Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kissing on the First Date

First-date protocol is always tricky to navigate. What do you wear, what do you say, do you offer to pay, how many times do you insist on paying?

But there’s one thing that should be pretty straightforward that somehow isn’t: the first-date kiss.

No one ever wants to do it (unless the date’s going spectacularly well, which, as we discussed before, rarely happens), and yet both sides tend to assume it’s expected.

In our experience, girls are more likely to feel like they owe it to their dates, while guys seem to feel the need to assert their sexual vitality.

And yet it’s always forced and rushed, something one party initiates just as the other is about to get in a cab or on the metro.

There’s nothing worse than a bad kiss. It makes you feel like you don’t have chemistry and aren’t attracted the other person. It makes you feel awkward and uncomfortable, and in some cases even violated. We’re not sentimentalists, but there is something intimate about having another person penetrate your body (even if it’s only your mouth), and when it goes badly, you feel like you let someone into a place he didn’t belong.

But what makes a kiss good? And more importantly, what makes it bad?

At this point in our lives, it’s rarely technique. Unless you’re trying to emulate a helicopter with your tongue, you’re probably OK. (But if you’re unsure, use less, not more, tongue.)

A great kiss is usually just great timing, and a bad kiss is rarely more than a horribly inopportune moment.

Think back on the best kisses in your life. They probably all share one thing in common: anticipation. The longer you wait, the more you build it up, and the more satisfied you feel when you finally get it. It’s like the boots you saved up a year to buy versus the ones your mom gave you for Christmas.

So if you want to be a better kisser, you have to make the other person wonder if/when it’s coming. You have to build up the sexual chemistry. And you don’t want to spring it on someone after a few awkward drinks at the Ritz.

There’s no need to hug or initiate any sort of conciliatory contact either. The key is not to rush it—wait until the right moment hits you on the head, rather than worrying about keeping your eyes peeled for a perfect opening.

Unfortunately, there’s no telltale sign that says it’s time. But you should know each other a little bit before you lean in for the magic moment. And that’s probably not going to be on the first date, and there’s a good chance it won’t be the second or third date either.

For girls, think of it this way. How many times would you have to meet/hang out with a new girl (space) friend before you started hugging her when you ran into her? That’s probably about how long you should wait to kiss a new date.

For guys, we can only say this: it’s longer than you think. And it’s definitely not a first-date maneuver. 


  1. I think that's right. Sometimes the trouble is not exactly knowing when the timing is right, for the guy, to go in for the kiss. There's definitely a cut off point where you've just wanted wayyyy too long to do it, isn't there?

  2. I'll tell ya one thing. I can't speak for all guys, but I know that when I've been out with someone and I'm seeing her in the "this could go somewhere" category, I'm pretty careful about that first move, and I'll usually wait a couple of dates. If I've already concluded that my goal doesn't extend beyond having a little fun, then yeah, I'm likely to plant one on the first date. So girls, it's not a bad idea to know what you want out of the situation, too. In my experience first date nookie isn't likely to lead to anything lasting more than a few weeks.

  3. A guy waiting to kiss you after 3 dates? Hahahahahaha.