What should I be doing instead of this?
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By Erma P. Sanders · August 9th, 2001 · Diva
In the middle of the night, I was wakened by a dream about kissing. Kissing is a big thing in a relationship. Almost everyone remembers his or her first kiss. Mine was with a boy named Chris, in kindergarten, in the bathroom. I don't recall if I liked it much or not. But I must have, since it in no way deterred me from kissing many others in the future.

The memory of my first kiss with tongues is a little fuzzier. I know I was in a basement, which isn't as unromantic as it sounds. It might have been with Jonathan at my babysitter's house. He was a friend of my babysitter's sons, and he was a walking Hershey's kiss, all dark chocolate and creamy delicious lips. Or the tongue kiss was with Kurt at my friend Stephanie's house. He was her brother. I definitely kissed both of them when I was around 11. I just don't recall which was first. I think Jonathan was the better kisser. It was at least good enough to make me want to do it again.

If you really think about putting a tongue in someone's mouth, it's not too pleasant. I've kissed plenty of mouths that were better served as sewage receptacles than instruments of pleasure.

But there must be something to it, because the kiss is the major moment on a date. Chris, Jonathan and Kurt all qualify as kissing instead of the date. I was just a flirty little girl, ready for some loving.

Even in adult relationships there tends to be some kissing before one actually goes on a date. That's a good thing because kissing incompatibility can ruin a good thing. I've known many a guy who couldn't kiss. OK, it's really only one guy: His name is Scott and kissing him was the worst, because he salivated like lava coming out of an active volcano.

Suppose you make it to the first date and you haven't kissed yet. You've set yourself up for the most awkward moment of your life. Because it won't be like a movie where the kiss takes on a life of its own and you both feel the kiss coming and you look into each other's eyes and slowly the lips blend together. I've had many a Ralph moment: That is, the terrible kiss I had with a guy named Ralph where I leaned in to kiss him, but he kind of pulled back but then went with it so we bumped foreheads and he thought it was going to be a peck and I'm going for the tongue and it was all just a big disaster. And consequently, it was our last date.

There's some old movie where the suave romantic lead says, "I'm going to kiss you now ...," and some other bullshit. And then he kisses the woman. If only it could be like that. I mean, what do you say when a guy says that? "OK, I'm going to pucker up now. Just move on in when you're ready." Kissing is a great thing. A peck can be just as satisfying as one of those Olympic, hold-your-breath-until-you're-blue smooches.

The only way to become a good kisser is practice, practice, practice. That means not only controlling the saliva, the head tilt, whether to tongue or not to tongue but also determining when it's the right time to kiss. It could be before the date, after the date or instead of the date. But it's gonna be, so be good at it. And practice with a real person. Pillows and dogs aren't going to do it.



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