17 February 2008

Why Cigarettes After Sex?

What's the deal with people craving a smoke after they've just had sex? I've seen it in movies all my life but I can't get to the bottom of why.

I could speculate that its some sort of final indulgence after a sweet session of sex or maybe some sort of cool down like in hot yoga but I dunno. Is there something physiological to it? Psychological?

If it is a cherry on top of the cake of indulgence and pleasure, why aren't we eating ice cream sundaes and meatball heroes after sex? Is it too messy?

Admittedly cigarettes do have sex appeal, they must since people continue to smoke even though we all know now what we know. Back then, as in James Dean, Coco Chanel, and Marilyn Monroe, we had no idea about how poisonous smoking was.

So wouldn't the healthy option or the "green" option be to indulge in a slice of vegan cheesecake after sex? Maybe a plate of ravioli? Or a big glass of chocolate milk poured into a baked potato and covered in hot fudge and vanilla ice cream?


Anonymous said...

the green option would obviously be a joint, duh.

Right in Bay Ridge said...

Maybe it has something to do with the eros / thanatos drives Freud talks about?

Gotham City Insider said...

Could be, Right.

While "researching" for this entry I came across a post where someone suggested the reason we crave a smoke after sex is because "after the little death we're chasing the big death.".

I found it clever referring to "La petite mort" which is French for "the small death", and a reference for an orgasm and the spiritual release that comes with orgasm, or a short period of melancholy or transcendence, as a result of the expenditure of the "life force".

Oh, the French with their sex and cigarettes.

Anonymous said...

Even when I was a smoker, I never craved one of those after some of that. Give me a fat slice of cheesecake any old day. My blood sugar is probably low by the end anyway.

Anonymous said...

I was curious too and in my google query I found your post and this website:

Anonymous said...

I was bored so I googled this question and got to your blog. I personally crave cigarettes after sex, but I wanted to know if there was a specific reason your body wants one after achieving orgasm. I don't know if there is a real answer, but I do know that you should try it if you havn't already.

Anonymous said...

I've studied neurobiology and been around the block quite a few times and I think I might have an answer. I believe that nicotine bears similar properties to the anti-depressant drug class known as MAOIs or monoamine oxidase inhibitors. MAOIs, as their name suggests, inhibit certain chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters) from being broken down and allow more time for synaptic stimulation. So, during and after sex, when the brain is heavily saturated with these chemicals, nicotine lends a hand further stimulate and keep the robust supply of neurotransmitters within the synaptic chasm for an extended period of time. This is also the same reason that people using stimulative drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine tend to smoke more when high. And the same reason why people report a heightened sense of sexuality when engaging in sex while high on cocaine.

Unknown said...

I too, like several others that posted comments, Goolged that ques. and was thusly led here...when I used to smoke I never craved a cig after sex but I would feel the need for a smoke after lunch or dinner. I do know this..I am so GLAD I was able to kick that nasty habit/addiction "cold-turkey"