Pick her chin up lightly in your hand. Bring her face up towards you, even if she gets embarrassed by the proximity and has to keep looking at the ground. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to look at you — if anything, it means she wants to look at you too much. Be patient with her eyes, the ones which dart everywhere in the room except the place they should be focused, because they are only shy in their fondness for you. Watch the way the light cradles her when you turn her up to face you. Watch it kiss the tops of her cheekbones and the tip of her nose, then do the same. Kiss each part of her face like it’s a scrape on a child’s knee that you want to heal with your affection.
Kiss her lightly. Understand just how many boys have kissed her too hard, too fast, too sloppily. Know that you can’t make up for every mistake they’ve made, but want to earn trust in showing that not every move has to be forceful and, at least initially, uncomfortable. Think about how many times a kiss has been interpreted as an invitation to things it was never meant to be, and let her guide you instead of assuming that you intimately know a map you’ve never seen before.
Be aware of how soft a woman’s lips are — how much respect and care they should be treated with, and how often they are handled with all the grace and skill of bull in a china shop. Let her push into you, melt forward in such a way that she is an active participant, and not an innocent bystander. Let her show that she trusts you, that she wants you, that she is comfortable and happy where she is.
Allow every move, every hand on the nape of the neck or the small of the back, to be soft and patient — there is no need to prove aggression, or assert dominance. Make yourself felt in a whisper instead of a scream, leaving your movements subtle and implied. Know that there will be time for every color on the spectrum of emotion, that there will be a time for animal urgency, but let that not be your introduction. Say in your movements that you are present, instead of insisting that you are occupying her space. Let your lips and tongues be in a light dance, instead of a glorified fight.
Listen to her. If she pulls away, allow her. Understand that, as much as the near-chaste simplicity of a kiss has been downplayed in a society which values sex above all else, it is still incredibly important. In a single kiss, you can tell a girl that she’s beautiful, in much more profound ways than the physical. You can tell her that you are patient with her, and that you want to let her lead. You can tell her that you want her, but that your desire doesn’t override your respect for her. You can communicate every difficult-to-articulate sentiment that you’ve ever felt towards her — but you must do it patiently. In listening to her body and allowing her to respond, you can become fluent in a language you only recently discovered existed. In kissing her forehead lightly while she lays her head on your chest, you can say, “You are safe here. You are loved and protected.” In kissing her collarbone, you can tell her how exquisite you find her body, how delicate and meaningful her curves. It is complex, to be sure, but worth an investment in learning. Because there is truly nothing you cannot express, if you are willing to say it softly.