September 04, 2012

A Round of Kissless Dates

I am perpetually perplexed.

In New York, I was plagued by men who kissed me but never took me on dates.

In LA, I am plagued by men who date me but for some reason do not kiss me.

On behalf of the kissing kind, I miss the relative promiscuity of New York.

People ask me all of the time what "Avoiding Regret" means to me, and most recently I chose to explain it as such: "If I want to kiss someone, I go in for the kiss. If they recoil, so be it. At least I know. I don't want to ever say that I've always wanted to kiss someone but never did." (This was inspired, in part, by a friend who recently closed a night out by saying, "I've always wanted to kiss you" and then planting one on me. I respected him for having the balls to do it, and so I kissed him back. I rewarded him with a good one, I thought.)

So, if a person who invited me out on a date wanted to kiss me, why wouldn't they?

And if they didn't want to kiss me, why would they invite me out on a date?

At this age, life is a ticking time bomb. Engagements happen quickly. Pregnancies abound. Jobs relocate people out of dating distance. For God's sake, what is the point of waiting?

When I was 14 years old, I bemoaned the overprotectiveness of my parents, and worried that my kissless lips would shrivel up and rot, rendering me an 80 year old spinster with no lips. After the one date I did go on in high school, my best friend asked me, "Is he a good kisser?" and I admitted, "I don't know. He didn't kiss me." I was as baffled then as I am now.

I eventually was kissed, and my lips haven't fallen into a degenerative state of disuse yet, but I wonder: without the seductive influence of alcohol, does it really take that much courage to initiate a lip-lock? Is my only hope to liquor the person up so they succumb to my advances? When we do kiss, is it because I throw myself at them as they sit, shocked and defenseless, suffocating at my mouth being mashed against theirs?

Isn't the act of kissing pleasurable enough to warrant doing it with whomever seems a willing accomplice?

There were nights in New York when I would kiss multiple people within a few hours, and now I can go weeks without being kissed.

Is that some sign of maturity, responsibility?

Adulthood be damned, let my youthful lips run wild.

Perhaps my recent companions have just been shy, carefully gauging my receptiveness before leaping forth, erring on the side of caution in avoidance of embarrassment or rejection. But to them I would say: go for it. Even if I'm not sure if I want to kiss you yet or not (hence why I haven't made the first move), I've rarely turned down an offered kiss.

After all, I'll never know if I'll like it unless I try.

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