Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Kissing. . . 101

Do you remember what it was like to anticipate your first kiss? What did you imagine kissing would be like? Do you recall your pre-pubescent days of watching actors and actresses on screen. . . wondering how they knew which way to tilt their heads and why their noses never seemed to bump?

Yeah, me too.

News came out yesterday that researchers have discovered that people who don't have a satisfactory first kiss, generally don't continue to see each other. Apparently the scientists concluded that which all teenagers instinctively know-- bad kissers don't get repeat plays. And then came all the inevitable experts opining on what makes a fabulous first kiss. More pressure on the pre-pubescent and the late-in-life daters who've forgotten all of this "delicate dance of romance" stuff. So, I went to the web and found (tada!)a Wikipedia article on "How to Kiss."

10 Steps to being a good kisser. If this were one of those Cosmo quizzes. . . well I'm not revealing my score. Suffice it to say, it wasn't 100%.

1. Be kissable. It says to use lip balm. Maybe breath mints. (Gwyneth Paltrow confided that she uses Altoids before kissing scenes. Really.) And check periodically to see that you don't have food stuck in your teeth. Lip balm, check. Breath mints, check. Water bottle, check.

2. Test the waters. Watch for signals that the other person is into you and ready for a kiss. Does he or she seem to enjoy touching you? Do they enter your "personal space freely and playfully? Bring up the subject of kissing? React positively if you bring up the idea of kissing?

3. Wait for the right moment. No hurry. Choose a private moment where you can be relaxed, so nobody will see if your attempt to kiss is rejected.

4. Get permission for the kiss. This, they say, doesn't necessarily mean asking verbally. It means telegraphing your intention: moving in and allowing the person to move closer or to withdraw, signaling that a kiss would not be welcomed. Yeah, well, a lot of people skip this step. Mostly guys. And that whole pause before contact thing escapes most college males.

5. Approach for the kiss. Move in slowly but steadily. You may use your hands to nudge or position your partner's body for more appropriate contact. (Remember that kiss where Spidey was hanging upside down and Mary Jane pulled down his mask and grabbed his head. . . now that was an extreme example of "the approach.") As you near your partner's lips, maintain eye contact. (See Deb's post of a few days ago for comments on eye-to-eye stuff.) And keep your eyes open until you've made contact lip-to-lip. THEN close your eyes to show you're concentrating on the sensations. (Show who? Aren't the other person's eyes supposed to be closed, too?)

6. Kiss gently. The first kiss shouldn't be at crush-depth pressure-- it should be exploratory and gentle. No pressing or pushing-- just let the lips meet gently. A soft, closed-mouth, lip to lip kiss is always best for the first kiss. (Most college boys are operating under a four-beer handicap by the "kissing" portion of the date. A lot of 45 year old divorcees operate under a three-martini version of same.) (Drinking and kissing-- not a good combination.) Then break the kiss for s second or two, deeping your head close to your partner's, and gauge the reaction.
If he or she is smiling, rinse and repeat.

7. Make the kiss the reason for the kiss. "A lot of people (mostly men) seem to treat kisses as nothing more than a prelude to something else and will try to move quickly into French kissing or start putting their hands in inappropriate places. Good kissers concentrate on the kiss, and they kiss-- at least seemingly-- expecting nothing more." (I quoted that whole part to let everybody know it's not just my opinion!)

8. Let your partner participate in the kiss. Good kissing requires give and take. Mashing, grabbing, forcing. . . are all in very bad form. It should be equal, not a contest in attempted domination.

9. Breathe. Through your nose, if possible. If not, take a break and breathe in between. Quietly, please. No gasping.

10. Use your hands. Keep them polite. . . no groping body parts. But use hands to augment sensation. . . touching face, cupping chin, touching hair gently, resting on shoulder or arm. A kiss is not the starter flag at the Indy 500. It doesn't signal the start of unlimited liberties.

Then there are a few other tips. . . don't poke your kissee in the face or eye with your glasses. Get your hair out of your face-- nothing says "ick" like hair caught against your mouth. And keep your mind on the kiss and not on other things that happened on the date. . . like that drink he or she spilled on you. Also, don't slather on lipstick in anticipation of a kiss.

Sounds very dry and unappealing to me.

I far prefer Crash's description in the movie Bull Durham: "I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days."

Yeah. Me, too, Crash.

So, just for fun, here are four sets of famous Hollywood lips. Can you identify them? A set of Bert's Bees Lip Balms to one of the lucky readers who gets all four correct!

So, what was your first kiss like? Interesting, terrifying, anti-climactic, dreamy? Mine was in a kissing game. . . not the most romantic thing, but certainly informative. Got to practice technique with several (ahem) guys. Came away with a lot of info! So what was your most MEMORABLE first kiss? Or if you'd rather comment on what makes a good kisser-- fire away! Do you think romances give short shrift to kisses these days-- and just go right for the bigger contact? What was the most romantic kiss you ever read?


Samantha Hunter said...

I think the third one is Kevin Costner, and maybe the last one is Bradd Pitt?

I don't remember my actual first kiss, weird, huh? But I do remember a guy who was the older son of friends of my parents, we'd usually meet up with them every summer for a weekend, and he and I would do very little but make out in his van. LOL I was always surprised my parents never wondered what we were doing out there, but I guess that's the advantage of having two older sisters who wore them down... heh. That guy and I didn't date, didn't keep in touch, didn't go out, but man, we were on each other like PB&J when we got together for those weekends -- nothing *too* naughty -- but hours and hours of completely slurpy teenage kissing and groping, LOL.

I also remember a boy I met when I was 16, camping in Cape Cod, and we went walking the dunes and made out there -- he was very romantic, and that's a nice memory, and we did date a little, went to the movies in Provincetown and saw Heaven Can Wait. He was a fun kisser, too. And had good hands for a 16 year old.

I sort of disagree with the whole gentle kissing thing -- that's okay, but it's actually annoying if someone doesn't commit to more than flutters at a certain point.


Debra Dixon said...

# 1 - Patrick Dempsey ??
# 2 - Gerard Butler ??

Michele Hauf said...

I think between Samantha and Debra they guessed them all. I wonder if girls prefer the moustache kiss or non-moustache? When my hubby shaves off the moustache I just laugh. I like moustaches!

Anyway, my first kiss? The guy had braces, so he was tentative, but I think I recall he wasn't so bad. Sigh... That's not a roaring good review for one's first kiss, is it?

Most memorable? Wet kisses, like in the rain. Those are the best.

Debra Dixon said...

My husband has had a moustache when I began dating him and the beard came along a couple of years into the marriage so I have no clue what a clean-shaven kiss is anymore! LOL!

My first kiss was in closet during a game of Three Minutes In Heaven. You know, finally-a-teen at a party and misbehaving. You weren't cool if you wouldn't go into the dark with one of the boys, who pretended to know but actually had no clue what they were doing.

Playground Monitor said...

My first kiss was at the end of my first date ever -- when I was a freshman in college. I know -- poor, pitiful me. I was so overwhelmed by the whole date thing and then the kiss and well... it's all a blur.

But I CAN tell you about the time I went out with a guy on the cheerleading squad. He was cute and blond and blue-eyed and in good shape. But Lord Almighty that boy needed some kissing lessons. He had that "crush-depth pressure" you mentioned. Not. Pleasant. At. All.

I'm pretty sure #2 is Gerard Butler. He could crush my lips any day. *g*


Jane said...

My first kiss was awkward and I was too nervous to observe technique. Kissing is important in a love scene. I don't think kisses aren't getting short changed, maybe because I want to get the good part. I only know that #2 is Gerard Butler and #4 is Brad Pitt.

Betina Krahn said...

Coo! Deb, I'm with you on the kissing game 1st kiss. Pure exploration. Little ego involvement, which was a relief.

Samantha, I know just what you mean. First kiss can be gentle and fluttery, but it better get serious (and firmer) soon or it's no deal with me.

Michele, my hubby had the moustache for 23 of our 24 years together. It was so weird to see him without it-- the boys and I just stared. But the kissing was just fine both ways. I kinda like beards. . . the tickle is cool. Fiancee is clean shaven (though he once had a sexy little beard) and I really like naked lips, too!

Playground, I really started to date in college, too. And kissed a lot of toads before finding good guys to date. Lots of different technique out there! The only kind I really hated were the WET ones.

I'll publish the names associated with the lips later this evening. . . but you guys are good!

flchen1 said...

Betina, what a fun post :) Kissing gets such a build-up to the first kiss, and it gets a bit of short shrift (boy, what a funny word--that doesn't look right) in our house--maybe I need to lay one on DH tonight ;)

Hmm... I'm not sure I remember the exact circumstances of my first kiss--I was already a senior in HS, and I sure was super nervous!

I'm pretty bad with the picture guessing, but would concur that #4 seems like Brad Pitt.

Christie Ridgway said...

Not looking at other posts first, here are my guesses:
Don't Know
Mickey Rourke
Brad Pitt

My first kiss was a disaster. The boy stuck his tongue in my mouth and there were my teeth, as a "brick wall" as he told someone else later. I was mortified! I didn't know about French kissing yet.

Helen Brenna said...

Oh, Betina. I'm soo mad I didn't get here first thing this morning. I had all four of those mugs!!

Blogger's being a pain today.

Love this post - what fun. Kissing is awesome, and I'm sure it's reflected in my books. I probably write better kisses than I do actual sex.

My first kiss was when I was eight. Under the pine tree in our front yard with -gasp- a nine year old. What a hussy, huh?

The kiss on my first date wasn't even memorable. In fact, I don't think I have any memorable kisses until college. Ooops, guess there was one guy in HS. A long distance romance.

The kisses where you knew you weren't going any further were the best. Long, sensual. Oy.

Slow hands and slow lips. Yep, that's the ticket.

Rafe Moore said...

Hey ladies... this is just a test post, I hope you don't mind... seeing if my display name shows up right for my guest blog tomorrow... ;>


Anonymous said...

patrick dempsey
gereld butler
kevin costner
brad pitt
yes rite lol

kim h

Betina Krahn said...

Flchen1, a surprising number of us had our first kiss late in high school! And yeah, "shrift" sure does looks funny in print.

Christie, brick walls were plentiful in my neck of the woods, too. "Frenching" was considered akin to first base-- whatever that was. And you're close with the guesses. . . I never realized how much #3's mouth looks like Mickey Roarke. A revelation!

Rafe-- can't wait to meet you.

And Kim H. . . you're the first to ID all four correctly! Patrick Dempsey on top, Gerard Butler second, Kevin Costner third, and Brad "the lips" Pitt last!

I have to say, cutting off those memorable eyes was hard to do! Lips are great, but those eyes. . .

Betina Krahn said...

Oh, yes-- Kim, send me your addy (to: bkrahn@tampabay.rr.com)and I'll be pleased to send you the lip balm gift set! You'll be ready and raring to go for the holiday smoochies!!

Anonymous said...

thanks ladies.

kim h

Marisa said...

absolutely no idea about the lips... yea no clue. anyway! while reading this article i happened to catch the qoute you included from crash off bull durham and it really helped me. ive been up all night looking at all the scientific methods about kissing, sexuality, and things like this;tips and opiniuns. theres this guy that i tell the story about in my blog "memiors of a dancer" in the article titled "boy drama" anyway just trying to get a grip on what would be the best way to handle him is and the whole no tongue the first kiss thing; this is gonna make you luagh but its F*** briliant! simple little details like that is what i was looking for. so thankyou

anyway to help you out ill post a blog within the next couple days about a teenage girls standing point. im a virgin so once again, for me its the small things i pay attention to.

my dream kiss has always been under the raining midnight sky, just drenched. but thats just always been this little joke me and my sisters have had; that my first kiss with the my true love will be the guy that kisses me just as i imagined it, rain and all. haha its kinda cute i think.

as for the kiss.
his single masculant hand reachs around your torso and laso's you in. hes hunched into me as i look at his chest. this being our first kiss im trying not to shake. he takes his index and ring finger together and gently touches the bottom of my chin to look at his eyes. still holding me against him with one arm he moves my nearly all grown out bags from my face and tucks them behind my ears. then again with the same hand, gently holds my chin and goes in for a kiss but waits right before he touch's my lips and both kiss eachother at the same time for only a moment when we stop and smile at eachother.

it seems less is more.
the best part about keeping it as LITTLE casual as possible is that it keeps things exiting and keeps the man or in my case boy unable to think about anything but ME!ha scadelice, selfish, maybe. but its the coolest feeling ever!

one time i made the mistake of kissing a guy back when he kissed me and we werent dating and it became where he thought we could kiss and it was just apart of being "buddys"
ya better know i said HELL NO! ha
anyway, hope that helped any.