I think I am, well, half-decent at snogging.
I don’t think I am the greatest — but I presume I can get by. But that said, other people may have a different opinion.
But it wasn’t always this way. The technique I was born with was woeful. You name everything and anything conceivably bad you can do while kissing someone — and that was me. I pressed too hard, there was too much tongue, I was really, really sloppy and just treated it like a marathon — to name just a few.
In my defence I had some very bad and cryptic advice in my youth which I had years and years to ponder upon.
So before I had my first kiss I had attempted to learn some things because I assumed this was important business. I asked questions of anyone I knew who had engaged in this activity. The first bit of advice was from an older boy — a family friend called James who explained via diagrams the reason why you tilt your head. He was like, “So then you make this big cavity between your mouths so you have all this room so you can touch tongues.”
Before I could ask anything else he then proceeded to show me how he could fart on command by lying of the floor and contorting his body into this weird position with his bum facing the ceiling. I was utterly impressed and laughed myself silly. TRUE STORY.
The only other person I knew with any experience was one of my best friends at school — Paul. And he was a bit reluctant to offer specific advice. Instead he said this — and this is verbatim — “The secret is, you have to do something with your hands at the same time.”
“Woah,” I thought. Suddenly a very complex procedure, which I had very little idea about, was made even more complex. What you did with your hands apart from touching boobs — which I presumed would be a no-go zone — was a mystery. “There’s no hope for me,” must have crossed my mind.
And looking back this was definitely not bad advice — it just wasn’t entirely helpful. That is — unless you were so bad at kissing that distracting the poor girl involved with touchy-feely theatrics might help the situation.
So when it came to those first kissing adventures, it felt amazing and different and cool — and I was really busy with my hands and made sure I tilted my head — but secretly I knew I sucked. Like — really sucked! Indeed I seem to remember one girl when I was 15 actually dumping me and siting my lack of kissing skills as a reason. Yep. Another TRUE STORY.
My final two years of school were a deadzone as far as women were concerned and I didn’t kiss anyone again until I was 18 when I met this woman at uni. She was a whole 18 months older than me — which seemed bigger than the universe to me at the time — and somehow she reciprocated my interest in her and various things happened that meant we arrived at that highly romantic situation where we were on my bed, at home, while my parents were only a few metres away, suddenly pashing halfway through watching an episode of NYPD Blue. It should be said I never watched an episode of NYPD Blue ever again. Not because it was a bad show — but because the world changed that night.
And she must have sensed I was such a deadshit because she took charge and she silently and maybe even telepathically guided me in certain directions. And over subsequent interactions she taught me even more skills. Everything got slowed down (this wasn’t a race) and things got delicate and there was attention to detail.
If I ever have a kid and I am telling them about “the facts of life” I just might go a bit further and teach them some “extra” skills — the things that I have struggled with so badly over my life. And one of the skills I just might elude them to is the fact I used to think it was all about that tongue-fighting business. But just like the old movies – it was all about the lips. But unlike the old movies, you need to break up the activity into stanzas — swap sides, keep the moisture levels under control, do something with your hands (lol) etc.
So that relationship lasted only weeks but I learnt everything I now know about kissing in that short period and I have literally copied her entire technique as precisely as I could — to this very day. TRUE STORY.
So cheers Kellie — credit where credit is due.
POSTSCRIPT: THE SECRET
The secret of a good kissing technique is being in tune with your partner and maybe leading the way, but being mindful of what they want, or don’t appreciate. Go with what works and don’t persist with what doesn’t work. Empathy.