First Kisses

This weekend with friends the conversation turned to First Kisses: the FIRST-first kind and also the first kiss in a new relationship. This is a subject I apparently like to talk about more than The Average Person, so when the conversation turned (oh, too soon! always too soon!) to another topic, I was already getting ready to talk to you about it more later. I am not exaggerating when I say I woke up this morning impatient for comments to start coming in. KISS TALK!!

My FIRST-first kiss was when I was 16, with my first boyfriend, and it was after we’d been dating two months. We were not in any way unkeen about the concept of kissing, and had done plenty of hand-holding and sitting close and so forth, but I thought the kissing stage was Important and shouldn’t be just CAREENED into, and I especially wanted the FIRST-first one to be nice and meaningful; and he’d kissed girls before but never their First Kiss, and never someone who was making such a big deal about it, so he was all psyched-out and nervous. We ended up scheduling it, which exasperated and appalled our friends, but amuses and pleases me to look back on it now.

Another memorable first kiss, also high-school era, was with someone I wasn’t even dating. There had been Considerable Flirting but we were not in a relationship, and we were hanging out watching a movie and he said, “If I ask very nicely, can I kiss you?” And I was surprised, and took a moment to consider the question, and came down on the side of “Why, yes you may, good sir!” I don’t quite like the phrasing of the question now, but at the time I found it wonderfully meta and charming—and since we weren’t dating, it seemed right that he would inquire. And I was just starting to emerge from the hurricane of my first heartbreak, so a little kissing around with a cute non-serious boy seemed like a super good idea.

I completely fumbled the first kiss with Paul—and by then I had a whole (albeit petite) MARRIAGE behind me so you’d think I would know what I was doing, but no. I wasn’t yet old enough to realize I was never going to be someone who could pull off a devastating femme fatale move, and anyway it was really embarrassing and let’s not talk about it. We had a do-over another day and that was much better and allowed me to MOSTLY stop cringing about the first one. Life lesson learned: if you’re a femme fatale, WORK that femme fatale thing, gurl; but if you’re a talker/scheduler, BE a talker/scheduler. Just LEAN INTO IT.

I would like now please to hear about your various first kisses: FIRST-firsts, the firsts of each new relationship; the bungled ones, the sweet ones, the awkward ones, the successes. OH DO TELL ME!

76 thoughts on “First Kisses

  1. Jessemy

    Oh! I love this topic too! And I am dying to know what the femme fatale move was. Seriously, that was a hell of a teaser!

    In solidarity, let you offer my story. I was 24 (yes, can you believe it, and I was not raised in a nunnery) and a classmate started flirting HARD with me, and we hung out more and more, but alas, he was still sort of dating his girlfriend. I was so anxious about sweaty palms and whatnot that I just sat on his couch, immobile, through an entire movie, talking nervously, cuddling. When I left his place, he kissed me through the window of my car. Then the BRIGHT lights of his roommate’s car busted us. Ugggggh. She was not on board with his flirtation with me (which in retrospect I agree with) and so the kiss was cut short. I was at home, just trying to calm down enough to sleep, when he knocked on the door and said that he didn’t want the kiss to end badly. We kissed again, again me being sort of immobile and anxious, but in my mind it was amazing and romantic and sweet. Of course, the whole thing had a tragic ending…they reconciled and I had to face the bugger in class, day after day. Learned a lot. And it was a sweet, charming first kiss for sure.

    1. Jessemy

      And you’ll be happy to know that the kissing threshold was much lower after that, and thank goodness I got better at it. I totally understand the whole idea of holding out for a great first kiss. I’ve had many so so kisses from the guys I’ve dated since, and now thousands of kisses with my husband, and they all have their place, I think!

  2. Ginny

    My FIRST first kiss was when I was 18. My boyfriend was 21 and neither of us had dated or kissed anyone before, being mutually shy and awkward. He went to college 2 hours away, and after hanging out for a full weekend (both of us wondering anxiously when The Kiss would happen.) It just kept not happening, because it turns out that somebody has to MAKE there be a kiss, they don’t just descend over you if you create congenial circumstances. We said goodbye in the basement of our church after a youth group thing, and I stood there kind of forlorn and sad that I wouldn’t see him for several weeks and we hadn’t even managed a kiss yet. Then he darted back in, kissed me SUPER fast, and ran out again before either of us could say anything.

    It was not in any way a good kiss, but I didn’t care because I was so glad to have FINALLY been kissed. We got better at it later on.

    1. emmegebe

      “… they don’t just descend over you if you create congenial circumstances” is such a hilariously perfect phrase for that moment when you’re both wanting to but not making a move. I just read this whole comment section (which was GREAT) and had to come back up here to say that.

  3. Melanie

    I was in the 6th grade. We were playing spin the bottle at a King Cake Party. It was not good or bad. Just a kiss. I later found out that the guy REALLY liked me, so I felt some after the fact awkwardness there. There was lots of kissing during junior high. You couldn’t grow up in the state that at the time had the highest teenage pregnancy rate without starting the kissing early.

  4. StephLove

    FIRST-first: Age 16. The boy in question were friends and we had gotten very close very quickly– over the course of about 3 months. I wasn’t thinking of it as romantic exactly. At that time I had few friends and I was happy just to all of a sudden have a close one. My family went out for ice cream one night and I invited him along. Walked him to his door while my mom, stepfather, and sister waited in the car and before he opened the door, he leaned in and kissed me and while it was welcome, I was intensely aware that my family might be WATCHING. I got back to the car and no one said a word. I was half pleased and half mortified the whole ride home. He and I dated for two years.

    First kiss with now wife, also first same-sex kiss: Age 20. Again, the whole seeming really close to the one particular friend thing that was basically my pattern. This time I knew what it meant, though. I’d only been with guys so I made sure to come out to her as bisexual, mention the girl I pined for in high school before the first boyfriend, etc. Nothing from her. Then one night after an HOURS-LONG conversation about what it all meant, I said something about wanting to kiss her and she said she “wouldn’t mind.” Luckily, I thought she was being understated and coy, so I kissed her and she kissed back. Later found out she’d wished on a falling star for me to fall in love with her but was terrified to make a move.

  5. Katty

    I’m from Europe (think Germany for cultural background, but smaller country) and, generally speaking, people here are much more relaxed about teenagers and sexuality than seems to be the case in the US. So I never thought (or was given to feel like) there was anything wrong with high-school aged kids kissing or having sex. Nevertheless, it just didn’t happen for me. In the end, I had my first ever kiss the same night I had sex for the first time, at age 22, and it was a one-night stand at that. And you know what? No regrets! :-) He didn’t try to make me believe he was in love with me (which would have cost him my respect immediately) and I knew what I was doing.

    (Now, why do I feel defensive and like I come across as slutty when it didn’t feel that way at all in the moment?!?)

    1. Maureen

      Katty-I lost my virginity to a one night stand (I was almost 21), and I don’t have any regrets either! I will also go on record as saying I had other one night hookups, and they were some of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. Nice, sexy men-no pressure or emotional entanglements-it was pure fun, and I’m glad I sowed those wild oats before I settled down as a married lady!

  6. Michelle

    My first boyfriend and I scheduled our first French kiss due to pressure from friends who couldn’t believe we hadn’t done it. In retrospect, it was HILARIOUS.

    But our first First Kiss happened in the band room, in front of everyone, on our way out after a football game.

    My BEST first kiss was a guy I was hanging out with a lot and he literally said “I’m going to kiss you now” and it was super butterflies.

    I love first kiss stories!!!

  7. Katie

    My first kiss had to be at the lips of my eighth grade boyfriend, who also happened to be my best friend’s older brother. I don’t remember the specifics of the kiss, but it probably happened on a school bus. Also, I feel it is relevant to note that the reason he and I actually got together is I received some carnations in my locker at school on Valentines Day, and assumed they were from him, and he didn’t know what to say and took the credit and that was that. They were really from my mom, actually. The whole situation is pretty cringe worthy even now, much later. And I still feel bad for my friend. She ended up marrying one of the brother’s friends, so maybe that’s her revenge?

    My first kiss with my husband was awkward, but memorable. Our second date wasn’t the best- he had a cold and should have cancelled but didn’t want to make a bad impression. We went bowling which is awkward for two people since one person is always bowling and you can’t really talk. At the end of the date he walked me to my door, and asked awkwardly if he could kiss me, and he said yes, and it wasn’t great because of aforementioned snottiness. But he made up for it by cooking an amazing meal on our third date and doing a much better job kissing me afterwards. I kind of knew that was it, then.

  8. Shawna

    Oh gosh, I was a kissing bandit! I think in first year university (age 18) I did a formal count by writing all their names down, and had kissed over 2 dozen boys by that time, and hadn’t even “gone all the way” yet. I never went through a boy-hating stage and there was always some boy I was crushing on at any given time. There were chaste pressing-of-lips together kisses in grade school (I think maybe on dares?), but the first real kiss that I can recall with a boy I really liked who liked me back was when I was 14. I was over the moon because he’d kissed me and I liked him so much, yet disappointed, because unfortunately the strongest impression that lives on in my mind over 30 years later is that he had terrible breath.

    At this point there is no way I could guess at the number of boys/men I’ve kissed in my life. Once I got together with my husband over 15 years ago I haven’t kissed anyone new (of course), but I dated A LOT before I met him, and didn’t always have to be dating anyone in order to kiss them. I LOVED kissing!

    I can even recall being slightly tipsy and in the stairway between 2 levels of a bar, and a cute guy asking me how I was doing and me telling him it was my birthday and wouldn’t he want to give me a kiss for my birthday? And of course it turned out he would, and we shared a great kiss. And afterwards I told him that I didn’t even want to know his name, because that would make it a great story. And now I’m telling that story. Ha!

    1. Shawna

      By the way, I read a lot of Archie comics as a kid, and I think my expectations of teenage relationships were heavily influenced by that, and it seemed like the teens in those comics were always dating and kissing different people, so I had no qualms about doing the same.

    2. Shawna

      Oh! This isn’t any kind of “first kiss” but my most disastrous kiss was with an ex who was clowning around as we were walking down a hallway at my university, and said “I’m Shawna and I’m really short!” (and I’m 1/4 inch taller than average height, thank you very much), and crouched down, then tried to kiss upwards at me. Unfortunately he was still kind of moving upwards when he made contact with my mouth, and he chipped one of my front teeth!

  9. Suzanne

    I am enjoying reading these stories SO MUCH.

    My first kiss is, unfortunately, wholly unmemorable. I was fifteen and the kiss was with my boyfriend at the time, and the most vivid thing about it was that I was SO NERVOUS because it seemed as though everyone in the world had had their first kiss and I hadn’t. So nervous that I paid no attention to the kiss itself, it seems. Oh well. He turned out to be a horrible person so perhaps it is for the best.

    My first kiss with my husband, however, was WONDERFUL. It was at a fancy party, and I was wearing a black dress with a pink tulle underskirt and he was wearing a suit. He and I had been flirting for weeks, and we continued to flirt at the party. We were in our early twenties, and he got me a glass of frangelico, which I recall tasted just like cake batter, and — whether from the frangelico or all the built-up flirting — we got a little giddy and started kissing on the dance floor. He was — and is — a fantastic kisser and we were inseparable from that night on. Swoon!

  10. Jd

    My first kiss: I was at sleep away camp and we were on a bus waiting to go somewhere. Several boys were hanging around/on the bus while I and several girl friends hung out of the windows flirting. As the bus fired up to go, a boy I had a crush on gave me a sudden kiss. Suprised, I hit my head on the bus window. Hard enough to give me a lump on my head and bruise my suitors ego.

  11. Leah

    My FIRST – first kiss was with my now husband. I was 22. He had been in a terrible relationship before ours and wanted to wait until he got engaged to kiss again. So our first kiss was the night he proposed. At the time it was so hard to wait and I thought it was a little silly,but now that I look back on it I’m really glad we waited. It is a sweet story and it was such a sweet kiss and I’m glad my first kiss was with him.

  12. cindy

    My one and only femme fatale kissing move…I was in college, and hanging out with a boy who was a friend of a friend. In his apartment, laying on his bed. We were honestly just talking, and it was really late, but he was talking a LOT, and he started joking that I should shut him up. So I got bold and said, “You really want me to shut you up?” He said yes, so I kissed him. It shut him up.
    I don’t think I ever saw or talked to him again after that night, but it was pleasant, and I was pleased with myself for being so bold.

  13. Alice

    EEEeeee I love these!!

    First kiss: I was 17 (nearly 18!) and had finally started pretty-much-dating the guy I’d been in love with for YEARS (an older man! he was already 2 years into college and was back home for the summer at this point). We were sitting together on a low wall on my highschool campus, alone at night, and I’d just been crying about guilt over my parents paying so much to send me to college, and as part of the comforting he leaned in a kissed me for the first time. At the time I was ECSTATIC – I’d been waiting to get a kiss for so long! And from my MANY-YEAR crush, this was perfect! – although now that I have kissed, ahem, *more* people, I recognize that the kiss itself was pretty bad and he was basically eating my face and tongue whole. Could not have been happier at the time, though!

    My first kiss with my husband was… underwhelming ;-) It was the end of our second date, and he still hadn’t made a move, so I decided to take matters into my own hand, and went in for the kiss… which he completely did not return! Mouth stayed closed, no lean in, nothing! I was sure that was the end of our short relationship, since clearly he wasn’t into me…. but he called again looking for another date, and blah blah blah married with 2nd kid on the way :D

    1. Tia

      ALICE! I miss your blog! Congrats on #2. I have #2 on the way as well, although they are going to be 5.5 years apart.

  14. Wendy

    My first kiss was a very chaste two second peck on the lips from my 7th grade boyfriend. We’d just had our first “real” date, meaning we rode our bikes to McDonald’s and he bought me a hamburger (we shared a soda). After our hamburgers, we would outside to behind the McDonald’s and nervously stood around for 25 minutes trying to get up the courage to smooch. Very romantic, what with the smell of fryer grease and the industrial trash bin next to us.

    The next school day we were a major scandal because he told everyone that we’d Frenched and that I “almost” let him pull my shorts down. We broke up the next day.

  15. Diane Stenglein

    These are lovely!
    My first-first kiss was when I was a freshman in college, age 18. My friends and I were flirting with some older guys we’d met coming out of a movie, and ended up spending the rest of the evening with. He walked me back to my dorm, and then he asked me to ask him to kiss me. He was odd, but so very sweet. We dated until Christmastime, when he enlisted in the Army to serve in Desert Storm. We reconnected when he came out, but we didn’t click.

    My first kiss with my husband was pure impulse. We met at a party, and went on our first date a week later. While we were sitting at his house, sharing mango sorbet and chatting…I blurted out “How do you feel about kissing on the first date?” and then I lunged. Still together, 20 years later.

  16. a/k/a Nadine

    My best first kiss story (not the best first kiss though) took place at a DUMP. During college I was doing a required summer session in the mountains and the easiest place to see bears was at the dump, so that’s what we did.

    My first REAL kiss was at 17. It was election night for Clinton’s first term. My first impressions: that’s weird, why do people do that.

      1. Alice

        It wasn’t until I kissed probably my third guy ever that I understood WHY anyone would ever want to french kiss! I thought it was something girls put up with because guys liked it. That’s how bad my first 2 boyfriends’ kissing was, ha!

  17. Rosie

    I was a sophomore in high school; he was a junior and a friend of my sister’s boyfriend. We kind of got set up to go to a dance together. We had fun at the dance together and then he drove me home. He walked me to the door. He was really tall (6′ 7″), so about a foot taller than me. We were shy and awkward and both weren’t sure how to end the date. But I knew I wanted a kiss goodnight, so I finally just took charge and stepped up on the porch step so that I was much closer in height and went in for the kiss. It was quite pleasant.

    We went on to date for four more years, until I broke up with him in college and broke his heart. We kept in touch off and on, and even hooked up a couple more times, but it was not meant to be. I always thought of him as the one that got away, but I know in my heart that he wasn’t right for me.

  18. el-e-e

    Great stories! My first kiss was on a first-date, double-date, in the back seat; we were both 15 and I had the most gigantic crush on the guy. It was super sweet and gentle (I don’t think it was his first, he seemed awfully good at it). I knew my buddy up front was watching in his rear-view mirror and it bothered me only slightly. (I learned years later HE had had a giant crush on me, and yet he was so generous to orchestrate that first date for me.)

    First kiss with my college boyfriend, I don’t really remember the kiss itself, but I remember I tripped over my own feet soon after it happened, on the way back upstairs to my dorm room, because my heart was pounding and I was so shocked /discombobulated!

    1. Judith

      What a sweet and loving thing for your buddy to do. That is truly what caring for someone looks like. <3

  19. Rah

    A 15-year old high school freshman, I was going out with an 18 y.o. (gasp) who was more experienced that I. He chastely but lovingly kissed me on the cheek one night at the end of the evening, and the hamsters in my head scrambled, telling me to take it slow, not be too easy [can you believe this?]. So I hugged him but left the kiss burning on my cheek. I thought about it constantly until the next time we saw each other and we kissed sweetly on the mouth right away, in broad daylight. After dark that same evening, we had my first REAL kiss, one that left me breathless and wondering why we hadn’t done this months before. I reacted similarly the first time he told me he loved me. That was something I wasn’t going to say lightly, and I thought about it for 5 days but just blurted out “ILOVEYOUTOO” the minute we got in the car for our next date.
    What a fun topic, Swistle!

  20. Maggie

    My first kiss was at 14 to a guy I didn’t know well at all. Background: I went to an all-girls school from 8-12th grade so I only met boys via dances, school musicals/plays, or friends’ brothers. So I danced with this boy at a freshman dance a few times and then he asked me out. We went on one official date to a movie and he kissed me during the movie. It was . . . fine. Nothing spectacular. Then we didn’t really talk again (this was the 80s so no texting/facebook/etc) and I literally never saw him again because, well, all-girls’ school, which in retrospect was awesome – no embarrassment or whatever over this failed venture.

    My first meaningful kiss was when I was 15 – A friend took a guy friend to our winter formal and he brought a friend for me to go with. The friend and I didn’t hit it off at all, but the guy and I did. He called the next day to chat and we talked for a long time. Finally about a week later I went to a regular dance at his school, he asked me to dance while Crazy For You was playing, and we kissed and honestly it was the most romantic moment of my life for a couple of years. I was smitten. Reader, he broke my heart three months later but that kiss is still one of the most memorable.

  21. Alison

    These are great!

    I was seventeen. He was my first boyfriend (by far my first – I was just emerging from a 10 year awkward stage). It was our second “date” which involved renting a Charlie Sheen movie (The Chase) and watching it at his house. I don’t know why the movie title sticks. I remember absolutely nothing about the movie itself because I was hyperventilating-ly distracted about sitting on a couch almost touching a boy. He kissed me on the driveway before I got into my car to go home. I remember almost nothing of the mechanics of the kiss but I vividly remember the lighting for some reason. There was an overhead spotlight lighting the driveway and it cast kind of a yellow/green glow. He was backlit so I couldn’t really see his face as we were talking so I just have an impression of the shape of his jaw and his floppy 90s hair as he leaned down. I think I nearly exploded from anxious excitement on the 2 minute drive home.

  22. Anna

    Ooooh, my first-first kiss was with my first boyfriend (not his first kiss or girlfriend), when I was 17. It was special for being first, but not for butterflies or technique or anything. We had been together maybe a month, which was good because I was worried about careening. Also, from that point on I started COUNTING our kisses, thinking that my the time we were married (whaaat) we would be up to some remarkable number. Needless to say I soon figured out that kisses can’t exactly be counted individually. Also, I eventually realized that we were not going to get married.

    Second guy was a fling and an old crush, I initiated. Third guy I don’t remember our first kiss, but I was his first girlfriend and definitely had to do some coaching ; )

    Fourth was a bit of a surprise, my boyfriend (no. 3) was out of town, I went to a concert and then to a bar with a guy friend (whaaat), at the bar we confessed to being attracted to each other, then when we were walking back to his apartment (to “watch a movie”) I kissed him. Anyway now I am seven months along with our second child and I still get butterflies sometimes! My husband doesn’t mind too much being number four.

  23. Amelia

    I just love these! My first kiss was with my 8th-grade-boyfriend on the night of the school dance. I kinda knew he was into someone else and about to break up with me, so it was a very soulful first kiss that felt absolutely wonderful. Then the girl and I ended up wearing the exact same shimmery dress (hers with a red shimmer, mine with purple) to the dance. I was sad. He got down on one knee and lip-synced “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men when the DJ played it, but by the next week, I got the breakup note in my locker. Tears ensued. He ended up moving away the next year, so at least I didn’t have to see him in school every day forever.
    My first kiss with my husband was wonderful. We’d gone out a couple of times (movies) and then spent part of the day together before he dropped me off at work. I was feeling bold and also impatient, so when he stopped the car, I gave him a smoldering look (or so I hoped!), reached for his head, pulled him in close, and delivered. I gave him a smug smile, said, “I’ve been waiting all day to do that” and jumped out of the car without a look back. I was so bold! I can’t even believe it myself! Later, I went to his apartment and as I walked in, he grabbed me, kissed me hard, and told me he didn’t want me to have to wait all night. Talk about burning up!

  24. Saly

    Oh I *LOVE* this!

    My actual first kiss happened on the last day of 8th grade when my boyfriend and I went to our friend Jesse’s house to “watch movies” in his basement after school. When we were getting ready to go home, everyone else went upstairs and the boyfriend leaned over to kiss me. When he put his tongue in my mouth, I literally scream “what the hell?!”, which was moderately embarrassing.

    I kissed a lot (A LOT) of boys in between without much fanfare, but the first time Ed and I kissed, which was when I was 15 and he was 18, it was very intense and when we stopped, he told me he loved me. To which I, a very worldly woman who had kissed many boys, replied “No, you don’t”. He still talks about it now, nearly 25 years later.

  25. Surely

    First kisses are the best! Except when they’re not. lol. Kevin & mine was awkward, he misjudged my height and I misjudged his intention. ON A DANCE FLOOR dancing to When I’m With You. Hello, 1990.

    First First Kiss was a friend I’d known almost my whole life at my first boy-girl party in the sixth grade. I was dreading it but then it was pleasant. And never happened again because SIXTH GRADE.

    My favorite first kiss was from a random stranger as I was leaving a bar. REALLY GOOD KISS. He just did it, hugged me, then said “I couldn’t let you leave without doing that” and walked away. No aggression or anything, just sweet. Never saw him again.

  26. Kristin H

    Oh my word. My first kiss was with this guy; I don’t even remember his name. Somehow we were outside on a swing, the kind two people can sit on. I was lying with my head in his lap, face up toward him. He leaned over – he had to crunch way down to get to me, and fastened his mouth over mine, wide open, and started SWIRLING his tongue around and around inside my mouth. And since he was facing toward the ground, spit from his mouth was being fed by gravity into mine. When he came up for air, I had a ring of spit all the way around my mouth. It was…memorable. I got myself a book on kissing not long after.

  27. Kerry

    Not my first kiss or my first-kiss-with-a-boyfriend, but my best first kiss story is from when I was 15, and had been dating a boy for about a month, and we were playing some ice breaker game in drama class where the person in the middle would declare a category of people, and everyone in that category would have to get up and swap seats, and that person declared “anyone who’s kissed their girlfriend or boyfriend!” and neither of us got up, and he smiled kind of sheepishly at me and waved, and I thought it was such a nicely shy but also confident way for him to handle it.

    (The actual first kiss with him was probably later that week – so ice broken! – but not as memorable).

  28. Ashley

    These stories are fun to read!

    My first kiss of any kind was a week or so before my 17th birthday. It felt like everyone I knew had already had a first kiss and I didn’t want to turn 17 without having kissed someone so my friends orchestrated a game of spin the bottle at a get-together a bunch of us theatre kids were having at someone’s house one night. I was hoping to be matched with one of the guys I had a crush on, but of course it didn’t work out that way and I ended up kissing a guy who was 2 years younger than me who was one of my younger sister’s best friends.We were both like “Ugh, this is so awkward!” but at least we laughed about it together.

    My first REAL kiss was 9 months later. I had had a crush on a senior all school year and we always flirted but all year nothing had come of it. Finally in the summer we started spending time together. We would most go to the diner where a mutual friend waited tables and sit there for hours drinking sodas and coffee. Finally, finally one night he was driving me home and it started raining a bit. I grew up in the desert where it never rains so he suggested we park the car and walk in the park in the rain. I said okay and we walked through the drizzle for a minute and then it started pouring so we ducked under a tree for shelter and started kissing while leaning against the tree trunk in the pouring rain. I remember thinking it was SO ROMANTIC. We dated the rest of the summer but then he left for college and we lost touch.

  29. Hope

    First kiss I was 13 at a school dance with my “boyfriend,” a boy I really had little to no attraction to, but I just really wanted a boyfriend. He was a nice enough guy, and I was relieved to have it over with.

    First kiss with my husband we were on a couch in the house where I lived with a bunch of people and he said, “It would be really cheesy if I asked to kiss you right now, right?” I answered somewhere along the lines of, “well, now you HAVE to!” The next day he shyly asked me for my phone number which seemed so old fashioned and cute as we had been flirting and talking for a week straight, and obviously he knew where I lived. It was like he thought I was going to disappear or something.

    The best first kisses I’ve ever had (sorry, husband, yours doesn’t fall into this category) were where I was maybe a little buzzed, standing a little too close, flirting at a party or a bar and they just happened. Oh, I miss those days.

  30. Matti

    I just had the most fun reading these comments! Swistle, thank you.

    My First-first kiss was when I was about 13-14. I had been flirting with an older boy, he was in my brother’s grade, my brother’s friend, and we road the same bus, we drove him to and from Little League which my dad coached, etc. After lots of flirting, exchanging wallet-sized school pictures with slightly flirty, funny messages inscribed on the back, we finally did kiss. It was actually on the school bus, but we were sitting together in a section where we were all alone. He was a really funny, sweet guy and though we didn’t actually ever date, I still remember him fondly.

    First kiss with my husband. Well, we had two first kisses, about five years apart. We dated each other in 6th grade, and in our middle school it was possible to get a pass to sign out out to the library during study hall, have the other person do the same thing, and then go to the basement level of the stairwells together. We kissed there. It was…not great. Mostly I remember the impression of cold, fishy-lips. Too much eating of face and tongue. We didn’t date that long. In 12th grade we got back together. On our first date, pizza and a movie, he drove me home, and our second first kiss took place sitting in my driveway. Luckily, he’d VASTLY improved his kissing game in the intervening years. We sat in the driveway so long, I’m sure that my parents thought we were doing something. It was dark, but come on. But all they said to me was to make sure that we cracked some windows next time so that we didn’t accidentally die from carbon monoxide poisoning. And that is my mother in a nutshell.

    My most memorable kiss took place at the end of 9th grade. I had been dating a boy for about a year and a half. When he moved away to go to another school, we reluctantly broke up. That summer I was at a birthday party for another mutual friend. My old boyfriend was in town visiting relatives, but we hadn’t seen each other until the party. We were playing a game of spin the bottle that was kind of not great in one way and a little better than usual in another. If you wanted to, you could elect to go a little way into the woods with your bottle match (kind of a recipe for potential assault!), so that nobody could see you do whatever it was you actually decided to do (but privacy! So you could choose to do nothing). After three separate trips into the woods with two other boys and one girl and ending up with zero kisses, we would just chat a little and then walk back. My ex-boyfriend spun and the bottle landed on me. We walked into the woods, but said nothing to each other, just met in a super passionate, teenage hormone fueled, been apart for months already, kiss that was pretty amazing.

  31. WL

    First kiss. 7th grade. My cute little boyfriend. Over the course of the year we got pretty good at kissing, braces and all! (While watching Top Gun over and over)

    Best kisser (early years). 8th grade boy. How in the hell did he know how to kiss that famously when he was that young? Must be the lips.

    Years later. Met a guy, flirted with him a lot. When we did kiss a few months later it was AWFUL. Like I wasted all this energy and this is how you kiss? Yikes.

    Still friends with 7th grade boyfriend. Still see Best 8th Grade kisser on FB. Makes me smile :-)

  32. Gigi

    Oh Swistle, you have the BEST blog posts!

    My first (chaste) kiss had to have been in middle school while playing spin the bottle. My first real kiss happened when I was about 14 to a boy I had been crushing on from the moment I met him. Unfortunately for me, he happened to kiss me in front of a window while my mom and a multitude of other adults were on the other side. They teased me about it relentlessly afterward.

  33. Angela

    I had boyfriends/dates in high school but never kissed any of them. When I was 18 and in college I pursued one guy pretty intensely and finally we had a low key date in his dorm room watching movies alone which ended with my first kiss. I remember going upstairs to my dorm room and going to bed without washing my face or brushing my teeth because I wanted the kiss to still be on me. Kinda gross looking back haha!

    Anyway, we got married after college and have three kids now. Still the only guy I have ever kissed!

  34. A

    13. Seventh grade. In the driveway of a friend’s house. I remember being happy and mortified at the same time. I had to dig around for his name in the back of my brain! I had so much shame and guilt for pretty much all of my adolescence about Things Like This. I try to mostly forgot about all of it.

    With my husband… I honestly can’t remember. It *might* have been the same day we “hooked up.” We moved in together in just about a hot second, and now half a decade later, we’re still together, married, best friends, all that!

  35. Annie

    I am LOVING these stories!

    I was 16 for my first kiss. It was scheduled. Back context: A friend had whispered in my ear during science class that a mutual friend wanted me to ask him to the Sadie Hawkins dance. I THOUGHT she said Ryan Erickson, but she actually said Kyle Erickson. I stood right behind Ryan (a star football player whose parents had forbidden him from dating because of his sports commitments) in line with my tray in my hands (I think we were dissecting starfish that day), and could NOT muster the courage to ask him. I got back to the table and told my friend that I bailed on asking Ryan, and she said, “NOT RYAN!!! KYLE!!!” with a horrified look on her face. I had NO issue marching right up and asking Kyle (a pretty quiet kid), even though I had no interest in him! My mom took me to the mall a couple days later to buy matching t-shirts (the whole point of the dance), and I chose an awful pair of 1990s striped skater-looking shirts (neither of us were skaters) from Contempo Casuals. We went to the dance, and decided to be boyfriend-girlfriend. About a week later, he invited me to his house to have dinner with his family and watch a movie, and then he would kiss me at the end of the night, before my mom picked me up. It was a pleasant evening, and then his parents put in “Serial Mom” and it got awkward pretty darn quickly (if you haven’t seen it, I do not recommend watching it with your children!) So his parents excused us pretty quickly, and we went across the street to a mutual friend’s house. He knew of or first kiss plans, so leant us his bedroom. I laid down on the floor, he shoved his tongue in my mouth, and that was that. I heard from Kyle a few months ago; he’s going through the 12 Steps and apologized for giving me the “worst first kiss ever” Apparently, he’s very thorough on his apology stage!

    My first kiss with my husband was on our first date. We met in an airport, traveling to and from the same destination. We decided to get together after we were both back in our mutual hometown. I gave him a call, and he asked me if I could call him back in 10 minutes because he was just finishing up buying a car. We ended up meeting for dinner a couple nights later, and having our first kiss in his 1999 Mustang that he bought for $1800 (because he had a lease on his other car that was expiring soon, and was already over the mileage and he didn’t want to make it go even further over the mileage, and he had always wanted a Mustang) He played Lionel Richie’s Greatest Hits on cassette tape that night, and I was in love with him immediately (not just because of Lionel, or the car)! “You Are” was our first dance song at our wedding. And we had that Mustang for 5 years.

  36. Maureen

    I haven’t read the comments yet-but I can’t wait!

    I was definitely a late bloomer in terms of my relationships-there was an unfortunate incident when I went to a dance with a perfectly nice boy, freshman year-and I leapt out of the car before it even stopped moving-I was such a weirdo about kissing guys I wasn’t infatuated with. But I knew what lust was-I’d been feeling it since 7th grade, staring at the boy in front of me-Bob-and thinking how much I loved his neck!

    So, first boyfriend-bad first kiss. We had been at a party-he drove me home, I had just turned 16, and it was freezing out. He kissed me and I wasn’t exactly excited about it. Yet-it wasn’t bad…and we built on that!

    Best first kiss was with a friend I had for years, we were seniors in high school-he was the sexiest and funniest boy I had ever met. We were such good friends, I didn’t think he would ever think of me any other way. He was walking me home, it was drizzling, and suddenly his hand was on the back of my head and he was kissing me. To this day, I think it was one of the most romantic things that ever happened to me. It didn’t work out for us, but dang-even to this day-that ranks as the most unexpectedly happy kiss I ever have had.

    My first kiss with my husband was kind of funny-we met at a bar, he had on a Tshirt with the company I worked for, their logo. We really hit it off, were yucking it up, and he said he was going out for a cigarette-I pushed him against the wall and said “don’t do that, I might want to kiss you later”-the rest is history!

    I feel like these experiences we had when we were young make such a big impression, because there is longing involved. I’ve had plenty of first kisses, but very few really stuck with me. The one with my husband sticks with me because it is the last few kiss I ever had, 24 years ago.

  37. rlbelle

    If you do not count 1st grade, when Derek McFarland kissed me behind the window drapes when it was my day to close them, or the really weird stage-kiss I had in a play in high school that was a sort of chin to chin thing with very little lip involved, my FIRST-first kiss was not until junior year of college. I never had a boyfriend in high school (or in college, actually), but when I moved out junior year, I started going out dancing with my roommates to places where you didn’t have to be 21, and I believe it was on one of these occasions that I (Not Drunk, BTW) made out with some random guy (or maybe my roommate had him in one of her classes?) for my first kissing experience. It was not all that satisfying, in the sense that it was more wanting to get it over with already than feeling any particular spark with this person. I think he might have asked, but I can’t remember.

    The following year, I ran into a guy, in the same bar, who I’d been in a class with that semester and had a huge crush on for weeks. We’d even worked on a project together, but he seemed super cool and like he wouldn’t be into nerdy old me, and then we met at the bar and danced and I found out he had a little crush on me, too, and there was a LOT of kissing, and he walked me home, and there was more kissing, and it was great. It was also the last day of the year and we hadn’t even exchanged numbers, so I didn’t see him again all summer. But actually getting to the “We Are Kissing” point of a crush was such a fun first, and also helped me get over him more easily, I think. Early the following fall semester, we passed each other on campus and he gave me this surprised “Hi,” and said I said “Hi!” back really cheerily like it was super great to see him, but also just kept walking, with maybe a little extra sway in my hips. It was awesome.

    My first kiss with my first real boyfriend was a tooth-bumping one, but they got much better from there.

    My first kiss with my husband happened when the martial arts class we were in together went to a weekend conference of sorts. We hung out as a group with other classmates the whole time, but he and I kept flirting with each other all weekend. Saturday night, we all went to dinner, then bowling, then back to my and my roommate’s hotel room and played a couple hours of cards and we were all having this great time together, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off my future husband, and I could tell he couldn’t keep his eyes off me, so when it was time for everybody to go back to their own rooms at, like, 3 a.m., I said I’d “walk him out.” And then he kissed me right outside the door, my back up against the stucco wall. It was much more romantic than it sounds.

    I have just one more story about a kiss that didn’t happen – my last semester of college I briefly dated a writer on the school paper (I was a copy editor). He had a huge crush on me, but while I liked him, I wasn’t getting that spark. So on what would turn out to be our final minutes of our final date, he asked if he could kiss me … and I said no. More specifically, I said I wasn’t ready, yet. He said that was fine, but then he left my car (he himself did not drive) in great, probably embarrassed haste, kind of slamming the door a little, and I never saw him in person again. We did talk on the phone a couple times, but I moved 500 miles away and he didn’t graduate for another few semesters. I mention it because he is now a fairly prolific (though not really famous), published children’s book author. I see his books all the time at the library, they even sell one at Target. I’ve read one to my children. He and I are now friends on Facebook, although we’ve never IM’d or even really commented on each other’s posts, and we are both now married. But I laugh every time I see his work out there, in an “I could have kissed this dude” sort of way.

  38. Anon :-)

    Great topic and so timely! I just recently helped my daughter’s friend (age 14) navigate her first relationship/kiss. She kissed him first (peck on the lips); but then a week or two later when he tried to slip in a little tongue, she was freaked out and ended it. We discussed it being good to know your boundaries, etc. but it left me thinking “sheesh, really? you weren’t expecting a little frenching?” Also wow, helping her friend work through this, allowed me and my own daughter to discuss some things… things I would have NEVER discussed with my mom.

    Which brings me to my first-first kiss. I was 15, the summer between freshmen and sophomore year (but right before school started, late August). I had known this guy awhile having run into him a few summers in a row at a camp. He was older; a high school graduate at the time we connected. Yeah, wow, my parents were either really stupid (clueless?) or really smart (trusting me to find out things on my own? and knowing a negative stance wouldn’t work?). Guy was working a job catering an event at an amusement park close to my house, so we met there and hung out once his job was done. This was like 1989, so no texting or cell phone talking was happening. We did talk via the home phone though so my parents were aware of our “relationship.” We were sitting on a bench talking, and I think we both got rid of our gum (the signal!) and it was a peck-on-the-lips kiss. More peck kisses throughout the day; then later his friend was driving us to my house (yeah, I know that’s weird, I guess they drove together that day… details that seem so off/weird now, were very “whatever” that day). During the car ride, he slipped in the tongue and admittedly I was surprised at first but didn’t have the reaction that my daughter’s friend had. I, well, I liked it. Relationship went no where further than that physically. We hung out a few more times and kissed some more, but that was it. I dodged a bullet there though, because wow the shit I learned about him a few years later…. BAD NEWS!

    I’ve never had a WOW THAT KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF first kiss, but I’ve also never had a EW GROSS STOP SWIRLING YOUR TONGUE AROUND IN MY MOUTH first kiss either. Mostly first-kisses that have been unremarkable, but decent.

    First kiss with husband was nearly 20 years ago. I think I drove him home from a group date, and walked him to his door…

    I miss the idea of first kisses, and am kind of excited for my kids in that regard (gah – that sounds weird!). I’m nearly certain none of them have kissed anyone yet.

    I also miss extended make-out sessions that don’t go below the belt – like making out on the couch, while parents are in the other room. Or out, but could come home momentarily. Just that whole “semi-forbidden”-ness of it… like maybe this time it will go further, or maybe it won’t?

  39. Portia

    My FIRST-first kiss was terrible. It was the first week of my freshman year in college (yes, very sheltered!), and I was watching a movie with some brand-new friends in the dorm room of a boy I had been flirting with. And suddenly he abruptly claimed he was tired and kicked everyone out, except whispered to me to come back after they had left. So that was already awkward, and then I came back and he attempted to thrust his entire tongue down my throat. Awful awful awful. SO wet and slimy.

    My second first kiss is the one I actually think of as my real first kiss. It was also my freshman year of college, with a boy I was very much flirting with, and we went on an extremely romantic walk through the woods at midnight and held hands in the dark and had a wonderful kiss on the bridge between New Hampshire and Vermont. And then we dated for ten years and got engaged…and then he turned into a terrible person and the engagement crumbled, but whatever, the kiss was really nice.

    I better give this story a better ending than that. My current boyfriend proposed to me last week!! (If you followed the open thread, this is the guy who accidentally texted me that he was planning to propose.) So, we are getting married, and our first kiss was (hopefully!) my final first kiss. We were on our second date, having dinner, and I got up to go to the bathroom, and he pulled me over and kissed me. I was standing, he was sitting, we were both very slightly tipsy, and he accidentally touched my butt while he did it, which he still cringes to think about. But it was a great kiss!

  40. Katie K.

    Dinner is almost ready and the natives are getting restless, so I will have to come back and post about kisses, but I wanted to comment before too much time passed…can I ask about your first marriage? Mostly I want to know if your kids know and if they do, how you told them, and if they don’t, why not. (I have a first marriage too; no kids from that marriage and now I have kids with my second [and last, God willing] husband. I feel like they (the kids; my husband knows) should know about my first marriage because it seems like a pretty significant part of my past, but then I wonder why since I have zero contact with my ex or any of my former in-laws. But then I feel like if they found out when they were older it might feel like I was hiding something. You can see why I go around and around about this.)

    1. Swistle Post author

      YES, you can ask! The kids do know. What I decided, based on advice from a friend who had a parent who’d been married before, was to make it something they’d Always Known. That is, rather than sit them down someday and Tell Them, I made it something I referred to casually from time to time, starting when they were very young, so that they wouldn’t have a memory of Finding Out but would instead just sort of Always Have Known.

      1. Katie K.

        That is such a smart way of doing it. I wonder how I can work it into conversation. My kids know very few people who are divorced…it’s not really something that comes up organically. I’ll be paying attention for an opportunity though. Thank you for sharing that. :)

        1. Swistle Post author

          I’m trying to remember the times it’s come up. Generally it’s when I’m talking about my college days, or dating, and those topics come up periodically. Or we’ll be talking about All The Places We’ve Lived, or about When We Got Which Cats, or things like that. Generally the topic isn’t divorce, it’s usually marriage or dating or apartments or cats.

          1. melissa

            My best friend was a senior in high school fiddling with her mom’s jewelry box while mom did her hair for prom and found a wedding band engraved with her mom and not her dad’s names. She was horrified. Maybe don’t do it that way. I think it kind of tainted her prom.

          2. MelissaC

            I also just work it into conversation. I know that I’ve said things along these lines:

            When talking about other states: “I lived in Texas when I was married to someone else, not Daddy.”
            When talking about relationships: “Sometimes people just aren’t meant to be together. That’s why I got divorced and then married Dad. I’m much happier with him!”

            My Dad was married before and I found out when I asked who was in a picture with him. I was probably 12 and my Mom says I was devastated. I hope that this more casual way of working things in prevents that drama for my kids!

      2. a/k/a Nadine

        My mother had been married previously and it was something we always knew. We also knew she had lost a baby while married to her first husband. I’m not sure how either of the topics were introduced, but I fully support the Always Known method. And always being open to answering questions because, well, kids like to ask questions.

    2. Maureen

      I often forget I’m actually my husband’s second wife-he was married a short time to a very nice woman, they had no kids, and honestly-best first wife ever! The funniest thing, what got me and my husband talking at a bar, he was wearing a Tshirt with my company’s logo. Why did he have it? His ex-wife worked there! She used to stop by my desk and we would chat, we worked in different departments. My coworker said, “how do you know her?”. When I said she was my husband’s ex, she couldn’t believe it.

      I can’t really remember when we told my daughter her dad had been married before, it was pretty non-dramatic, like I said, the first wife was an absolute dream-no demands, only happy feelings for us and our new daughter. I KNOW how lucky we were!

  41. ernie

    Yes, Swistle, this is a super fun thread to read! And so fun to recall all of this!

    First kiss: I was a senior in high school. Went to an all girl high school, but was finally starting to mingle with boys. We had a very small party at a guy’s house when his parents were out of town. I had been flirting with one of the guys in this group I was hanging with. After a few drinks (I mean a very few because it didn’t take much – drinking was unchartered territroy), the boy – whose last name was Sliva – kissed me. Really he just sort of tried to aggressively choke me with his tongue. I was like, ‘What!? That’s what all the hype is about?’ Anyway, because of the letters in his last name, my friends and I secretly called him Saliva forever after that.

    My husband is one of my little brother’s best friends from 8th grade. When I graduated from college – he was staring his senior year in college. He was like the boy next door – lived down the street. We hadn’t seen each other for my entire college career because his family moved away – and rented out their house. The summer I graduated they moved back to their house. He finally took me out after a summer of flirting. (actually when he picked me up for our ‘date’ his next door neighbor guy my age was sitting in the car – I was like, what the Hell?, but my future sister in law met us out at a karokee bar and she took awkward neighbor boy home so Coach could just drive me home – she’s still one of my favorite sister in laws). When Coach drove me home, he parked several houses before he got to my house. I was like, what’s the deal? Then he kissed me. It was awesome! He explained that he didn’t want my folks to hear the car in the driveway so he parked far away. Married 21 years, 6 kids.

  42. MelissaC

    I love this! My husband and I were long distance daters. So our first big date was an entire weekend long. The day I arrived he took me out for a day of sight seeing. There was hand holding and flirting and things were going really well. I thought that maybe he would kiss me out on the pier, but no. I thought maybe he would kiss me after dinner, but no. There was great anticipation on my part and frankly, I was tired of waiting! Finally we sat down to a movie on the couch. He abruptly got up and excused himself. When he came back, I could smell the Listerine on his breath and I knew it was time! So I turned to him and said “Ok! Let’s get this over with!” I am so romantic. We still joke about this all the time. And of course, it was a great first kiss!

  43. Becks

    ooh i love sharing my first kiss with my husband… we had met online and our first date was the perfunctory coffee date. For our second date (which was 12/08/06) he got us tickets to see a play in SF where I lived. The play was totally horrible. After the play we walked over to Union Square and it was all christmassy and wonderful and right under the mile high christmas tree we had our first kiss. It was great but i was feeling all awkward after and as we walked away I tried to make a joke and said “wow, that was so ridiculously romantic, now you are going to have to propose to me here”. then i realized how crazy, desperate,ridic that sounded and thought, this guy is never ever going to call me again. But he did, and two years later he did propose to me under that tree, which totally surprised me because i didn’t realize he was there yet. And a year after that on 12/08/09 we secretly got married at city hall in SF so i could get on his insurance plan. We had a real wedding a few months later, but i loved that the ceremony that was just for us happened on the same day we had our first kiss. We go back to that tree every year, and last year we saw someone else get engaged in the same spot we did

  44. Sarah!

    No kissing ensued, but your second story reminded me and I have to share this:

    One day last week-ish, I was walking home from dinner out around just-getting-dark-time and nearly to my building on a moderately-busy-residential-city-street when a guy on a bike stopped and asked if he could ask me a couple questions, “we’re doing a kind of survey thing”. He looked college aged in a neighborhood with lots of students (and again, moderately busy street so kidnapping risk seemed minor) so I said sure, and kept walking as we talked so he wouldn’t know where I lived…

    His questions:
    1. Would you consider yourself more of a freaky girl or a nice girl?
    2. Do you like guys or girls?
    3. “Am I cute enough?” (ambiguous phrasing his, not mine)
    4. If I asked, would you kiss me right now?

    It was very odd and I have no context for these questions. I hope he was doing a survey for a sociology class or something. Again, I did not kiss him.

  45. FF

    First kiss ever was with when I was around 13. We were on the beach, under the stars, and it was nice. He was my first boyfriend with a car. First kiss with my husband was when I was 21 and I invited him to my dorm room. We were laying on my bed and talking, and eventually I just said, “enough talking,” and rolled on top of him and kissed him. That’s pretty much still our M.O. 15 years later. I was a femme fatale, and boy, I leaned into it in college. But I’m glad I did, otherwise I’d feel like I missed out.

  46. Holly

    FIRST first: I was 16, we were doing a group project in Algebra 2 but the rest of our group bailed. We went to see “Say Anything” and he kissed me quick when he dropped me off at home afterward.
    BEST first: After my divorce, struck up a friendship with a guy I met in an online support group for people whose exes turned out to be gay. We decided to meet in person. Walked off the plane and kissed him before either of us said a word. It was totally unlike me and perfect.

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