Sunday, 14 February 2010

Kiss, Kissing, Kissed

Sometimes I’m so easily amused I sit here laughing until I cry.

A few months ago, a group of us were sniffing candle scents at a Scentsy Candle party – which is always a blast. There was a new scent that I can only describe as Sexy. We passed it around and the consensus was, I must write a book with the scent title and offer the candle with the book. Well, the title has been used in romance, so I decided, instead of Holiday Kisses, I’d do Kisses on Holiday. Which, as it turns out, sent my mind into a dizzy spin of joyous ideas. Holiday Kisses hadn’t yet spun a storyline, but Kisses on Holiday - wow! So, as the storyline began to form I searched out kissing facts, fallacies and what people have to say about kisses.

Romance is so predictable that often it lacks a real reason to read it, if you allow yourself to think about the how the story is going to do this, then that all the way to a happy ending. So, as a writer, I like to put the unexpected and abnormal in my stories and weave them around to the required end. It’s possible some of it might be missed by the reader, but I like the thought that one might go ‘oh, that’s different’. Maybe it humors me and no one else. I don’t know. I started writing because I wanted to change the path of romance.

Anyway -

I’ve never really given kissing on screen or in books much real thought. I either think it works, or I don’t. Sometimes it’s the way they’re kissing, the way they touch, the whole scene before and after. It’s a quick judgment based on what it does for me, I suppose.

Now, I realize back when they were limited in camera mobility and close-ups, and morality standards determined how deep kissing and the length of could be. Though there were some liberties allowed in some – which worked so well they became memorable, criticized as inappropriate and often cut out of television airings. Some things don’t change.

Still, kissing in movies and on television has evolved over the years.

It’s much the same in writing. The progression of the intensity, the style and the lead into which we call sexual tension. If the writer is attentive to not only what she’s writing and the characters emotions, the reader is breathlessly waiting and rooting for that first kiss and later a more intense kiss that might lead into something more if they’d not been interrupted.

This is a normal expectancy of romance in all forms. Our need and our love of it will never be satisfied with less.


What about the kiss itself? Why does it always have to be so perfect right off the bat? What if the heroine doesn’t like the way the hero kissed her? What if the hero didn’t care for the kiss she gave him?

I know, it’s the norm.

Well, I did a little search and found some interesting sites and comments.

How do you tell a man he sucks at kissing? This brought up a comment from one person to indicate it’s not only a male issue, but a female as well. Believe it or not, not everyone is on the same level of kissing, nor like the same type.

There are so many types of kisses it seems the odds of kiss incompatibility would be more common than not.

Kisses – Your kisses and what they reveal about your personality – This website amused me, because I think most people can be a combination. So many factors are involved in the way we kiss a person. Our moods – are we angry, interested, not interested, scared, attracted, etc.

As women romance writers, we’re often biased as to what we want from a scene in a book. We gear everything toward the woman. What about the man? Do we stop and think maybe kissing is every bit as important to him, that it’s not simply some stepping stone to con a woman into complying with whatever it is he wants from her whether it be to add a notch to his bedpost or a more permanent relationship?

It will be interesting to see how Kisses on Holiday comes out.

Here a few other sites I found:

How to Kiss a Man is from a male perspective. Enlightening and I will certainly be checking out more links from this site.

Kissing on a First Date – Good Kissing Techniques and Etiquette
20 Kissing Techniques For Any Occasion – well, I’ll let you read these, enjoy some giggles and fantasies.

Hey - it’s Valentine’s Day – go enjoy a kiss with your SO.



Savanna Kougar said...

Bekki, so true about kissing. In my limited career as a dating single woman, I discovered a lot about individual differences in kissing technique and the fact that we all like different ways of kissing.
For example, this one guy I dated in college had this just press your mouth and push approach. I tried my darndest to encourage him to kiss better. As it turned out the only kind of kissing that interested him was the tongue variety. While I love French kissing as one way to express passion, I certainly don't think it's the end all, be all of kissing. Personally, I believe in the art of kissing. Or, like that one book, 101 ways to kiss.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Wonderful blog, Bekki! I agree that romance often doesn't go into when kisses doesn't work - and it maybe it should. I'll be looking up those, links, too!
Savanna - I love the idea of an art of kssing book.
Happy Valentines! Be kiss happy!

Bekki Lynn said...

I saw a rerun of Reba the other day. The episode where her divorce was final. Her girlfriend talked her back into getting on the horse, so she went out with the guy she dumpbed for her ex-husband. They really liked one another and had a great time, but in the end, it was the kissing. He was a horrible kisser and that's why she broke up with him in the first place. He was one of this flat, pusher kissers.

I'm not all about the tongue, the sloppy kisses, there's a time and mood for it all. But to have a man come up behind you and lightly brush his lips along your neck, your shoulder when you least expect it -- it's those tingles that make me purr.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Kaye Manro said...

Great post today, Bekki. I love the idea of a how to book on the art of kissing. What romance author could resist checking that one out. After all, it's all in the kiss!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Lindsay Townsend said...

There's a smashing episode in Boston Legal where one of the female characters teaches Brad how to give in a kiss - he was all 'thrust-the-tongue-in-and-stab-it-around'as a kisser and couldn't understand why he wasn't getting second dates.
After a lot of ups and downs in Boston Legal, the lady who showed him the art of kissing also marries him.
Your post so reminded me of that, Bekki!

Savanna Kougar said...

Lindsay, I so remember that episode of Boston Legal... in my limited experience there are men who are naturals at kissing, or they've learned... and then, there's the guys who think they know kissing when they don't.

Course, sometimes, it's all in the chemistry and personal like and dislikes. I like all sorts of different kisses and it really does depend on the mood, my mood a lot.

And oh, wouldn't you love a man who does embrace you from behind in that sensual sexy way and do what Bekki describes. It happened all too little for me... but, yes, purring does occur.

Bekki Lynn said...

Thanks, Kaye -- I'm looking forward to reading the articles from the male perspective, not that I don't get enough of them around here, but it's so fascinating to get into their heads.

Bekki Lynn said...

Lindsay and Savanna -- I've not seen Boston Legal, I'll have to look for it.

It's been a fun day to watch movies with my husband. Turner Classic Movies is having their annual 31 days of Oscar -- how appropriate they are playing Casablanca -- nothing like watching Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman on Valentine's Day. Before that was Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck, later is Katherine Hepburn and Rossano Brazzi.

I'm sure I'll go to bed under protest. I'm such a sucker.

StephB said...

What a great post about kissing. I laugh because my DH is more reserved in his kissing while I am not. haha. It's been so long since I watched TV, but the kisses I enjoy are the ones that are surprising.

My favorite is probably from the soap opera "One Life to Live" here in America. Back in 1998, Todd and Tea were hugging, she was trying to comfort him, and it just happened. It was sweet and tender and very nice. Being a soap opera it lastest two long but when it was the sparks of denial flew. It's one of my favorite on screen kisses.

Hope everyone had a happy Valentine's Day!


Bekki Lynn said...

Thanks, Steph.

I agree, the unexpected are often more memorable.

I gave up soaps several years back when it seemed all they were doing was exchanging scripts with each other. :( But once upon a time, the scripts and actors knew how to get to our hearts and make us swoon.