I’m an impatient sort of person – more interested in shagging than seduction. But I know I don’t speak for everyone, and I also know that there are disproportionately good pleasures to be had in the little things. When I stand still and keep my knickers on for long enough to enjoy the build up, I occasionally find the build up itself pretty erotic, and occasionally quite charming. The following blog on the art of kissing was offered to me by a guy who’ll be known as ‘Digger’, who’d like to remain anonymous (hence why there’s no link!) and it’s all about kissing. It’s lovely.
The lost art of kissing
At about two in the morning the thought struck me. No one kisses any more. Well, that’s a bit harsh, everyone kisses. In fact everyone kisses everyone. That’s part of the problem. Whether it’s the Ladies Who Lunch and their coutured, coiffured air-kissing, bise-trois is de riguer these days, or slebs kissing each other for another pap-snap – Madonna and Britney anyone? – it seems that everyone is at it. A peck on the cheek, a smack on the lips, a tongue thrust here and there.
Let me confess. When the thought struck me I was looking at the most luscious pair of lips imaginable. Jolie-esque in their bee-stung magnificence, this mouth belonged to an improbably proportioned young lady and we had been talking for some time about matters carnal, sharing tips and comparing notes when the thought hit me. Whatever happened to the art of the sensual kiss? That we could have the conversation we were having is just an extreme illustration of the sexualisation of western societies for whom the limits of visual taboos and personal behaviours have been pushed and pushed beyond shock to a new level of desensitised sexuality. We have sex but not romance, we have sexual but not sensual, we act but do not feel.
Let’s bring back the art of kissing
It’s not a new thing is it? It’s a basic human action with origins that go way back when and that anthropologists can talk about for hours. And hours. And hours. We could take a look at this but let’s not. We could take a look at the physiology of the kiss. You know the thing, the number of muscles used, the number of nerve endings. But again, let’s not because that is to reduce a kiss to mere facts, to a mechanical process that takes us away from the real reason for performing this act: sensation.
Imagine, for a moment, close your eyes if you want to (and as long as someone else is reading this to you), that you are about to kiss someone. Just hold that thought.
First, think about the word: kiss. A hard start and soft finish. Kiss. Your lips are forced apart as you make the sound, your tongue is pushed forward to the teeth: the very word should make you lick your lips and want to pucker up. Think about the word ‘lips’. Say it, softly, to yourself and feel your tongue flick down before your mouth closes and opens again and leaves you again with that soft lingering ending. Even words like ‘lingering’ can be played with in the same way, rolled around the tongue, teeth and lips to produce a moment where the word is the thought is the act is the feeling. How are you feeling now? Ready?
How to kiss – properly
A good kiss, a proper sensual smacker, starts slowly almost hesitatingly by not touching. The first of the senses to be engaged is sight. If anyone tells you that you shut your eyes to kiss tell them they’re doing it wrong. You must start with your eyes open. Look at your partner, look into their eyes, look at their face, the nose, the mouth, the shape of the lips, their colour. Enjoy this calm observation and appreciate this beautiful sight. Up close you can read the eyes and the mouth as they make the tiniest of movements, little dances of encouragement.
And now use your sense of smell. Come as close as you can. Do not touch. Not yet. Your eyes will close a little as you focus on the scent of your partner. You want to channel everything into the pathway that leads directly to the brain, directly to that primitive core that drives memory. This smell, this scent will ignite your memory and you must savour the moment. Smell the hair, the face, the neck and notice the way in which each is subtly different. Your eyes will be shut as you lose yourself completely in this moment. This is anticipation.
Now you touch. It might be the tenderest of movements, you might brush the lips of your partner, you might land butterfly-like and take off again to return a moment later. But you do touch and all at once you both relax. You are inside the kiss now. You have begun and this is now a shared act of mutual tender, sensual, touch.
You cannot kiss with a closed mouth. Your lips will be half open, teasing, inviting, anticipating. When you come together, both welcoming each other, you explore not just the kiss, the mouth, the physical but the sensation that is now firing through your mind and body. Keep it slow, keep it firm yet giving, tender yet definite. Move together, explore together, and respond to the responses. And keep your tongue under control.
Why do people want to push their tongue down someone’s throat at the earliest opportunity? What a waste of anticipation. Just wait. Patience is the greatest virtue in matters of the flesh. Wait and you will be rewarded. We haven’t got to the tongue yet.
As with the mouth so with the body. Standing, sitting, laying your body should echo the kiss. Your body should be tender yet firm, responsive but calm. Less is always always more. Slow is good.
The result of all this? A long lingering delight of the senses where sight, sound, smell, touch and taste are all engaged at the same time in a moment that fills the mind and body with such pleasure that makes time stand still and the world disappear. Now that is worth saving.