Oh, the first kiss. The gold-studded gateway into any new relationship. Who doesn’t imagine having the perfect first kiss? By that I don’t mean the childish first kiss shared with a next door neighbor at five years old, but the toe-curling, as-seen-in-Hollywood first kiss. Granted, most first kiss stories are somewhere along the lines of the former and only a few people can really say that they’ve had a first kiss experience that encompassed the passion and scenery of the latter, but however they happen, first kisses are staple moments in any relationship.
Many cinematic movies highlight the importance of the first kiss such as Will Smith’s romantic comedy “Hitch.” Just a bit of background of the 2005 Hollywood film: Dating expert Alex Hitchens specializes in creating relationships out of seemingly impossible situations, his top priority being creating long-lasting relationships. His clients are typically males and as a result, in order to succeed in his business, he usually emphasizes the importance women place on the first kiss. Women use the first kiss to determine whether or not to continue the relationship and to get a sneak peak into the man’s sexual performance. Needless to say, movies like “Hitch” instill in their audiences the importance of the first kiss.
There are two kinds of people when it comes to the matter of first kiss: those who have had their first kiss and those who haven’t. People who fall into the first category had at least one kiss in their lifetime, regardless if it was the toe-curling or the embarrassing five-year-old type. Those who fall into the second group are unable to even say they have experienced the embarrassing five-year-old first kiss and usually feel one step behind the rest of society in terms of both relationships and sex.
In all honesty, kissing is the unspoken gateway to sex. The better the kiss is, the more likely a couple is to go to the next level, so the assumption is that someone who hasn’t had a first kiss is oblivious to all sexual things. They get all their sexual knowledge from books, television, social media, anything but real life experience.
Is not having had a first kiss a secret worth keeping? Well, if put into the context of virginity, being a lip virgin is not something one would consider worthy of a medal of honor, so yes. However, not having had a first kiss is neither embarrassing nor shameful, and unfortunately, this fact is sometimes obscured by the negative belief that being a virgin in any way is unattractive.
The first reason behind this pessimistic belief is the equation of lip virgin to a sexual novice. No one wants the label of a sexual novice, especially for men, for the same reason an amateur doesn’t like competing with a professional. Although in recent years society has dropped the pressure for men to be masculine and strong figures. This stereotype continues to surface in other aspects of life—namely sex—and there is no better way to prove one’s strength and masculinity than a showing of sexual competence. As a man, therefore, admitting no experience of a first kiss would be the same as saying goodbye to any hopes of a real sexual relationship.
These pressures and expectations can exist because sex is seen as the end goal in relationships, but in fact it’s not. While sex is a common part of most relationships, it doesn’t have to be the deciding factor in whether or not a couple can thrive. If you build your relationship based on sex alone, then there is no reasonable way for it to grow into anything more than a friends-with-benefits situation. Instead of entering a relationship for sex, building them based on matching personalities, interests and learning to appreciate emotional intimacy rather than the physical aspect will allow room for growth. Whether you are a lip virgin, or a sexual novice, will not matter.
People also fear admitting to be a lip virgin for the prospect of turning their first kiss into an awkward experience. Imagine someone relying on romantic novels or YouTube videos on how to pucker up just to get an idea of what the perfect first kiss looks like. While these materials give an abstract idea of what kissing is, they will not transform a lip virgin into a world-class kisser.
In reality, any first kiss has the possibility of being awkward. There is no perfect first kiss atmosphere, and any time spent planning for the perfect moment is a waste. When the time comes, tension rises and the moment takes over. The only difference between a lip virgin and a kissing veteran is the rampant thoughts running wild asking, “What do I do now?” Whether it is kissing or dancing, anytime you try something new there is going to be anxiety and awkwardness, which will eventually fade away into exciting and memorable moments.
There is a lot of pressure for kissing novices. Peer pressure in the 20s is just as invasive and imposing as it was in the teens, but that pressure may also be self-inflicted. For some reasons, people have the tendency to put unwanted pressure on themselves. It isn’t the end of the world that you haven’t kissed someone, so drop the pressure, expectations and stigmas surrounding lip virginity. Being a kissing novice doesn’t make anyone any less attractive. There’s a saying that one finds love when they stop looking for it. While I am unsure if that saying holds any water, the point is that things happen on their own time, so enjoy the innocence of being a lip virgin and anticipate the timely arrival of a passionate, toe-curling first kiss.