Can You Remember Every Single Person You've Kissed?

I got my first kiss rather late at seventeen. It happened on my parents bed in the middle of the afternoon to a boy with big lips and a broad chest, and I remember feeling so, so nervous. Not only was it my first kiss, it was my first kiss with a real-life boy! Like with a penis and everything! I had just come out of the closet a few days earlier and felt like I needed to make up for lost time. I wasn’t one of those gay guys that had made out and maybe even slept with girls before coming to terms with their sexuality. I didn’t need to kiss a V to realize I desired a P, so my closeted teen years were spent being 100% celibate. It’s no surprise then that, a day after I came out of the closet, I called a childhood friend who I thought was gay and told him, “Um, come over. I’m gay now.”

I’m pretty sure that first make out session was terrible. In my excitement, I think I mistook his lips for a Subway sandwich but, whatever, I still had an awesome time and the guy ended up getting a BJ out of it so don’t cry for him, Argentina. When he left, I remember thinking that kissing was the funnest thing I had ever done. It felt like taking ten Prozac and riding on a sea of Ecstasy. How do people just not do it all the time? How are people just not constantly kissing each other?! It’s fun, easy, and non-commital. Bummed out? Find a pair of lips and attack them. No big deal. Even now, after being sexually active for eight years, I’m content with just having a lingering make out sesh. In fact, I often prefer it.

Despite being a make out enthusiast, I only kissed four boys from the ages of 17 to 21. This lack of activity can mostly be attributed to a six-month “relationship” that was followed by three and a half years of crushing low self-esteem and mild psychosis. But by the time I moved to New York, I decided to get back on that horse and make out with it in a dimly lit bar at 3:30 in the morning. And boy, did I ever. I kissed boys in bars, on dirty floors, in bathrooms, in cabs, on street corners, on porches, and occasionally at fast food hot dog restaurants. I became that crazy person making out with someone in the corner of a very public space. It was all very Michael Fassbender in Shame (minus the weird incest vibe and… the actual sex… and the shame). I mean, sometimes I would wake up the next day and cringe when I would remember kissing someone I shouldn’t have. But as long as it didn’t go below the belt, how much regret can you actually have?

Well, as it turns out, maybe a lot. The other day, I tried to remember all the boys I’ve ever kissed and couldn’t. I can recall every instance that went further than kissing, but not if it was just an isolated smooch. Is this normal?! I tweeted about this earlier and asked if people could remember every person they’ve kissed, and the majority of them replied “yep :)”. I see what you did there with the happy face, by the way. I SEE WHAT YOU DID! Many people admitted to keeping a list so they could remember but I’ve only done that with people I’ve hooked up with. Because honestly, do I need to remember the 5 foot 3 elf I made out with at the gay bar before running away into a cab? Does he really need to be commemorated in a list? No. He needs to just go away. No, actually, he needs to become crystallized at the gay bar with his mouth wide open and serve as a cautionary tale. He’s not going down on any list of mine.

When it comes to any sexual activity, even something as PG as kissing, there’s always an element of shame and regret. After all, we’re Americans! We bombard our culture with images of sex and then guilt them when they actually have it. Mixed messages, much? When I realized that I would never remember every person I’ve kissed, I felt those familiar feelings of embarrassment. I shamed myself. But then I snapped out of it. It’s not like I’m choking on a sea of dicks. If I want to make out with a stranger and have it immediately Men In Black memory erased, why can’t I?

But, wait, can you guys remember every single person you’ve kissed? I’m just curious. Tell me yes or no in the comments and I’ll react with appropriate levels of shame and/or relief. TC mark

image – scatto fellino

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Kai

    Not for years.

    • Kai

       Well, maybe? I’m sure that someone slipped my mind though.

  • A.

    yes every boy since I was 16  I have a weird memory for things that don’t matter at all

  • Allison Berger

    Yes, I can. It helps that I wrote them all down after the kissing occurred.  It’s been awhile since I kissed someone new, but a few years ago I could totally rattle them off.

  • Samie Rose

    No way.

  • Kevin Pritchard

    I think I do remember them all. However that includes such characters known only as “The hippie girl who cast a spell on bryan.”

  • Highwaycellist

    Yes but my mental list makes me tend to forget people. Probably for the best.

  • P.

    Definitely not. I had a similar experience where I (as a sheltered first gen indian-american) didn’t do much kissing until I broke out of my home and went to college. Then I went a little nuts. Now there are many boys in my past that I just don’t remember laying lips on. But I’m not too concerned by it… Kissing is kissing is kissing is kissing. 

  • Anonymous


  • Hannah

    absolutely not, though sometimes I wish I could. Like you, though, I definitely keep a list of anything more. 

  • Emmanuel

    Nope, just the really memorable ones, even if it just was a peck on the cheek.

  • Josef

    I used to have a ‘make out list’ saved as a Word document. I stopped after it reached 50 and decided I needed to reevaluate my life.

    • Asdf

      Yeah, I’d need to reevaluate my life, too, if I found myself using Word regularly.

  • Pedro Rodriguez

    Yup. But 4 isn’t that hard to remember :/

  • Danielle Nathan

    Ryan me and my roommate try and do our lists all the time. She can remember all of hers but even together we can’t remember all of mine (getting drunk really hinders this also). It would make me feel bad if I didn’t find it hilarious, I also got my first kiss late and dated someone seriously for on and off 6years so when that was over I made up for lost time in a serious (kissing only) way. 

  • Alexandria Adair

    No…I don’t. Do people actually keep lists of the people they’ve hooked up with? Because I don’t do that either.

    • Amy

      I have a list of everyone I’ve ever slept with.

  • K.

    Probably not even half… Used to play a game in college where me and a friend competed to make out with someone different from every state. More remote states were worth more… is THAT embarrassing? Probably. But Epically fun.

    • E.

      A friend and I started a competition to see who could kiss guys from 10 different countries first. Nothing to be ashamed of! I like your state idea… I may even have to steal it.

  • Sarah

    Nope. I was doing pretty good remembering everyone and then I went to a kiss-in during my first year of university. That added like 20 not-very-memorable people to the mack list and I haven’t kept track ever since.

  • teresaelectro

    I think so…I started late in the game as well. There are a few I blocked from my memory, every once in awhile it comes slamming back in focus.

  • Holly

    I remember all of mine! But the number isn’t very high — 15. 

  • Tanya Salyers

    I had ~17 before college…on a list.  I don’t know where that list is now.  After I started college, I don’t even want to know…but it might be fun to try to remember.

  • Amy

    Not even close to remembering all of them, my friend. I’ve kissed a lot of people, not least when I was 14, sneaking into clubs and randomly making out with guys. (Nothing further though. I was 14 and oddly slutty.)

    On the other hand: I have a timeline list of everyone I’ve ever slept with. Kissing is different.

  • Herey


  • Angela Joyce

    Haha, no but that’s because I’ve never been kissed. So i’ll just revert back to reading thought catalogs.

  • Ryan 'Toast' Czerwinski

    Yep :)

    But seriously, yeah… it’s two girlfriends and a female friend.

  • Lauren

    You just inspired me to try to remember. I think I got em all. 11 in two and a half years.

  • Corey

    Going to ask this same question on Facebook. You’ve got me thinking about all the girls I’ve kissed.haha

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