In "That's What S(He) Said," CB Editor Alison Henry and fellow relationship writer Ryan Austin go head-to-head on life's tougher topics. Or at least the ones they're concerned about.
Today, Alison and Ryan wonder: How much of your future chemistry can be determined by that first kiss?
You lean in closer, mouths hovering for one anticipatory moment as you gaze up through strands of hair sweeping across your face, close your eyes and hold a single silent breath until your lips meet his... slowing, stopping, butterflies. He gently takes your head in his hands, pulling you toward him as you breathe in, knees surrendered, body and arms resigned as if your entire weight is suspended by a string.
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Or, maybe you bumped foreheads, he's a mouth breather, he had raw sewage for dinner or he assaulted you with his tongue, leaving you looking for the nearest napkin.
Unfortunately, it happens. And when it does, it's disappointing. After all, so much can be determined about your future chemistry from that first kiss.
However, if you happen to have landed our first gentleman rather than the latter, there's a good chance you'll eventually be kissing him more – a lot more. But then, a whole new problem has the potential to arise. Men all too often treat kissing as a means to an end, rather than just enjoying it for what it is. And that's a shame. Because women love kissing. Yet, I can't remember the last time I was in the midst of a passionate lip lock and didn't find myself thinking: Keep your hands to yourself and your mind on the task at hand – because I'm quite enjoying this.
And I think a lot of women will agree with me.
Intimacy comes in all different flavors, colors and behaviors, but sometimes – most times – it is the simplest that are the most satisfying.
Oh gosh, the first kiss. I know a lot of women (and by "a lot," I mean ALL) predict the entirety of the relationship in that initial lip merger like they're Jean Grey reading Hugh Jackman's mind in the first "X-Men" movie (or any other time she does that, really).
I'm not doubting that you can tell a lot from that first kiss, but I speak for all men when I say that we know how much importance you place on it – and that makes us very, very nervous.
What if we mess up? Are we written off forever? What if your cosmic powers of lip prediction foretell a tumultuous, false future? We're sorry our breath was bad, but you were the one who wanted Italian for dinner! Don't judge us based on this one kiss!
But I do agree that we often take it for granted. Hey, it's easy to do. You're kissing. It's going well. It's pretty awesome. So, our bodies naturally put in a request for more. Note the word naturally.
Self-control is so difficult for a male simply because of how we're put together. I'm not saying that's an excuse – I'm just saying that behaving ourselves sometimes requires the focus and determination of one of those monks that stands outside the monastery gates for three days without food, shelter or encouragement.
I totally get that too many guys don't bother exercising a little self-control for the sake of a romantic moment. But as I'm sure women have learned by now, we don't always realize what is and is not romantic. Explain to us the importance of a kissing session that doesn't cause you to worry where our hands are skating off to, and if we're a keeper, we'll listen and respect it.
But it might still require some practice. Alison, I believe we owe it to men and women everywhere to put this to the test. You bring the notebook, and I'll bring the lip balm. And we'll kiss... for science.