I’m 36 years old and have had some level of sexual association with female smoking going back to my earliest memories of childhood, actively fantasizing about it as young as first grade. My fetish grew with me into adolescence and young adulthood, but didn’t come out of the closet until 1999 when I discovered these boards. That was, of course, the end of an era for public smoking, but also the end of taking for granted the presence of sightings. And in the year 2014, I have to admit that the scarcity of sightings today has enhanced the optical pleasures I take away from the sightings I do get.
Now, granted, part of this stems from my age and timeline coming to terms with my fetish, but I can’t help but think that even if I was 20 years older, the widespread prevalence of smoking a generation ago would have made it less of a big deal to me. Without question, I would still have had a fetish for it if I graduated high school in 1981 instead of 1996, but would my attention to detail and raw psychological fascination in young female smokers have ever reached the point it is today if not for the “rare treat” aspect of modern sightings? I tend to think not.
Now this is not to say I wouldn’t go back to the smoking culture of the 70s and 80s in a heartbeat if given the chance. But if I’m forced to acknowledge an upside to the current era of declining tobacco prevalence, it’s that the sightings I do get are so much more satisfying. I take this into account on my blog as well when I’m reconfiguring lists of all-time favorites. Sightings that would have been “merely great” if I had stumbled into them 15 years ago get bonus points for occurring in the modern era, simply because the likelihood of these kinds of sightings occurring today is so limited.
Take my three favorite fairgrounds sightings from 2013 for example. One of them was an 18ish brunette who lit her first cigarette 30 seconds after entering the fair gates on a day designated as “smoke-free” at my county fair. I saw her two more times that night at the fair and she was smoking both times, and then three more times on subsequent evenings, and she was smoking every time. While she would have been an incredible sighting 20 years ago, the context of a girl like this existing in 2013, smoking so heavily with cigarettes selling for $7.50 a pack in Minnesota and flagrantly violating the fairgrounds’ ban on smoking, made her that much more memorable and worthy of Hall of Fame status.
Another of last year’s Big Three, also at my county fair, put on a smorgasbord of trigger-tripping fetish behavior that I had a front-row seat for, being the only smoker in her group, posing for group photos openly advertising her cigarette in them, making out with her nonsmoking boyfriend with fresh tobacco breath, and smoking while eating fair food in her tight huddle of friends standing amidst her haze of secondhand smoke. Again, a sighting like this would always have been incredible, but it wouldn’t have seemed so otherworldly exotic in 1993 when smoking was normalized than it did in 2013 with smoking so denormalized in “polite society”.
And lastly, I described last year’s Minnesota State Fair sighting involving a mother and 13ish blond daughter smoking in the presence of the nonsmoking husband/father as “the kind of sighting I thought existed only in the past….the kind of sighting I never thought I’d see again”. Even though the daughter’s smoking show lasted all of four drags, the fact that I witnessed something like this in 2013 elevated it to the upper reaches of my all-time greatest sightings list, without doubt several positions higher than it would have if I had witnessed the same dynamic play out 25 years ago when I was closer to the daughter’s age.
Am I alone here? Are sightings more satisfying for all the fetishers here today than a generation ago? Do you find yourself studying the detail of gals’ smoking style more closely in those rare opportunities that you get a front-row seat to a sighting than you did when so many more women were publicly smoking in the past? And are you more admiring of the girls who still deliver first-rate sightings now simply because of the magnitude of their rebellion in the face of a hostile culture? For me it’s all the all of the above, and for as long as a day or evening of fetishing is still capable of producing an adrenaline-charging sighting like any of the three I cited above, I will continue going out of my way to put myself in situations where such sightings can materialize.