Mmmm nutty!

Hello pals! Here’s a smorgasborg of smooching advice from the archives. Enjoy!

Hi Dr. J,

I’m 22 years old and I’ve never been kissed. There had been guys who would have kissed me when I was younger, but none of them was The Guy I wanted my fist kiss to be with. So I went through my teenaged years telling myself that it was okay to wait, the guy would come. But I’m starting to think that, I don’t know, maybe I put this First Kiss experience in such a high pedestal that when it happens, if ever, I will just be disappointed, and it’s a little scary.
And I don’t know what to do about it…
At the time I thought it was for the best, but now I don’t know if waiting so long was such a good idea,

--Kissing Novice

Dear Kissing Novice,

I think you are suffering from Stage 1 First Kiss-itis, which is common in our culture because ‘superfantastic first kisses’ are a regular feature of TV shows and movies, one which is blatantly false since those people on the screen have CLEARLY kissed a ton of people. Lindsay Lohan having her first kiss in a movie? That is about as likely as me giving birth to a chocolate marshmallow bunny right now. I hate to say anything bad about movies and TV because I love them very much, but in this instance, they have been lying to us.

Anyway, as a culture we fetishize the FIRST kiss and I say it’s time for that to stop. There is nothing godlike in it. In fact, the more we heap pretend magical powers on it, the more we ensure lives of quiet desperation and disappointment, because a lot of times it sucks.

That’s my opinion and experience anyway, but I’m all about Science, so I a friend about her first kiss. She went all melty and said “it was great, I was on cloud nine.” For a sec I thought maybe I was wrong, maybe there was something in this, and then she added, “I mean, that was my first REAL kiss. I’m not counting all the ones in spin the bottle and games and stuff that came before.” And the more I asked around, the more answers like that I got.

Which was when I realized: it’s not your FIRST kiss that should be put in a frame with lacy doilies and hearts around it; it’s your first REAL kiss. Your first kiss with The One. I suggest you embrace that shift in emphasis to liberate you from being hung up on the FIRST part, recognizing that’s not where the magic is. Instead of keeping your lips in kiss prison until you find The One, you should furlough them and start kissing up a storm, left right and center, kisses you’ll likely forget but which will give you confidence (and a basis of comparison).

Then when The One enters, stage left, you grab him and kiss him for your first REAL kiss.
Just like in the movies.


I’ve liked this guy since eighth grade and a few months ago he told me that he liked me back. Shortly after that we kissed, and suddenly he went all strange. He started avoiding me, and when I asked him if he still had feelings for me all he said was that he wasn’t ready for a relationship. I really like him so just trying to find someone else doesn’t seem right. Plus shortly after I confronted him on whether he still liked me we stopped talking for two weeks and have now gone back to talking to like we did prekiss. I don’t know if he just freaked when we kissed because he hasn’t really ever dated anyone and on top of it when he told me he liked me, he also said that part of the reason he had never spoken up about it sooner was because he has a fear of telling people how he feels. Should I just wait until he decides he is ready for a relationship, should I try talking to him about everything, or what?

Confused After a Kiss

Dear CAK,
Because it’s Science Day here in Adviceopolis, I also performed science on your question, and took a survey of guys I know to ask what could cause this phenomenon. It sounds from their diagnosis like your fellow is suffering from Stage 2 Firstkiss-itis: Freakout! Because! Never! Done! This! Before!

Unfortunately, there’s no single cure for Stage 2 Firstkiss-itis. As my team of experts and I see it, you now have two choices: you can say to him “I really like you, and I’d love to try out the whole relationship thing again. We don’t have to move straight to kissing, we can go at whatever pace is comfortable for you. Would you be into that?” and go wherever that takes you; or you can skip the chat, decide to take him at his word that he isn’t ready for a relationship, and sashay on to the next lucky guy.


Dr. J

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