When a Kiss is Just a Kiss

For 20+ years of monogamy, Jeannie was the only person that I kissed intimately. Right now, that’s kind of hard to imagine. See, I love kissing. For me, kissing is a simple, yet intimate act. It doesn’t require a lot of thought, or preparation, or protection. It’s fun and frisky and brings two people close together. And, don’t get me wrong – I love kissing Jeannie! And I could go back to just kissing her, no problem. Yet I do really enjoy kissing new partners and I’d rather not give that up.

What I’ve learned in the last year and a half of engaging with different partners is all but simple. Simply put, kissing is, well, complicated! If there is one given about kissing new partners it’s that there are no givens. I’ve learned that a kiss means so many different things to so many different people. And my not knowing that earlier really tripped me up a few times. It’s gotten better, but I’m still learning.

Here are my observations. (Warning – generalizations below based simply on my own experience. There no intention to stereotype here.)

What a Kiss Means to Me

I was recently told, “You are the least goal oriented lover ever, and I mean that in a good way!” I hadn’t thought of it this way, but it’s accurate. I enjoy the journey and the experience way more than any one thing. Being a “generous lover” has multiple rewards: First, I get such pleasure from my partner’s pleasure. Second, I often get plenty of attention in response to the attention that I provide. Often not asking for it is the best way to ask for it.

Yet, for me, a kiss *IS* a goal. When I make an intimate connection with someone, I really, REALLY, want to share a deep and passionate kiss. It might be my favorite physically intimate act to participate in. It also doesn’t need to have a lot of “baggage” attached to it either. I can make out with someone I like, whether that attraction is physical, emotional, or both, and it doesn’t need to “mean” anything. I just like kissing!

At the same time, since I treat kissing as a goal, I get a rush of fulfillment that I’ve achieved something with this partner. I’ve sort of sealed the deal. I expect nothing further after a kiss. Sure, things might progress, but for me, the kiss isn’t the progression, it’s separate.

This is where things can get more complicated than I realized.

Single, Intimate, Female Partners

(Generalizations begin here…)

I’ve been tripped up so often in by single female partners with whom I share an intimate connection. These are the partners I want to kiss – be it on the dance floor, at a fetish club, in a bar, in our apartments, wherever. Yet, time and time again, these are the partners for whom a kiss is a gateway to something more; something they aren’t always sure they want to explore. Here I am just wanting to kiss, but I’m being denied because they are worried about what’s next. In my mind? There’s nothing next! We may proceed at some point, but the kiss doesn’t mean I want, or expect, more.

This has been a “tough crowd” for me. I see this beautiful person that I’m connecting with and I’m being denied a casual, yet intimate act, because they are thinking ahead. What’s worse is that I don’t often read when this is the case, so an offer of a kiss can really throw them off. And me, too. When this happens, it’s can be challenging to recover, even if we talk it through and understand each other. One partner told me that swapping saliva is as intimate as sex. I get it, but I definitely don’t share that feeling.

Frankly, I just didn’t know a kiss could be so complicated!

Single, Casual, Female Partners

This one has been easy, even if there haven’t been many. These are women that I’ve met, mostly at dance events (and once at a bar) where we meet, we talk and/or dance, and we end up kissing then and there. I’d love to find more of these because the rush of kissing someone so new is awesome. But, in reality, it’s a quick hit of dopamine, and then it’s gone. That’s generally not what I’m looking for in my partners. I’d rather get connected and have to earn that kiss – even if it means coping with the complexities mentioned above.

Poly, Female Partners

This seems to be my sweet spot, and maybe it truly boils down to experience and sharing. The female partners I’ve been with who are poly and experienced put no overbearing weight on kissing. Maybe my attitude is simply a poly attitude? I dunno.

This is why Jeannie and I are really going out of our way to attend more poly events – be they mixers, play parties, or whatnot. Anywhere we can meet poly-experienced partners, things are likely to be more relaxed.

Dudes. All of Them

Now for the biggest generalization – guys (at least the ones that will kiss other guys) treat kissing (and even sex) way more as an activity than a connection. A kiss doesn’t need to mean anything other than, “I think you’re cute and it’s fun to kiss you!” This is probably why I’ve kissed more guys than gals in the past year or so. At any House of Yes party there seems to be a 50/50 chance that I’m gonna end up making out with a random guy. Yet I haven’t kissed even one random woman there. On the flip side, I haven’t taken any of these guys home, either. I generally never even get their name.

Maybe I just need to roll with it and keep making out with cute guys?!?

Kink Partners

And for my only gender neutral observation: the kink partners. Here is the one scenario where a kiss, to me, isn’t just a kiss. If I’m tying someone up, or treating them to impact play, or other D/s scene, I want to be super respectful of the scene we’ve set. I love to introduce people to kink, and I will bring “friends” to a BDSM party. In these cases, the friendship and their head-space at the party are paramount to me. It needs to be about the scene. Since I’m on the D side of the slash, they need to set the boundaries (with my guidance) before we begin. Sure, kissing can be included, but it can’t be taken for granted because, in kink, everything needs to be highly intentional.

So, What’s Next?

Like so many things I’m doing throughout this journey, I’m still exploring and learning and trying to both set intentions and roll with the experiences as they happen. I’m trying to be as intentional as possible while also be willing to change course as situations dictate. That said, I do know one thing for sure… I want to be kissing more! Sex? I can take it or leave it. Kissing? I kinda need it.

I think Kink and Kisses are my greatest desires. And there’s a fair amount of kink right now, so time to seek more kisses! 😘

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My wife is the love of my life and my absolute soulmate. So why are we exploring polyamory and other sexual experiences that are often considered socially unacceptable? Read on to find out! Spoiler Alert: These things are AWESOME and have strengthened our marriage in ways you might not expect. Or believe.

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