Kissing. Lovers reveal their sensual blueprints through these supple mouth to mouth explorations. So much is communicated. So much expressed. While kissing is a sensuous experience in and of it's self, it is also often an introduction—a gateway— to each other's bodies. The way we kiss can also be an audition. And sometimes, because of the way we kiss, we may not get the part!
This week I am again interviewing Jessy Schmidt (former host of radio show Intercourse on Intercourse). She is offering a workshop on the fine art of kissing – Mouth to Mouth: Kissing Skills for Sexier Sex – at Jellywink Boutique this Sunday, June 7th at 6:30-8pm. There are a very limited number of spots that you can reserve for $5 (plus a small ticketing fee), in which you get the equivalent store credit that you can use that night. So basically, it's FREE! You can call up the shop to reserve your spot – or go here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mouth-to-mouth-kissing-skills-for-sexier-sex-tickets-17116949256
While you are welcome to bring a kissing partner(s), your willing forearm will work beautifully, too!
1) Why are you having a kissing workshop?
Jessy: I love kissing! It is a wonderful way to connect with new and long term lovers that involves all of these wonderful nerve endings and gets our faces all up in each other, giving us and our bodies an opportunity to come together, slowly and romantically or with passion and intensity. It is such a versatile activity!
It's also a kind of sweet, innocent intro to all things sexy. Most of the things I would say about kissing, I would say about any other sexy activity, from intercourse to flogging.
2) What sorts of things are going to be covered in your kissing workshop?
Jessy: Everything from why we kiss, to different kinds of kissing techniques, to how to be a good kisser, plus an opportunity to practice... with our hands! People do NOT need anyone romantic in their lives to come to this workshop, so no worries about that. I also think great things come from discussions, which seem to happen a lot at Jellywink workshops, so I'm excited to see what the people coming to the class want to know or talk about or share with the rest of us.
Ally: I'll be sure to provide hand sanitizer!
3) Describe a good kiss
Jessy: I don't think there really is any one good kiss. The elements are going to be different for everyone. How can one generally be a good kisser under these circumstances? Enjoy your senses, pay attention to your partner(s), explore, experiment, and have fun! Also, come to a workshop and learn more!
4) Describe a bad kiss
Jessy: Some people like the feeling of their lover's tongue on their tonsils. This is definitely not something I go for, especially right off.
Some ways to generally tell if your partner(s) is/are into your style of kissing: it's a great idea to always be paying attention to whether they are leaning in to the kiss, or away from it; pay attention to whether their mouth movements are matching yours; or pull back and make eye contact, see if they are making eye contact too, with a glint! These are also a great way to make sure you have continued, enthusiastic consent. If you're not sure, asking is pretty much always a great option, especially if you do it in a fun, sexy, or cute way.
Ally: The same rules apply to sex, for sure!
5) Tell us all about your first kiss!
Jessy: I don't know if I remember my first kiss! I had a flurry of boyfriends when I first got breasts, around 6th grade. The first one I kissed was probably a family friend, S., who rode his bike like two miles to my house to bring me flowers. That kid had the moves, plus all the awkwardness of a 12 year old. I think he went for my tonsils when we first started making out but once I backed off a few times, he got the hang of it, and we spent long afternoons down by the river swapping spit.
The first time I kissed a woman was in those heady post high school party days, during a game of truth or dare. She was my best friend at the time. Someone dared us to kiss for 10 seconds or something but I didn't want to stop. It was amazing!! And then awkward when she broke off abruptly with the buzzer and I was left with my funny feelings.
Ally: I think I have several "first" kisses. One was on a cruise in third grade where I met a French boy named Dominic. That was basically just a peck, but boy was it charged.
My first "French" kiss was with an older skater boy (who was not French) at sleepover summer camp between 6th and 7th grade. I totally forgot his name, but half his head was shaved. We were behind the girl's cabin with all the girls looking out at us through the window. I remember my heart was racing, and how strange it was to feel his wet tongue. Also, I was so self-conscious – probably because of all the staring girls. Afterwards, they all sang that Biz Markie song "Just a Friend" because I had previously told everybody that we were just friends.
I could probably talk forever about all my first kisses: first woman, first spin the bottle, etc. Maybe we can all talk about our firsts at the workshop!
6) Is the way somebody kisses a make-it-or-break-it situation for you?
Jessy: I am a firm believer that there is no bad style of kissing, or bad kissers, really, only people who don't pay attention to their partner(s). By some miracle, I have always been able to... bring people around to kissing in ways I like. I guess they were paying attention for at least that much of our time together. Anyway, kissing has never been the reason I stopped being romantic with someone.
Ally: Perhaps you can teach us all how to get people to come around to kissing in the ways we like! I've got to say that if I recreationally kiss someone I just met and their style of kissing does not match mine (i.e. I think they're a terrible kisser) - casual sex is pretty much out of the question! Usually.
7) Do you have any cautionary tales about kissing?
Jessy: I don't have any in particular about myself... The worst ever thing that I remember happening as a result of kissing is burnt dinner when I got carried away one time. That was sad, though. That would have been a really good dinner.
Ally: I'm guessing that braces getting stuck together is something that only happens in movies.
8) Would you say lip kissing (aka making out) is a pretty universal thing or are there dramatically different interpretations and manifestations of it throughout the world?
Jessy: No, lip kissing is not universal. Anthropologists place the first writing on the topic in India, where they seem to have started with nose pressing and rubbing, which Inuit and Pacific Islander Peoples still practice today. Then, in 10,000 BC, epic poet Mahabharta wrote this line, "She set her mouth to my mouth and made a noise and that produced pleasure in me." (from the article Kissing's Long History, in Discovery News). Kissing spread through Greece and Rome to Europe from there.
9) Can you tell us a really interesting piece of trivia about kissing?
Jessy: One often sighted anthropological theory about kissing is that it began as a result of mammalian mothers feeding their offspring pre-masticated food in a mouth to mouth manner, shoving the presumably grody mass down the little one's throats with their tongues, eventually coming to associate affection with touching lips. There are those who challenge this theory, suggesting if the activity had been an evolutionary development, all cultures would have been kissing all along, which is not the case, as illustrated in #7. Still, it might explain this seemingly ubiquitous shoving of tongues down throats activity...
Ally: Awww, we're like baby birds! Good thing we don't have beaks. I imagine kissing would not be as fun then. We'd just be shoving hard beaks down each other's throats and pecking each other's faces, basically.
And on that note, we hope to see you at the kissing workshop!
Ally Booker is a pleasure activist. She is passionate about educating herself and others on cool sexuality related things like communication skills, creating and respecting boundaries, sexual self-determination, destigmatization, gender and sexual expressions, sex toy use and safety, and all the other mechanics of pleasure. You can often find her milling around her Tucson shop, Jellywink Boutique, 418 E. 7th St. Contact the shop at 777-9434 or AllyBooker@Jellywink.com.