am ready, and give the B&H Menthol 100s Full Flavors a try.