Umm, What's Up With These People Who Hate Kissing?

Did you know that close to 50 percent of people would actually prefer to not kiss?

Love & Relationships

Hmm. How do I start this off? Let's begin with a woman I used to know who, since she was old enough to kiss, she absolutely loathed it. Since I'm someone who is the total opposite, I never got where she was coming from, especially since, once she started having sex, she was all about doing that. At first, I thought this rainbow unicorn felt that way because perhaps her first experience sucked (according to her, it didn't). My next thought—and forgive me for going dark for a moment—was, because we are both survivors of sexual abuse, maybe PTSD-related childhood trauma had something to do with it. She's a pretty self-aware individual. She said that wasn't it either. According to her, "kissing just isn't my thing". But how could that be? For several years, I chalked her up to just being an intimacy anomaly and (tried to) let it go.

But while I was working with a ministry that got people off of and out of porn, while I was the teen mom director for the local branch of a national non-profit and also since I've become a marriage life coach, to my surprise-borderline-shock, I've met many people who are just like the woman I just mentioned. Although they are all about copulation and all of the fun that comes along with it, and also while many of them are in quite functional relationships, if there's one thing that they can totally-and-unapologetically do without, it's K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Really? Wow.

In the effort to figure out what this semi-underground-movement is all about, I decided to do a little bit of investigating. I'll share with you what I discovered (via some research and a few "please leave my name out of it" interviews). But if you're someone who also hates to kiss—or you're in a relationship with someone who feels this way—I'd like to hear your thoughts (in the comment section) on this, what I considered to be, really layered and surprising phenomenon too.

Kissing Is Dope...Isn’t It?


From my observation, whenever we sit down to recall our first kiss, it typically comes with two stories. There's the kiss you got when you were probably in elementary school and no one knew what the hell they were doing. Then there's the, somewhere in high school kiss, that has the potential to make-or-break your feelings (at least at the time). My first was this blonde white boy who lined all of the girls up in his first grade class along a fence and kissed us. Whatever. My second was this Black guy, who basically thought he was God's gift to women, who kissed me against a tree. It was horrible. Man, if I could imagine what a dish feels like in the rinse cycle of a dishwasher, that kiss nailed it (he was also a complete ass afterwards but that's another story for another time). He really could've ruined kissing for me, but I think because I was always a curious person when it came to almost all things sexually-related, that's why I didn't give up. It's kind of like when I think back to my personally chosen first time (because again, I was sexually abused, so my actual first sexual experiences weren't my choice). It wasn't super bad or super great, but I kept at it because, from what I saw in movies and heard from others, there had to be more to sex than what I had experienced.

I must say that I'm glad I stuck with it because, over the years, I've had some phenomenal kissing experiences. Top notch. Truly wonderful. Has-even-resulted-in-orgasms smooches. To me, kissing is erotic. Kissing is comforting. Kissing finds a way to convey things that can't be expressed with words or even any other kind of act. Yeah, kissing is bar none dope.

That doesn't mean that, if I choose to think really hard, I don't also get that it can be a little bit gross too. For starters, our mouths are the dirtiest parts of our body. Plus, let's not act like we're not literally "swapping spit" with another individual whenever we do it (ironically, drool is one of the words that makes my skin crawl). And, if you and your kissing partner aren't in sync, it's almost like you'd prefer to clean a toilet than to continue. But since, to me, the good kisses far outweigh the bad ones, I've never gotten to the point where I'm not down to do it. I mean, coming to that kind of resolve is just crazy…right? According to what I've learned on the internets, actually…it isn't.

Take this study that I read on kissing, for example.

After surveying 168 different cultures, only 46 percent of them kissed with 45 percent of the North American cultures choosing not to kiss at all. The reasons why? It was because they either found kissing to be gross or unpleasant.

Instead, they opted for the alternative known as the oceanic kiss. Ever heard of it? It's when two people stand really close to one another's faces and breathe deeply without allowing their mouths to ever touch (I don't know if that's sexy or infuriating, to tell you the truth). Does any culture actually enjoy kissing? Actually, yes. According to the study, Indonesia, Spain and South Africa dug kissing a lot, although PDA is mostly frowned upon.

Anyway, since 45 percent of Americans are good without kissing and I am indeed an American, I decided to see what else I could find out about how folks feel about kissing on this side of the world. You can always count on a Reddit thread to provide some interesting insights. On the thread "How many of you ladies don't like kissing, or didn't like kissing. If it's now enjoyable, what changed?", I read quite a bit about women who loved or hated kissing based on how they felt about their partner at the time, along with women who enjoyed lip contact but totally wanted to keep tongues out of it and, women who, although they can't quite put their finger on it, are aggravated with kissing. That made me want to ask some people even closer to home about their thoughts. It was intriguing to say the least. I've included their perspective on why they prefer not to kiss below. (Most of their names have been changed, mostly because some of their partners do not know what they decided to share with us.)

5 People Share Why They Hate Kissing


Melissa. Married. 29. "You know how people talk about 'faking it' when it comes to orgasms? I don't know what it is, but while I would never do that, I fake it all of the time with my husband when it comes to kissing. I like his lips a lot, but his tongue always feels awkward. Like a lizard that's trying to dart in and out of my mouth. It's not that he's a bad kisser…well, I don't know because I've never really liked doing it. I always feel like it's such a waste of time. Can we just get on with it, please? Yeah, I've never told him that, so definitely don't use my real name."

Jackson. Single. 35. "If you've ever been told that guys can have sex with a woman and never kiss her, you've been told the truth. I've spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out what's up with that. I think it's because we can put a condom on our dick. When you're kissing, you're all out there…exposed. It's vulnerable and intimate and a lot of us don't want to be that with just anyone. For me, kissing means I'm really into you. Sometimes sex is just a release. That's why I wouldn't really say that I 'hate kissing' so much as I've had more sex without kissing than with it. If I want to cum, I don't need to kiss. If I want to be close to someone, I'll kiss her. Some may be triggered by that, but a lot of guys feel the exact same way."

Eric. Single. 25. "Yeah, I'm not a kissing fan. Mostly because a lot of women go in assuming that they know how to kiss. I do like to kiss all over a woman. I like even giving head. But mouths just always felt wet and weird to me. It hasn't really prevented anything that I've wanted to happen to happen so, I don't ever really give it any thought."

Taylor. Single. 27. "It's not necessarily that I think kissing is nasty. For me, it's all about chemistry. There are some people I enjoy kissing, but it's rare. It's only been two so far. I liked it with them because of the way their mouth felt with my mouth. It wasn't too aggressive. It wasn't too soft either. I don't quite know how to explain it. It just felt…good. Kissing annoys [me] because…I need to go at the same pace and when I can't match you, I'm not feeling that. Also, I don't see the point in kissing and that's it."

"Kissing revs me up and I don't want to be revved up for no reason. To just be kissing without it leading to more, it kind of makes me feel angry and unfulfilled. I think that kissing should be a precursor to something. It's like, starting a car. Once you turn the engine, what else are we gonna do. Just sit here?"

Tanya. Divorced. 41. "I hate kissing because, it's just nasty. Say what you will but all of that spit is just gross. I don't know why people think that it's OK to have a preference when it comes to sex positions or erogenous zones, but if someone doesn't like kissing, somehow, they are breaking some sort of sexual cardinal rule. Believe it or not, yes, you can be very intimate with someone without their tongue being rammed down your throat. Pecks are fine. Tongues are not. A lot of my partners have felt the same way. There are definitely more of us 'non-kissers' around than you might think, girl."

Tanya is right. There are clearly a lot of folks who have active sex lives who are just fine without kissing, thank you very much. And while the reasons certainly run the gamut, I'll be the first to say that the stance is common enough that it should no longer be seen or treated as "odd" or "strange", including by me. At the end of the day, like everything else related to sex and intimacy, kissing is a preference, not a requirement or a given. And many people are just fine with that. Full stop, chile. Full stop.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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