Sunday, February 5, 2012

Retro Kissing Lessons

by Sophie


I've been researching the fifties with zeal, especially when it comes to advertising images, which I find so useful for the little details that really set a scene in time, as well as glimpses into the nation's psyche - consumer behavior, in many ways, really does mirror behavior and attitudes on a broader scale.

Anyway when the topic of kissing came up, I spent a little time going over how it was represented in all-audiences media fifty years ago. Not surprisingly, the images are quite chaste by today's standards.

This got me thinking about my own introduction to kissing. (Not my first time - that would be a whole other post, and a disappointing one at that, as my first kiss - I'm lookin' at YOU, Duane V.!! - was mushy and wet and not the least bit satisfying.) I watched kissers on TV with great attention to detail, because the subject fascinated me: what, exactly, was so great about it, and how could you possibly do it for any length of time without getting bored?

It used to be that even the suggestion of tongue was forbidden. The first on-screen kisses I saw involved people mashing their lips together. Particularly passionate couples seemed to press extra-hard - or so I thought. I was perplexed by this idea, as I thought that it might hurt, especially if you kept it up for a while.

The lip-smoosh technique:

Later, I caught on to a subtle variation, wherein couples would sort of nibble at each other's lips. Women seemed to end up with their partner's bottom lips, and the men got the top one; I assumed this was based on height differential and this worried me no end, since I was tall at the time and all indications were that I would keep getting taller, probably freakishly so, and so I was worried that I might inadvertently engage in the taboo of glomming onto a guy's *top* lip when the time came.

getting bolder - the lip lock:

The longer I've been at this job (writing, not kissing!), the less detail I write into my own kissing scenes. (I seem to remember a rather clinically detailed kiss in 1994's MOUNTAIN SONG. Missed that one? Oh, yeah...that's 'cause it was never published.) I think it's because a really effective kiss ought to leave the participants completely insensible of the details.


Juliet Blackwell said...

Oooh I love this! I, too, was perplexed by the lip-mashing demonstrated in even the steamiest old movies. It DID look like it hurt! And I like your conclusion: yes, we should all be insensate after a really good kiss.

Nicole Peeler said...

Kissing is really weird when you think about it. I know Eskimos are like, "They do WHAT??? With their MOUTHS???"

That said, it's amazing how good a good kiss can be. And how horrible is a rotten one. I guess that makes kisses like liver...when it's cooked right, it's sublime, but it's so easy to make nasty.

I'll stop now. LOL Now tell me to be a good girl and write this sex scene I'm putting off, because I don't know why.........

L.G.C. Smith said...

Oh, come on. Share that MOUNTAIN SONG kiss. I dare 'ya.

Rachael Herron said...

Awww. I love this. I remember practicing on my pillow and I was firmly convinced that I had to tilt 45 degrees to the right, then 45 back, as fast as possible to get it right. I thought I was pretty darn good at pillow kissing.

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