Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Kissing styles

I used to think that there were good kissers and bad kissers. A conversation with my friend, Pam, changed my mind (mostly). She told me a story about her ex-boyfriend and how they had different kissing styles. They used to fight about it. "Kissing styles? Really?" I said.

"Sure. People like different things," she said. She tried to convert him to her style and he resisted. He got the boot for non-kissing reasons, but it was related to his attempts to control her in every possible way.

I had never thought about kissing like that--there weren't actually "good" and "bad" kissers--there were different kissing styles. Pam's practical and generous approach was great and amusing. It meant I could have a conversation about kissing without having to say, or think, "you're a bad kisser." The fellow I was dating around that time was a "bad kisser"--all wet and mushy. I'd tried to tell him once but all I said was, "too wet." He changed nothing so I avoided kissing him (the horror) and he decided that I didn't like kissing. Sigh. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Several years later, after I moved to DC, I went out with Victor a few times. The first time we kissed it was terrible. It was like a little darting snake had been let loose in my mouth. I couldn't get away fast enough. I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to kiss him again…and if I wasn't going to kiss him, how could we date? I was still trying to figure out how much I liked him. I called Pam and asked for her advice. She said to talk to Victor and explain that I wasn't comfortable with his kissing style. I shouldn't have, but I also told a bunch of my friends the story. One reaction, "That's porno kissing! Does he think he's a porn star?" Ugh.

The next time Victor and I went out things got a little cozy and I tried to talk to him about the kissing. I said, "I need to talk to you about something."

Long pause.

"It's kind of awkward."

Long pause.

"It's not that big a deal. Maybe it's really not that important."

"Say what you want to say. It's fine."

I said, "Um, well, it's um, about the kissing. I, um, think, um, we have different styles. Maybe…"

"That's it? That's no big deal." We kissed again and it was much better. Nice, even.

And that was it for me--I didn't like him enough to continue seeing him, but I knew it wasn't because of the kissing.

It occurs to me that since I dated the first guy in this story for a LONG time without particularly enjoying kissing him, it should have been obvious that I never liked Victor enough to date him. Ah, the lessons the blog teaches us. Two, here, I think:

  1. if I am ready to reject a guy because he is a lousy kisser, it means I don't dig him that much to begin with, and
  2. don't date a guy for over a year who is a lousy kisser and let things get so far that he actually thinks you don't like kissing. TALK TO HIM.
Check and check.

Grateful for: Pam's lesson on kissing styles.

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