“Mouth to mouth: Communication key in kissing”

By Jim DeBrosse

“Mouth to mouth: Communication key in kissing”

By Jim DeBrosse

A divorced friend of mine recently mentioned that she had stopped dating someone specifically because he did not know how to kiss. “And if they don’t know how to kiss, you know what that means,” she added.

Well, Mr. Mom isn’t exactly sure what that means. But if a lack of kissing proficiency is breaking up relationships and even marriages out there, then I feel obligated to offer what advice I can on this topic. After all (Oui, oui!), I am half French.

Not everyone has the same standards for kissing proficiency, which can vary widely by preference, age and even gender. But I do believe that most of us can agree on what a bad kisser is, especially those who fall into the following four categories, whose traits I will describe in detail for the benefit of the greater romantic good.

Gapers. Once your lips have made contact, these kissers present themselves with mouth agape and empty. Gapers always leave me wondering if they are trying to resuscitate me by providing an additional supply of air or whether it is an open invitation to a game of tongue “hide and seek.” If the latter, my response is, “Oley-oley-in-free-oh!” Game over.

Pre-Emptive Warriors. The neocons of dating immediately thrust their tongue deep into your territory whether you are ready to welcome it there or not. PEWs are either worried that you might get there first (and they’re not about to concede their own territory) or else they’re hoping to conquer you with shock and awe. In either case, I will gladly cry uncle, but please just don’t kiss me again.

Raptors. People who can’t extend their tongue without making it as hard and pointy as a lizard’s perhaps have not evolved beyond their reptilian ancestry. Even so, I believe that any human being, with sufficient practice, can learn to keep their tongue soft and pliable while also engaging their partner’s. To practice, try eating a ripe peach without letting any of the juices escape.

Hoovers. These kissers apply so much suction that you fear you will lose both tongue and tonsils to whatever black hole lurks inside their diaphragm. A little suction is fine (it’s nice to know that someone cares enough to make you a temporary part of them) but Hoovers don’t know when, or where, to stop.

The qualities that make someone a good kisser are the same qualities that make them good life partners — tender, respectful, passionate when the time is right and ready to explore and meet his or her partner’s needs.

And if there is something in your partner’s kissing style you don’t like, for heaven’s sake, don’t hold your tongue. Talk it over.

Good kissers begin with the knowledge that they are offering their partners a source of mutual comfort, affection and reassurance — not weapons of attack or something to withhold.

DATE: September 21, 2007                   PUBLICATION: Dayton Daily News (OH)

Copyright, 2007, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights reserved.