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Posts Tagged ‘Kissing’

I know this is going to sound silly, so please don’t laugh… but sometimes I worry that, if I got run over by a truck tomorrow it would be a damn shame that the last person I kissed was my ex wife.

Don’t get me wrong– I certainly enjoyed kissing her over those many years, she was really good at it.  But that part of my life is so over, so ancient history.

If you’ve read my blog long enough you’ve probably caught on that I’m a total kissing bug, love it, love it, love it.  I certainly dedicated quite a few posts to it (this and this and this and and even this) and — ha — here’s another one.

Last weekend I went to a Christmas party some great old friends were throwing; it had been way too long since I’d seen him and his wife.  I had the kids visiting with me, and while I was pretty sure it was “adult” party I figured we could swing by for a short visit.  My kids are old enough to chill out and occupy themselves for a little bit, and I wouldn’t subject them to hanging out for long.

The vibe really made me wish they’d held the party the previous weekend; there were a lot of people there, and the alcohol was flowing.  A lot of women my age, older, and younger, and a fair number of them single.  With a sigh I drank the Coca Cola, caught up with my friends, and checked in with the kids.  They were total angels, and I didn’t hold them there too long.  Soon we headed home.

I’m really looking forward to going to another mixer like that again, with a lot of people there, and the alcohol flowing.  A lot of women my age, older, and younger, and a fair number of them single.  With a little luck maybe one of them will make out with me…

Everyone else falls away...

…or give me her number for a date, leading to a long, lovely goodnight kiss at her front door.

Perfect end to a lovely evening

Then I can get run over by that truck and not have that regret hanging over my head.  Hey, I told you not to laugh at me 😉

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Much like other people coming out of a long-term relationship that has ended, thoughts often turn analytical – what went wrong, and how can I avoid that in the future?  One of the points of this blog is to help me stake out qualities I’d like to find in future partners, and while I know that no one is going to embody all those qualities, I think it would be helpful for me to look inside and recognize that there are things I’d like in a girlfriend, thinks I want in a girlfriend… and things I need in a girlfriend.

Affection is a definite need.

I’ve always been someone who expresses affection in physical ways.  I like the reassuring touch, holding hands, hugging, leaning against your partner, the spontaneous “just ‘cause” kiss.  Reaching out and running your hands through her hair.  Fixing my shirt collar or picking off a fuzzball from my clothes before work.  I know some people view this sort of thing as being needy or insecure, but for me it’s just something that feels good and lets people know “I love you” at a fundamental level better than any words can express.

You and me babe

I’ve heard people express disapproval ranging from being awkwardly uncomfortable to flat-out disgusted when seeing others engage in “Public Displays of Affection.”  Sometimes the lovers will be heckled with “go get a room!”

the horror...

Me, I personally love seeing PDAs.  It warms the heart to see two people out and about in public and yet totally willing to make it crystal clear to everyone around that this person here is their love.  Whether it’s the teenaged girl curled up in her boyfriend’s lap at the football game, or the elderly couple holding hands as they walk down street, it’s a happy reminder that there is love in the world to be had.

Thinking about PDAs, I decided to Google it and see what came up.  Not surprisingly, there is a lot on the internet about it.  There’s even a website called MorePDAs.org!

GIMME MORE!

Askmen.com had an article titled “Acceptable Public Displays of Affection” with the subtitle “Why do you need to know?  Because you don’t want to be that couple.”  Which is funny… but personally I’d rather be that couple than the ones watching.  The article then goes through rating various PDAs on a scale of Acceptable on one end, Unacceptable on the other, with some middle ground of Acceptable but with qualifiers.  It’s quite amusing and definitely comes from a “macho” point of view (especially the Unacceptable ones).

Acceptable:  Hand-holding

Acceptable, within limits:  Kissing

Acceptable, but tacky:  Space invasion

Acceptable, but not advised:  Ass smacks

Unacceptable:  Declarations of love, Pet names, Babying

I found a website named Lovepanky.com– which I find frickin’ awesome– how could you not visit a site called Lovepanky??  They had several articles on the subject.  The first one I ran across was just called “Public Display of Affection.”   The author gives an amusing anecdote about getting distracted in the movie theater by two young lovers in the row in front of her providing more action and romance than the chick flick she was there to see.

Another article was titled “Kissing in Public—Does It Turn You On?”  The author writes:

Public affection can have its hate club, but deep inside, our voyeuristic sides can’t help but get turned on by some good kissing in public!

I kinda assumed they’d be talking about doing the kissing in public, but it seems to be more about watching other people kissing, and provides some counter-argument against those who claim to be offended by that sort of PDA.

Then there’s the Lovepanky.com article entitled “Public Display of Affection Etiquette.”  Aha!  Here are the rules they lay out (and check out the article for more details):

#1 Make it look good (cute and sweet vs. gross and vulgar)

#2 Stop when it’s uncomfortable (for the people around you)

#3 Kissing tops the list (though don’t try and reach for your partner’s tonsils)

#4 Don’t bite and lick (‘nuff said)

#5 Don’t flash skin

#6 Don’t use PDA to seduce someone else (Ha!)

#7 Watch the age (of the people around you)

#8 Don’t touch someone else (the personal anecdote is fun)

#9 Don’t slip your hands in (hee!)

#10 Watch your reputation

So how do you feel about Public Displays of Attention?  To me, it comes down to the core word affection and for public display of it you should use some degree of common sense and tact.  But the showing and sharing of affection is important to me.  The next woman in my life will need to be comfortable with giving and receiving public displays of it.  Tell me what you think about PDAs in the comments!

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3 First Kisses

[Another post ported over from Livejournal, this one tied in thematically to my earlier post …She’d Savor Smooching]

I loooooove kissing. It’s a bit of an obsession actually; on my Livejournal info page I’ve got drunken kisses, french kissing, kissing, making out, and slow kisses all listed as interests. Whenever I build a fantasy about someone in my mind, it always starts with passionate kisses.

Not long ago, I was thinking about my first “real” kiss… and then realized that I actually had three seperate “first” kisses. Seemed to me it might be unusual enough to want to recount here in my journal, and feel free to share your first kisses with me. Believe me when I say I’ll love reading every entry 🙂

First Kiss #1: Julie
Julie was my first girlfriend. I’d just gotten my license to drive and used to go pick up my younger sister from softball practice and games. Julie was the star pitcher, a jock tomboy with black hair cut butch, a guttermouth when no grownups were around, and the most incredibly beautiful big brown eyes. Off the field Julie would wear boys jeans and baggy shirts, but I knew better, almost daily I’d seen her strong, athletic body perform on the field. She was still pretty young, and in retrospect I imagine perhaps she was a bit embarrassed about her blossoming body that boys were starting to take notice of. Whenever we’d end up standing next to each other when I was helping my sister with her gymbag, her boisterous and loud on-field persona would melt into this bashful, slightly flirtatious adorable wallflower.

One day my sister finally demanded why I hadn’t asked Julie out yet. So I asked for her phone number, called her up, and we started hanging out.

Her parents were overly protective of Julie; her older sister had broken bad and run wild, and both Julie and her parents had taken care to make sure she hadn’t followed that path. Her parents liked me well enough, but the idea of “dating steady” was something that made them nervous, so we pretty much did stuff like go to afternoon movies, maybe go get an early dinner, go to church together, and hang out in her living room and watch TV and talk.

Both of us were drawn to each other, but both of us also had a painful inner shyness that was hard to get past. We dated for weeks before I finally decided. I’d ask her to be my girlfriend, and I’d kiss her by god.

It was around 8pm or so and it was time for me to go home. Julie walked me out to the car, and we talked a little. The night was nice, cool, with the moon lighting the sky. I was nervous as a cat. I finally asked her if she’d be my girlfriend, and she smiled and said yes, and I planted a kiss on her.

I think she was a little bit surprised, and I knew in an instant that she was as new to this as I was. The kiss was chaste as far as kisses go, with our mouths just slightly open, no tongue, but our lips pressed together, nervous and trembling with fear and longing. It was simple, probably little more than an instant, but it was wonderful and it was the first.

Sadly, soon thereafter, Julie wrote me a letter breaking up with me. She said that she felt terrible that her parents wouldn’t let her go anywhere, and that she said I deserved a “real” girlfriend who could go on real dates and go places and stay out late and make out and all the things that girlfriends should do. I was devastated. I tried to talk her out of it, to let her know I was willing to put in the time, to stick with her until she got older, until I gained the trust of her parents. But she just kept saying I deserved better. Some of my friends suggested she’d found someone else, but I was positive that Julie was telling me the truth. And the truth sucked. So my first kiss was also a last kiss, sadly.

First Kiss #2: Beth
Not long after Julie broke up with me, I was at my friend B’s house partying with my buddies. His parents ceded us the huge basement area of their farm house, allowing us to drink alcohol, play loud music and act like silly irresponsible teenagers so long as we each left our keys upstairs on the dining room table and didn’t try to drive home.

Anyway, the “core” group of us would hang out and have a great time, often starting the night with D&D, drinking beer or wine before we’d get too buzzed to focus on gaming and we’d start playing music, singing, and playing drinking games. After a while, we made a concerted effort to try and expand our core to members of the opposite sex; after all, it was much more enjoyable to party in mixed company. Beth was one of our first recruits.

This particular evening she was the only woman in the group. Not that that bothered her; Beth was a wonderful flirt and had a wicked wit and sense of humor. She was more than capable of holding her own and keeping six guys fetching and stepping.

Anyway, the night got really late and a lot of alcohol was consumed. I know *I* was incredibly intoxicated, and most of us were sitting around fighting off unconsciousness. A song came on that lured Beth to her feet; “I love this song,” she said, and started slow dancing around. All eyes that were still open were on her of course. Halfway through the song she said “All y’all gonna make me dance by myself?” I looked around; nobody else budged. Uninhibited due to the large amount of booze coursing through my veins, I stood up and staggered over to her. I remember her long sandy brown hair, her eyes large and liquid with intoxication. She smiled and held her hands out to me, and we wrapped our arms around each other to help keep from stumbling and falling as we swayed to the music. I remember how nice her body felt pressed against me before memory faded in a warm alcohol haze.

The next morning I woke up at home in my bed. I vaguely remember a friend arriving late that night who hadn’t been drinking and he’d offered to shuttle me home. And I remembered telling him that I’d kissed Beth, tongue and all, we’d made out and it was my first time french kissing and damn it had felt good.

I remembered telling my friend about it… but I couldn’t remember the actual kissing! The very alcohol that had emboldened me to make out with Beth had blotted out the memory of it, so that all I remembered was talking about it later. How lame is that?

Two months later, Beth and I were planning a big throw down party; our birthday falls about a week apart so we were going to be throwing a mutual birthday party. Beth pops by my house to work out some plans, an invite list, etc. As she talks, I just keep looking at her, pissed at my mind for blacking out the memory of us. Finally she cocks her head bemused at me. “What? Your mind doesn’t seem to be on this party, Ben.”

“Did we… did I kiss you at Brian’s party?”

She smiles at me. “Oh yeah. Haha, we were so drunk!”

How to say this? Well, just come right out I guess. “My mind is kinda fuzzy about the whole thing… but was I okay? I mean, I was really drunk so I hope I wasn’t awful or anything.”

“Mr. Smith, my mind is a little fuzzy too, but I really enjoyed it. You are probably the most enthusiastic kisser I’ve met!”

“That’s a good thing?”

“Yes, that’s a really good thing.”

First Kiss #3: Karen
Six months or so later, I end up going on a date with Karen. Karen dated a friend of mine briefly and had tried unsuccessfully to “hook up” me and another friend with two of her close friends; the scheme was for six of us to pair off together for drinking and possibly sleeping together if we could find a house to do it in. But the first two times we made plans they fell through and then Karen and my friend broke up. So the “hookup” never happened.

In the course of scheming, Karen and I had exchanged phone numbers and had talked on the phone a few times. After she & my friend broke up, she called me one night and we talked late about what a jerk he was; since I knew him well and knew he was a jerk to women, I couldn’t do anything but agree. At the end of the conversation, it was late and we were both starting to babble from exhaustion. “You’re such a sweet guy, Ben. I think I ended up with the wrong friend.” “Wanna go out?” I asked, half joking. “I’d like that,” she replied. So I asked if she wanted to go with me to the Rush concert in town the next weekend, and she said she’d love to. And all of a sudden out of nowhere I had a date.

Karen was this adorable girl who was a bit shy and melted into crowds and was easily overshadowed by more conventional beauties. She was tiny and wore glasses, and spoke softly, but if you payed attention it was easy to see how lovely she was. Long red hair, smooth white skin dotted with freckles, she had a dynamite smile and gorgeous green eyes.

I remembered picking her up and getting grilled by her father. He told me very clearly when he expected his daughter to be home and I knew he meant business. Karen rescued me as soon as she could and we fled into the night. I had a half bottle of bourbon stashed under the seat so we mixed it up with two cokes and got a nice buzz on and thoroughly enjoyed the show. We held hands and nuzzled each other’s necks and just let the awesome musicianship and showmanship transport us to another world. Rush is one of the few bands I made sure to see several times back in their heyday.

We get caught up in traffic snarled around the Coliseum after the concert and I begin to worry a little bit about curfew. I finally break free from the jam, hit the highway and finally get off in our side of town. When I’m not shifting the gears of my VW bug we’re holding hands. “We don’t have to go right home you know,” she says, and gives me a look that sends electric shivers down my spine.

“Um, your dad–”

“– is probably in bed right now.”

She squeezes my hand. I gulp. Keep in mind, at this point the most I’d ever really done with a girl was a make-out session I didn’t even remember. Karen was hinting about parking in some nice secluded spot, making out at the least and, if I were lucky…

Double gulp!

Visions of delivering a slightly disheveled daughter LATE to a very awake and irate Karen’s dad ultimately cooled the teenaged hormones that had been unleashed by this small, lovely girl sitting next to me. I’d had a good time with Karen that night, and I wanted to make sure I’d get to see her again. I told her so and with a sigh she agreed that perhaps it was time to get home.

We pull into the driveway and the house is lit up like a Christmas tree. Light is literally pouring from every window. It was 12:30 at night, what the heck?

Ends up that Dad had invited Karen’s uncle and aunt and cousins over for a “movie night” and the whole gang was up, eating popcorn, drinking sodas and beer and watching The Karate Kid Part II. Wax on, wax off indeed. Dad insists that we join them and watch the movie, and the room is raucous and loud. Dad offers me a beer, which I decline explaining that it’s pretty late and I’m tired. Karen takes my queue and tells everyone that I have to get up pretty early in the morning and that I should go, and we flee back outside to my car. Karen apologizes for her crazy family, but I tell her no need, and again let her know how much I enjoyed the evening. She tells me she had a really good time too, then reaches up and pulls my head down to hers and we kiss.

Man, what a kiss! I can still remember it vividly, with her mouth pressed firm against mine, mouths open, her tongue darts in and plays with mine. Her kisses send electric shocks through my scalp, down my spine, a luscious cascade of sensation that I never want to end. I think we stand there for 10 minutes easily, arms entwined, mouth to mouth. It was strange when we finally came up for air, and I looked down at this little tiny girl who had so consumed my senses.

Right from the first (first remembered that is) Karen set the bar for kissing high, and I’ve been lucky enough to have known a number of women to have met that high standard over the years. If a woman gets into kissing as a sensational treat all its own, that is certainly a huge plus in my book!

So that’s the story of my Three First Kisses. Anyone got any kisses they want to share?

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one for the ages

This is one of those pictures I just love every time I see it.  If I remember my history correctly, this was snapped in Times Square when V-J Day was announced.  Now I always assumed that these two were sweethearts celebrating the end of World War II by one of the best expressions of the joys of being alive– The Kiss.  It was just recently however that I learned more about the people in the picture, that these two were strangers, and that they parted ways after sharing this wonderful moment together and never saw each other again.

Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt said about the day he shot the picture:

“[The sailor was] running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight. Whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn’t make any difference. None of the pictures that were possible pleased me. Then, suddenly in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse.”

The woman in the picture, Edith Cullen Shain, had this to say:

“I had left Doctors’ Hospitial and wanted to be part of the celebration but the amorous sailor and a subsequent soldier motivated [me] into the next opening of the subway.  I wish I could have stored that jubulation and amour for use P.R.N.”

[“P.R.N.” is a medical term meaning “as needed”]

The sailor in the picture, George Mendoza, was actually on a date at the time with a woman he would eventually marry, and when they heard the news they rushed into the street.  He saw the nurse passing by, took her in his arms and kissed her.  He said:

“I had quite a few drinks that day and I considered her one of the troops–she was a nurse.”

Now, people can’t usually get away with just sweeping up strangers in an embrace and laying on them a big kiss– much less expect to get reciprocated– but in such unique and powerful emotional moments you can understand both sides of the equation.  That classic picture reminds me of one of the more amusing moments in Oscar history, when Adrien Brody won the Oscar in 2003, stunning everybody including himself.  Overcome with excitement and emotion, he grabbed Halle Berry and layed one on her:

When Adrien Met Halle

From what I understand, this was completely off-the-cuff and unstaged… and while I certainly can’t blame Mr. Brody for both his excitement and desire to kiss a stunner like Ms. Berry, god bless her for rolling with it and making it an awesomely romantic and fun moment to remember instead of something incredibly awkward and weird.

In a not quite so happy personal anecdote, it also recalls to mind a moment after my high-school graduation, as some of us gathered at someone’s home to celebrate with mixed company and some illicit booze.  As luck would have it, the object of my senior year unrequited crush — I’ll call her Kay — showed up and I vowed that somehow, someway, I would actually gather the courage to finally make a move on her.  Considering post-graduation we all scatter to the winds and very likely wouldn’t see each other again, I suppose I couldn’t procrastinate any longer.

In a stunning turn of events, after much drinking and the crowd thinning out a bit, Kay suggested we play “spin the bottle,” and since we were pretty evenly split between the boys and the girls, everyone readily agreed.  My turn came up pretty quickly, and I tried hard not to shake as I took hold of the bottle and sent out a silent prayer as I spun it.  Excitement and dread leaped into my throat as it stopped pointing at Kay!  She scooted around to me and planted a kiss that stopped time, her tongue gently exploring, the mouth warm and tasting of wine.  I may have actually levitated off the ground for several moments, with the heat and rush of emotion lasting well past the end of the kiss.

The joy of the moment was dashed soon afterwards when Kay spun the bottle and it stopped pointing at a friend of mine.  He leaned over to her and they started kissing, and I sipped at my suddenly bitter beer as the kiss seemed to go on and on and on… and on.   This was my friend– who knew my feelings for Kay.  Suddenly his arms reached out, scooped her up, and the two went off into the yard for some privacy.  Seriously?!

To say I was stunned and heartbroken was an understatement.  I probably looked like a total idiot staring after them… but then another gal, Kay’s friend– who also knew about my feelings for her– reached out and turned the bottle around pointing to me.  Smiling, she leaned over and kissed me, and the miracle pleasures of making out swept away the hurt and the embarassment.  It didn’t matter that it was pity and pain that brought us together, while our lips were joined it was just warmth, and softness, and shared breath, and bodies pressed together.  God bless her, but she truly healed me with her kisses and kindness from what could have been a horrible end to graduation night.

I know a lot of people — especially us men — look at kissing as a means to an end, a step in the process of getting two people worked up to the point of taking off their clothes, as in the picture below:

Slow down Romeo!

Slow down Romeo!

But I really think that sells short kissing and making out as a worthy goal all on its own.  If it’s just a gateway to having sex, what happens when a couple spends enough time together where sex is something you know is gonna happen, rather than hope is gonna happen– do you just skip on the making out altogether?  Or just roll through it perfunctory before sliding into the main event?   That’s a true tragedy, both romantically, emotionally and spiritually… but physically too!  Studies have shown that there are some serious health benefits from kissing:

  1. Those who kiss their partner goodbye each morning live five years longer than those who don’t.
  2. Kissing is great for self-esteem. It makes you feel appreciated and helps your state of mind.
  3. Kissing burns calories, 2-3 calories a minute and can double your metabolic rate. Research claims that three passionate kisses a day (at least lasting 20 seconds each) will cause you to loose an entire extra pound! It’s time to start that kissing diet!
  4. Kissing is a known stress-reliever. Passionate kissing relieves tension, reduces negative energy and produces a sense of well being, lowering your cortisol ‘stress’ hormone.
  5. Kissing uses 30 facial muscles and it helps keep the facial muscles tight, preventing baggy cheeks! The tension in the muscles caused by a passionate kiss helps smooth the skin and increases the circulation.
  6. Kissing is good for the heart, as it creates an adrenaline which causes your heart to pump more blood around your body. Frequent kissing has scientifically been proven to stabilize cardiovascular activity, decrease blood pressure and cholesterol.
  7. Those who kiss quite frequently are less likely to suffer from stomach, bladder and blood infections.
  8. During a kiss, natural antibiotics are secreted in the saliva. Also, the saliva contains a type of anesthetic that helps relieve pain.
  9. Kissing reduces anxiety and stops the ‘noise’ in your mind. It increases the levels of oxytocin, an extremely calming hormone that produces a feeling of peace.
  10. The endorphins produced by kissing are 200 times more powerful than morphine.

Kissing means so much more than a stepping stone to sex, you know?

Splendor in the grass...

Whoever the next woman is in my life, I hope she’ll love to make out with me no matter what time of day or night, no matter where the place or how long we stay together…

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