Every Boy I’ve Kissed

I have only kissed twelve guys in my entire life. That’s either a lot or a little, considering that I’m seventeen years old and a senior in high school. I’m not sexually suppressed, I just have a hard time finding guys who are as attracted to me as I am to them.

I started kissing boys in eighth grade when I was thirteen years old. I was in a ‘committed relationship’ with a nice Jewish boy I met at temple one year prior. We had been dating for around four months when one night at a Bat Mitzvah he decided to peck me on the lips behind his mother’s minivan. We kissed casually for about two weeks, then moved on to ‘making out,’ which was messier than it was romantic.

After we broke up, I dove into an adolescent abyss of insecurity. I kissed two more boys – twice in the same weekend, neither of which I had any romantic feelings toward. One of them had made me listen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers with him while sharing a pair of headphones. I vividly remember him letting me take his iPod home for a night so that I could watch Borat while it was still relevant. I was desperate to be in on the hype. I made out with the second boy in a ravine at Red Rock Canyon. Don’t worry, Mom – he was Jewish and will grow up to be an established attorney one day.

The fourth boy I kissed was younger than me. He was head of the ‘popular crowd’ in seventh grade – fairly impressive for someone like me, who heavily valued middle school social structure. He honed in on me in the back of an arcade during the summer of 2007. I guess I was still a pretty terrible kisser then, because he later accused me of “eating his face.”

I had been crushing on him for years and nearly choked on my own ecstasy when he started showing interest in my then-lame persona.

After my fourth kissing encounter, the chronological order of my mouth-to-mouth escapades becomes more difficult to decipher. That isn’t to say I grew more reckless and indiscriminate – I still chose only to kiss Jewish boys, most of which I met in my regional youth group. I don’t exercise a preference toward any race or religion, it just ends up that Jewish boys seem most willing and most convenient.

On Halloween night of freshman year in high school, I dressed up as a very corrupted kitten and locked lips with one of my ex-boyfriend’s best friends. It was on a secluded sidewalk in the middle of a suburban neighborhood. If I remember correctly, he touched my butt, which the too-short cheetah print dress I was wearing made way too accessible.

Later that year, I engaged in a very traumatic make out session with a Jewish boy from Canada. He name-dropped a few Degrassi actors and I swooned despite his non-descript apparel, angsty personality, and total lack of sexual experience. As we were hiking to the top of a hill, he tripped on a rock and rolled down a dirt path until he gained his footing and got back up again. I tried to make it so that he wouldn’t sense my embarrassment, but secretly I was totally turned off by his…effeminate tendencies. We sat on a stone wall and made out, but it was really just him gnawing on my bottom lip and dripping saliva down my chin. I confidently wiped it away when we were finished and acted as if nothing was wrong. Upon meeting back up with our friends at the bottom of the hill, he proudly announced that “Americans taste good.” I fled the scene.

I kissed my first hipster at a debate tournament when I was fourteen years old. I had been crushing on him for years and nearly choked on my own ecstasy when he started showing interest in my then-lame persona. We walked along the school grounds until we found a stairwell with a good view of the night sky. The hipster had an open pack of Starburst in the pocket of his cardigan. We put pieces in our mouths and tried to unwrap them with our tongues, laughing giddily, as if we were living a romantic scene from some independent film. Eventually, the hipster leaned into my ‘kissing zone’ and the hat I was wearing fell off my head. It was a brown billed military cap with fifteen buttons pinned to the front, most of which promoted the anarcho-communist political agenda. The hipster and I kissed for thirty minutes, probably. I went home that night and cried in a closet because I felt so vulnerable.

He got up from his seat next to me, took four strides to the other end of the bus, and immediately began making out with another Jewish girl.

I somehow scored another hipster kissing session in the summer of 2008. I was wearing a pair of skinny jeans with a white cut-off t-shirt and tons of necklaces. I sported a magenta scarf around my forehead, tied horizontally, of course. I was a free spirit. And the hottest, curly-haired Italian hipster in my high school pursued me for all I was worth. One night we sat in a suburban playground and picked blades of grass out of the earth. He taught me how to hold them between my forefinger and thumb so that if I blew on the right place, it would whistle. We excitedly made music with the grass blades for an hour. I complained that I needed chap stick and he seized the opportunity to moisturize my mouth with his own supple lips. He was a great kisser. He flirtatiously bit my lip and I giggled in approval. After that night, we never hooked up again. I fell into major depression within the first few months of sophomore year.

In February of 2009, I made out with an extremely attractive Jewish boy in the empty kitchen of a suburban pool hall. He was by far the worst kisser I had ever made physical contact with, which greatly disappointed me. I quickly escaped the slobbery wrath of his reckless chompers and confronted my friends for advice. They said he’d get the hint that I wasn’t interested and that would be the end of it. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of it. Two weeks later, on a party bus my friend had rented out for her birthday, the extremely attractive Jewish boy pounced on me as soon as we were alone. He practically sucked my oral cavity dry as I attempted to break free from his lustful grasp. A friend witnessed the tragic encounter and proceeded to explicitly tell him that I wasn’t interested. He got up from his seat next to me, took four strides to the other end of the bus, and immediately began making out with another Jewish girl. C’est la vie.

Once March rolled around, I was desperate to pursue a romantic union with an “authentic alt bro.” I saw pictures of them all the time on Hipster Runoff, but I had never interacted with one in real life. And, as if by fate, the first one I ever met was the one who developed feelings for me. He won me over with an impressive iPod playlist – a Top 25 Most Played topped with tracks by Death Cab for Cutie – and stories of his experience seeing Justice live in concert. He promised to take me on a road trip to Bonaroo, the most relevant indie music festival of 2009, and texted me every time he listened to “Sleepyhead” by Passion Pit. We made out once in a Californian bowling alley and again two months later, in a deserted hotel ballroom. Authentic alt bro was a vaguely good kisser.

I didn’t kiss a boy for another eight months. I was a little bored with menial make outs and wanted to focus on more important things, like finding a boyfriend and improving my personal brand. But I couldn’t give up on my teenage fixation that easily. One cold day in January, my best male friend and I drove to a local debate tournament and sat in his SUV. We listened to my iPod in a parking lot of the high school – the one I had traded in for a year of virtual instruction instead. We rocked our heads back and forth to Carles and Tao Lin’s sound project, “Jesus Christ.” (the indie band), and drummed rhythmically on the dashboard to progressive rock musicians I pretended to thoroughly enjoy. It just so happened that I had upwards of fifty jolly ranchers in my purse at the time. My friend suggested a game in which we ate them out of each other’s mouths. I recognized his sexual frustration and agreed. It wasn’t long before we were full on making out to the tune of “Evil” by Interpol.

At some later point in 2010, I laid down in a huge expanse of grass with a boy my sister and I knew from another high school’s debate team. I was wearing a blue floral mini-dress, brown booties, and two extra coats of mascara on my eyelashes. I looked like the free-spirited reincarnation of Twiggy’s youthful guise. The boy and I sat underneath a blanket of constellations and pointed out every star we recognized. In my head, I laughed at our saccharine predictability. It was something out of a Nicholas Sparks novel. As soon as he pulled away from my face, he revealed that this was his very first time he had ever kissed a girl. I laughed cutely and said something reassuring. To this day, I hope that the boy documented his experience on Reddit.com. TC mark

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  • James R Fleenor



  • James R Fleenor

    btw, bebe, seriously, you're awesome.

  • rob

    Wonder what happens in part II.

    • rob

      but this is cuter

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Ethirteen/100002166433021 Bob Ethirteen

      herpes and at least one abortion if were still going by the saccharine predictability of it all.

  • http://twitter.com/Erikhaspresence Erik Stinson

    megan's is cooler

  • James R Fleenor

    must be a slow sunday on the east coast.

    i really want to get into bebezeva hipsterrunoff and tao_lin especially nicholas sparks in this article and in richard yates by tao_lin. but, i also fear being 'trolled' cos it seems like bebe mentioning nicholas sparks and it being mentioned in richard yates is 'too easy' but i dunno.

    either way, i love it.

    y'all are the b.e.a.t.: stick to it.

  • a polar bear

    bebe zeva is 'redirecting' hro/altrprt hits 'toward' thoughtcatalog
    also someone took my first
    i'm going to buy cigarettes to smoke out this frustration i have 2wrd bbzv
    then come back and read the article

  • a polar bear

    damn, this was actually really good, i think i enjoyed every paragraph and most sentences, the sentence i sent to my friend for her to read it was 'I kissed my first hipster at a debate tournament when I was fourteen years old,' it made me llvh.

  • http://twitter.com/jasonventer Jason Venter

    17? Really? I wish that I could have written with such an interesting voice at that age or, if I'm to be perfectly honest with myself, even now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jordangillespie Jordan Gillespie

    Thought this would be more interesting, Bebe. Was sort of bored by your semitic-centered smooching, honestly. Still a fan in generalz, though.

  • http://copaceticusa.tumblr.com/ David (my tumblr is "linked")

    Shit sucks

  • http://twitter.com/rislynsey christopher lynsey

    This was great.

  • Brandon Scott Gorrell


  • http://twitter.com/MissKimball misskimball

    loved it too. I would be too scared of dead people to do anything in a deserted hotel ballroom

  • Jordancastroisthepresident


    • a polar bear

      jordan castro 2030 shurts now available

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        When I think about Jordan Castro as president, I see him as a quarter JFK, half Bill Clinton, half Obama, and i see shades of Abraham Lincoln.

      • http://twitter.com/rislynsey christopher lynsey

        Those numbers make no sense.

    • a polar bear

      wonder if, during the 'live debates,' jordan castro will cut off 'matt romney,' the republican candidate, saying 'first' and refusing to participate in the debate

  • Sweet


  • http://rclaybaugh.wordpress.com/ rclaybaugh

    beautiful composition. captivating. glad to see there are good writers in our high school's still.

  • ---

    Great job, Bebe. Actually enjoyed reading this.

  • Vanessa

    I like this spirit of this, but it's clear this girl reads a lot of HRO. Maybe that jargon should be toned down.

  • r9

    why are we applauding mediocrity?

    • Pinkie

      No shit. Really boring.

  • http://newhandsweepstakes.com/2011/02/08/book-review-hunger-by-knut-hamsun/ Brian McElmurry

    This was sweet and innocent. I enjoyed it.

  • amjtn

    This reminded me of being 17. Yeah, I don't know if 12 is a lot or not…for a couple of reasons…I'm 20 years her senior and I was an intentional late bloomer (more interested in debate than kissing – although sometimes the two intersected, as well).
    I'm not sure I have the heart to reveal that when you're single and in your thirties, things don't change much. The biggest difference is that you can't count the number you've kissed and certainly don't recall the details of the vast majority of them! (which is probably a good very good thing!)

  • notasample

    almost entirely unsatisfying. the content itself isn't bad – not great either, but it could be enjoyable if the writing was good. which it isn't – though maybe I'm just sensitive to awkward sentences and posturing voice…

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  • Jon

    oh. i would rather read about everyone megan boyle has ever had sex with.

  • Leah

    What a pretentious piece of writing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh


    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1392661917 Olivia Tiberio

      she’s 17 years old, chill.

    • Elizabeth

      you’re reading thought catalogue, you’re pretentious too. we all are. 

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