lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Monday, May 08, 2006

First kiss me, Kate, and we will.

A kiss has been called the rosy dot over the i of loving; a thing of no use to one, but prized by two.

It's been defined pedantically as the anatomical juxtaposition of two orbicularis oris muscles in a state of contraction. Slightly more charitably, it's been defined as a contraction of the mouth due to enlargement of the heart.

Wits have described a kiss as 'a course of procedure, cunningly devised for the mutual stoppage of speech at a moment when words are superfluous'; as 'lip service to love'.

It's been celebrated, eulogised, enshrined in literature and on celluloid. Naturally, since statement of amorous intent and either enthusiastic endorsement or uncomfortable wriggling out of the situation and rejection of the said intent all start with a kiss.

Everybody remembers the first romantic kiss they shared; not the elderly aunts and geriatric relatives bussing one nor the numerous chuckings of one's chin or the kisses one's parents bestow. The first real kiss is never forgotten.

My first had rubber lips and a wet mouth. He slobbered like a large friendly dog. I remember thinking, 'So this is kissing? Yuck'. But I remember it and what I wore that day, too.

The first kiss is always something of a disappointment for girls who grew up reading romantic novels (in my time, we used to read them for the heavy petting scenes or the occasional, daring 'all the way' descriptions which were actually coy and sanitised), for girls who think a kiss is an invitation to explore possibilities rather than an assault on one's lips and an unwelcome interlude of tonsil-hockey...

To digress a little, the atmosphere in the romance literature has hotted up a lot since I was a member of RaviRaj library. There used to be heavy petting scenes when the heroine suddenly comes to her senses and disengages, usually because the hero is an inappropriate person for her to fall in love with. Nowadays, the heroines go all the way, sultrily encouraging the heroes and initiating variations on the theme. Nowadays, they are either divorced or single parents, there are no innocent virgins, they have casual sex and even in the young-adult genres, they have sex. But they have safe sex. :D

They still have issues to be resolved before they can be united as a couple though, but they don't stop at a heavy moment and say things like: 'this is wrong', 'you should stop now', 'this is not right' in the heroine's case; or 'I can't torture myself any longer', 'tell me to stop now or I won't be responsible for what happens next', 'you know you are driving me wild, don't you?' in the hero's case.

But, to get back to my point:

The female of our species has better references and a better idea about how a kiss ought to go, unlike the males. Boys don't have a clue because they haven't read the right books, and watched porn instead. Girls read Mills & Boon, or Silhouette romances and get a romantic and soft porn version of how seduction ought to begin.

Girls have a different idea about kissing. Whether inspired by contemporary romantic literature or not, they know how it ought to start and/or go on. Boys, I think, especially in these days of Internet and easy access to porn, get their ideas about what an amorous encounter starts with from misleading sources. My personal theory is that young men watch too much porn and young women read too much romance; so the twain clash.

Screen couples kiss with mouths wide open and tongues stuck out, because they are doing it to convey passion and intensity to a camera; real life kisses don't, shouldn't start with an open mouth and a stabbing assault by tongue.

Kissing has been dismissed as nose-rubbing among the civilised, but noses do get in the way. Likewise glasses worn by either of the couple. But there is something infinitely sexy about a bespectacled guy removing his glasses and reaching for you that makes you go weak at knees and tremble.

On reading Rimi's rant, I felt it is my duty to speak up on behalf of young men. Like most women, I agree with her summary of how young men go about getting ardent. Most of them. But, dear girl, the best fun is to be had teaching an ignorant young man a better way to kiss. They may be deficient, but they are willing to learn. :D



Blogger Rohan said...

Hi. Wandered across to your blog through Rimi's.

Regret if it sounds cliched - but me thinks - its not really so much about Mills & Boons v/s porn. Its just the moment - everything just coalesces right and people end up kissing just the way its supposed to be.

And you carry the moment - years later or even when you are in coma with a bullet through your gut.

Btw, very nice blog (No this isn't an afterthought)


4:46 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Rohan, I know it is not Mills & Boon versus porn. I understand what you say, that a romantic moment has its own momentum and what happens next is up to the concerend parties.

But Rimi was ranting about, and I do agree with her, most young men not knowing much about the subtleties of kissing. They lack technique; but hey, practice makes perfect, and with some patient tutorials, boys do learn how to make an impact with a kiss. :D

Afterthought or not, I appreciate your endorsement. May I blogroll you (been reading your blog)? You are articulate, to say the least. :D
Keep visiting.

8:50 pm  
Blogger Phõéníx said...

I think this is a very well written post...however...I get the feeling you have only encountered the blinkered, porn-o-holic male.

Again, I'm not sure whether the majority of men are bad kissers...(and I'm not planning on finding out!)

Porn available on the net rarely involves kissing...that is straight porn. On the other hand, lesbian porn has a fair amount of sensual kissing. Also, scientific research seems to suggest that if a man doesn't rate lesbian sex above everything else...then he is bordering bisexuality!

So perhaps these rubber-lipped men had not completed all their homework. =)

About onscreen chemistry...there is kissing which is very made up and one can usually tell. Then there are those VH1 moments when the said onscreen couple keep going past 'Cut'!

Joey(from Friends) has a theory...if the couple are really into it onscreen...then they're not doing it off camera.

4:58 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Phoenix, I will take your word for it, about porn and findings, I mean.

I was talking specifically about young men. And they are awash with raging hormones and have more access to porn than a participating female. They do lack practice kissing.

They do get better with experience. ;)

Onscreen chemistry is again something I will take your word for, again, as I don't see films much.

Thanks for visiting, and do drop in again.

5:24 pm  
Blogger Phõéníx said...

I was a young man once upon a time...and you're probably right! Just that I never got any practice in back then! ;)

Will be around every now and then. =)

11:16 pm  
Anonymous swati the inuit said...

me civilized eskimo
we no kiss
we rub noses

won't you talk about your first nose rub?
maybe you didn't date esquimaux?!?

12:59 am  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Ah, that would be telling, Swati.

9:31 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahem, Ahem. Kissing? Whats that???? Grin

1:59 pm  

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