It was dark. It was damp. It was intensely uncomfortable. That’s what I remember about my first kiss. Then 13, with a head full of soapy Hollywood fantasies of the wonderful, all-important experience, I was beside myself with girlish joy that a cute boy of 14 would find me attractive enough to want to kiss me. With butterflies (and cocoons and caterpillars) gushing in my digestive system and a ball of spiky teenage lust, we went at it like we were going to devour the other’s face. The vivid image of his bony face and tongue slobbering on mine lurks in the “embarrassing” section of my mind and is triggered to my frontal lobe every time I kiss someone. Since then, every subsequent kissing session has been a conscious effort and attempt at trying to erase and replace that unfortunate first memory with better, more worthy experiences.
During a discussion in my Lit class last semester, the resident funny girl-class clown – me – started to talk about censorship on TV and made everyone laugh with cognizance at how you often see Malaysian TV censoring the parts where couples were about to snog each other. So, one minute, you see them getting into foreplay, all hot and steamy and before you know it, *snip*, and they are done with it – often out of the shower and on to the next scene. In the days when there was no cable, I would often go like, “What the fuck? As if we don’t know they are kissing. Doesn’t snipping it make it more obvious?” I mean, what’s going to happen if we see them kissing? Will we feel an unnatural impulse to want to grab someone on the street to stick our tongues down their throats? Wow, what a threat to national security that there would be people who might want to snog each other. Ring up the snog police, won’t you?
I’ve never completely understood why kissing stirs up such a big fuss when there are people out there doing some really strange shit with and to another. Call me a nympho, an amateur sexologist, or a woman just purely enthusiastic and curious about sex, but I read up a lot about sexual kinks and the whole spectrum of human sexuality, and seriously, knowing the stuff that people are doing out there (such as fucking dead people, cutting up cocks and eating them, and fucking each other dressed as stuffed animals – the list goes on), well it just seems it really is much ado about nothing with regard to kissing, even the type where you stick your tongues down each other’s throats. What is the deal with that urban myth that prostitutes don’t kiss? (I got that from Pretty Woman, by the way. I don’t believe this applies to all prostitutes, only those who get fucking picked up by fucking Richard Gere.) If they could fuck, suck someone’s cock, get into a threesome, foursome, fivesome, whatever, whip a guy like he’s dipshit, what is so special about that act where two sets of lips press on each other?
Any sex act involving the mouth immediately lends itself to a shroud of controversy because of the creative and unorthodox use of a traditional food doorway (But hey, if it ain’t supposed to be used in those ways, God wouldn’t have made it so pleasurable to have oral sex or to kiss. Go figure.). In addition, throw in the tongue, the mixing of saliva, bodily fluids and other micro stuff whose names I don’t know, the entire act of kissing seems patently disgusting – and a breeding ground for the exchange of diseases between two people.
Yet, anyone who has ever experienced a decent snog would tell you that the pressing together of two sets of soft membranes and the intertwining of tongues is more than just base science. Perhaps because the lips are made up of thin films of skin and have so many nerve endings that are sensitive to the touch, kissing generates a whole cocktail of emotions from euphoria, motivation, arousal and an immediate connection and closeness to the other. Unlike intercourse, which can often be impersonal and done as a quick fix for that raw sexual hunger, kissing takes time and partners who are sufficiently connected emotionally and passionately with each other. This means that if you are able to have a good kissing session, it can often be much more satisfying and more of an emotional rollercoaster ride than simply a fuck. Because this means you actually, for those, oh I don’t know, 20 minutes? (too long? Too short?), found the soulmate of the moment wrapped in a powerful package of a snog. Maybe because the act itself is tender yet at the same time emanates from a place of need, hunger, companionship and love, with each partner so close and intertwined with the other, locked in each other’s hungry embrace. It is that feeling of being one and the intense emotional connection that we all deeply crave.
Discussing this with a friend recently, I talked about how I loved kissing (the right person, of course) and how you usually only kiss your partner when you first went out together. He seconded my opinion and this made me wonder whether kissing is really just a representation of the adolescence of love and passion, of the innocence of initial contact. I don’t really know the answer to that, except that it is my experience that when you become familiar with a partner, kissing is just something that doesn’t seem to come as naturally as, say, intercourse or other aspects of fucking. According to Scientific American, kissing can be an indicator of the status and future of a relationship. I guess if the kiss was never that great, the relationship would never be that great anyway. Or, if the occurrences of the good snog are few and far between, and those two sets of lips just don’t seem hungry enough for each other, it says something about where the relationship is headed as well.
In my 29 years, I’ve had the chance to have such a great kiss only once. He was tall, ruggedly handsome, gentle, well-built and a tender lover. It was very Lost-In-Translation-esque; we really only met once, I talked about my love and obsession for Karl Marx and my strange theory about alienation and he, an American economist of some sort, amused me with his theory of wanting to blow up houses of rich people in order to help save the world from capitalists. We connected instantly, and more than the fuck itself, it was that earth-shattering, body-clawing, heart-attack-inducing kiss that continues to leave this girl lingering and yearning for more. I still harbour the hope that one day, I will meet this stranger again – with the wishful thinking that perhaps a kiss is not just a kiss.