Friday, October 16, 2015

A kiss is just a kiss...or is it?

This is the somewhat cynical quote I sent along in response to Tim's last post:

The kiss originated when the first male reptile licked the first female reptile, implying in a subtle, complimentary way that she was as succulent as the small reptile he had for dinner the night before.  F. Scott Fitzgerald

From the reading I've done, best guess is that the kiss originated with what is referred to as the "food kiss."  Way before anyone had invented jarred, pureed baby food, adults and older children would be chewing food, then to keep a hungry baby happy, would press their lips against the baby's and force the pre-masticated food into the baby's mouth.  Presumably baby liked the taste, and would get nourishment as well as attention.  Soon after that, when a baby or young child cried, just pressing lips together would comfort the child.

How that morphed into the romantic sensation we all know and love is anyone's guess.  Maybe it is related to Fitzgerald's quote.  But somehow people all over the world do something that no other animal on earth does: we touch lips for a multitude of reasons.

 I hug and kiss good friends every time I see them.  Most I don't kiss on the lips, but on the cheek, a more formal gesture still related to the kiss.  I was brought up that seeing family always involved what I referred to as "running the gamut," where I had to hug and kiss everyone there.  With 9 aunts and 9 uncles, along with 22 cousins, there was a whole lotta kissin' going on! My husband was brought up the same way, so our kids are also "touchy-feely", at least with the relatives.  Of course, I had one uncle who was such a sloppy kisser that I wondered how my poor aunt could stand it.  He used to kiss everyone on the lips, and it was like he licked his lips first...or drooled.  Ew!  I prefer not dry lips, but at least slime-free lips...especially with a relative.

I did notice that while I was caring for both of my parents during their time of dying, both of them would turn their heads to kiss me on the lips...especially my mother.  She had always trained me to turn my head, so as not to spread diseases.  But with old-age dependency, she wanted to kiss my lips.  It was almost as if her lips missed the contact, so she wanted to get it from anyone she could.  The last time I saw her alive, right before I left I kissed her lips.  I treasure that memory.  Now my widowed mother-in-law is failing in health, and my husband and her other children, after years of training, turn their heads.  But I meet her kiss with my lips, and though she never says anything about it, I think she also has "lonely lips." Such a small gesture, but it seems to mean so much.  

As for romantic kissing, phew!  I'm a huge fan.  And let's not get into just how many places on the body feel good when kissed! The shame of a long-term relationship is that you don't "neck" anymore.  No need to just hug, kiss, fondle and explore, when there's a bed waiting for you to enjoy.  But sometimes it's fun just to do the heavy petting thing.  Right?

Set-up for excerpt: In my free-read novel, Prescription For Love, Tanora has a secret that has kept her from dating men for 2 years.  When Enrique Reyes, the doctor who is attracted to her, gets the story from her, he is moved enough to tell her that he will let her lead in their beginning relationship. He is sitting in a chair, while she is standing.

“You don’t have to do this, Tanora.  But I promise to keep my hands to myself.  Even though I want to touch you, more than anything else in the world right now.  I won’t.  You are in control.  Do what you want.”
     She gave him a small smile as she thought of what it was that she wanted to do.  Long-dead feelings seemed to be waking up, but she wasn’t going to rush anything.  And he wanted her to take her time.  So she did.
     She leaned over slowly, and used both of her hands to softly caress the sides of his face.  While she kept one hand still, she used the other to brush the curly black hair off of his face, and ran her fingers back onto his scalp, enjoying the warmth emanating from his head.  The hand that was still on the side of his face, slowly moved down, and she used her thumb to trace the lines of his lips, enjoying the soft, sensuous feel of them.
     She lowered her head, and her lips gently brushed against his…once, twice…on the third touch, she leaned into it, and concentrated all of her being into her lips, as if they were the only body parts that she had. 
     She didn’t open her mouth…she kept up the gentle pressure of her lips on his.  She opened her eyes and smiled at the transfixed look on his face.  He opened his eyes as well.  She gently rubbed her nose against his, back and forth, and they breathed onto each others’ faces, while gazing deeply into each others’ eyes. 
     She brushed her lips against his again, and applied more force.  She leaned forward and opened her mouth slightly, to run her tongue around his mouth, tasting his lips, tracing their lines, enjoying the feel of the prickly hairs that had grown since he had shaved in the morning.
     Her tongue made lazy circles around his mouth before she delicately poked it against his lips, mutely urging him to open his mouth…which he did.  She reached her tongue into his mouth, and began to brush against his tongue.  Their lips were still pressing together, harder now, and she inadvertently moaned, and leaned closer to him.  
 This book is the 4th in a series of 6 books about the Reyes Family, a large, loving clan that believes in expressing all kinds of love. 

Want more?  Download the free novel at: 

For more on this and all of my other books, head to my website: http://www.fionamcgier.com


Tina Donahue said...

Sweet post, Fiona. The part about your parents brought tears to my eyes.

Fiona McGier said...

Thanks, Tina. My husband thinks I'm silly, but my own observations have led me to this conclusion. After all, we're still very much physical creatures, and if we never get touched, our emotions suffer. So why wouldn't lips get lonely?

The great cultural anthropologist Desmond Morris notes that we crave touch so much so that we pay people to do it. How so? Beauticians wash, set and cut our hair, touching our heads. Manicurists touch our nails, and all good pedis involve a lower leg massage. Massage therapists perform a needed function, and since I have a cousin who is a licensed one, I know many are legitimate massage therapists, not the "wink, wink" kind who offer "special services" under the table! Though that also is another example of us paying someone else to touch us.

So the next time an elderly relative leans in for a kiss, notice if he or she turns the head, or tries to meet your lips with theirs. Be kind and kiss them. It will feel good for both of you.