My first crush was my older brother’s best friend. I wrote him little poems and letters that I snuck into his backpack whenever he’d come visit. I threw in some candy (and mint) because at that age, that was the only currency that mattered. For years, he rightfully dodged me, out of respect for my brother but I’m sure it was also because he had a sister around the same age. Finally, around the time puberty hit, he started reciprocating my longstanding interest in the subtlest of manners. Prolonged glances full of curiosity, initiating conversation and treating me like a little lady. One day when the house was void of everyone else, I invited him over knowing that my first kiss was likely to happen then. To this day, it remains one of the best kisses I’ve ever had so I reached out to him, over a decade later, and asked him to share some tricks for becoming an unbelievable kisser.
I’m French but to a great degree, I don’t enjoy French kissing. The awkward wrestling of tongues, the warm breath of the other person on my cheek, the raw feeling of my lips afterward are all things I’m more than happy to skip. I can say that with confidence because I’ve had my fair share of kisses. I’ve kissed a lot more people than I’ve dated…and most people are terrible kissers. Bypassing courteous considerations like making sure your breath is decent and that consent is in place from the other party, kissing is the gateway to sex for a lot of people. Too many people, if you ask me. What’s the urgency? Where’s the romance? Better yet, where is the skill?
I don’t consider myself a great kisser. I’m good however after experiencing what it’s liked to be kissed by someone who is expert in that department, I’m more than happy to dock a few points on my lip service if that means an opportunity for improvement is available. The best kiss I’ve ever had showed me that it only takes one great kisser to make a kiss unforgettable. It helps if the other person isn’t terrible but all you need is one great kisser who will take the lead. Here’s what my first crush taught me about becoming a better kisser when I asked.
He believes that a great kiss requires history between two people, “a playful tension should be established so that it’s something you’re both looking forward to”. If you rush into kissing then you’ll more likely to rush into other things (and have a higher likeliness of having an awkward first kiss). You want to indulge in the novelty of the experience with someone new.
This is where he gets poetic and I’m translating to the best of my ability as this conversation was held in French. “When there’s love or other deep feelings, there’s a desire to discover the other person, to feel their soul almost, to be so close that even your breath synchronize, to be part of their dream and fantasy as they are a part of your dreams and fantasies.”
He pauses here to ask me if I’m inquiring because I want to be a better kisser or because I want to be kissed in that way. I want both of course, but if I’m being honest, I want to be kissed that way again in this lifetime. To get lost in a kiss without feeling the need to escalate it immediately is a rare feeling. A welcome feeling.
Kissing is a sensory feeling, so engage other senses and set the mood for it. Rather than rushing into it, take a moment to light a candle or dim the lights, put on some music and put yourself in the mood. I’m taken back to each time he and I kissed to understand that it was a full experience. Each time, I was put at ease, relaxed before even beginning and in a comfortable environment. There was a sense of giving present, whether that was attention to my needs or general respect, I felt that it was important to him that I have a good experience, that perhaps my experience even outweighs his. He confirms this by saying, “There needs to be some form of isolation from the world. Those who are able to kiss deeply in public must be professionals or exhibitionists because I think at the beginning, it’s important for a couple to isolate themselves a bit so that they share a piece of their world with each other. You want to give each other a taste of what you have. The isolation is secret and doesn’t require an agreement, it’s in simple gestures shared between the two of you. An accumulation of non-verbal pleasant exchanges. A look here, a casual touch there, a sly smile, a kiss on the cheek, a quick caress, holding their hand or placing your hand briefly over theirs during dinner. This should all be done with tenderness and with an air of disregard for time because rushing or being too aggressive in your flirtation ruins the charm of seduction.”
I tell him he’s the king of seduction, something he undoubtedly already knows thanks to his DonJuanesque reputation when we were growing up, but that I was looking for actual tips and tricks related to kissing. He reinforces that setting the mood is at least half the work, if not more. “The kiss itself is an actualization of all the tenderness and feelings you hold for the other person. That’s how it should feel. You have to vary the kiss and its rhythm. Take independent focus on the top lip and then the bottom, adding a near imperceptible nibble every so often. Once the mouth is open, there should be a slight tussle between the tongues, as if they’re playing together, always gentle, always soft. For that, I think the man should lead. It’s more exciting that way for the woman.”
I agree knowing that my first kiss is one that’ll make me swoon forever. There are impassioned kisses, rushed, needy and those are great too. Those are kisses movies and sex scenes are made of. Kisses that you’ll remember forever? Now that takes depth and emotion.