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Kiss Me, You Fool!

29 comments | December 20th, 2011

(story by Mir, from WouldaCouldaShoulda)

I recently wrote a post about TLC's "The Virgin Diaries," and while the truth is that I love a good trainwreck, I've realized that my horrified fascination with this particular spectacle goes deeper than that. It's not (just) that I love seeing people behave in cringe-worthy ways. It's not (just) that I'm fascinated by the psychology behind life choices different than my own.

No. See, I've realized that the primary reason I'm unable to turn away from this particular show is that I take kissing very seriously. Really! I view kissing as one of the singular pleasures of this mortal life.

[And I’m not using “kissing” as a euphemism, here. I have similar feelings about, er, more intimate activities as well. But I feel particularly strongly about kissing because 1) it’s fairly harmless, even if you decide to engage in it casually, 2) it’s okay for most everyone (excepting some of the folks on that TV show), even not-quite-adults, to share with a romantic interest, and 3) it’s just plain happy-making. For most people, anyway.]

Watching people kiss so awkwardly in "The Virgin Diaries" was sort of like watching a horror film and hearing the ingenue say, "I'll be right back…" while everyone in the theatre screams, "NOOOOOOOO!!!!" at the screen. You see the horror that's about to unfold and you are powerless to stop it, even though it's completely avoidable. As in: people in horror movies should never split off and go somewhere alone. And as in: people should never reach adulthood utterly unable to lock lips with someone in a way that is enjoyable rather than scary.

Let's face it: nobody really knows how to kiss, before they've done it. You kind of know. You've maybe surreptitiously practiced on your pillow or your hand or your poster of Sting (okay, that last one might've just been me). But the moment comes, and if you're lucky, you just… figure it out. Together. Trial and error can be a beautiful thing, provided that both participants are enjoying themselves.

So I realized that I cannot remember my very first kiss. Isn't that sad?? I mean, I know who it was with. But what I do remember was my very first French kiss. Who doesn't? I'd have to say that I don't know a single woman who doesn't remember that first jolt of "OH GOD THERE IS A TONGUE IN MY MOUTH." Because it's weird and foreign and maybe jarring, the first time. It's the kind of thing that makes a mark on your memory, and later—preferably much later, when you're all grown up and recalling something from teenagerhood—you find yourself swapping these retellings at a cocktail party, while everyone involved laughs the knowing laugh.

I was 14. We were already boyfriend and girlfriend, though up to that point those titles had mostly involved holding hands as often as possible and a rather chaste good-night peck after our dates. But that day, we'd gone to the movies. Nothing good was playing, and we ended up at "101 Dalmatians," which I'd never seen. He couldn't believe I'd never seen it, but it was true. We watched for a good ten or fifteen minutes, holding hands and kind of jokingly poking at each other over who knows what before he kissed me on the cheek. And I kissed him on his cheek in response. And then he kissed me on the lips. And then suddenly there was an extra tongue in my mouth.

He didn't know what he was doing, either, of course. But, um, we pretty much figured it out by the end of the movie (though I pretty much still hadn't seen it after that particular "viewing"). That was following by a lot more kissing, with that same boy, and then later, other boys. I feel fortunate that I got it all out of the way pretty early in life.

My very favorite story of a first French kiss comes from Joshilyn Jackson, and I think you'll like it too, if you want to check it out.

I don't know, I think the bottom line for me is that figuring out how to kiss is part of growing up, not something to be saved until adulthood and then nervously tested in front of your entire family. I respect the choice to wait, I guess (though I'll admit I find waiting to even kiss a little… extreme), but for me that first awkward kiss happened exactly the way I think it should: In the dark, when I was young, and early enough that it was later just a fond—rather than embarrassing—memory.

Will you tell me about your first kiss? Or what you hope it will be like, if it hasn't happened yet?

(read more Mir here)

 

29 comments

  • Megan

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    Chris Whatsit (I’m sad to say I can’t remember his last name). Back stage at the high school theatre. I was… 13? 14? Can’t remember that bit. We’d been doing that weird vertical hug thing that awkward teens do all the time – arms around waists, just sorta…standing… for DAYS. He progressed to tentative and embarrassed pecks on the lips which I totally took as code for you’re-not-cute-enough-to-real-kiss and then… I guess he dug up the courage ’cause there it was! Fumbling, weird, exciting, and far less cool than I imagined but still… weirdly perfect because of COURSE it should happen back-stage and of COURSE it should be dark and breathless.

    Yeah. First kiss. There was enough stuff loaded onto it in high school – I can’t imagine adding in a whole lifetime of abstinence AND a wedding! [and no, STILL not gonna watch that clip; I just… can’t]

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  • meghann @ midgetinvasion

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    My first kiss was pretty romantic. It was at band camp. “This one time, at band camp. . .” It was a national band camp when I was 15. There was a boy there that I had really clicked with all week, we spent every waking moment together. (It helped that we played the same instrument and were seated next to each other.) The end of the week came, and it was time to say goodbye. People milling everywhere, getting onto buses, us looking at each other, not wanting to leave. Then he kissed me. A good solid french kiss. I remember thinking “EW!” and “YAY!” and “OMG I can’t believe we’re doing this in front of all these people” and “YAY!!!” simultaneously.

    I would like to quickly tell the story of me and my husband’s first kiss, because it was his first, even though he was in his 20’s. (This is my proof that people do wait until that old, and it’s nothing like that video.) We had gone on a few dates, and we were both falling pretty fast for each other. I was in a place where I was having to choose between two guys (poor, poor, me) so I had asked him on the phone where the relationship was going. We got into a heated argument, and I hung up, certain this great relationship was over before it even really started. I went up to the college, and sat in our sorority’s office, completely depressed.

    After a while, someone threw open the door. It was Future Hubby! He stared at me intensely for a second, and then, without a word, he marched right over to me, and kissed me like something out of a movie. It was great, super romantic, and uh, pretty much the OPPOSITE of that video. Lol!

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  • Susan

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    I’m still laughing over Joshilyn’s story!

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  • Jan

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    Oh, gawd, Joshilyn’s story is completely awesome and hilarious!!

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  • Beth

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    Please give me a moment to recover from joshilyn’s story. Oh MY. That poor coat…ha!

    My first kiss happened during the movie “Back to the Future.” (which,yes, I know dates me…not making me old, just putting me smack in my place). My boyfriend at the time had asked me during our first “date” if he could hold my hand. Then he asked me if he could put his arm around me. At B2TF, he asked if he could kiss me. Then our friends made us do it again so they could watch (I still find that part incredibly icky…I mean, SERIOUSLY?) And every single kiss was always exactly the same. So let’s just say, I’m hoping for the case of his beautiful wife that he improved on his technique.

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  • Tenessa

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    I love Joss’s story and yours. I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16 (I’m now 35, which I tell you now so you know that this was in the EARLY 1990’s!). I had a couple of boyfriends right after entering high school (none to speak of before that) and they were both two years older than me. I was not allowed to go places with them. They had to come to my house and we weren’t allowed to hang out in my bedroom so needless to say, no kissing happened. So my first kiss was from my boyfriend when I was almost 16. He was the boyfriend I spent the next 3 plus years with. For some reason, my parents started letting me go to “town” with my best friend and her older sister (who drove her own car!!!). We lived in a very small town so cruising the drag was THE thing to do on weekend nights. Just driving in a HUGE convoluted circle for HOURS. We would stop at a couple of places along the way and socialize and then hop back into the car sans seat belts and belt out hair band metal at the tops of our lungs. At one of these stops, my boyfriend was there. We engaged in hand holding and furtive hugs while we shivered in the cold. He pulled me around behind his giant green van and kissed me. It was my first kiss with tongue and he blew me away with it. It was somehow sweet and innocent while being both wet and long. Not sure how that works, but there you are.

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  • Rosie

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    My first kiss was with my first boyfriend. We went to homecoming dance together and he drove me home and I think I invited him in for a while. We were both awkward and shy, but we liked each other. He was 6’7″ to my 5’7″, which added to the awkwardness. Finally, as he was leaving and stepped down into my parent’s porch, I stood on the upper step–which made us almost even in height–and made the first move. Couldn’t have felt more natural, exciting, and scary. Thus began a 4-year relationship (3 in high school and 1 in college).

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  • Leandra

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    Oh, it was Alec and it was at my first boy-girl party in sixth grade. Everybody had been talking about it all day long and everybody knew it was going to happen. No pressure, right? I was a nervous wreck. When the slow song came on, Alec and I were dancing and then all of a sudden, somebody turned out the lights. And then it happened. He put his TONGUE in my MOUTH. I mean, I knew all about French kissing — theoretically, I mean. But hearing about it and having it actually happen are two different things altogether. I literally thought I was going to throw up. I told everybody I was “sick” and went upstairs and sat on the sofa until my mom came to get me. Alec was mortified. Not my best moment, to be sure, but definitely memorable!! LOL

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  • Anna

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    Well, considering my first kiss is now gay, I’d rather not talk about it. 😉 But can I tell you about my first kiss with my now-husband?

    We had been dating for three years, and decided to wait until our wedding day.

    NOOOOOOOO!!!! Actually, not. lol

    We had been dating for a few weeks, and went out with our group of friends into town. When we came back home (dorm-style living situation) we decided to stay out under the stars and chat. By the time we got up the courage to kiss, we leaned in to each other and a skunk comes from out of nowhere and surprises us. So, we laughed and tried again. :)

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  • Heather Cook

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    Yeah, I remember my first kiss. And I’m pretty sure we didn’t look like those people. but the thing is… I don’t think ALL Virgins end up not knowing how to kiss. I think being a virgin is totaly fine and I feel bad that these people and this show are making it so weird and awkward!

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    • Mir

      Posted on December 20, 2011

      I totally agree, Heather. The real problem with this show isn’t that they’re virgins, but that they’re weird and awkward. I think on my original post someone pointed out that even the Duggar wedding showed those kids more capable of a normal kiss than this show, which just goes to show that waiting doesn’t have to equal being all weird about it!

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  • abbey

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    What memories! My first kiss wasn’t so memorable, but the first french kiss was more so — probably because it was in the wrong place, with the wrong guy (of course). It was on the couch of a friend’s parents house watching a movie with a guy I’d met that evening that was staying with them. I had had a crush on friend in question for YEARS, but somehow ended up spending most of the evening kissing, holding hands with, and snuggled up to this other guy when my crush was two feet away. Being the crazy person I was I did call and apologize to my friend’s parents the next day and neither the crush nor the random new guy turned into anything more than a story.

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  • Liza

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    Joshilyn’s story cannot be beaten. Best first kiss story ever.

    Also, she and I are clearly the same age because gooey, shiny Bonnie Belle was absolutely required in my middle school years. And I dreamed of being named Rio and dancing in the sand.

    I don’t actually remember the first kiss. What I remember most vividly is that my parents clearly didn’t think I was old enough to be having those feelings yet, so they had not yet banned boys from my room, so we had privacy for our kissing experiments. (Which did, ahem, progress very slightly beyond that, whereupon I thought I had died of awkwardness, and no, you may not wiggle your hand under my bra. Go away.)

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  • Arnebya @whatnowandwhy

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    I don’t remember what led up to the first kiss, can’t even remember his name now (but his face is squarely in my brain). There was a lot of pushing from others for us to “just do it.” We went into another room and did it and once there he was a different boy. Gone was the class clown. Gone was the loudmouth. He was gentle and sweet and we did figure it out. The tongue part was quite ick phooey at the time but I still let him. (And if I may be so bold as to say, I love a good rench kiss and after 17 years, my husband can still curl my toes. Moving on). We were 15 and it was summer and a school day. In the middle of the day (hint hint). We were in Marquita’s house and her mother came home. Let’s just say my first kiss day ended with stolen pastries, me being pushed out of a first floor window, grass stains, running, and lots and lots of laughter. I just wish I could remember his name!

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  • Nelson's Mama

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    I was in the sixth grade and went to my friend’s house and her boy cousins were there for the evening. We played Hide N Seek in the dark while Charlie Rich crooned Behind Closed Doors on a 45 record player.

    I was mortified when I had to face her eighth grade cousin at school on Monday…don’t think I’ve spoken to him since that night!

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  • Becky

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    This is where I feel shy and inept. I still haven’t had my first kiss, and I’m in my early twenties. It’s not like I’m waiting or anything! It’s just there haven’t been any candidates. Such is your fate when you attend an all girls’ high school followed by an all women’s college and happen to be straight. I haven’t really known people of the male persuasian that aren’t family since…back when voices hadn’t cracked yet, and there was no such thing as facial hair.

    I will now lead a life full of fear that my first kiss will be miserable and woe and DEAR GOD, I AM NOT A BABY BIRD.

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    • meghann @ midgetinvasion

      Posted on December 20, 2011

      Becky, if you scroll up and read mine, my husband’s first kiss wasn’t until his mid-20’s, and it was great. Nothing like a mama bird. 😉 Have no fear!

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      • Becky

        Posted on December 20, 2011

        Your husband is the pinnacle of awesome. I might have swooned a little at your comment. It’s just so romantic and perfect.

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    • Mir

      Posted on December 20, 2011

      Nah, don’t sweat it, Becky. Despite my rather ceaseless mocking of that terrible show, I think waiting is sweet and need not lead to that level of awkwardness!

      When the time is right you will have that kiss, and with any luck it will be perfect in its own way. :)

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  • Heather

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    Oh dear, Joshilyn’s story is pretty fantastic 😉 Loved the punchline, too.

    My first French kiss was in 8th or 9th grade (those years blur together…) and was with an older boy (16) I dated for a few months until it became clear all he wanted was to get laid. He was a great kisser, so he did manage to get me all conflicted about whether I wanted to go further or not, but all he got was the awkward groping of a virgin girl looking for ‘love’ in all the wrong places. That first kiss was back at my bff’s house (we’d double dated that night)and it was slightly infamous in that it got so heady Ryan stepped backward, forgetting we were near the edge of the sidewalk, and fell off the curb, bringing me with him!

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  • Gigi

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    I could have written this post. Only we were 15 and the movie was Biloxi Blues. I still haven´t seen it 😉

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  • Em

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    I don’t have time to write mine now but I am SO enjoying these comments. I think the key (and the downfall of that couple) is not to show off. No wedding kiss should involve trying to eat the bride. Tongues should not come into play when there are grandmas around. That is all I have to say about that.

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  • Kira

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    My first “real” kiss was at summer camp. It was with a dear, sweet boy who had no idea what he was doing either. David Sainty. Heh. We would kiss kiss kiss and then sit around and analyze how it worked. “Our teeth bumped. Do you think they’re supposed to?” It was adorable and innocent, even though we thought we were playing fast-and-loose with the temptations of the flesh.
    I have a picture of me and David at camp, standing with our arms awkwardly around each other. I was slightly taller than him, too, which is a product of us being 13, not of me actually being tall at all.
    To top it all off, I now have a picture of my middle son, just before he turned 13, standing at the same summer camp, with his arm awkwardly around a slightly taller young lady, both of them with the same dazzled look David and I shared. And as protective as I can be of my kids and their innocence, I can’t see their relationship as anything other than sweet and precious.

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  • red

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    He was my Sadie Hawkins date, and it was our good night kiss I mean, that was my first, you know, Kiss. I had pecked other guys on the mouth before. It was just the one date, don’t know if he knew it was my first, but Wowza! Now I’m FB friends with him, and I feel a little by weird about that.

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  • Heather

    Posted on December 20, 2011

    No first kiss for me, yet…nor a date. But I’m not waiting for those things on PURPOSE. Gosh. (The more … intimate activities, yeah, but … yeah.)

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  • Amy

    Posted on December 21, 2011

    I probably shouldn’t tell you about my first kiss as your offspring is the same age that I was for my first kiss, and since it was on the band bus coming home from an away game, but alas, here I go. My first kiss was with this wonderful boy Brandon. We had just gone to our first away game of the season and our team won (they won every game that year actually). I had sat with one of my friends on the ride there, but Brandon asked me to sit with him on the way back. He held my hand for part of the ride and then half way through he kissed me. Full on the mouth. None of that kissing the face business. Full. on. the mouth. I’d never even had a non-mouth kiss before that moment. And of course it escalated to french kissing in no time flat. It is a lovely memory. Oh, and Brandon’s dad was our mailman. That has nothing to do with the story, it’s just anecdotal.

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  • Kim S

    Posted on December 21, 2011

    Larry Hanks. I was in 7th grade, he was in 8th grade. We had 2nd hour Home-Ec together. Everyday, he would walk me from Home-Ec to my next class, which happened to be gym class. About a week into our “dating”, he started kissing me in the gym before heading off to his own 3rd hour class. And then kissing turned into French kissing. It was very wet and I didn’t like it at all. So, after about a week of that, I broke up with him. (Seven years later, I ended up sharing an apartment with his twin sister. He came over once and I told him how we had once “dated”. He totally didn’t even remember me.)

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