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Updated 21 November 2014

Don't kiss your chances goodbye

Even in an era of quickies, there's something electric about that first kiss.

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Even in an era of quickies, one-night stands and threesomes involving Martians, there's something electric about thatfirst kiss. Make the most of it.

Okay, so you realised that pick-up lines are for teenagers and tried the lost art of conversation. Not long after that she realised that you're not just a boyishly handsome face on the body of a Greek god – she actually likes you. What will happen when you lip-lock?

Kissing ought to be the easiest thing on earth. Boy-meets-girl, they talk, they snog, that's that. The truth is that all kissers are definitely not created equal. If a woman doesn't know you well, her radar is going full-tilt to find out all she can about you. She might like what she knows about you, but she might worry that you're a scoundrel, liar, serial killer, insurance broker or worse, a bad kisser.

A tale of two kisses
Let's take two scenarios: the first is Bianca, a part-time croupier with knowing eyes, an old tenor saxophone and an all-girl jazz band, and you've met her while backpacking around Europe. You're in Prague and despite some cute misunderstandings in translation, you fancy each other. The first kiss looms.

The second is Tracy, your high school chum and your older sister's best friend. Years ago you fancied each other, but she was dating Trevor the Maths wiz and under-19 Sevens rugby ace, so you just watched from the sidelines.

Fast-forward to now; Trevor's moved on with his life and so has Tracy and here you are, celebrating her son's mastery of his bicycle and her landing an account to export rare wines to rich people in rich countries. While she pours you both an old Merlot and talks of meeting all the orders and you watch little Kyle ride his bike, the first kiss looms.

Whether it's the sultry bohemian who breathes life into brass, or the home girl who's a self-made success, there's that moment of delicious tension that heralds the kiss.

Either way, women will carefully monitor how you conduct your first kiss. Here are some pointers:

  • Don't lick. The tongue is an astonishingly versatile device, but you're a man, not a puppy. There's something hugely erotic about the lingering, first lip-to-lip kiss – there'll be time for the Hollywood-esque snogging later.
  • It's not a sword.You might be able to use your tongue to open a toasted cheese sandwich, but don't use it to harpoon her tonsils. Use varying amounts of pressure. Use it on the outside of the lips and don't force it between her teeth, let alone down her throat.
  • Check her reactions. If she pulls back, stick to doing what you were doing before.
  • Don't pull stunts.The objective is her, not how many stunts you can pull. If you're alone and she grabs your ears and says, "Kiss me, Western fool," feel free. But in Tracy's case, a quick-ish kiss might be just enough for now, especially if she's worried about what Kyle might see. Don't ravish her, but by all means say something along the lines of, "That was great, can we carry on where we left off later?"
  • Kissing's not just about lips. Holding her face, caressing her hair, kissing her eyelids, these are all the stuff of bodice-ripper novels. It gets the retired librarians that read them all a-twitter, because they work, so don't be afraid to seem a little old-fashioned.

(William Smook)

 
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