The September issue of The Amorist – on the shelves on 17 August – has a special feature on the manifold pleasures of kissing. Ah, kissing... you get all tangled up and turned on, but in the end the kit stays in place and you can walk away. So innocent, yet so seductive!
The Amorist canvassed her Facebook friends for the best (and the worst) kisses in history. Naturally, a lot of the responses took inspiration from the silver screen. Woman after woman sighed, ‘Room With a View – the cornfield.’Then a man said, ‘The worst is humans snogging their dogs.’Almost everyone cited the end sequence of Cinema Paradiso, but as The Amorist said, ‘Its not a kissing scene so much as a weepy compilation of everything romantic that ever wrung a person’s heart out.’
Of course, everyone remembers their first kiss, even if it was deeply disappointing, but how many of you got to sweet 16 without locking lips? Let us know on Twitter please: @amorist_the.
And what of kisses that linger long in the memory, when all else has faded? Such as the time that boy you fancied at uni (some considerable time after student days) kissed you on the dance floor after you’d spent 20 years wondering if it would ever happen? A passionate teenage clinch in the lift at Peter Jones with someone who’s now a bigwig at the Arts Council? The end of sweet sixteen at the lips of not one but two older Lotharios at a Caledonian ball - embarrassingly with parents present?
There’s that moment when you are not sure. You hold back and try to be casual. You know those lips are close, but are they close enough? You can feel their breath on your face. Almost the best moment about a kiss is the anticipation. Use a prospective lover’s kissing ability as a screening test for their overall sensuality. The most surprisingly promising people are rubbish kissers.
Kissing is all the rage these days. You can have a very sexy time, but it is difficult or impossible to catch anything – even the old song is wrong about that. Here at the Amorist we applaud the growing trend for less constraining seats in cinemas too. Manoeuvred skilfully and to her surprise onto a cosy, red velvet sofa at the Everyman, Baker Street, last week, she didn’t see much of Baby Driver, but gained an overall impression it was rather fun.
So go forth and kiss, all of you. You will only ever regret the kisses you didn’t have.
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My most beautiful of all little blue grey mouse catching, pearly bottomed, creamy-thighed, soft-waisted mewing rat-pursuers!
Letter from Peter Pears to Benjamin Britten, 1941