A wise man (my cousin) once told me (when I was 12) that “the make-out is the new hug.” While I didn’t really understand it at the time, I have grown to accept this motto as my own. In some instances, a kiss can be meaningful, fiery, arousing. But, generally, it’s just a,” Hey, you’re cute; it was nice to meet you.”
For those that are having sex, kissing is a stepping-stone, something to get through in order to get to the good stuff. But when I go out on the prowl, my single intention is a solid make-out; that will do it for me. I don’t MO to lure men home with me. In fact, I advise against it. When they insist on walking me home or try to come upstairs, I inform them that nothing will be happening. I’ve learned by boys’ reactions that this must be a game girls play to make their suitors work harder or to make themselves seem less…easy. The boys are often less than pleased to discover that I am not being coy, I am legitimately trying to save them from blue balls.
I keep a list (though it is in great need of an update) of everyone I have hooked up with. It consists almost entirely of make-outs and sits somewhere between 70 and 80 people. Added up, it sounds like a lot but at least I’m only a make-out slut and am not single-handedly keeping condom companies in business. Many issues may arise for someone who sleeps around or at the very least exceeds what 8th graders (and I) consider hooking up. But there comes only one problem when my sexual satisfaction relies upon one simple task: bad kissers.
Boys I’m meeting are in their mid-twenties and up. They have had plenty of time to practice, presumably had a girlfriend or two who, one can only assume, would train them as needed. There’s no excuse. It’s one thing to be a terrible kisser in junior high when nobody knows what’s going on, but by now, boys, well everyone, should know better. Here’s a hint: I got my tonsils out last summer, so no matter how deep you dig with your shovel tongue there is nothing back there for you. Reel it in. And when we’ve finished, I don’t want to have to towel off.
A good kiss is not something to be undervalued. That sudden and surprising feeling when your stomach drops is so rare and so glorious. Being thrown up against a wall usually does it for me. Most shocking is when someone you think will be a good kisser, isn’t and when someone you are just hooking up with out of convenience or pity, pleasantly surprises you. Some of my favorite kisses have been from the most unexpected of make-out partners: a frat boy who I once saw peeing under a table at a bar, a gay stranger I met in Boys Town after the Britney Spears concert, a magician, a nice Jewish boy I could bench-press. The good kisses I expect are nice but the ones that come out of nowhere are the ones I remember.
If it is true that making out is as casual as a bear hug, then it shouldn’t be a big deal when friends make out. It’s only a natural progression. While I do believe (despite my father’s awkward and incessant warnings) that men and women can be just friends, it doesn’t eliminate the curiosity or the fact that alcohol blurs judgment. Many of my co-ed friendships blossomed out of a drunken make-out. I’ve been informed that’s not normal, but it works for me. But what about those friendships that were made the old fashioned way? Personally, I’m nothing if not curious what kind of kissers my guy friends are. It’s nothing sexual, but when I hear their detailed sexual escapades, I can’t help but wonder about their skill level and style. It doesn’t help that I watch people’s lips when they talk instead of looking into their eyes.
Someone once asked me, “How do you know when you’re finished? I mean, when you’re having sex, you know when you’re done, but how do you end your hookups?” Either the lights come on after last call or someone falls asleep and rolls off. Not as definitive a finale, but sufficient. People assume that because kissing is basically as far as I go, it would mean more to me than those that are sexually active. But perhaps it even means less. I know it’s not leading anywhere; it’s just for sport or momentary companionship.
Unaware or unaffected by the fact that it may strike most as strange to hang out with a make-out buddy as though nothing had happened, I do it anyway. Situations are only as awkward as you make them and I trained myself to thin out my boundaries, if not erase them completely. After all, if I hugged you goodbye, you wouldn’t think twice.