The Longest Now

The sex appeal of smoking
Saturday March 12th 2005, 5:51 am
Filed under: poetic justice

I’ve long maintained that a group of non-smokers should start up a non-profit advocacy group promoting the sexiness of smoking, before even the idea of it has been censured from polite company. Friends have chalked it up to recurring insanity, but I maintain that this is the only sensible point of view.

Happily, I am not alone:

I discovered that I like smoking.

Not personally. I don’t smoke.
I don’t particularly like when others do, but am loath to complain
about it. I’ve dated smokers, some of my best friends are, and I think
smoking restrictions are bordering on insane lately. But I have always
found the habit slightly distasteful.

And now I know why. They were smoking all wrong.

This man – forties or fifties, Chinese – smoked like a character in a film noir. Elegantly. Beautifully. His hands held the cigarette just so. It was delicate yet masculine. Instead of blowing out a guilty jet of smoke to the side, he exhaled a beautiful silver plume around him. He was confident in his smoking, he liked his smoking, and he was
unapologetic. He did not finish with the nervous tap-tap-squish of the
teenage closet puffer who continued the habit into adulthood or the
pitch-and-ignore of the furtive doorway smoker. He did it with a final
and decisive chess move of extinguishment. It even bordered on sexy.

–via belle de jour

2 Comments so far
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I love the sexiness of the habit of smoking, I always have, and I’ve never smoked a day in my life.

Don’t ask me what I’m doing back here; I just dropped in.

Comment by phoebe 12.23.05 @ 3:31 am

Most people don’t know that when some of us were growing up, “smoking” was an indication of character (or lack thereof!). In jr high and beyond, if you wanted to know who the “bad girls” were, you looked for the smokers. One author later described smoking as a sign of “sexual precocity”.

During that time, smoking was still allowed in movies and shows. Women would be put in erotic positions in the movie, and would then light and suck on a cigarette, causing excitement to the male watching.

Freud, who so many people don’t believe in any more, stated that men were attracted to the “phallus substitute” – meaning the placing of the cigarette in the mouth and sucking it was nothing more than a symbol for oral sex, and that is why men responded so well.

There is also a Harvard study from a long time ago that found that the image of smoking displays a character of “intelligence, strength, and sophistication”.

I can’t agree. I have disliked smoking, and being around smokers my entire life. Even though I wanted to be one of the “cool kids” there was no way I could smoke to join the group. It is both an emotional and sexual turn-off to see or smell a smoker. I never understood why it did’t draw or excite me like my friends. I guess the moral is peer pressure doesn’t always prevail!

Comment by Joe L 05.15.17 @ 11:42 pm

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