Sex talk
Speaking of Kisses

Simon Sheppard, QSyndicate.com

"What's my favorite sexual activity? Why, kissing, of course," says an attractive middle-aged man. "There's just nothing better than being with someone who really knows how to kiss." And he's not alone – many of us just love mouth-to-mouth. The mouth is an erogenous zone, after all, and good kissing feels great. But it's more than that: A kiss can be a signifier of desire, a sign of affection, or a prelude to a fuck. The middle-aged kisser continues: "I'd rather that someone be a skilled, enthusiastic kisser whose blowjob skills are so-so, than vice versa." (Of course, in either activity, a guy has to be careful with his teeth.)

Many of us, though, have had sex with someone who'll open his asshole, but not his mouth...at least not for a tongue. "Why," wonders one disgruntled guy, "do gay men not want to kiss?" Perhaps that fellow has just had some bad luck; certainly, plenty of queers find Frenching fabulous. Still, there is the "no kissing" bunch. What's up with them?

In some cases, the reluctance to osculate has to do with affection – the idea that we'll blow someone because we desire him, but kiss him because we like him. "I had a trick," recalls one bachelor, "who told me he and his partner were experimenting with having an open relationship, and while he'd rim me, he wouldn't kiss me on the mouth, since that was too much like what boyfriends do."

Certainly the armored approach some queer men take to sex can make the emotional vulnerability of a kiss seem somewhat scary. And internalized homophobia can whisper, "Real men don't kiss each other on the mouths."

And then there's hygiene and safety. While it's nearly impossible to transmit HIV mouth to mouth, other diseases can be passed that way, so the highly germphobic may want to refrain. And nobody wants to kiss smelly lips, so maintain good oral health and use mouthwash (though brushing just before a date can leave the mouth more vulnerable to HIV).

Meanwhile, most of us are kissing one another, not just on the mouths, but in all sorts of interesting places. A young gay man recalls, "There was one partner I had who was so romantic. He kissed me all over: on my feet, on my eyelids, my nipples, my armpits. And my cock, of course. Not sucking, just kissing. It was really, really sweet."

Not all kisses are sweet, of course. The judicious use of teeth can take kissing to the verge of SM. Sucking face can seem frantic, even violent. Our middle-aged kissing fan recalls, "There was one guy I was with who obviously didn't want to kiss. Finally I just grabbed his head and planted one on his mouth. He tried to squirm away, but I wouldn't let him."

There's no one right way to swap spit, of course. When it comes to kisses, tastes vary. Some fellows like lips that are soft and yielding, while others prefer stiffly probing tongues. Still, there is such a thing as a bad kisser. Our young gay man says, "There was this other guy who kept his lips tightly closed and just gave me all these little dry pecks on the mouth, kind of like he was a chicken. Or a maiden aunt. Weird."

There are some guys whose nipples are hardwired to their dicks, and others for whom the sight of feet is an aphrodisiac. But for a good many of us, a splendid kiss leads straight to a stiffy. Whether it's a tentative kiss on first meeting, or a tender smackeroo after orgasm, a lip-lock can get a fellow's heart pounding like few other things can.

Simon Sheppard is the author of Kinkorama: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Perversion

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