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Kissing 101:
Tactful Tips for Lustful Lips

or, You Must Remember This, a Kiss is Just a... Mmmffff! Whoa!

by Jillian Perlberger

Singles, stop worrying, for a moment, about whether you'll ever find The One. (You will, if the Big To Do has anything to say about it.) Couples, lay aside your angst about whether you'll solve that pesky relationship problem. (You will, if Breakup Girl has anything to say about it.)

Let's discuss what comes between Searching for Him/Her and Dealing with Him/Her. That's right. We're taking about those all-too-fleeting moments you spend impersonating the Kissing Bandit. It's that period when you don't know yet if this is going anywhere, you're just... doing chemistry experiments. As in: is there any?

And if there is, boy howdy! Nothing really tops a great first make-out session, does it? Even if it's the last! Herewith, a guide to the underrated art, the under-discussed techniques, the under-appreciated joys of Kissyface. Tonsil Hockey. The Swapping of Spit. You get the idea. Without further ado: the official BTD Kissing Handbook!

The Virtues of Casual Snogging

Say you're between relationships and, for whatever reason, wary of wearing that old heart on the sleeve. But, being the considerate (or simply VD-phobic) person that you are, casual sex isn't quite what you're after. How do you get that warm, delicious feeling physical intimacy can give without dragging in any messy emotions? Why, the casual kiss with a random hottie, of course!

I cannot recommend this time-tested pick-me-up highly enough. In many European countries, it is practiced with abandon. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that everyone there lives with their parents till they're married and hence lacks access to the proverbial room (as in "Hey! Get a room!").

But kissing someone you just met in a bar, in front of all the friends you came with, is quite common and acceptable on the Continent. No strings attached, no assumptions that numbers or even names will be exchanged. Just innocent kissin'! I lived in Madrid for a while and found nursing a recent heartbreak surprisingly easy once I overcame my Emily Post-esque inhibitions and learned to "do as the Romans do." Or the Spanish, as the case may be.

Stateside, your sense of etiquette may constrain you from acting with such abandon. I propose an alternative: consider flirting heavily with a sensibly chosen cutie in full view of others, then go somewhere semiprivate to suck face! Be safe, of course. The street corner just outside a bar with just few enough loiterers to seem romantic, that nook between the bathroom and the phone booth downstairs. Look for such spots that will allow you to be discreet without being vulnerable. If you're both a little tipsy, and keep the flirtation as light as helium, it'll be fun and exciting. And no hard feelings will result when you part with just a warm squeeze of the hand (and no scrap of paper with a number scrawled on it inside).

I Kiss, Therefore I Am

Why, you may ask, go in search of the random lip-lock that leads nowhere? Because kissing, just kissing, is too damn fun to wait till you're in a relationship to do it. Think about that thrill when you realize the attraction you're feeling for someone is mutual... that tension when you wonder what one of you is going to do about it... that "lean in" moment of pure anticipation, followed (you hope) by warm, groovy tingles as you're transported to The Kissing Dimension!

Depending how lucky you are in your choice of kiss-mate, it could be minutes before you return to planet Earth! It's delectable, it's ego-boosting, and, if you're really lucky, it teaches you that you and everyone you know should be living life to its fullest. How's that for cheap entertainment?

Kissing to Rock the World

It is not an exaggeration to say that kisses can place ordinary mortals on a plane with the Gods, if only momentarily. What is the secret to these heavenly smooches? An informal canvass of the lucky recipients of world-rocking kisses yields the following information (to memorize and live by): Just enough pressure, light caressing of the hair and face, bold but delicate probing of the tongue, hypnotic rhythm.

Sorry, I could not get my informants to be any more graphic and specific to break down into mechanical parts the kisses they described as "out-of-body experiences" that made them "weak in the knees." I'm not kidding: one friend told me such a kiss made her lose the power to stand up. She was quite embarrassed to find herself collapsed on the ground, but I don't think the guy who put her there minded too much.

More: When Kisses Go Wrong and How to Get What You Want!


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