Are you considering kissing someone in the near future?
Pretty exciting isn’t it, what with the sweaty palms, the involuntary leg shakes and the desire to abuse anxiety medication?
Worried you are going to screw it up or leave your partner confused, afraid or permanently scarred?
Well, before you jump right in and lock lips with someone, here is a list of 12 essential things you must consider to better ensure there will one day be a second kiss.
1. Am I ready? Kissing someone is not a decision to be taken lightly. You can only experience a first kiss with someone once, so I recommend putting this off until you are totally ready — possible dates when you may be ready include graduating from high school, graduating from college and hitting menopause. Give this life-altering decision tons and tons of thought and analysis just up to the point of giving yourself a stress headache and abdominal cramps. Don’t listen to others who tell you “go with the flow” and “take a leap of faith” and “stop over-thinking this, you are driving all of us crazy!” Those people are just jealous and/or fascists. To help you make your decision, call in sick for the week, clear your schedule and consume massive amounts of sugar. Once in a sugar-induced coma, the answer to whether to kiss or not to kiss will come to you in a heavily metaphorical vision, as will increased risk of heart disease.
2. What is a kiss, really? Do your research! You don’t want to show up for the big event unprepared for the final exam. Study all about where do you put your hands? how to react if they seem to be brushing your teeth with their tongue? what do you think about the weather in case small talk occurs? Read all about what kisses actually are (don’t be naive: they are not solely kisses). Study both the origins of the very first kiss (experts claim it was either an early form of interpretative dance or a means towards grossing out potential invaders) as well as grasping the psychological and historical impact. Understand that kisses can both start and settle wars, help people expand their horizons and get people landed in prison. To help the kiss go well, I would also find pieces of literature to set the mood (including that kind of graphic novel) as well as figuring out exactly what song should be playing at the time (hint: no death metal or Raffi, though a mashup of the two has been known to work with certain people of Scandinavian descent).
3. Hit the gym! You must focus your attention on the training needed to go into a spectacular kiss because it takes hard work to become a pro who looks like they roll out of bed each morning ready to plant perfect kiss after perfect kiss on everyone they meet (meant purely as a hypothetical example and not a cautionary tale from my past). Though there is much disagreement among researchers in the field, all training regiments should include neck stretching, tongue furling and unfurling as well as hours of cheek and lip exercises. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, lip and cheek strength and stamina are so important just in case a single kiss turns into a 48 hour marathon make-out session which, depending on the weather, they often can. Don’t be one of those earnest, inexperienced people who haven’t trained and have to take a time out due to muscle exhaustion. One guy I know was hospitalized after a particularly lengthy first kiss and nothing, and I repeat nothing, is more of a turn off and a deal breaker.
4. Practice, practice, practice! Right, you’ve trained and are now in peak shape for the big event and are invariably excited. Remember what your hot grade four teacher whom you had a massive crush on told you — practice makes perfect (though she was most likely talking about your times tables, you sicko).You don’t want to be a laughing stock and kiss incorrectly do you? So, you must practice, which means you need someone to help you. It takes a village. Now isn’t the time to be picky! If they have lips and some spare time, they will do. Canvas the neighbourhood, hit up the old folk’s home, hang out in waiting rooms, offer to do their taxes and, if necessary, beg and plead and offer to pay their way through grad school.
5. Play it cool! It is essential that you are relaxed during the kiss. You must get over any squeamishness, tension and psychological hangups. Do whatever it takes to exude confidence, including hypnosis and plastic surgery. It’s also so important to act like you’d been there before and that this isn’t your first rodeo. But, we don’t want it to seem like this is you 2000th rodeo either (no one in their right mind likes rodeos that much). Approach the event like it’s important without making it unnecessarily awkward or intense. In case that isn’t clear, it means don’t leak it to the press or rent out an arena and sell tickets or invite your parents. Now is the time to show just how normal this is for you, even if it isn’t and you rarely leave your parents’ basement.
6. Make sure you are about to kiss the correct person! While not essential — some of the best kisses have happened between totally random strangers in random places (in line at the DMV, buying nearly expired pork products and shopping for sheet metal) — most kisses involve two (or more if playing Twister or if the participants have particularly long lips) consenting humans (this article will not be discussing the new exciting field of amphibian smooching). So, before you kiss them, make sure you don’t have them confused with someone else (like their mother, a storefront mannequin or your own reflection in the mirror). Frequently kissing the wrong person is hard to defend regardless of how cute you are. For those with near-debilitating facial recognition skills, in the time leading up to the kiss, intensely study a picture of them trying to appear as non-creepy as possible in case they happen to arrive early and see you licking their photo.
7. Make them feel special! Don’t just roll up in your ripped jeans and hoodie carrying a bus token in one hand and an energy drink in the other (unless you are certain they’d find that sexy). But, don’t be silly and wear a tux or ball gown either even if they suggest it beforehand (almost definitely a joke or a contemporary of your grandparents). Put some effort into how you are dressed like you would for a tax audit or suspension meeting with the head of HR. A small gift is great idea too! Butter them up before the smooch — just not literally! I can’t stress that enough. A flower or some chocolate or even some random coupons you had at home can show them you are worth kissing. Because, if you don’t convince them that this isn’t the biggest mistake of their lives, they will either immediately flee the scene, allow you to buy them dinner but not sit within a 20 foot radius of them during the meal or reconsider voluntarily entering witness protection.
8. Grooming! In an effort to put your best foot forward, groom! This includes trimming nose hairs, shaving (not your eyebrows!), and clipping both toe nails (just in case the removing of shoes and socks is suggested pre-kiss). I also think it’s important to smell good. However, you must avoid a scent so overpowering that they either pass out or become nauseous. On the other hand, you are competing here — if it helps, think of yourself as a lion battling with other lions for that one cute lioness (if that helps too much, it may be worth getting some help)— so, your scent needs to also be strong enough to drown out any endorphins from other nearby kissable people (be on the lookout for bartenders, DJs and sneakily gorgeous law professors).
9. Make eye contact! The big moment is here and you are about to make your move! Establish eye contact! Eye contact is important for multiple reasons — aiming, spotting bald eagles in the vicinity, providing a small window into your soul and giving an actual emotional connection a chance (note: emotional connections are not essential before the kiss takes place and some scholars believe are mostly fictional). If establishing direct eye contact makes you nervous, I suggest bringing along sunglasses or an intricate set of small mirrors. It’s also good to start with baby steps — from across a crowded room using a series of blinks and winks that could be interpreted as a message in Morse Code. Focus, as — and I must emphasize this — sustained eye contact of over 5 minutes is not advised as it leads to concerns over your mental state.
10. Approach with caution! I know you are excited, but you must take your time here. Once you’ve been given the signal to commence (common signals are: a simple smile, a wave of a flag or an air horn, or if they feel particularly amorous, all three), take a moment and breathe. You must make some quick mental calculations (any and all use of an actual calculator or slide rule before a kiss is a huge no no, unless she has a thing for uber-nerds). Figure out the precise angle of the approach and the ideal speed and acceleration. If you don’t, eyes could be poked, cheeks bit and noses sucked on. This may seem excessive, but the perfect spontaneous first kiss you see in movies is a Hollywood fabrication. Get an advanced degree in physics first if you have time.
11. Think! During the kiss, it’s important to maintain brain activity for the sake of staying conscious and not having an ambulance called. It’s also important to keep your thoughts focused to divert attention away from other areas of the body as profuse sweating, a huge increase in heart rate or massive swelling in your nether regions are not okay during a first kiss (you have to save some excitement for the second kiss). I recommend planning ahead so your mind doesn’t go blank. To help, here are some topics to occupy yourself with during the experience (1) whether your financial adviser is screwing with you, (2) why your parents insisted you collect stamps and (3) would life be more if you were two-dimensional.
12. What to do after? So you got your smooch on? Congratulations all around. Don’t forget to thank all of the little people behind the scenes who helped you get to this moment. Regardless of the adrenaline rush you are feeling, now isn’t the time to flex or dab or hug yourself. You must also resist the temptation to high five nearby observers like waiters, librarians and Hare Krishnas. I’d suggest leaning against the wall unless you or the wall has recently been waxed or greased. Feel free to compliment your fellow kisser without pouring it on too thick. Silence is fine; looking into each other’s eyes is a beautiful way to conclude this experience. Resist the desire to talk incessantly or say snappy one-liners planned ahead of time like “my father taught me how to kiss” (especially if that is actually true).
And there you have it!
If you follow these 12 rules I’m confident your kissing experience will be a wonderful moment you will always have that you can one day tell your grandkids about.
You are welcome!