I wonder how it is that people develop such wildly different kissing styles. Some people open their mouths wide like a Moray eel and swallow your whole face—lips, chin, nose and all. Some people thrust their tongue down your throat like they wish it was a penis. Some people keep their lips firmly sealed and push hard against your face like a mannequin, smashing your lips against your teeth and forcing you to pull back to avoid bloodshed. And some people balance it all perfectly and move and dance around your mouth and inside it and touch nerves against nerves just enough to set off sparks without drowning them. You can spend hours on first base with these people. You can leave without ever getting past their clothes and still walk home wearing the grin of the just-fucked.
Why is it that some people learn this and some don’t? One might think it’s a matter of experience, but I’ve known 17-year-olds who kiss like oiled sex and 36-year-olds who kiss like cold beef. Even more intriguing: everyone I’ve known who’s bad at kissing is also not very good at living. Bitterness, phobias, deep-seated traumas and mental distortions, underdeveloped personalities. Science says we evolved kissing as a way to read the health of our mates through their smells and tastes. Could the style of the kissing itself, the passion and grace or lack thereof, be an expression of the soul’s health in the same way the smells and tastes are an expression the body’s?