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Thoughts and Questions on the Concept of Kissing

A personal reflection on different types of kisses.

Jon Rawlinson, Flickr, CC 2.0
Source: Jon Rawlinson, Flickr, CC 2.0

A kiss can mean so much or so little. Here are thoughts and questions about kisses, platonic and romantic.


Did you feel proud and loved when your parent kissed you when you did something smart, cute, or kind? Conversely, did you cringe when some relative planted a big one on you? When you got older, when someone gave you an asexual peck, you might have been disappointed or relieved. And think about platonic kisses that you bestowed. How often have they been heartfelt rather than obligatory?

Should you give more or fewer platonic kisses?


Your first kiss may have been memorable, if not for the passion, for the excitement of trying that grown-up thing. Then there was the first kiss with someone you really felt for. Katharine McGee, author of American Royals, described it as, “This was how a kiss was supposed to feel—electric and pulsing and smoky all at once, like you’d discovered a new source of fuel that could warm you from within.”

Alas, the electric kiss can be risky. Ashik wrote, “One kiss could bind two souls in a second.” That’s awfully quick for something that can be so welding. As Oscar Wilde wrote, “A kiss may ruin a human life.”

Should you give more or fewer romantic kisses?

Special situations

The wedding kiss. I have played "Here Comes the Bride" at hundreds of weddings, When the officiant says, “The groom may kiss the bride,” I've been struck at the range: from peck to passion. Of course, factors such as self-consciousness affect a couple's willingness to be effusive, but I'd guess that it bodes well for a marriage if both partners, with equal ardor, display a public display of real affection

The LTR kiss. When you’ve been together for eons or for what feels like eons, kissing may have become a relic, a faded memory of the infatuation stage. Might it feel good, maybe even be good for the relationship, to pull your ol' kisser out of mothballs?

The last kiss: This is probably the toughest kiss of all: when a loved one is dying. A gentle, perhaps slightly prolonged kiss may be the best gift you can give.


Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind, wrote, “You should be kissed and by someone who knows how."

How good a kisser are you?

  • Do you note that extra eye contact that hints, “Kiss me, you fool?"
  • When you start, do you go slow or follow the dentist dictum: open wide?
  • Do you notice whether the tip of your tongue is welcomed or rebuffed like an invading snake? Does a deeper probe yield reciprocation or at least receipt accepted? Moist is usually welcome but drippy may be better reserved for your dog's washing your face.

The takeaway

Few words evoke as positive a feeling as "kiss," and, even more positive, kissing itself.. if you pay a little attention.

I read this aloud on YouTube.

More from Marty Nemko Ph.D.
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