The nuances of kissing are many and varied.

Posted Mar 12, 2019

My teenage granddaughter refuses to allow me to kiss her nor will she kiss me.  I have no idea whether this prohibition applies to her parents too, but I think it does.  I have no idea when this embargo began but I don’t like it one bit.  It frustrates me and makes me sad.

My family is not a kissy one.  I occasionally kiss my daughter and my son-in-law coming or going from a trip, for instance, and on the annual occasion, I see my brother and his wife hearty kisses on the cheek are exchanged with hugs. My friends settle for air kisses, sometimes accompanied by an enthusiastic mmmmoi sound, or a friendly kiss on the cheek. (That’s only one kiss, not the two kiss cheek thing so many Europeans do.)  That’s it for family and friends.

I have tried most of my adult life to be more demonstrative, especially if someone I care for seems to expect it.  Even when meeting the kissy and handsy sort who kiss and hug on the first introduction I do my best to return in kind. But it doesn’t come naturally.

The only time it did was when my granddaughter was young, from babyhood on.  In fact, any baby or toddler who will allow me to kiss and cuddle I’m on it!  That’s what’s so appealing about babies.  They invite kisses and cuddles and usually respond with delighted giggles which invite more.  Of course, there are occasionally some who don’t and I respect their body boundaries as much as I would any adult. No is no, even if you are pre-verbal.

My sweetheart and I kiss, kisses of all kinds.  Since he is so much taller than me, about 8”, if I am going up a staircase ahead of him he almost always stops for a standing kiss which is far easier when we are of equal height. When a real juicy kiss happens, a genuine locking of lips, I always think and sometimes say “I miss kissing.  Why don’t we do it more often?” and he agrees enthusiastically.  But like many other couples, kissing for the sensual enjoyment of kissing often gets lost in the bustle of life.

I don’t like kissing first thing in the morning – breath issues, and such.  Later in the morning, I am writing at my desk or he is.  To his credit, he never minds being interrupted for a genuine juicy kiss but I do.  If I’m concentrating on something the best I can muster is a friendly quickie, not much more meaningful than the mmmmoi I give to friends. I try to make up for it later with affectionate back rubs when I pass his chair, or maybe a kiss on the neck. At bedtime I am sleepy and a hot kiss used to mean an invitation to hot sex, so bedtime isn’t the best time for us to indulge in kissing for the sake of kissing either.

It never used to matter one bit what I had just eaten, or what the other person had.  Cigarette breathe?  So what? (Sigh)  Times have changed as much as our aging bodies.  So if I have brushed my teeth and I am not concentrating on something important, I like being given a surprise kiss, a real one.  And I always think to myself “We ought to do this more often.”