Yesterday, I’m sad to report, a fellow writer launched a crusade against kissing. I became aware of this steaming pile of takery when my woke male feminist alarm went off, the flashing pink lights and ear-splitting soundtrack from The Handmaid’s Tale alerting me to a dire situation that required the input of a progressive, sex-positive dude like myself, even if nobody asked me. Maybe especially since nobody asked me.
Well, here I am.
I’ve done the honorable thing, waiting at least 24 hours to let women speak first, yet now I must take the bait. You win, Sophia Benoit! I couldn’t stand idly by and let you have the wrong opinion — that kissing is somehow “overrated.” Not if you’re writing that opinion down for a men’s lifestyle publication whose readers may use it to justify doing less foreplay or waxing on about “the straightforward sensuality of a blow job” when a hookup isn’t moving fast enough. You may as well condemn holding hands, gazing into each other’s eyes or spooning. To quote John Cleese in Monty Python’s sex-ed sketch, which is the only formal training I ever received in the art of doin’ it: “What’s wrong with a kiss, boy? Hmm? Why not start her off with a nice kiss? You don’t have to go leaping straight for the clitoris like a bull at a gate.”
You write, toward the end of your 1,500-word piece, in anticipation of ad-hominem critique: “At this point, you may be thinking, Well, she’s probably just a bad kisser herself! I probably am!” But that isn’t what I was thinking — not at all, Sophia! Please don’t be so hard on yourself! We both reveal a not insignificant amount of our sexual character in this line of work. You argue that there “is no communication in a kiss,” which, by the way, seems to contradict an earlier assertion that there’s “too much to coordinate” in kissing; I discuss my fantasies of being suffocated by pussy or painting the bed with menstrual blood. None of this is an invitation for strangers to judge our erotic skill. However, in the interest of journalistic transparency and advancing masculine norms, I’m obliged to inform you that I’m awesome at kissing.
Like… it’s really special, the kissing that I do.
I don’t mean this as a proposition, which would be inappropriate, not to mention unprofessional. I wouldn’t dare to presume you have any interest in kissing me, even if I do kiss with excellence. All I’m saying is that it might change your mind, re: kissing, if you did some with me, ideally after we enter into a legal agreement on a consent app. I’m never assailed by the multifarious anxieties you identify in the act of a kiss, instead consumed, as any enlightened hetero gender-equality ally should be, with my partner’s pleasure and physical cues. I worry that you’ve treated each kiss like a calculus problem to be solved, when indeed a spectacular kiss can make you forget there are numbers at all. Kissing, done correctly, creates its own momentum and heightens the attraction.
Do you want some tips on kissing?
You said your boyfriend tried to teach you, but it doesn’t sound like that went very well, and I’m not bragging when I say that his moves are no match for mine. I’m extraordinarily gentle, blessed with a plush, pouting lower lip. I’ve even been told I kiss like a woman, which, having kissed a few women, seems to me a high compliment. I’m not terribly fond of Frenching, so that cuts down on the saliva, smacking sounds and horny-teen vibes you deplore, but neither do I struggle to “figure out what the hell [my] tongue is supposed to be doing,” or at least no more than at other life moments when the tongue need not involve itself. Try letting it hover in your mouth without touching the top or bottom, or the back of the teeth, and you’ll feel as if it’s not even there. That’s exactly what your tongue is supposed to do. Come on!
I could go on extolling kisses, but it’s getting late now, and besides, my girlfriend keeps barging in to demand — that’s right — a flurry of kissing. (She would, I imagine, be a primary obstacle to us kissing, and skeptical of our academic reason for the attempt.)
At this point, you may be thinking, Well, he’s just writing this to be a dick! But I swear I have your best interests at heart. Though I cannot offer a “solution” — since there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with a person who’s “meh” on the meeting of mouths — I hope this short response may serve to explain your puzzlement. It’s entirely plausible that the friends you chide for hyping the kiss, or attaching undue significance to it, only do so after they’ve kissed me.
In that case, I must apologize for setting the connective standard you claim is unattainable — just not for kissing itself, which is actually good.