Friday, July 25, 2008

A First Kiss

A few days ago I ended up in a conversation with some friends about each of our first kisses (I really can’t remember how we got on the topic, but the nostalgia factor was high and it was kind of fun to reminisce). And it got me thinking – how significant is a first kiss. Can it actually serve as an example (or even blueprint) to how we approach relationships and romance in the future? I ask this because one of my friends – who remembers her first kiss as being very romantic – has always had very good and romantic relationships; in fact, she’s the only one of the group who is married (happily it seems). While I on the other hand…

You know what, let’s break down my first kiss for you. However a disclaimer to begin: I’m not counting the cute little pecks I had with the neighbor boy when I was 6 – we had no idea what we were doing, and they were (obviously) in no way ‘adult’ kisses. What I’m talking about, for the purposes of this post (and theory), is my first remotely sexual (type) KISS. Which I guess for me happened in the 7th or 8th grade (shut up, no matter what you say everything before that was child’s play).

The scene – a party at my friend Viv’s house (a HUGE place with a game room in the basement). The crowd – all the ‘cool kids.’ I was there, and so was Dave. Dave was the king of our grade – he was Mr. Cool, all the guys looked up to him, and all the girls had crushes on him. Including, I’m embarrassed to admit, me.

Anyway, after playing a game of pool (I sucked then and I suck now), we somehow ended up under the pool table flirting. I was psyched to be the girl that he seemingly wanted (hey, at that age there’s cache in that), and when he suggested we wander upstairs to Viv’s room to ‘check it out,’ I was more than willing to go along.

Once upstairs he wasted no time in moving in for the kill. BAM! There he was, on my face, mouth WIDE open, doing a very adolescent and inexperienced (although I didn’t realize it at the time) version of the French kiss. It was…wet. I actually remember thinking, ‘Okay, so I guess this is it. I wonder how long we need to do this for?’

It turns out the answer to that question was: a long time. I’m talking over an hour of mouths wide open, tongues moving, a little hand movement, and sheer boredom on my part. I never once stopped thinking and lost myself in the moment (how could I?). In fact, after about 10 minutes I stopped trying to keep my eyes closed and opened them to see if there was anything interesting to look at to keep myself entertained – turns out the tv was on and I could see it over his shoulder; I’m not embarrassed to admit I watched it for as long as I could without getting caught. After some more time had passed I pondered the fact that my jaw was starting to ache from being held open for so long, and I also spent some time trying to figure out a way to detach him for a couple seconds so I could wipe my mouth (he was slobbering all over me).

At no point did I think the kiss was romantic.

But you know, even then I was analytical about it. I wasn’t disappointed because it wasn’t a fairy tale, I didn’t fancy myself as in love with him, I was just…realistic about the whole thing. It was what it was; he was a really cute, popular guy, I wanted to learn about kissing, and it wasn’t painful or bad or anything, it was just…strange. Kind of funny too (if a guy isn’t doing it for me, to this day my internal monologue at least keeps things interesting and lighthearted – if not hot).

After that night, Dave and I were kind of a couple (off and on) for the rest of the school year. Eventually his family moved away, and I never really saw or thought much about him again. But when we all talked about our first kisses last week, I was surprised to find I still remembered the night pretty well. And while I’ve certainly had more experienced men in my life since then (obviously), I found that my detachment, my matter-of-fact attitude about men and relationships and the…physical nature of relationships – well, it all started back then. I think.

I don’t know, I imagine a lot of this is just my personality – I’m not a crier, I’m not clingy, and I’ve always enjoyed space and my independence, so maybe my first kiss has nothing to do with the kind of relationships I look for and have today; but it’s a theory I’m working on and I wanted to throw out there all the same.

So what about you guys? Do you see a parallel between your first kiss and your love life now. Or ever? Does it just take the right person to snap you out of it (if, in fact, you ever needed to be ‘snapped out of it’)? Talk to me people.


TK said...

Not even remotely. My first kiss was with a girl I used to walk home from high school with (this was when I was 14). We basically ended up making up in her house every day for a week, and that was that. It wasn't even remotely romantic.

My marriage is pretty damn romantic overall, so...

It should also be noted that the girl of that first kiss? Now a lesbian.

TK said...

(making OUT, not up)

MCBias said...

I have to agree with you, Red--I was just thinking about this the other day. I think the first kiss and especially the first sexual experience has a way of coloring everything else that follows. It's the same for many experiences. If the first time I ride a bike, I fall down and bash open my knee, my overall view of bike riding is more likely to be negative than the kid who balances perfectly first time she gets on.

Now, I'm not saying, that, for example, every girl whose first sexual experience is with an older guy is looking for a father for the rest of her life, or that type of weak correlation. The strength of the effect of the first experience varies from person to person. However, you have no way of knowing ahead of time how deep the effect will be on you.

May said...

Yeah, I do. My first kiss I took the initiative just like I have in all my other relationships. :)

Mr. Thursday said...

My first kiss came when I was sixteen, I think. I was a late bloomer. Freshman year: short, fat, glasses. Sophomore year: six inches taller, lean, wearing contacts, and I got a haircut. Suddenly, I was well liked at school. Go figure.

Anyway, started dating a girl, Adie, who went to a different high school and worked at the pizza place next to the ice cream shop I worked it. Apparently, a bunch of the guys I worked with also liked Adie, so I was pretty proud of myself when she asked me out.

The first kiss happened at the end of the first date. Hanging out, leaning against her car. We had a few more dates, and then we sorta stopped calling each other, and I quit my job.

I can't say there's any relationship to that. I've got a tendency to get into relationships that last a while--one for nearly a year, another for nearly three years, and I'm currently engaged. Adie was gorgeous, and while I had a reputation, for a while, of dating only hot girls, I'm not sure that any of my other girlfriends have much at all in common with my first. My one prerequisite of girls, essentially, has been an ability to sing. Adie definitely couldn't.

Adie eventually developed a drug problem, I recall, which hasn't happened to anyone else I've dated (that I know of). I will say that I eventually did develop a habit of dating/hooking up with girls that people I knew liked.

One More Dying Quail said...

After reading this, I suddenly realized something: aside from my wife, I only kissed ONE other girl. That's either romantic or losery, depending on your interpretation.

And the first kiss wasn't even that great - in my car, in front of the train tracks that ran past her house. A few days later, she tried to teach me how to French kiss, a lesson that ended with her laughing and running away.

I don't know what any of this says about me or my relationships.

Bruce Paine said...

I never kiss em on the mouth.

Redhead said...

tk: A lesbian? Nice work man.

mcb: Yeah, the more I think about it the more I'm thinking my theory is full of shit. But thanks for agreeing with me.

may: You're going to have to teach me that trick. (I've still NEVER made the first move. God, I'm such a girl.)

thursday: So what you're saying is you're shallow. Dude, that makes you such a...guy.

omdq: I can't believe you just announed that to all of us. She laughed at you? And only 2 girls? Aw, poor baby.

paine: (Shakes head. Turns off computer...)

Mr. Thursday said...

Shallow? I wildly object. As a sixteen year old, probably. But, like, as an adult, without a drinking problem and everything? No way, no how, Red.

Bruce Paine said...

I don't hear any complaints.

Anyway, I wonder if you have considered that you can change things sometimes. You can ask people to kiss you differently, you can ask them to change some of the subtleties of their behavior. Maybe he is a heavy tongue kisser, and a gal prefers more lip than licker. Perhaps he is shy, and he doesn't use enough tongue. A person can simply ask another to adjust their style. Babe, I don't like kisses that damp, I like more lip pressure and less tongue, I like to have my bottom lip kissed instead of my top.

If you are going to apply such heavy handed notions about first contact, you are probably just looking for an excuse to justify something else. When you are with someone, instead of placing expectations about what you what it to be, get excited about all of the different things it MAY be. People are all different, perhaps some little tick in their behaviors, be it kissing style or pillow talk or hair combing technique, may offer you an insight into their their personality that opens them up to you. After that you can get to know the person worth appreciating. Of course, kissing style may be a window to the world. If their kissing style is so much different from where you would like it it may be the greatest indicator of incompatibility we can ever know.

SocialTyrant said...

I don't remember my first kiss. There is a similarly willing blackout of many of my subsequent relationships/engagements... so you're theory sticks on me!!

Dyan said...

Thanks for writing this.