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 Can Do Without 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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