We answered this question on April 17th, 2017. Dear Abby answered this question on June 19th, 2017. We aren’t posting this to be antagonistic, but to show the difference of our approach to relationship advice.
Dear Hoopers (vs. Dear Abby),
I am a 28-year-old female and I recently married the most amazing man in the whole world. We connect, communicate, understand, and love every single thing about each other. My only issue is, the husband has an obsession/fetish when a woman smokes cigarettes. He fantasizes about me smoking ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. I do not smoke, and I used to smoke for 9 years and quit 5 years ago (before I met him). I really hated smoking. Hated the smell, the waste of money, smoking around my kids, the harm in my health, feeling out of breath. It’s killed many loved ones of mine and he knows it! But everyday he keeps begging me to smoke. He tells me he’d do anything in the world to turn me on. And doesn’t understand why I refuse to please him by smoking. He asks me to hold a cigarette and take pictures of myself smoking it. He wants to smell it on my breathe.
He is literally OBSESSED. It really really bothers me. I’ve bawled my eyes out in front of him telling him how much I don’t want to do it. He’ll feel bad and say he’ll stop at that moment, but it starts back up again. He tells me he gets turned on by the smell of it on other women, and wishes he could just get turned on by the smell of it on me instead. I feel like it’s selfish of him, that he wants me to kill myself to arouse him. He knows exactly how I feel about every aspect of it. We have spent hours and hours talking this out. He tells me everything we do in life is unhealthy anyways (eating fast food, going tanning, drinking coffee, drinking alcohol, smoking pot). We plan on having a baby… I asked him how he’d feel if I smoked with his baby in my belly?! He responded that I’d have to quit for the pregnancy. I feel it’s very selfish of him. But I’m getting really sick of it. I feel it’s going to ruin our marriage. What should I do? Give in and start up with this horrible habit again to satisfy my husband? I feel soo lost and hurt.
-Smoking Fetish (-Lost and Hurt in New England as submitted to Dear Abby)
Dear Lost and Hurt,
I confess, your letter is a first. If Jeremy loved you, rather than risk your health for his sexual gratification, he would be seeking professional help for his fetish. Smoking is not a harmless habit. If you take up smoking again, it will ruin your health and endanger the health of any children you might have with him. Do not give in. Do not risk cancer or lung disease to please him.
-Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby)
Dear Smoking Fetish,
While that’s nice of your husband to say that he would do anything to turn you on, marriages are about infinitely more than turning each other on. It is time that he stops pressuring you to do something that you don’t want to do and that puts your health at risk. It is your body and therefore you have the right to decide what you consume. The fact that you have cried your eyes out to him and he still maintains this desire is upsetting. It will be terribly selfish of him if he continues to exert this pressure on you and doesn’t do what is necessary in order to put your health and life first.
You may be able to find less risky alternatives to cigarette smoking to help fulfill his need, but know that e-cigarettes aren’t risk free. This is your choice to make and shouldn’t be forced by your husband in any form or fashion. Given his level of obsession with smoking and persistence despite your heartfelt pleas to stop, he likely meets criteria for a Fetishistic Disorder. Sexual fetishes and fantasies are often a normal part of someone’s life, but when they are causing significant life problems, it qualifies for a disorder.
His obsession with smoking is reverberating throughout your marriage and needs attention.
His obsession with smoking is reverberating throughout your marriage and needs attention. If he has been unresponsive thus far to your efforts to get him to change, treatment just might be necessary.
While any experienced Cognitive Behavioral Therapist can likely help your husband in making changes, a certified sex therapist with expertise in Fetishistic Disorders would be preferred. The critical question for your husband is can he drop this on his own? If not, a therapist can help him to better understand this desire and find healthy ways to drop the habit.
Dear Smoking Fetish,
Turned on by the smell of smoke? That’s a new one for me, but apparently not so uncommon. I’m not well versed in the top sexual fantasies. I researched smoking fetish and found article after article related to the subject of smoking and sexual excitement. Wow, this is really a thing! While I applaud his open communication around sexual desires, it’s best to indulge him in a fantasy without endangering your health or your family, or potential embryo.
Whatever you do, don’t start smoking again. As you know it’s a bad habit and wreaks havoc on your health. It took effort for you to quit and it killed loved ones. While overconsumption of junk food and alcohol is detrimental to your health, smoking is more addictive and harder to kick to the curb. Applaud yourself for putting the butt down.
Ask your husband what is most important to him, this fetish or you?
Smell can stimulate sexual responses, and the act of smoking is most likely orally stimulating for your partner. As a compromise, E-Cigarettes produce a vapor that may be a replacement to a tobacco cigarette. It’s still not health hazard free. Ask your husband what is most important to him, this fetish or you? If he cares about your health and the success of the marriage he will put you before any fetish. There are plenty of other fetishes less harmful on your health and sexually exciting. Here is a list.