Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Story of Six Snogs

I’ve played tonsil hockey with quite a few females over the years. Here’s a half dozen of my more memorable make-out moments.

In life, you interact with quite a few individuals. Of all the people you encounter, with very few do you actually share any truly close physical contact -- outside of perhaps the passing handshake or tepid embrace.

Among the thousands upon thousands of people we meet, only with a meager fraction of a percentage do we share as something as intimate and personal as a French kiss. For most of us, its our introduction to our own sexuality, the famed “first base” that frames our romantic interactions with the opposite gender (or the same one, no need to further shun the Michael Sams of the world, I suppose) from that point forward.

Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but I’ve probably played tongue karate with two dozen or so girls thus far in my life. Some of my co-smoochers have gone on to play integral roles in my life, and others have been utterly forgotten … in fact, there’s quite a few whose names I can’t even recall anymore.

Whether it was my first liplock with the girl I will no doubt marry or that time I swapped spit with the skanky 40-year-old girl in my stats class outside a Denny’s for no real reason, we’ll always share at least one moment of mutual mucus membrane stimulation.

And in honor of the Valentine’s season? Here’s a rundown of the six busses, snogs and galochers that stand out most in my memory bank. Oh and to protect the identities of my flings, exes and random conquests, I’ve renamed everyone after famed “Godzilla” supporting cast members.

My First French Kiss

Her name was Gigan, and she was your basic high school Goth chick. Her makeup was dark, her jeans were tattered and most of the time, she didn’t bother wearing underarm deodorant.

I met her in my ninth grade drama class. We were in the same play together, and as such, we began talking quite a bit.

Now, I had kissed girls before. I had had girlfriends. But at the ripe, innocent age of 14, I had yet to feel the full force of another person’s lingua crammed inside my skull. Unbeknownst to me, Gigan would soon pop my proverbial first base cherry … and hard.

I wasn’t really attracted to Gigan on a physical level, but at the same time, she was showing me some amorous sentiments at a time when most girls would recoil from my mere visage. That, and she looked kinda’ all right, if the lighting was a bit dim. And most of her face was covered by her bangs. And I squinted.

Our school had a Halloween dance, and she wanted me to go with her. So, I attended the sparsely populated shindig, where not a single dance actually transpired, nor do I recollect any actual music being played. Clad in a polyester devil’s dress, she looked like she stepped out of one of the “Night of the Demons” movies … which, to a 14 year old late bloomer such as myself, was pretty much the hottest thing in the world.

It happened so innocuously. We were standing outside the cafeteria so she could grab a smoke. I told her I wanted to head back in, so we hugged, and she planted a rather dry smooch right on my bottom lip. Finishing off a Surge, I went back outside, we talked a bit, and she kissed me again. This time, it was a bit more moist -- our lips remained closed, but there was definitely a bit of saliva seepage going on at the same time.

She stabbed out her cigarette, and we went inside the foyer connecting the bathrooms to the lunchroom. I told Gigan I could, and I quote, “kiss her all day,” and she responded by smiling, sauntering over to me, and delicately cramming her Gene Simmons sized tongue halfway through the back of my skull, “Species” style.

I had no idea what I was doing, and it felt weird as shit. It was like a Listerine covered chicken bone was rolling over my teeth, and the only thing I could do to get it to retreat was to hammer it with my taste buds. It was a terrible kiss, every bit as awkward as you’d expect it to be. The saving grace? It was in a practically vacant hallway, so nobody saw just how goddamn inexperienced I was in the ways of the world.

After retiring to the bathroom to scrub all of the cobalt grey lipstick from my mouth, we talked some more. Towards the end of the evening, a large throng of kids had gathered outside for beers and the ganja … in short, it was precisely the kind of crowd of nogoodnicks you’d want surrounding you on a Friday night, sans any kind of adult oversight.

Gigan’s brother was picking her up early from the dance. Unclasping her chipped black fingernails from my palms, we bid each other adieu. We embraced, and with half the motherfucking school looking on, Gigan proceeded to French me again, this time about three seconds removed from her last Camel. As bad as the first kiss was, this one was even worse. Her breath tasted like the inside of a denim jacket, and her nicotine slicked tongue felt like a piece of poisoned cardboard grinding up against my gums. Concluding our two minute(!) long farewell buss, everybody was hooting and hollering like the “Saved by the Bell” audience, a feat made worse because I could audibly hear Gigan exclaim “that boy can’t fuckin’ kiss,” as she strolled to her sibling’s 1985 Toyota Camry.

Needless to say … we didn’t really talk much after that.

My First Triple Kiss

I will always brag about this one. I mean, how many guys can say they’ve had the joy of experiencing two girls’ writhing tongues inside his mouth at the same time?

Jet Jaguar was probably the craziest dame I’ve ever dated, and that’s saying something -- especially considering the high volume of maniacs and lunatics I dated in that dreadful, shameful dead zone between high school and college.

We met while working at a book warehouse, and we hit it off from the start. And I mean, from the  get-go, because within the first eight hours of knowing each other, we had already tongue kissed. Yeah, you can accuse us of moving too fast but you know what? You’re probably right.

She was short, blonde, divorced and had a twangy Southern accent -- a recipe for hell in high heels if there ever was one. She smoked like a chimney, drank like a fish, had a mouth like a sailor, popped pills like Tic Tacs and was so adventurous in the domain of amour, I don’t think there’s an actual descriptor for her. Bisexuality wouldn’t cut it here … I am almost certain I saw her humping a hand truck one evening. Swear. To. God.

Another one of my colleagues that summer was a girl named Varan. Truthfully, I thought she was way hotter than Jet Jaguar -- with her horn rim glasses and salty country accent, she kind of looked like Peggy Hill, if Peggy Hill was a real floozy.

Me, Varan and Jet Jaguar hit it off pretty well. We wound up forming a little three-person clique, and we'd hang out in the parking lot on lunch breaks. Well, one weekend shift, me and Jet Jaguar decided to have a brief make out sesh in Varan's backseat; she was up front, listening to the Crazy Frog Racer or some other stupid shit.

Well, apparently, which Jet Jaguar and I swap spit and toe the line between first and second base in broad daylight got her a little flustered. We looked up, and her face was flushed red, and she was fanning herself. "Damn," she practically panted, "I'm starting to get hot in here."

Ever the libertine, Jet Jaguar motioned for Varan to join us, and sure enough, she tumbled over the console and slinked herself between us. Jokingly, I pushed their heads gently towards each other and asked them to kiss for my misogynistic pleasure, and much to my jubilant surprise, THEY ACTUALLY DID.

It was the first time I ever watched two girls smooch in real life, and it was no PG-rated buss, either. The two smeared their chapsticks all over each other for about a minute, while I just sorta' sat there in stunned awe and appreciation. Breaking off the kiss, I asked my girlfriend if I could likewise get a little tongue action from Varan, and she gleefully obliged.

So, while I'm making out with Varan, Jet Jaguar decides to interject herself, and for the first and only time in my life, I experienced the awkward joy of a "triple kiss." Yeah, it looks cool and shit on MTV, but in real life, it's kinda' difficult to manage six lips, three tongues and like 100 or so teeth -- at one point, I think Jet Jaguar's tongue ended up in my left nostril, somehow.

Strangely enough, we never really talked about the incident afterward. It's not that any of us regretted it, I think, as much as it was the fact that none of us really thought it was that big of a deal at the time. A few weeks later, Varan quit the job. I asked Jaguar why she did, and she told me, as if it was the most normal thing in the world, because "she had maternity leave."

Which means, yes, I have made out with a pregnant girl, whose child was not my own. If you're going to hell, I'm sure that weekend by itself is enough to send me there with you.

My First Movie Theater Make-out

I guess you could call King Ghidrah my first love. You could also call her the biggest mistake of my life, and you’d still be pretty accurate.

I was a freshman in junior college, and King Ghidrah was an admirer of my work in the school newspaper. We started talking, and after a couple of morning chit-chats, she asked me out on a date. We had pizza, and I pretended to listen to her while the 2007-2008 Georgia Bulldogs got flagged for excessive celebration against the defending National Champion Florida Gators.

Halloween night, we went to go see “The Nightmare Before Christmas” at the local Cineplex. While waiting for the coming attractions to scroll, my diminutive, ginger colleague slinked her spindly, cream-colored fingers through my hands. Right before the movie started, we flipped our 3D visors over our pupils, quickly embraced, and shared a very fast lip-to-lip smooch.

And another one. And then another. Judging by the grape jelly-like smudges around her mouth, I could only imagine that my own face was sopping wet with purple lipstick prints.

I think it was right after the “This is Halloween” number that we started smooching again. While smashing our lips together like two Tonka trucks, she delicately whispered that she had never kissed a boy before. Giving her my best primer on how to swap spit (imagine the scene in “Cruel Intentions,” only with half as much Sapphic excitement), I wound up plunging my tongue somewhere near her second to last set of bicuspids. She moaned, and collapsed in my arms almost immediately -- meaning she either really, really liked it, or she was a robot and I accidentally licked her hidden “off switch” button.

From there, we proceeded to suck each others throats from the inside out for the next 80 minutes. To this day, I’m almost certain it’s the absolute longest, unbroken amount of time I’ve ever spent with my mouth clamped around another human being’s -- if virginal redhead spit has any kinda’ medicinal properties, I was vaccinated against a whole shit load of ailments and diseases that evening, for certain.

Ghidrah wasn’t really a great kisser, per se, but I was absolutely mesmerized by the way she kissed -- if that makes any sense at all. She did this really weird vacuuming thing, where she kinda’ stretched out my tongue while we made out. And her spit always tasted like grape Jolly Ranchers. Always.

That autumn, we pretty much made out everywhere -- park benches, her basement, grocery store parking lots, museums, the veranda at school, while we walked her dog, etc.

I was utterly besotted by this auburn-haired, pseudo-gothic mallcore Molly Ringwald, utterly oblivious to her profound character flaws -- namely, the fact that beyond her strawberry lips and light pink nails beat the blackened heart of a soulless egotist. Unfortunately, no amount of papaya-flavored lip gel kisses and backseat dry humping sessions could mask the fact that I was dating Ayn Rand, Jr., and it was only a matter of time until things came crashing down, and it most definitely hurt inside.

Unsurprisingly, our courtship was short-lived, while the heartbreak was much, much prolonged. We had an on-again, off-again relationship for the better part of a year, with each reconciliation almost immediately followed by another stern “I can’t ever see you again” phone call.

Our very last kiss was at her graduation party. I showed up unannounced with a huge vase of flowers, and like the good old days of five months earlier, we proceeded to drop the pretense and just rub our oral tissue together for most of the night. At the time, it was the best kiss I’d ever experienced, and easily one of the happiest moments of my life … almost as good as the time the Raiders won the 2002 AFC Championship, but not quite.

And as that magnificent playoff win was followed by a crushing Super Bowl defeat, I too would soon find myself down in the dirt a’la Rich Gannon. She stopped responding to my phone calls and e-mails, and before long, I was engaging in what some would construe to be major creep-o practices (see the next entry, dear readers.)

Still, you never forget your first love, try as you may. I could reflect on the missed calls and the angry texts, but instead, I choose to reflect on the sunnier memories -- like the time she gave me a hickey that almost ruptured my jugular or when we tried to make out with ice cream in our mouths.

But, uh, just not that one time she threatened to call the cops on me and I wound up tongue assaulting my roommate out of spite…

My First “Stolen” Kiss

My entire life, I’ve only “stolen” one kiss -- meaning, it’s the absolute closest I’ve ever gotten to sexual assault, if you’re keen on the feminist hyperbole.

This one followed on the heels of an especially heinous break-up with King Ghidrah. You see, in my eternal wisdom, I thought it would be a good idea if I took one of  my college housemates -- Baragon -- to go visit my ex. I guess my rationale at the time was if there’s two people there, it wouldn’t feel as awkward. Well, seeing as how Ghidrah threatened to call the police on me, that shit didn’t exactly go as I had planned.

To be fair, I did show up at Ghidrah’s place semi-unannounced. And when Ghidrah emerged, I was indeed holding Baragon’s hand -- not so much because I was trying to make my ex jealous, but because I was nervous as hell. I mean, this was Ghidrah we’re talking about  -- there was a good chance she could open fire on me at any minute.

So, Baragon drove me back to our place after the messy, messy confrontation. Not going to lie, I was crying like a biggity bitch for most of the ride home. Not only was my heart torn asunder, my ego felt about as tall as a mouse turd (which, for a size comparison, is only slightly shorter than UFC fighter Demetrious Johnson.)

I was an emotional Molotov cocktail afterwards. Feeling all sorts of various shades of hurt, I decided to do one of the douchiest things I’ve ever done -- I decided to plant a big, wet totally not at all consensual symbolic gesture on Baragon to make myself feel moderately better.

Baragon was all right looking, I suppose -- chestnut hair, almond-colored eyes, only mildly on the chunky side. I guess her most striking physical attribute was her pronounced forehead, which seemed to take up a good 75 percent of her entire face -- the “Bam Bam Bigelow effect,” as some have taken to calling it.

So, Baragon’s late for work, because of my romantic Chernobyl. I’m still holding her hand, because -- well, I needed to do something with my hand, I suppose. We’re in the driveway, and we’re talking. She tries to comfort me the best she can -- she deserves a medal of some kind for not booting my sorry ass out of the car to begin with -- and right before I step out of the car, I decide…why the heck not?

I pursed my lips and briefly closed my eyes. “You know, I’m going through a lot of stuff right now, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me today,” I told her.

She smiles a fairly anxious smile and puts her hand on the transmission clutch. “So, uh, I apologize in advance for this, but can we just chalk it up as one of those stupid, spur of the moment things people do sometimes?”

And at that point, I scooted across my seat and pressed my dry, chalky ass lips upon her peppermint gloss lacquered mouth. Expecting her to push me away or turn her head, she actually accepted my impromptu smooch, closing her eyes and everything. And since I’m a giant piece of shit, I decided to go a step further and actually cram my tongue in her mouth while I still had the opportunity.

Much to my surprise, she didn’t chomp off my red oral muscle (note: there aren’t any synonyms for “tongue” in the English language, apparently.) Even more shocking, she seemed to actually make an effort to kiss me back, delicately brushing her silky, grape gum-and-cigarette-flavored tongue against mine instead of punching me and screaming “simple battery!” like she had every right to.

Remember, we lived in the same house, so this wasn’t something we could just ignore ever happened. I ended up apologizing to her, she accepted it, and much more importantly, never pressed charges against me. Funnily enough, I brought up the incident with her about a week before she moved out (which was a few years after the illicit spit-swapping session.) Laughing about it, I asked her why she let me kiss her.

Stubbing her breakfast Marlboro out on the back patio, her riposte was simple enough. “Mostly because I felt sorry for you,” Baragon recalled.

Her statement in mind, maybe we ought to subtitle this one “My First Pity French?”

My First Bar Make-out

You’ve no doubt encountered the “intoxicated kiss” trope in many a crappy television program and motion picture. What makes the P.D.D.A. (public display of drunken affection) Hedora and I shared memorable to me is just how un-unique it ultimately was -- we had a few beers, we were sharing the same corner booth and sure enough, we somehow found ourselves playing ookie-mouth in front of many a moderately grossed-out barhop. The methodology was so by-the-numbers, it almost felt scripted by the laziest Hollywood hack.

To be fair, it wasn’t the first time Hedora and had swapped spit before. We had engaged in some “totally platonic, for real” French kissing a time or two previously. I’m pretty sure we had even played brief tonsil rugby before in that very establishment. Alas, the circumstances made this one just a teensy special -- some background here, I suppose, is needed.

Admittedly, I had a crush on Hedora for a really, really long time. This, despite the fact that she was pretty much bad news in every conceivable category. She drank, she smoked cigarettes, she smoked weed, she had morals about as loose as a snapped elastic band and she was on the following prescription meds: all of them. You’d have to be insane to even think about wanting her for a significant other … and that summer, I was crazier than Mel Gibson on Quaaludes, apparently.

Hedora was a girl in my sophomore college creative writing class. With her cropped pink locks and petite frame, she looked sort of like a shrunken Avril Lavigne -- only with way less mascara and a considerably more Kim-K-shaped ass.

The first time we kissed like normal people was on Halloween -- surprise, surprise. It was also the first time I ever really kissed someone while legally intoxicated, which, as you’d probably guess, was rather awkward. As in, I was so smashed, I forgot to stick my tongue inside her mouth, so we just kinda’ stood there, swapping carbon dioxide for a few seconds.

When it came to sexual mores, she was quite the libertine. At one point, I’m pretty sure she was engaged to some dude, yet she still wanted to French me goodnight after one of our “seriously, we’re just friends” dates. We made out all the time, probably more than most “real” couples did.

Despite her perpetually liquor and nicotine-coated mouth, she was an excellent smoocher. I don’t know if she was just extraordinarily skilled with her tongue muscles or I was catching some second-hand Seroquel, but I always felt like I was falling into some sort of trance whenever we swapped spit.

So, it’s Memorial Day Weekend. Saturday night, we head out to the local sports bar. She had just broken up with her fiancé(!), and was looking to get nice and liquored up, which as we all know, is the best way to solve any and all problems one encounters in life.

Now, I’m not saying she had a drinking problem, but she was tanked before she even walked INTO the bar that night. We ordered a pitcher of PBR (I know, I know), grabbed some extra Jalapeno nachos and decided to have a heart-to-heart, in which we more or less let our not-at-all-secret longings for each other pour out all over the table like a tipped bottle of Jager.

So, in our tipsy state, we made our mutual advances. She slinked on over to my side of the booth, we nibbled on each other’s lips, and the next thing I know, we’ve engaged in a full-own face devouring contest. And it went on for quite some time, too. When we finally broke off the lengthy smooch, there were like four or five bar maids just staring at us, like we were the Manson family or something.

Of course, that lead to us ordering more beer, Hedora doing a couple of shots and me somehow racking up an $86 tab in veggie quesadillas alone. Eventually, the bartender cut her off, pretty much expecting her to blow chunks at any minute.

That night, I drove her home. We stopped halfway between the bar and her pad, so she could pee all over a church parking lot. With the gods above shining upon us, I managed to avoid being stopped by the po-po that evening, and when we finally got into her place, well … let’s just say I experienced another “first” that night…

…meaning we boinked really, really hard while “The Late Late Show Craig Ferguson” show was on TV.

My Last First Kiss

As I write this, I’m getting pretty close to turning 30. I honestly have no idea what to expect from here on out, and while it’s probably a smart thing to never say never, I’m pretty gosh darn certain I experienced my last first kiss with another human being roughly half a decade ago.

Long time IIIA readers already know this story, but for all of the newbs, allow me to bring you up to speed.

I’m a rising senior in college. Or a junior that’s about to be a rising senior … it’s kind of hard to tell sometimes. I had transferred to a “real” state university a year earlier, and things, for the most part, were looking up. After only three years as a journalism major, I had finally decided to get serious about actual reporting, and it finally … finally … felt like I was reaching the light at the end of the tunnel.

Thanks to the magic of social media, I managed to reconnect with this one girl I kinda' sorta' knew in high school. She was this really sweet and quiet girl I had a major crush on, but I never said anything to her because I didn't learn how to talk to females until I was, like, 25.

She had gone on to college, wrapped up her bachelor's program and was working in our hometown. For a while, we exchanged nostalgic memories of high school and eventually, I asked her out on a date.

She was unquestionably the prettiest girl that has ever agreed to do anything with me voluntarily. Her hair and eyes were both almond-colored, and she carried herself with a mature, yet welcoming demeanor. She had a very flowery vibe, and moved so gracefully, almost like she was a petal fluttering in the wind.

Our first date was to go see a M. Night Shyamalan movie, and even for a M. Night Shyamalan movie, it sucked. Afterwards, we went to a local Mexican diner and just people watched for an hour or so. While splitting a plate of corn chips, I sorta' checked out her cleavage, but I figured I had done it so deftly she wouldn't have noticed. As fate would have it, when discussing our first date several years down the road, she indeed vividly recalled me staring at her bosom, which goes to show you -- guys, sometimes it pays to be one-dimensional.

After going on a few follow-up dates (including one where we went to the county fair and I almost puked on her) it quickly became apparent why I had failed in the game of amour for so long. Looking back at my previous flings, flames and exes, one thing was painfully apparent; they were all girls, who had no idea what they wanted out of life. She, however, was a woman, with a brain, and a heart, and depth and a real desire to do good in this world. I could just talk to her for hours and listen to what she had to say about the grandest and simplest of things. Sometimes, I would just sit there in the university cafeteria -- usually, while munching on candy bars and seemingly staring vacantly into space -- and just think about her. I wondered about what she was doing, and what she would have thought about something I heard in class, and ultimately, just how damn lucky I was to have her in my life. You know that old Blessid Union of Souls song, “Hey Leonardo?” Well, let me just tell you, I know what the dude was singing about. I really, really do.

If I was younger, I would have made a “move” on her pretty early in our courtship. Alas, I had realized the absurdly under heralded maxim “if you do what you always do, you get what you always got,” and decided to take my time. We didn’t kiss until a good two months into our relationship, and fittingly enough, it was on Halloween (my holiest of holidays, naturally) in the parking lot at the neighborhood Starbucks. And it was the best kiss I have ever felt -- soft, sweet, warm and at the same time, almost seeming to foreshadow something even larger. I went home, closed my eyes, and went to bed with a big smile on my face -- and not just because the Raiders beat the Seahawks that evening, although admittedly, that may have played a small factor.

Our next date was a trek through a ritzy garden out in the country. Having not learned a damn thing from watching every single “Friday the 13th” movie, we ended up wandering off course, until it became apparent that neither one of us knew where the hell we were going. As the sky turned blacker and blacker, we decide to just march towards some bluish lights on the horizon -- we had no idea what it was, but it had to have been closer to civilization than where we were at the current. So, while we’re ambling forward, we wind up on a golf course, of all things, and with the temperature dropping, I grabbed her hand. I looked into her eyes, I held her close, and I kissed her again. This time, it was a long, wet, passionate kiss. Her lips felt smoother than any I had ever touched, and the inside of her mouth tasted like sweet cinnamon. We were shuddering, freezing and semi-concerned we might die next to a sand trap, but at that moment -- with the stars twinkling above -- nothing besides us mattered.

As hard as it may be to believe, that kiss happened almost five years ago. I haven’t locked lips with anyone since, but I assure you, I have snogged a plenty with this one lass. Ah man, it looks like I never gave her a Godzilla-themed codename, and royally screwed up the entire gimmick of the article. Well, that doesn’t matter, I guess.

Despite the tens of thousands of kisses we’ve shared since then, that same optimistic tingle I felt the first time we smooched over pumpkin spice lattes back when Tom Cable was an NFL head coach hasn’t gone away. That same excitement, that same awe, that same spark, that same knowing that something bigger was around the corner; I still feel it, even now.

I don’t feel like I am kissing my girlfriend, or even my soon-to-be-wife. Instead, I feel like I am kissing the person I was destined to be with, my one true significant other, that other spirit that makes me whole and complete as a human being.

Biologically, I’ve always heard that we kiss to test hormones, to literally feel out each other’s chemistry as possible mates. What they don’t tell you is kissing does the same thing on the spiritual level. I don’t know how or why it works, and frankly, I don’t really care to know the specifics. But when you kiss your soul mate -- that one person you truly were meant to be with -- you will know it right from the start.

When it’s with anybody else, it’s just kissing. But when it’s with that one special person, suddenly, it becomes something much, much more. You’re no longer swapping spit; instead, you’re tasting the happily every after ending you’ve always dreamed of … and the tingle, I assure you, never, ever fades away.

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