We asked elephant readers, and here’s what they told us:
First kiss with innocence and the boy next door… Two months and a day younger than me; little did I realize this would start a habit with us. I was only three when our sisters yelled out “kiss” in the backyard and we did. Being the youngest of the families how did we know what they were doing? They continued to yell out “kiss” and we did…even as we got older including my first French kiss in middle school when he was visiting. The families thought for sure we were going to getting married. Alas, it was not to be. We moved in different directions and we found other kissing partners. We did remain in touch for a long time, until he found the love he would marry. Our friendship faded as their love continued.
I was in 8th grade. I rode home on the school bus from an evening basketball game. We lived up a rural dirt road, and we had about a 3/4 mile walk home. My classmate, Trevor, whom I thought was soooo cute, walked me up the road and then part way on the path up the side of a forested hill. When we got to the edge of the trees, it was time for him to turn around and go back toward his house. We stood and stared at our feet making small talk. The moon was out, the air was crisp—romance was in the air! He said “Can I kiss you?” I’m sure I nervously scoffed and said, “Sure.” He leaned in. All I remember was that his lips were wet, cold and soft. I was a little grossed out by the wet part because I was a slight germophobe at that age. But he was very polite, just a quick kiss and nothing more. I thought it was the start of a budding romance. Years later, he confided that he was trying to see if he liked girls or if he should just go with his true feelings of liking boys. Happy to report he went with his true feelings. But he did tell me that if ever were to sleep with a woman, he’d want it to be me. And that’s one of the better compliments I’ve ever received.
My first kiss was a bit of a disaster. It was like he was trying to have tongue sex with my face. He just forced it straight in my mouth… no warning. And it was not gentle or pleasant. I thought it was so sad that kissing was so terrible! I didn’t understand why anyone would want to do it. It was so bad and awkward I called and broke up with the guy the next day and didn’t kiss another boy for over two years.
My second kiss may well be the best kiss. Why? Because it was like a light bulb turned on. “ohhhhh!!!! So this is what it is supposed to be like.” And then there was light…lol.
After the second kiss there were many kisses.
My husband and I met when I was 18. We quickly (and surprisingly) had three beautiful children and began a frantic life of working and care-giving to try and provide for those babies. There were many details I could outline of what occurred over the next 17 years. However the details are not as important as the overall shift —which has been mirrored in literature and film ad-nausea – of losing sight of one’s partner in the hectic world of bringing up children and striving for economic security. This seems to be a story as old as time. The important piece is that in January of 2012 the covers were pulled back and great pain and trauma was caused as we became conscious of terrible violations of trust that had been inflicted over the past many years.
There were tears, anger, stomachs turned inside out. The pain and fear was like nothing I had ever felt. Everything that had been calloused over the past many years was now raw and wide open.
We stood in tears in the kitchen one night talking and crying and unsure if our relationship would last. Somehow we ended up standing close to one another. He reached out for my cheek and our lips met. There was a raw electricity that passed between us and spread through our entire bodies. The clarity of truth and pain had pulled back all apprehension. I truly felt him and our deep love in the most enthralling and real way. At that moment, we both knew we would be together.
We continued to writhe and react over the following year even causing new pain in our struggling states. We have grown individually and as partners and I believe that today we are on a path of lifelong commitment and renewed romance. The kiss was a turning point. It is something so tangible and so real that I call upon it in moments of doubt or pain. My body, mind and soul know that my husband is my partner on the deepest most primal levels. It truly was a kiss that changed my life.
I don’t have a picture of that kiss, but we did go to the Burning Man festival this year and have a beautiful kiss on top of a huge rock art installation which I have attached. At this point every kiss is precious but none are quite like the awakening of that kiss early last year.
In Lincoln, Nebraska, there’s a fountain outside one of the theaters. Only, it’s not so much a fountain. It’s a little man-made square platform maybe 10 foot by 10 foot with a water pump in the middle that, instead of shooting water out, bubbles it outwards along the top of this platform before spilling over into the foot-wide moat around the flat platform. The entire platform is depressed up to its edge, so when you stand in it (though you shouldn’t, as the sign clearly says), you’re in about ankle-deep water.
On the last day of an international thespian conference in the city, my best friend’s sister and I had been coyly flirting on the dance floor and about the town between seeing shows and doing our own theater. We had been talking for a few hours as I recall, and the hour had gotten rather late, though no one was around the theaters anymore. Many attendees had already gone home.
Feeling bold, I took off my socks and shoes and rolled up the ankles of my jeans and waded out to the middle of the platform, where the water bubbled outwards from. And I invited this best friend’s sister out to join me. She was wearing a dress in my memory, so she just had to step out of her shoes.
I don’t know which was the more scandalous: the fact that we were out past curfew or the fact that this was my best friend’s sister. But, ankle deep in the fountain…it was quite a magical kiss. And I still haven’t forgotten it.
It was reading time in kindergarten and John, who I had a crush on, was sitting cross-legged in front of me, to my right. He kept rocking back and forth and every time he rocked back, I gave him a smooch on his cheek. The teacher (who reported that I had “self-will” and fought me when I tried to write left-handed) scolded me but I wouldn’t stop. And John kept rocking back, so I guess he enjoyed it.
Finally, Mrs. Jamison made me sit at a table away from everyone else where the lights were turned down.
The next time I kissed a boy wasn’t until high school.
If I could go back in time, it would be for one of those big, messy, open-mouthed kisses my sons used to give me when they were a year or two old.
I had a kiss once when I hadn’t see the man for a month. When we finally got together again, we kissed for what seemed like a really long time then looked each other in the eye and we both said, “Wow!” at the same time.
I was happy that it wasn’t just me…
It wasn’t my first kiss—or the best—but my most memorable kiss was on a train. I was riding the T in Boston, lost in thought and watching out the window. When the train stopped, a man leaned in and kissed me, just to one side of my mouth. I was so startled; I didn’t say anything. He smiled and got off the train. I hadn’t noticed him before that. I barely remember what he looked like, other than that his eyes were very blue and he smelled like clove cigarettes and sandalwood.
My first kiss: anticipation, sweaty armpits and whole lot of tongue.
With love you are lucky enough to kiss passionately and with complete abandon, often.
I’ve received Eskimo kissed, butterfly kisses, spent time in the middle of the airport showering him with thousands of tiny kisses like I was painting starry nights with my lips on his face. Been given the lingering kiss that feels more like a secret being whispered, I have seen intensity when he pulls away and leans into a kiss that turns my knees to complete jello.
There are the passionate kisses, tender kisses, playful kisses, biting kisses, seductive kisses, loving kisses.
I’ve had my tip of my nose kissed, top of my head kissed, eyelids, earlobes, parts I’m not sharing with public, my neck has been kissed, the back of my knees. You get the point. We love to kiss each other, a lot.
The best kiss I have shared with this amazing man I love is always the one right before I fall sleep, as I snuggle into “my spot” on his chiseled chest, he gently kisses the top of my head inhales deeply and says I love you. I can feel him smile. I can hear him contentedly sigh. If I could only have one kiss a day for the rest of my life, that is the kiss.
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta
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