By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
--Baudelaire, Les Salons de 1848
I know, you like girls, sure. Young, hot girls--no problem. Young, hot, elegantly dressed girls. Am I right? Okay, then!
Give me another second here--what you're really looking for are young, hot, elegantly dressed girls who smoke. Yes, you are an individual of rare tastes.
And therefore, you gotta meet Anna, Samantha, Dianne, Kelly, Cathy, Elizabeth, Jennifer, Alexandria, Sarah, Leeann and Natalie. The SMOKING MODELS.
I'm not making this up, your wildest dreams have come true. They really do exist.
If the idea of watching lovely young ladies--fully clad, mind you--practicing the suck-and-blow turns you on, then trot over to your computer and poke in www.smokingvideos.com.
There you will see still photos of each and every one of the above-mentioned femme puffers. Do any of them French inhale? Mon dieu! But of course! And after a tantalizing online taste of exotic action like that, you'll want more. Nothing to be ashamed of, bub, and plenty easy to get.
For only 30 bucks per volume (there are six so far), the folks at Video Solutions Incorporated will supply you with 30 minutes of tape displaying three "very attractive women, elegantly dressed and smoking!"
That's very attractive women.
Elegantly. Dressed. And. Smoking.
Before we proceed, let me quote from Richard Klein's masterful treatise on the forbidden habit, Cigarettes Are Sublime:
"Cigarettes are positively beautiful, but they are sublime by virtue of their charming power to propose what Kant would call 'a negative pleasure': a darkly beautiful, inevitably painful pleasure that arises from some intimation of eternity . . ."
And who, I ask you, is a better poster child for a description of a sublime intimation of eternity than a stunning young lady caught languidly exhaling a ghostly cloud of smoke?
That's what Charles Harris is banking on. He's the man behind Video Solutions Incorporated, the pioneer of classy, high-gloss cancercore. And, like the Hair Club for Men's Sy Sperling, he's not just the boss, he's a member of this exclusive fetish group.
Harris is 31. He says he does not smoke. He says his mother does not smoke. He says he is bothered by actual cigarette smoke. He lives, makes his videos and recruits his models in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina, where tobacco is as commonplace and natural as boob jobs are in Hollywood. Like Einstein and Larry Flynt, he is a man creating in a field that he honestly loves. Watching ladies smoke, see, it turns him on.
"Yes it does," Harris admits boldly. But how this desire came about, he can't tell you.
"I don't think anyone could tell you where it comes from, I don't think there's a connection to anything else," he theorizes. "I just think it's something that's been in our culture for a long time in sort of a subtle way, in movies and TV, album covers and magazine covers. It's something that's never really talked about or discussed, but it's always been there in an unconscious way. Watching women smoke, I think it just clicks with certain people, or it doesn't. But for someone who has that interest, it's like being in heaven."
Harris figures he is not alone out there, that there are plenty of others who are knocking on those nicotine-stained pearly gates.
"It's hard to say yet, but I think there is a market," he ponders. "Whether it's profitable or not in the long run, I don't really know." Since making the videos available online in November (and placing print ads in Playboy, Penthouse and the perennial favorite Leg Show), Harris says that the staff-of-three VSI team has fielded some 500 orders for tapes from all parts of the country.
"Though they aren't my customers yet, I know that there are tens of thousands of people that would buy these videos," he states. "If they had the money, they would buy them."
Just as Hefner took smut from under the counter to top shelf, so is Harris acting as a filter to respectability for his own brand of turn-on, albeit tar-based.
"There's a newsgroup on the Web that's dedicated to people who are interested in that subject," he explains. "And there are two other companies that make sort of similar videos, but their women look like prostitutes in my opinion. They're dressed in real trashy clothing, that sort of thing. And we just knew that we could do a much better job."
Dr. S. Lee Spencer is a professor at Arizona State University specializing in Sexuality and Sexual Functioning. I asked her whence the babes-with-butts fixation would, perhaps, come.
"I really don't know," she said. "My impression was that most men do not find smoking women attractive. I really don't know what to say. It's possibly like a Freudian thing; if you could find out that the men who do it had mothers who smoked cigarettes. But I'm really at a loss. Nothing comes to my mind to think about how to understand this."
In my ceaseless efforts to search out answers, to gain more insight into this particular kink, I crossed the drawbridge at Castle Boutique, the Valley sex mart that caters to all stimulations of mind/flesh. Or so I thought.