It’s All About the Kissing!
Posted on November 11, 2013
The thing about growing up in a semi-large extended family is that the majority of my relatives are annoying. My dad’s side of the family? Not so much. They’re a$$holes, so there’s a difference. But mom’s side? They’re the touchy-huggy-feely annoying kind and they kiss. It’s a kiss on the cheek thing, but a kiss nonetheless and I was not a kisser. It really didn’t help, too, that my mother used to tease me and say that every time I kissed my red-headed aunt, I’d get a freckle. So I learned to be a hugger. Hugging family was okay. Hugging other people? I was very, very selective. Some people are way too huggy, but if it means I don’t get kissed, I’m all about the hugging. Except, of course, when I’m being intimate with someone, which is when I’m all about the kissing. Many gay men don’t feel that way, though.
I remember the first guy I was intimate with back in grade school. We were feeling our way around and learning as we went that night—which was the only way to do things at our age back then—when he leaned down and kissed me. I remember being surprised/shocked/speechless. After all, he was a boy kissing another boy and that just didn’t seem right. Yes, it was a little ironic for me to think about considering the circumstances, but there I was. And yet I liked it because it was one more way we were sharing ourselves and it gave me butterflies in my stomach. It made something exciting even more exciting!
The people I was with in the coming years felt similarly. Kissing was just an incredible intimacy and absolutely wonderful to share. The thought of sex without kissing was just…well, boring. I mean, really. What are you supposed to do? Just lay there and stare at each other? Um, awkward. That’s my viewpoint anyway and I couldn’t believe my ears when some of my friends would tell me they shared a differing opinion. They weren’t into kissing or at least they weren’t into it if they were in a casual relationship or still within the first couple months of a relationship. That kind of blew my mind. What’s their reasoning?
It’s too intimate.
Okay. Huh. If you’re performing oral sex or engaging in one of my favorite methods of intimacy, then it seems to me that kissing is pretty much on the lower end of the intimacy scale spectrum. Perhaps one might think of it as an intimacy enhancer. If you’re allowing someone inside you or you’re inside someone, isn’t that already pretty darn intimate? Does kissing seem more intimate than that? I’m not quite understanding how folks are arriving at the conclusion that it is.
Now as weird as that is to me, there is something that other people think is weird ‘of’ me. I’ve noticed many gay friends who enjoy giving each other a little kiss on the cheek or lips when they greet each other or part ways. I’m not really into that and go right back into hugging mode. I’ll hug the heck out of someone, only I don’t necessarily want to plant a kiss on them. No, thank you.
Which makes me wonder if I associate kissing strictly with sex. I definitely see it as being intimate, which means if I’m being intimate with someone, then I’m sharing part of myself that isn’t technically casual (not to be confused with casual sex since I’m not making that particular distinction…not that I partook in casual sex once I got out of grade school). I guess that’s where my friends and I differ. I think kissing and sex go together hand in hand while they think it’s either for casual interaction between people or diehard relationships.
It makes your head spin, doesn’t it?
I sometimes wonder whatever happened to that first boy who kissed me. I wonder if he knew he made my toes curl with his kiss and that the feeling of it set the bar by which so many other kisses would be compared in the coming years. I also wonder why he’s never contacted me. Hello? I’m memorable. I’m also pretty sure he used me as the bar set for anybody else he was with. I’m also all over social media, so, really, all he has to do is look me up.
People are just fickle.
So, any thoughts on the whole kissing thing? Preferences? Beliefs? Agreements? Disagreements? Come on and spill. I did.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
11 Responses to “It’s All About the Kissing!”
CR Guiliano says:
November 11, 2013 at 10:23 am
Those are very “intimate” questions to ask. Okay, fine, I agree with some of what you said, and not with other points. I think kissing is extremely intimate, and indicates caring and love (which usually isn’t associated with a casual encounter). Does it go hand-in-hand with sex? Yes, IMO. Typical female, I can’t have sex without the emotions, which means kissing. But I know there are those that enjoy the casual flings, and kissing isn’t part of that.
And, I must say, I feel privileged that I was one of the few select you hugged. Especially…since I’m not a hugger. 😉 Great, and in depth, post Kris.
November 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm
lol If I even think someone is going to kiss me, I jump into action with a preemptive hug. Also, if I know someone is a little standoffish like I am, I’ll jump in with a hug, too. It helps put them at ease.
Amber Green says:
November 11, 2013 at 11:07 am
I once knew a prostitute who would ditch the condom for an extra $20, but if you kissed her, she’d plant a fist where it hurt. She said the same thing: kissing is too intimate to share so casually.
November 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm
I was feeling many years back like my husband wasn’t paying enough attention to me during a weekend.
“Give me a kiss.”
“Give me a twenty.”
Ah, life with an Asian.
November 11, 2013 at 11:10 am
I’ve had gay friends in the past for whom a light kiss was a form of greeting, and that’s fine. Like you, I prefer hugging, though I physically find it very difficult/awkward to do, since hugging involves raising one’s head at least to or over the level of the hug-ee’s shoulder, and I cannot lift my head that high. (Poor Dorien! Poor, poor Dorien!)
November 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm
In lieu of a kiss or a hug, D, what do you prefer? And I’m sincere in asking you that.
Joelle Casteel says:
November 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm
I think people need to be more respectful of what others are comfortable with. If my family was like your mom’s, Kris, I’d be uncomfortable too. Have you ever seen “Pretty Woman” and the scene where Julia Roberts is telling Richard Gere no kissing on the lips? I so get that. The various ways I’ve engaged in sex work, my convoluted and seemingly complex sexuality… kissing isn’t for casual sex from my perspective. It is too intimate, more so than penetration of any holes. But then I have opinions on what’s for what and what I’m comfortable with in many places- like anal is just for dominants. Then there’s the different ways I feel for different genders- I’d joyfully kiss many a woman, very few men (and now that I have a Master whom I love dearly and is the only man I engage in with anything non-platonic 😀 , doesn’t happen with anyone but Him), and I’d totally be open to it with people along the gender spectrum depending on a whole bunch of factors, so a case by case basis. Of course 😀 you probably expected I’d spill lmao if I got around to reading this post so I spill so much on my own blog lmao
November 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm
lol I didn’t expect you to spill at all. =) I’m just curious how some folks react different to the same scenario. I had one casual encounter post-college before I started dating my husband and considering what we were doing to each other, we kissed. I figured if he was going to have bragging rights, he might as well be able to tell whoever listened exactly just how good I am.
Joelle Casteel says:
November 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm
my mind divides sex in multiple ways- casual, for fun, for intimacy, for dom, for beautiful woman, for profit, for another’s voyeurism. any of those can be mixed into one situation. If I’m okay or not with kissing is related to what categories my mind uses. and with what more you’ve just shared, I can see what looks like a huge gap in our experiences. I’ve had intercourse of some form with over 100 guys.
November 13, 2013 at 6:08 pm
So I guess I’m a little confused (don’t say it mister). You’ve only kissed someone intimately while having sex? What about just a hot make-out session and no sex. Or did you always spread your legs when you made out? Yes, I went there, but you don’t need to go into detail. Another topic I wish someone would bring up is things that your partner will do that grosses you out. I refer to Clerks 2 and that’s all I’m going to say at this time. I’ve mentioned it to other friends and they won’t even talk about it. Geeze.
November 14, 2013 at 9:30 pm
I can’t say he actually does anything that grosses me out. Okay…one thing. He will get himself a cookie, nibble on it, then leave it sitting around in various places all day while he nibbles on it a little at a time. Annoys the hell out of me. I’ll either it throw it out or finish it, which then annoys him.