From The Publisher

A Strange Discovery


A Strange Discovery
SMOKE SIGNALS MAGAZINE - January - February 2014

While poking around stuff that we have on our hard drives, and looking around online, we made a strange discovery recently.

We're more attracted to women smoking hookahs than ever before.

Don't get us wrong, it will never be our favorite type of female smoking - cigarettes will always top the list for us. But there was definitely something that drew us to the "sheesha" videos we found.

If we were smarter, we would have just enjoyed ourselves and moved on. However, we're way too analytical for that; we spent some time trying to figure out just why we suddenly found women smoking hookahs more of interest than in the past.

We did a lot of research, meaning we watched the videos a number of times - all in the name of science, of course. Here's what we've concluded:

1. Women (well, people in general, but the women are naturally the ones we pay attention to) who smoke hookahs do it for the fun and enjoyment of it and not just to satisfy a craving. There aren't a lot of bored women in sheesha videos. They're all having fun with their smoking - and that's alluring, at least to us.

2. Hookah smoking is a sociable activity, which means there are usually two or more women participating. We always prefer watching two or three women smoke than just one (for obvious reasons).

3. There's less "down time" in the video - in a cigarette video, there's usually anywhere from ten to thirty seconds between inhales. In a hookah videos, someone is always smoking.

4. There are certainly lots of videos showing novice or non-smokers trying hookahs, which aren't of great interest to us. However, regular smokers who are having fun with their sheesha smoking tend to show off and play with their smoke; there are lots of huge cone exhales, nose exhales, snap inhales and big smoke rings - not to mention smoke exchanges. To those of us who enjoy seeing accomplished smokers perform, a good hookah video can be a treasure trove of terrific smoking.

5. There's no such thing as an ultra-light hookah. If women are deeply inhaling smoke from a sheesha, it's strong smoke and they're obviously enjoying it.

6. At times, when women are sharing a hookah, they're also smoking cigarettes during their "down time." That makes the video even smokier and more fun to watch.

7. We spend way too much time analyzing why we like what we like.

This probably was not an illuminating column to read. Everyone who visits this page already knows what they like - and we're not out to convince anyone to "give hookah videos a try." This also doesn't mean there will be an influx of sheesha material at Smoke Signals Online - we usually only have one hookah shoot per year.

We're just fortunate enough to have a soapbox from which we can rant or pontificate. And for some reason, we felt the need to share a previously "untapped" source of enjoyment that we've rediscovered.

Happy New Year!

Just A Short One


Just A Short One
SMOKE SIGNALS MAGAZINE - November - December 2013

If you're wondering why this month's column is shorter than usual, it's because we're writing it at the last minute. We had a guest column planned for the November-December issue, but the author decided that he didn't want the piece he had written published after all.

As we were wondering what to fill this spot with, we were struck by an interesting (at least, to us) thought that was raised in an email discussion we were having with Fran from Smoking Sweeties. He mentioned the creation of "Cannibis Social Clubs" in Spain (where he lives) - which intrigued us. And after a little research (if you call searching on Wikipedia "research") we found this:

"A Cannabis Social Club is a concept of the pan-European non-government organization ENCOD conceived in 2005 as a way to enable legal production and distribution of cannabis for adults. Cannabis Social Clubs are non-commercial organizations which organize the professional, collective cultivation of very limited amounts of cannabis, just enough to cover the personal needs of their club members...Cannabis Social Clubs exist in New Zealand, Spain, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany." Pot use is already legal in Cambodia and North Korea, and has been decriminalized in a number of countries.

When you couple that with the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, the growing number of states and countries which now allow the use of medical marijuana and the seemingly unstoppable move toward complete legalization, at least for personal use - the irony for our community is clear.

Before long, whether it's due to bans on smoking in public or a complete 21st century version of prohibition, it may very well be impossible for smoking fetishists to see anyone smoking in public. Our time will have passed. But the apparently smaller number of people who have a fetish for women who smoke pot will be entering their own "golden era" with opportunities for sightings abounding.

We should mention that our conclusions about the relative number of smoking fetishists and pot smoking fetishists are based on the sole fact that there are only a few websites or online resources dedicated to marijuana smoking fetishes, compared to the number of smoking fetish websites and online resources - and the pot smoking videos on YouTube and similar sites seem not to be aimed, for the most part, at a fetish audience. (And we hope you appreciate our restraint, not railing at the hypocrisy of governments banning one type of smoking while allowing another.)

But who knows? Perhaps the growing amount of exposure people will have to women toking up - will give birth to a huge new fetish in the coming years. If so, we hope those fetishists enjoy themselves as much as we have over the last hundred years or so.

Enjoy the November-December issue!

Maybe We Were Wrong


Maybe We Were Wrong
SMOKE SIGNALS MAGAZINE - September - October 2013

As long-time readers know, we're not hesitant to toot our own horn when one of our observations or predictions proves prescient. The best example of this, of course, is our prediction from a number of years ago that the widespread availability of commercial videos, shared on tubes, hubs and other venues in violation of copyrights and common decency, would eventually lead to a massive decline in new video production and the eventual demise of a number of producers. We were right, and haven't hesitated to trumpet that fact.

However, it seems only fair to also admit when we apparently were wrong.

For many years, we held fast to our belief that smoking fetishes developed, for the most part, because people were exposed to a ubiquitous culture of sexy smoking. When virtually everywhere you looked (in real life and on television) you saw attractive young women enjoying their cigarettes with great enthusiasm and style, it seemed incredibly natural and often glamorous to many of us. That's certainly how our own smoking fetish developed; we can even remember (with great detail) the one seminal moment when a pretty, anonymous teen girl's smoke play in a cafeteria seemed to cement our fetish for good.

That line of thinking led us to a corollary: as smoking bans took hold and the smoking rate declined, fewer and fewer young people would develop a smoking fetish. After all, they wouldn't have the incredibly sexy imagery bombarding them day and night in every conceivable location - and wouldn't grow to appreciate the sexual appeal of smoking the way previous generations had.

That even led us to downplay the theory that one critical factor in the development of a smoking fetish was the element of "risk" being taken by the smoker. Sure, the bad girl image was certainly a factor - but in our view, it just folded into the overall picture of a sexy, glamorous smoking woman. We didn't think a fetish developed, for most people, because a smoker was risking her health by the very act of smoking. After all, it's obvious from literature, movies and photographs of the decades prior to 1964 that the smoking fetish was alive and well long before the Surgeon General's report - so "risk" couldn't have played a role way back then.

Additionally, we were asked numerous times over the years by journalists doing stories on the fetish, whether we expected a huge increase in the number of people with a smoking fetish, as smoking became more and more taboo. Our answer was always an emphatic "no."

Fast forward to 2013. It's clear from our interactions with smoking fetishists, and from postings on various internet forums and sites, that there's been no decline in our number over the last twenty years - in fact, it continues to grow. Plenty of young people have developed a smoking fetish, even though the youngest among us are certainly much less likely to see sexy smoking on a daily basis than their predecessors.

So, we're led to reconsider our original beliefs. It obviously isn't simple, constant exposure to attractive female smoking which is triggering smoking fetishes among the younger members of our community. There must be something else at work as well. And in searching for an explanation, we're left with the concepts of "taboo" and "risk" as the primary candidates. We don't know what role those concepts may have played in the devfelopment of previous generations of smoking fetishsts, but they must play a large role today. And, we imagine, they played a much greater role in the past than we had imagined.

Our only real conclusion can be, at least in part, that Vesperae has been right - and we've been wrong.

It doesn't happen often, though!

Enjoy the September-October issue!

The Demise of Creativity


The Demise of Creativity

We had the opportunity recently to go back through our collection of old smoking videos, and were struck by something we hadn't thought about before.

Many of the videos produced in the 1990s and early 2000s actually had plots or themes. Sure, the video quality wasn't as stellar as the HD video we see today; for the most part, it wasn't even digital. But there was a lot more thought put into the productions than is common today. Standouts were many of the videos from CoherentLight and SmokeVision (which even tried to distinguish their productions as "shows" instead of "videos," but even many of the vids from companies like Second Hand Smoke and Up In Smoke obviously were produced with a lot of forethought and planning.

Knowing most of the people behind those productions, we can certainly give credit to people like Steve Kelly and Ed Luisser for their work. But as we thought more about the differences between filming now and filming 15 years ago, another reason for the stark difference became apparent.

The producers who were shooting back then, had more resources at their disposal. Or, to put it more simply, they knew they could turn a nice profit on their work, even if it was more expensive to shoot. Costumes, sets, or simply the extra time it took to film and then post-produce the videos were an acceptable expense. Steve, Ed, or the others who put extra care and work into their productions knew that they could turn out top-quality work while staying profitable.

Things are certainly different today. Video producers who are still in business are doing so on incredibly slim margins. The audience for smoking video is larger than ever, but the amount spent on it is smaller than ever, due to (you knew we were headed here, didn't you?) the proliferation of video sharing sites and tubes where people simply upload clips or entire movies they've obtained elsewhere. And without sufficient money coming in, producers can't take the time or spend the money to create thoughtful or elaborate smoking videos anymore. It's become largely a "point and shoot" business. To put it simply, producers have no other option.

Regular readers know that we've been predicting the demise of the smoking video industry for some time now, and we see no reason to change that prediction. In fact, many producers are teetering on the brink even as we write this. But the way the smoking fetish community obtains and consumes video in the 2010s has had this sad, interim effect - the demise of creativity.

Enjoy the July-August issue!

A Few Quick Thoughts


A Few Quick Thoughts

Just a few quick thoughts in a busy month that's made it feel like we're suffering from late-onset ADD and prevented us from stringing more than a coherent thought or two together:

Is the smoking fetish community starting to react to what we can best describe as "oversupply?" More than one person has remarked to us lately that they aren't getting the same enjoyment they used to from watching "just" an attractive young woman smoke - and that's sent them in search of more unusual material. One mentioned girls smoking hookahs and pipes, another mentioned scenes with multiples, and a third mentioned "fake taboo" (alleged smoking incest clips making the rounds on Clips4Sale) as the primary types of video that can get them going these days. And that's on top of the neverending interest in finding under-18 smoking clips that nearly destroyed one popular message board. This all naturally led us to wonder whether a growing disinterest in mainstream smoking video is a more widespread phenomemon that we had guessed - and if so, what is causing it. If indeed this is a real change in people's interests and not just a coincidence that we've come across, the only cause we can think of is overexposure. There are so many mainstream smoking fetish videos that have been released since the mid-90s which live on through producer sites and now through tubes, torrents and sharing sites - have people simply grown weary of the genre due to the enormous amount of video already available? Admittedly, almost all producers use the same basic sets which certainly lends a feeling of "sameness" to new video, no matter how beautiful or accomplished a model may be. But it seems odd that an entire group of fetishists can "morph" over a period of a few years into a group in need of extreme material. We'd love to hear your thoughts.

On a somewhat related note, we notice that in addition to a huge decline in smoking story submissions to Smoke Signals has been mirrored by a lack of new stories at Loring's Smoking Stories site. We again have to wonder if it reflects a dropoff of interest in more mainstream smoking fetish outlets, a "dumbing down" of our community in terms of interest in this sort of material (it's hard for tweeps to tell a smoking story in 140 characters) or again, just another coincidence. Maybe we're just too wedded to the written word to understand it - after all, we still read magazines and the occasional newspaper here. Thankfully, we still have Vesperae on staff :)

And on a totally unrelated note, we're pleased to tell you that the Smoking Erotica catalog is returning to Smoking Flicks for streaming or download. We're in the process of re-adding all of their older material, and will have new SE videos coming in the near future as well. We don't know whether Smoking Models will also be returning, but we're hopeful.

Enjoy the May-June issue!

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