A couple months ago, an otherwise charming young man told me I was a bad kisser—mid-makeout! OK, we were both piss drunk and it was five in the morning and I probably was a little sloppy, but still. . . . It doesn't matter that three—no, wait, four—different men have told me I'm a great kisser since then (almost completely unsolicited, I might add), that's just not the kind of thing a girl gets over quickly.
I ran into the Siskel of Kissing last night and reminded him of his review. He swore that he didn't recall giving me the thumbs-down and that if he did (which he did), he didn't mean it. He's actually quite sweet and was mortified to learn that I was going to commit the whole tawdry incident to paper. So he will not be named. But he knows who he is.
Newly confident in my kissing prowess, I began running down the bad kissers of my past. There was Ben, the bisexual barista from the local hipster coffee shop. I cooked him dinner on our second date, sure that the bad kissing from the first date had been some kind of aberration. After telling me he had been thinking about me all day, I counted myself lucky to have found a man who actually copped to his feelings. Any worries I had about him preferring penises to pussies evaporated as he looked me up and down with a stare that spelled trouble of the funnest kind. I sauntered across the kitchen, grabbed him by the collar and planted a moist one (not a wet one) right on his lips. He kissed me back—his jaws clenched shut. I tried again, this time opening my mouth a little and giving the slightest bit of tongue. Again, no entry granted. Have you ever tried to make out with someone who won't open their mouth?
On the opposite end of the bad kissing spectrum was my ex of six years. Though he was a brilliant man and a great writer, he was possibly the world's worst kisser. On a quick peck basis, he was fine. But once you started to get down to it, it was the stuff how-not-to videos are made of. I'd be feeling all frisky and look up only to see a wide-open mouth full of expensive dental work and a fully extended tongue lurching towards me. It was frightening. And his mouth was so big that it often covered both my lips and nose, making breathing an issue.
Try as I might, I could never train him. I tried everything (except for telling him he sucked). I'd put a knuckle against each jaw hinge, slip my thumbs under his chin, and attempt to squeeze his mouth shut a little. It never worked, and I'd inevitably emerge gasping for air with a nose covered in drool.
The Lithuanian Lovedoll I was obsessed with for a couple years also started out as a bad kisser, but of the dry, liplocked variety. He, however, was a willing pupil, and by the time he dumped me I had transformed him into a kisser of knee-weakening dimension. I'm sure his new skanky-ass Mackenzie Phillips look-alike girlfriend is enjoying him and his great big beautiful mouth very much.
Naturally, I assumed that men are worse in the kissing department than women. Like Jill Sobule, I've kissed a girl, and it was a helluva lot of fun. Most of my straight guy friends admitted that they thought this was the case too. "A lot of times men are just twiddling their thumbs, biding their time till they get to stick their dicks in," my friend Travis concurred.
But Zack, a musician in his mid-20s, disagreed: "The problem is, a lot of girls just shove their tongues down your throat." Zack has come up with a way to remedy the problem. "You go for the lip lock—block their tongue with your lips and maybe bite their lower lip lightly." As for setting your jaw in stone, Zack says no. "The teeth lock can be embarrassing. You only do that when you don't want to kiss them at all." He admits that even this careful course of action is not foolproof. "If you like them enough, you put up with it," he shrugged.
Ah, if I'd only had Zack's wisdom during my first kiss. It was with a boy named Tommy who was blessed with the longest tongue this side of Gene Simmons. While later in life this probably came in quite handy, the reality of this tender moment was akin to having a baby's forearm jammed down your throat. Having nothing to compare it to, this trauma led me to believe I didn't like kissing. This haunted me for days—then I met a boy with a human-size tongue and a slut was born.
Dategirl longs to answer your strange romanticosexual queries. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Dategirl c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave Ste 300, Seattle, WA 98104.