Friday, March 2, 2007

Osculatory Technique

I hear a lot of men whine about how awful most other men are in the sack. I don't know how much validity there is in that complaint, really. I think many of the complainers maybe aren't as skilled as they think they are. Physician, heal thyself. And, as I said in an earlier post, learn not to hook up with guys who don't want the same things you want. And learn to recognize guys who are going to be lousy lovers. And avoid them.

Otherwise, when you're hooking up with a guy, find something that starts both your motors running and do that for a while. Then you can branch out, or not, depending. For me, most often, my engine runs on making out. I've said this to many (many) men: if the kissing's good, we're going to have a great time. The unspoken converse is that if the kissing's lousy, the sex won't be worth having.

Back before I learned to ask specifically whether a man likes to make out and to kermit* whenever a man says no, I encountered my share of poor kissers. And even now, I run into too many guys who love to kiss (or at least say they do) but who have no idea how to go about it. I guess that many of these men get gratification just from feeling their lips and tongue up against someone else's, but I can't help but think that they're missing out on the thoroughly transformative and revelatory experience that a good kiss can and should be.

It has been a good many years now (eight years and four weeks, but who's counting) since I first kissed another man with the object of physical gratification, but I remember it vividly. Not so much the actual kiss (though it was very nice) but the sensation of the scales falling from my eyes. My eyes have long since been thoroughly descaled, but there is still no quicker way to melt me (and, simultaneously, make me sproing) than to give me a good kiss.

If you're not getting that water-in-the-desert feeling when you kiss someone, then one or both of you is doing something wrong.

While on the one hand I will tell you that you shouldn't bother hooking up with guys who don't share your sexual tastes, I will nonetheless say, with the other tine of my forked tongue, that if a guy can't do something well, he can often be taught, assuming that he's willing to learn. Men who are put off by the entire notion of kissing or who think that they can only kiss their current or future husband are not worth bothering with. Men who want to be good kissers but fall far short deserve a chance to be guided to the promised land.

Case in point. When I and the b&c first met and hooked up, it was clear that he was a fine person with whom I had much in common. But his kissing wavered between uninspired and downright distasteful. When it became clear that we were going to be more than fuckbuddies, I had to have the talk with him. The talk goes something like this: "Look, I really like you, but we have got to do something about your osculatory technique." This is not an easy talk to have, and that's why you don't bother to have it with a trick. But it's easier to get past your fear of telling someone that they're lousy in bed (which, sadly, is what you're saying) than it is to spend the rest of your life feeling like you're kissing Rover.

B&c's particular osculatory issues are not especially relevant to this discussion, but I would like to go over a few of the more common errors that one commonly finds among unschooled osculators.

1. Whoa Bessie! We all understand that when you're kissing a hot guy, it's easy to get carried away, but there are better ways to display your passion than via lingual assault and battery. The tongue is an important osculatory tool (I briefly dated a guy who couldn't stand to use any tongue at all, and that was no fun; unsurprisingly, he wasn't very good at anything else in the bedroom, either), but it is not a substitute for good technique. Kissing is communication. Kissing is a dance. Kissing is foreplay. However you characterize it, your tongue needs to take its time getting into the game, and once you're using it, try, try, try to think of it as a third lip, not as a second penis. There is nothing in this world that is hotter than an open-mouthed, soft-lipped, tongueless kiss that slowly evolves into the shy and flirtatious interaction between two tongues. Don't forget that.

2. Herbert and J. Edgar Hoover. If you want to use your mouth as a vacuum cleaner, save it for the blow jobs. If someone tells you that he wants to "suck face," pray that he does not mean it literally. Those guys who place their lips all the way around yours and inhale sharply, well, I can't even bring myself to complete that sentence. Gentle suction does have its place. When you're well into the a hot make out session, there are times when sucking on a man's tongue can be a good move. And sucking gently on a man's lower lip is really one of my favorite things ever. But remember: that move pretty much only works on a guy with a full lower lip, and you really do have to be gentle. Patient, light sucking on a lower lip will puff it in an aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable way. Anything harder than that just hurts.

3. Psycho. You know that music that plays during the stabbing in the shower scene? Don't kiss that way. You want your kissing to be legato, not percussive. You want your companion to feel as though he's a cello that you're playing. Nobody wants to be a xylophone. The fast, periodic flicking of your tongue is a fine way to treat a man's nipple, but it's no way to treat his mouth. Press your lips against his, leave them there for a moment, then pull them back and smile at him and maybe run your tongue slowly and softly around his nips before kissing them again. Mixing up the action is good; stabbing is bad.

If you're not a good kisser (Approximately 80% of the men I hook up with make a point of telling me that I'm a good kisser; I'm not bragging: it's just something I'm good at; there are also things I'm not good at; nobody, for example, has ever remarked that I'm a good cocksucker. If fewer than one man in three compliments your kissing, then you could probably use some work), then find someone who is and practice.

If you are a good kisser and you encounter someone who isn't, there are ways of dealing with that. If you're a dominant or even semi-dominant top, then it's pretty easy. If the guy starts to use his tongue too avidly or kisses in a pokey manner, you just hold his head down and kiss him the way that a man ought to be kissed. He'll follow suit, especially if he's submissive.

If you're a bottom (I usually refrain from giving advice to bottoms because, well, what do I know?) you can't use that technique, but you can be aware that even tops tend to mirror what their partners do (except for that thing you do where you roll over onto your stomach, spread your legs and beg to be fucked; we don't mirror that, fortunately) and if you kiss a guy right, he's at least somewhat likely to return the favor.

If the above approaches are some combination of impossible and/or ineffective, then you really have to say something. I don't mean the full-blown talk I had to have with b&c. I mean a simple "whoa," "easy," or "relax." You know, the kind of thing you say to a guy who's gotten a little out of control and is being too rough on your nipples. (If you've never had the experience of thinking that someone was being too rough on your nipples, email me: I'd like nothing more than to try to be the first.)

I have more to say on this topic, but I feel like I've already said more than enough for today. Writing about kissing is amusing, but the real thing is a couple of orders of magnitude more satisfying, and as it happens, right now there's a pair of lips with my name on them (You can relax: I'm speaking figuratively.) and it would be rude to keep them waiting.

*To kermit is to run away screaming, with one's arms flailing above one's head. The etymology should be obvious.

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