It can feel sometimes as though the entire world revolves around sex. We’re perpetually concerned with whether or not we’re good in bed, if we’re getting enough, who is doing it with whom, and whether or not we’re sexually appealing. Books, TV shows, advertisements, everything does better if it’s spiced up with a little bit of sex. I mean, it’s not called A Light Peck On the Lips and The City for what should be obvious reasons. And while sex is a wonderful thing that everyone should be enjoying and talking about to their heart’s content, it can sometimes mean that kissing — an act that can be equally thrilling — sometimes gets pushed aside in the rush to discuss bumping our respective uglies.
Is there anything in the world that can perfectly create the rush of leaning into someone for the first kiss after what feels like centuries of build up and “will-we-or-won’t-we” frustration? What about those kisses that land gently on our cheek, our forehead, the bridge of our nose — the kisses that say more than just “I want you,” the kisses that say “You are safe with me, you are important to me”? There are so many messages that can be conveyed in a kiss, words that we find only when we finally stop talking and press ourselves together in a way that, while initiating something physical, still leaves much only implied.
There is almost an attitude of “You have the kissing phase with someone, and then you move onto the sex phase.” It’s as though we are supposed to get acquainted by kissing one another (on perhaps a first or second date), and then move onto a period in our relationships where kissing is an afterthought, and the bulk of our physical contact comes through sex in all of its myriad forms. But does a good kiss get any less exciting, any less wonderful, simply because you’ve touched that person’s lips hundreds of times before?
And why so much focus on whether someone is bad in bed without addressing whether or not they’re a good kisser? Perhaps it’s just me, but there are few things worse than someone who doesn’t know the art of a good kiss. When someone is attacking you with their tongue, or doing no work, or biting you in ways that no person would ever want to be bitten — why don’t we talk more about fixing that problem? We’re all about communicating with our partners when something is going wrong in the bedroom, but how do you tell someone that kissing them just leaves you feeling slightly uncomfortable? It seems a tragedy to resign ourselves to a life where real kissing is just avoided for the most part, so as not to step on anyone’s toes.
Because kissing is beautiful, something that communicates such a wide variety of emotions and desires and needs that we can often feel unable to express. We look back at the Disney movies we used to breathlessly look up to and it seems almost quaint, all of the expression of true love wrapped up in a single kiss at the end of the film. But there is so much of us that does come alive when we are kissed, something that shows us we are beautiful and appreciated and — perhaps most importantly — being touched in a way that is completely mutual. No one is using you for the feeling of your lips against theirs, it is something that is created and shared evenly between the two of you.
There may be an entire lifetime of touch that follows a first kiss, that perhaps diminishes the significance of two lips touching in comparison. It could be that, in the grand scale of how we demonstrate our love, we find ways that feel better or get us more excited. But nothing can replicate the thrill of of closing your eyes, leaning in, and taking a leap (as much as your partner is) that you will be able to say everything you wanted to by simply touching your lips to theirs.