Relationships

Your First Kiss: What Was It Like?

Kissing

On this chilly Wednesday afternoon (and inspired by teenagers), let’s have some girl talk…

Back in high school, I started hanging out with Dave, a blue-eyed guy in my chemistry class. He was funny and sweet, and we did the things that Michigan teenagers do: drive to Taco Bell, ride bikes around the neighborhood and go bowling with friends. I really liked him, and a kiss seemed imminent.

But instead of being over the moon, I was panicked. I was a card-carrying late bloomer and hadn’t kissed anyone, other than a peck. A champion overthinker, I couldn’t figure out the logistics. Where would his mouth go? Where would my mouth go? What was the plan for TONGUES?! In my bedroom, with pale green walls, I’d kiss my mirror to practice. My already-been-kissed twin sister reassured me that it would come naturally, but that was too vague. I needed specific directions, a game plan, a map!

Finally, one winter evening, Dave and I went to the movies to see Titanic, and Leo must have been the inspiration I needed. That night, after we drove home in Dave’s mom’s Honda Civic, I turned toward him in the front seat of the car and stopped talking. I just looked at him. And, finally, we kissed.

And spoiler alert: It was just fine.

How old were you when you had your first kiss? Was it sweet? Awkward? Terrible? I’d love to hear…

P.S. My sister’s awesome dating tip, and how to know if your partner is the one.

(Photo by Weegee/Arthur Fellig.)

  1. Maura says...

    My first kiss was a stage kiss, but less staged than I would have liked it to be, performed in a really fun and quirky show, Love/Sick by John Cariani. It was my first show with my high school theatre department, two months into my freshman year, opposite a senior who obviously knew what he was doing. A week into the rehearsal process, my theatre teacher and director, who I would later find out was my fourth cousin, urged me to “just go in for it”. He obviously had not understood the first, second, or third time that I told him, that I had zero interest in kissing anyone on stage. So, after several minutes of arguing with my director (a huge no-no, as all theatre people know), I “went in for it”. In short, I managed to get an inch away from the senior, my “husband”, who seemed annoyed more than anything, before breaking out into a laughing fit. This act of nervousness was received very poorly, to say the least. It was met by a roll of the eyes from my partner and my director looking at me saying something along the lines of “Maura, damn it, you have to suck it up at some point, why not make today be that day!” It was clear that neither understood that this would not only be my first kiss on stage, but my first kiss ever, I was far too self-conscious to explain this to them (A massive mistake looking back on this). So, with the entire cast of this show, who I had only worked with for a week and would continue to work with for the rest of our high school careers, and my annoyed director, who was beginning to count down from three, watching, I leaned in, lips puckered, and touched my senior “husband’s” lips for what felt like a lifetime. Apparently, it wasn’t a lifetime, which was made very clear to me by my director who was very quick to tell me that it would have to be two or three times longer and that I shouldn’t pucker my lips so much, it “looked awkward”. And, with that, my partner, who seemed strangely comfortable, finished our scene in which I pulled a gun on him, shot it, and freaked him out, only for it to be revealed that it was a water gun and that I was not mentally stable (An eventful scene, right?). Rehearsal after rehearsal passed, I got more and more comfortable kissing my “husband”, I made the kisses feel like two or three lifetimes rather than one, I didn’t pucker my lips nearly as much. News spread like wildfire through the freshman class that I was kissing a senior in the school show, I got question after question about it from people I had never talked to, my friends became obsessed with my scene partner, my “husband”, my first kiss. All the while, I conveniently forgot to tell my parents that I would be kissing someone on stage in a show that they would be coming to see (Oops). On opening night, I was terrified, knowing that my family (Including my nine-year-old sister, who I think is still scarred by the maturity of this show) had come to see me perform in my first high school production and all of my friends and the entire freshman class was there to see me, the innocent theatre kid, “make out” with “the cute senior boy”. We’ll just say that the theatre was more packed than it had been for a show in years, and I was mortified. I kissed him, much to my parents’ surprise, and I made it through the show every night while it was running. It is kind of entertaining, the boy who I ended up dating for most of high school and was in this show, had seen my first stage kiss in that early rehearsal and had been my first real kiss a few weeks after the show closed, which was much much more effortless and enjoyable.

  2. Mikayla says...

    I was 21 before I was ever kissed (for context, I’m almost 23 right now, so this is a pretty recent memory), a growing number that mortified me with every passing year.

    Jake and I had been watching movies at his apartment. I was at that point in the relationship where I was completely terrified every time I saw him. Was I pretty enough? What if we kissed? He was 24 at the time, so whatever performance I was about to give was sure to be disappointing, I thought.

    It kinda melted away that evening, because in the middle of an episode of the Office I fell asleep with my head on his shoulder. I woke up about an hour later: the show had automatically paused, and the room was dark and quiet. He hadn’t moved at all the entire time.

    We talked for a few minutes, not moving, just listening to each other’s voices over the stillness. Then he asked, simply and quietly, if he could kiss me, so I picked up my and we kissed.

    Many kisses later, I couldn’t tell you if it was good (it probably wasn’t), but I know that it was right. And, as I later found out, it had been his first kiss, too. I wasn’t so behind the curve as I’d thought.

  3. Courtney says...

    I just love reading all these vastly stories. All so unique and beautiful and heartbreaking and funny. Some so relatable and others so different from my own. Makes me smile thinking of young love.

    Ours is my favorite. I was 17 (going on 18). We started dating the summer after I turned 16 (he was 17). He was the high school football captain, and I was a cheerleader who would also eventually be captain. It makes me laugh every time I tell people this because the look on their faces is always classic: that’s the opposite of who we grew up to be. At 16, I had been in the “popular” group since middle school but decided I was over the drama and wanted to meet new people and have new experiences (in our tiny Indiana hometown, ha). We were both the extroverted introverts who were kind of “outsiders” in a way (cue the John Hughes movies): he wrote poetry and skateboarded, I loved reading and old movies. My friend introduced us, and I remember he called me the very next day to hang out (the popular guys never called). We were inseparable from that moment. It was a classic summer romance. We drove around in our cars with the windows down and the music blaring (weird stuff I had never heard before, like Death Cab for Cutie, At the Drive In, and Bright Eyes), exchanged books, watched movies, hung out at the lake, went to the “secret spot,” and spent every waking moment together. We were “friends” throughout the summer (I didn’t even know our first date was a date!) and decided the night before school restarted (I would be a junior, he a senior) that we should make it “official.” That was also the night he told me he didn’t want to kiss anyone until he was married. (Wait, WHAT?).
    We dated for a year without kissing, which felt excruciating at the time but also gave us time to deeply know each other. Then, it was time for him to move to college. I was devastated, but had somehow enticed him to go to my desired future school when his college football scholarship fell through. He was going to study English and writing (a poet, remember?), and I was sure he was going to meet a beautiful, brilliant college girl and forget all about our high school romance. We had one last breakfast at the Swiss diner I worked at (he’d always come to visit me and I’d serve him burgers in my Swiss dress). We drank coffee (which he taught me to love and has become my second great love affair), and I cried when he left. We called each other every day, and he came home that very first weekend. The minute he got home, I ran down into the basement “cave” where we’d always watch movies, we hugged, and before we knew it, we were kissing. I don’t remember how it started, and I don’t remember how it ended. I just remember feeling like sparks were flying and we had entered another dimension. He was my first kiss, and we never stopped kissing after that. (So, in retrospect, it was probably good that we actually talked to each other for a year :)).
    Fast forward 12 1/2 years, and we’ve been married for 7 1/2 years. He came home to visit almost every weekend that first year. Then, I followed him to the same university. We got married 5 years to the date after we made it “official,” outside on a rainy day in August. We rode a green tandem bike and danced with our family and friends to that same weird indie music we blared with the windows down (including my grandparents, who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on the same day). We lived in our first house across from the college as broke college kids for a year before moving to New York City to pursue our dreams. After 4 years, we moved to South Korea to pursue new dreams. All of my best adventures have been with him. He was my last kiss this morning, heading to university to teach English as I’m reading and writing these beautiful memories. And smiling ear to ear.

    • Courtney says...

      *Vastly different

    • Greta says...

      My eyes are watering! This is so beautiful and reminds me so much of our story with my husband, although he was not my first kiss. My first kiss was a bizarre experience during a party at an UNESCO World Heritage summer camp in Norway. I was 17.

  4. Shannon says...

    I was 14 and he was 17 and my brother’s good friend. I had been into him for a good 6 months so everything about it was perfect. He said the most perfect cheesy line after spending 30 minutes in the freezing cold just talking. We dated for almost 3 years after that. It was decades ago, but I still remember it very clearly.

  5. Kaylan says...

    My first kiss was with my highschool boyfriend, Carl, who was on the swim team and had wildly curly hair. He was two years older and we had met in band – he played saxophone, me clarinet. It was 2003, and one night after watching movies in his parents’ basement, he drove me home in his mom’s aubergine colored Astrovan. The smooth sounds of Outkast’s ‘The Way You Move’ was on the radio. I had anticipated a kiss for a while. He pulled into my driveway (which is visible from the front window, a fact I was very nervous about just in case my parents happened to be watching). I remember leaning in for the standard hug, and when I started to pull back he quickly went in for the kiss. It was fast and I remember it being pretty natural. Afterwards, I went inside and promptly logged onto AOL Instant Messenger to tell my friend Megan “It happened!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” :)

  6. Sam says...

    The air was crisp and smelled like rain and he was as dreamy as the stars above us. I was 18, quirky, and was wearing a band tee from a Summer Fest concert. He was 21 and in college.

    We met at my childhood summer camp and in three days he was holding my hand as we walked through the forest. It was my Birthday, how lucky is that!

    I fell head-over-heels for this man. We didn’t want to part with our summer romance so, he asked me out on a date. A date where he drove two-and-a-half hours to meet me in my hometown.

    So, here we are, under a big apple tree late at night. We lay out an old comforter of mine – light blue and patchy. We rest our backs on the trunk and he pulls me in tight to his chests. I look up to him smiling at the stars and whispers of constellations and myths. I being a bold/ take what you want kind of gal reached up to his chin and gently pull it down to mine. We kiss and keep kissing! The kiss was mine, fresh and new. And, thinking wow – how delicious was that movie type kiss. Sadly our relationship did not last and we stopped communicating. He was my first “love” and he was the first boy to break my heart. But I still treasure this moment and I have fond memories of that sweetheart summer.

  7. Ivy says...

    Late-bloomer might as well have been my name in high school. I grew up in a small community and knew in middle school all the girls were getting their first kisses, but I remained kiss-less. I couldn’t figure out what it was about me that boys didn’t find attractive. (Later, I realized I simply didn’t even know how to be around a boy. That took time.)

    Well eventually 10th grade hit, my boobs were apparent, I learned the finesse of make-up, and I started receiving some male attention. There was a boy in the grade above me, a friend of mine, who I started spending time with. By spending time with, I of course mean we would ride around together in his car. After a couple weeks of endless cruising, he finally made the move.

    It was wet, there was too much spit, and WAY too much tongue. I remember being excited, but also thinking, “I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to feel like I just took a shower.” We had a couple of makeout sessions until he grabbed my boob, which appalled me. I then decided I didn’t want to makeout with a boob bandit, and promptly ended things.

  8. Bets says...

    I was in 7th grade at a dance, with a dreamy, sweet and shy 8th grader. We kissed … and when I got home and brushed my teeth, I noticed a small cut – must have been from his braces, lol. I thought I felt a little pinch on my lip during the magic of my first kiss! It hurt to drink orange juice but it was worth it <3

  9. Awkward, I remember going to movie with that guy, my first boyfriend and then he suddenly turned to me and tried to kiss me. It was so awkward and unexpected that I turned my face away from him. Rude but I don’t regret doing that.

  10. CG says...

    My first kiss slobby. I was already 17 or 18 and he was my first boyfriend. He was cute and all, but he does not know how to kiss and seemed like pent-up teenage angst.

  11. I wasn’t expecting it so it took me by surprise. But it was fantastic! At 14 with a guy that looked like Di Caprio in the Titanic times (it was 1997 after all). And it was under a starry sky. We had some company but I didn’t really mind their presence or their comments. I just really really liked it and have been obsessed with kissing ever since.

  12. Michaela says...

    I’m sitting here grinning ear to ear reading all these comments and remembering all the wonderful, awful, hopeful, anxious anticipation of being a teenager.

    I “dated” (as in, I was 13-14 and we said we were boyfriend/girlfriend and occasionally held hands) three guys before having my first kiss at 15. We were in my parents’ basement holding hands and watching a movie and it was almost time for him to go home when he (finally!) leaned over and kissed me, which led to a few minutes of sloppily making out. Honestly, I don’t remember the moment itself very well, but I do have a very clear memory of sitting in the back of my family’s van while my mom drove him home and feeling giddy, sort of grown up, and wondering if my mom could tell what I had been up to!

  13. Meg says...

    This story begins in eighth grade, where my very shy boyfriend and my very shy self both wanted to kiss, but just couldn’t bring ourselves. It became a “thing” that our friends knew about and tried to encourage, which just made it so much worse. I remember once they left us alone in the church vestibule (Catholic school!) and stood outside waiting for us to get on with it . . . We just couldn’t.

    In ninth grade, we were still together and unkissed. One evening we were at the local college basketball stadium where our high school team was playing. Very loud, very crowded, completely unromantic. I was standing near the entrance getting ready to leave after the game, and he stepped in front of me, and kissed me, in an instant, and he was gone. A tingle of electricity shot all the way through me. It was exactly what I had hoped it would be without having any idea it could be like that.

  14. Sarah says...

    My first kiss was my first love. We had been an item for a couple months, and on the eve of my 18th birthday, we were at the mall (as you do when you don’t yet have your driver’s license). We had walked the course of the mall a couple times without going in any stores (he asked me why I didn’t want to go in – I told him I just figured men don’t like shopping) when he pulled me aside to a couch in front of Neiman Marcus. He pulled out a piece of paper and read aloud a sonnet…that I assumed was a famous literary piece but was actually one HE had written – for me! It was so incredibly sweet. Then he pulled out a second piece of paper with the lyrics to a Relient K song (I’m still waiting for/you to be the one I’m waiting for), read them aloud to me, and asked if he could kiss me. It was…eager and a bit forceful :) – and when we finished he said, “Whoa, that was better than I was expecting.” Pretty sure we glowed the rest of the night, which ended at his family’s house where his mom had baked me a pineapple upside down birthday cake – but the secret of that first kiss and the sweetness of our young love was the best dessert.

  15. Sarah says...

    Everyone keeps saying they were a late bloomer, but then say a perfectly reasonable age for a first kiss. So I think we should redefine what late bloomer means! If my daughter waits til 16, i’ll be over the moon! I’ll believe, like so many of the comments here, she knew what she was doing and not just unable to say no to someone. Props to all the late bloomers!!

    And for the record, i was right on time, also at 16. Fourth of July firework celebration at the park in Boise, Idaho. I had the biggest crush on my best friends slightly older cousin. After a night of flirting and laying under the stars, he leaned over and kissed me. Fireworks above me and in my heart. It kicked off the best summer romance and I still look back so fondly on that time.

  16. Joy says...

    I was 19 (so must been carrying more than a late card by then!). I remember being so nervous. Oh god. The nerves of first time dating were intense for me. So much inexperience, so many unknowns…! The kiss happened in a Dairy Queen parking lot, listening to (I loath to admit this) Kryptonite by Three Doors Down and it felt like the wettest, sloppiest thing ever. HUGE disappointment and I seriously considering never kissing again. The guy was a dud so maybe this shouldn’t hav come as a surprise ;)

    • L says...

      Three doors down… haha love it!

  17. Alena says...

    I didn’t kiss anyone until I was TWENTY THREE. I had a constant reel in my mind of everything that could go wrong. So when the time (finally) came, he leaned in and I froze and ruined it. “I’ve never kissed anybody before!” and that ended the first half of my first kiss experience. Luckily, that awkward experience confirmed that, at the very least, we both wanted it. So a few days later I somehow got the ovaries of Beyonce, straddled him in the hot tub (IN THE HOT TUB!), grabbed his face, and kissed him with everything I had. That was the second-half of my first kiss, and it’s turns out I’m pretty damn excellent at it.

    • Nancy says...

      My favorite part of this entire comment, “ovaries of Beyonce” lol. But good job! I’m sure he was pleasantly surprised.

  18. oh my goodness, my first kiss was at 14, while camping with my family, with a 16 year-old boy who was also camping with his family. the poor guy used so much tongue, and i vividly remember thinking “ARE. YOU. KIDDING ME??? THIS is what movies and books and songs talk about??? I HAVE BEEN LIED TO MY WHOLE LIFE.” hahahaha. thankfully i have found that kissing gets a lot better as people get older and at 29 i quite enjoy it now ;)

  19. Sharon says...

    Your experience sounds wonderful! Mine was much more intense, though definitely not enjoyable. I think my high school crush watched too many day time soaps. I felt as though I was being invaded by his tongue… I still involuntarily shiver at the memory… Ha!

  20. Liljmp says...

    I join the chorus of delighted readers that this is the best experience, reading everyone’s responses. I can’t stop grinning, thinking of all these tender thoughts meeting reality! For me, in April of 1988, I turned 16 years old. I had always been ‘boy crazy’ and the one to have the crush with no result. But there came along a stunning kid who I fell hard for, but never dreamed he would speak to me. But he did! And he was a skateboarder, so I felt thrilled that he was so edgy and cool! ha So, I believe it was at the end of summer/beginning of Fall when – despite my braces and awkwardness and all – we had been walking and talking for a while and he faced me, rested his hands on my hips, tilted his head to the side, self-consciously licked his lip and pulled me in. (Remember “Some Kind of Wonderful”? That was our era, what can I say.) His kisses were so sweet, soft and tender – I have always been in awe that my first kiss was so lovely. Thanks to everyone for sharing – y’all are why I keep coming back! PS – we’re still close friends to this day.

    Also, the Worst kiss I ever received was later in college from an over-eager, tongue-y disaster that I had no idea how to pull away politely? or close my mouth more? or laugh at the absurdity? No protocol…I was aghast. Once and only.

  21. Aimee says...

    Lol. You described my first kiss anticipation panic exactly! It didn’t help that I was a late bloomer either- I was 16 so I was sure I was going to mess it up! Mine was with a guy I had just met the week before and we all went to a country western dance club (Dallas, Texas!) with his friends and my friends. He kissed me before I got in my friend’s car to leave so it was a little awkward with the others waiting but he was sweet. Never saw him again but that’s probably for the best because as far as I’ve ever known he was perfect and had no flaws!

  22. makit says...

    Good evening, I read to you every day and I write you of Paris – France. My first kiss was offered to me by a guy name Claude, I had 13 – 14 years, we danced a slow dance in one afternoon party (une “Boom”) on the song “Let it Be” of The Beatles … It was very pleasant and 56 years later I still remember it even if I forgot the face of my romantic dancer :-). I lost sight of him a few weeks later.

  23. Allison says...

    When I was a sophomore in high school, I had a crush on this sweet, skinny, shy guy with a big mop of curly hair. He asked me to our homecoming dance on instant messenger. The date was so typically awkward high school, he actually got pulled over for speeding on the way to dinner because he was trying to show off. I wore a ridiculous two piece Jessica McClintock dress. He asked me to be his girlfriend a few weeks later. After dating for three months, and lots of harassing from his guy friends, he got the courage to kiss me before getting into his truck on the dirt road I grew up on. I think we made out constantly for the next year, it drove my friends nuts. Fast forward about 15 years later, we’re married.

  24. Missy says...

    It was the last day of 7th grade and my friends made me do it. Not really, but if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have done it! It was with a boy I really liked and was dating (is it even dating in middle school?). It was quick and messy. I didn’t kiss anyone else until sophomore year of high school lol.

  25. Em says...

    Another late bloomer story: I was 21, hanging out at a co-worker’s house with his friends. At the end of the night, I got up to leave and grab my purse from the other room. I turned around all of a sudden his tongue was in my mouth. I wasn’t even attracted to him but went along with it since I was tired of not having kissed anyone. Two years later, my second kiss was a similar situation and, again, I just went with it.

    Fast forward to today: I’m 38 and haven’t kissed anyone since. A few weeks ago a kiss seemed imminent and I was so panicked because I can’t even remember what it was like. I think I spent about three hours one day reading all the kissing articles I could find online (including searching this blog!) and interviewing a few trusted girlfriends. All for nothing….whoops!

    I’ve been (secretly) a little embarrassed about this situation but all the comments with women saying they wish they could have a first kiss again made me feel better. It’s been so long it will pretty much be a first again!

    Thanks!

  26. In 7th grade, I went to the semi-formal dance with my boyfriend. We had only held hands at the movies, but I heard from a friend that he wanted to kiss me. Naturally, I spent the majority of the night in the girls’ locker room discussing this with my friends (was I ready? did he want to french? what did it all mean?) and during the last dance I gave him my cheek to kiss. I was proud that I knew I wasn’t ready. (Spoiler alert: he was never that into me, and he’s now a fabulous makeup artist.)
    In 8th grade, I went to that same dance with a new boyfriend, a boy who had wooed me with locker notes and let me ride his scooter. Someone teased me that we hadn’t kissed yet, so I rolled my eyes, marched across the cafeteria to where he was sitting with a few of our friends, leaned across the table and planted a kiss on his lips – then sat down and said “hey what’s up?” as nonchalantly as I could, while my friends gaped and cheered.
    I can remember both those nights so vividly: the first, I felt such a heady mix of giddiness and terror; the second, I just felt like a badass. I love that both times I trusted myself to know what I wanted. And I love how the two stories show how quickly we change at that age! What a difference a year makes.

    • Meg says...

      I love these stories, Emily!

  27. Cara says...

    My first kiss was with a friend who suddenly turned into a very brief summer romance after we ended up next to each other on a trampoline one night. It started raining, but we wanted to stay outside so he went and got a tarp that we draped over ourselves. We had three other friends on the trampoline with us, and we were all talking, but him and I slowly started semi-cuddling. I remember thinking how cozy he felt, and he later told me that he realized how pretty I was that night. After a couple weeks of an increasingly flirty friendship, we ended up on a lovesack watching a movie in the park. We stayed on the lovesack after the movie and well after everyone had gone. At 2 in the morning, after talking for hours, he asked if he could kiss me, and I said yes. The kiss felt like hot liquid and also like something had left me that could never come back, like the rush of air from a popped balloon. Two days later, he told me he “didn’t like me like that,” and we were done. He had really thin lips, but I didn’t think too much of it until I kissed my husband’s lips a few months later. His lips feel like pillows. I remember the first time I kissed him, I felt like I was getting lost in him and like he could touch so much more of my lips at the same time. I felt stupid for ever missing kissing the first guy. This was infinitely better on every level. After I kissed my husband, we went back to watching the movie. He paused it ten minutes later, looked over at me in the semi-darkness and asked “Wanna be my girlfriend?” I said yes.

    • Hannah R says...

      You should write a romance novel – I would totally read it! xx

  28. I was 16 (almost 17). We had met the previous summer through the internet (mIRC!) and actually met face-to-face around 20min after we started chatting online. We became friends and he knew something was happening before I did. Finally, on the sunday before carnival, we found ourselves on a garden bench, with none around. My head was on his shoulder (totally avoiding eye contact! ha!) and he told me to look up. I did. We kissed. It was sweet and my heart was racing and a bit of an outer-body experience. Actually my heart still races when thinking of that moment, mainly because he will be home after work by the end of the day and I get to kiss him all over again. After almost 18 years (7 living together and 2 cats) sometimes I still feel like that super nervous girl and it’s great :)

  29. Jennifer C. says...

    Just thinking back to it gives me butterflies! I was so nervous! I was 15 years old living in Germany (military brat). Our volleyball team was playing an away game in Berlin. We had to spend all day after our game waiting on the “night train” so we were hanging out with the football players from Munich. Their quarterback was flirting with me all day and my friends kept pushing me to kiss him but I was too scared. As his train was about to leave, I just went for it (since I figured I would never see him again)! It was wonderful! I love that memory…thanks!

  30. Rebekah says...

    First kiss was absolute magic. I still get butterflies when I think about it. It was the morning of our wedding :) We were committed to keeping sex for marriage, and while of course a kiss is a long way from full-out rollin’ in the hay, it kinda seemed like an “on-ramp” that would be hard to exit once we started! And hooooooo boy were we right.

    We’d decided to have our first kiss (and most of our wedding pics) before the actual wedding ceremony because we didn’t fancy practicing in front of all our friends and family! So I got dolled up in my wedding dress…walked in to the room to see my adorably nervous guy…he pulled me in and kissed me, and holy smokes, if we’d had the chance I think we would have just done the deed right there. I remember thinking “oh wow, I get to do this for the rest of my life with you??” He’s the only one I’ve ever kissed but I can’t imagine anyone being better.

  31. Silvina says...

    Another late bloomer here! I was 23 and the kiss was great, but right afterwards I told the guy “I’m so embarrassed, I don’t know how to kiss!”, and he was just like “nonsense!” and kissed me again.

  32. Kate says...

    I was 16, at a party. She was a friend of mine and to be fair we just kind of ended up kissing? I don’t even really know what happened there. It’s still a confusing night to look back on (especially because I was completely sober)

  33. Jessica says...

    I was 17 and he was my very best friend. He’d spent the previous two years chasing me, but it took him really falling for someone else to make me realize I was in love with him. I told him how I felt and we both broke off our current flings immediately so we could be together. That weekend, our families went on an overnight at a condo resort. Together. Yep, they were (conveniently) best friends too. We all swam and, after everyone left the pool, we lingered. He leaned in and I buried my head in his shoulder, laughing (I was so nervous!). I pulled away and he was just smiling, shaking his head. “You’re a dork!” We laughed and then he went in again. This time we connected and it was sexy and magical. Later that night we stole away to the lobby and made out…for a long while. It was so fun and freeing! Around midnight his mom came down and told us it was time for bed. Ha! And we thought we were so sneaky.

    That kiss initiated a rocky and painful few years of dating for us. We ended up marrying other people who fit us perfectly, but we’ve remained good friends. To this day, I so grateful it was him.

    • Lluvia says...

      Can’t explain why but I wanna read more about your story! This is like the start of a great novel!

  34. Pip says...

    It was at my friend Lisa’s party – her birthday was in December and Frankie goes to Hollywood were number 1 with the Power of Love, which played on a loop in her tape deck We lived in a small town in rural England and my dad was a teacher at my high school – not ideal. My friend Helen had already had a couple of boyfriends and was very “it’s easy, you’ll know what to do” about the whole kissing thing. Like you Joanna – that was not good enough intel for me! Our friend, Richard, was very fun, had good floppy hair (so important in the 80s) , attractive but not in a way that gave me goosebumps and with the benefit of hindsight was also gay. He agreed to help a pal out (me) by snogging me and afterwards Helen said “it looked right”. That was good enough for me I had enough sense of what I needed to do the next time with someone who did give me goosebumps – and I did! I look back on that evening with great fondness – the things teens do!

  35. Erin says...

    My first kiss story is not romantic AT ALL: Near the beginning of my first year of college, I participated in a scavenger hunt as part of a (fairly harmless) initiation to the swim team. One of the items on the scavenger hunt was “Go find the president of the ski club. Get a hickey from him.” So I found him — which wasn’t hard, it was “clubs week” and he was dutifully sitting at his booth in the student union building — and announced that I needed a hickey. “But I’ve never given anyone a hickey before!” he shrieked. “Don’t worry, I’ve never had one before,” I said. “It’s fine if you just want to kiss my arm.” He sucked on my arm for a minute, but it turns out you can’t give arm hickeys all that easily … so someone got a marker and he drew a hickey on my arm instead. It counted for the scavenger hunt; my swimming teammates thought it was hilarious. And much later — the next year — I had a proper first kiss from a boy I liked. :)

  36. Vanessa says...

    My first kiss?! Ahhhhhhhh, makes me smile to think of my 14 year old self…. on an exchange trip in Paris…. in the doorway of an old building with Bruno. He was 16, Portuguese/French, dark hair and so confident. It was raining, we were on an errand to pick up speakers to bring back to the school dance…. and then it happened. In the moment, I was all up in my head like “wo, wtf is going on?!?!?”. I’m the end….Totally weird. Totally great.

  37. Kathleen says...

    I had my first kiss when I was 15 (I felt very old…) with a boy named Ryan in my church youth group. We’d known each other for a few years, but we’d started holding hands under the table at youth group dinners, which seemed like a Big Deal. He’d had a bunch of “girlfriends” and was a WHOLE year and a half older than me, so I was totally flattered that he would want to talk to me. He and his mom (who volunteered at the youth group) often gave me a ride home, so one night we were the last to leave and we told his mom we would exit the building through a different door. I remember every moment so well – we walked up a flight of stairs, he asked me if anyone had ever kissed me before, and then told me he couldn’t believe no one had and that it was about to change. He went in for the kiss and SPARKS FLEW – I’m not kidding. I remember the light from the street lamp just outside the door made these shadows in the dark room we were in, and it felt so romantic to me – I couldn’t believe it was happening! We got in the car with his mom, and I remember trying to make sure I didn’t look flustered, but in retrospect, I’m SURE she knew what was up (we’d been holding hands under piles of coats in the back seat for a while).

    For a couple years, when I went to boarding school out of state, I would come home for vacation and we’d make out in his pickup truck. We’ve led really different lives – he’s 23 and married with a kid, whereas I’m just finishing college and about to start a PhD program in NYC. Even now, my family still goes to this church, so it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll see him at Christmas every year for a long time to come…and, once in a while, we’ll be talking and walk over that exact spot where we first kissed.

  38. Elle English says...

    Late in my sophomore year, a new boy joined my English class. I crushed madly on his confidence and humor, not to mention his tall, dark and handsome looks. We became friends. As the quintessential ‘good girl’ and ‘A student’, I had zero experience in the kissing or flirting department. But one night in Fall of 12th grade, after watching a movie, Chris kissed me. He told his best friend the next day, “If I kiss her again, I will marry her.” So there was no more kissing. At least, not until my senior year of college when we reconnected. And the rest is history. Six years of dating, 17 years of marriage, and an incredibly happy life with a man that I crush on to this day. Incredible, really.

    • Dana says...

      This is the best story.

    • Sarah F. says...

      I love this story! There is something about a man who knows what he wants and keeps his word… All the best to you both as you continue your romance!

  39. Carina says...

    Fascinating. Even though I’ve had a couple of boyfriends, the only first kiss I remember is the one my husband and I shared when we first started dating. I’ll never forget it, and I guess it eclipsed all others. That was 21 years ago now, and we are still happily married. ❤️

  40. Gemma Grover says...

    I was 12, sitting next to the hottest guy in school (for jr high standards). I remember I was chewing a pink starburst. It was a surreal experience but all of a sudden there was a tongue in my mouth and a boy in my face. It was not like the movies, it was as if my mouth was toilet bowl and his tongue was being flushed down my throat. After the experience, I stood up from the couch, spit the starburst in the trash, and to this day, pink starbursts still make me gag.

    • Laura says...

      omg, I’m sorry you had this bad experience, but your description made me lol!

  41. Rachel says...

    My first kiss was not romantic or idillic. I was 13, at my first party with alcohol and rather drunk of shamefully few beverages. I was sitting on a desk when a handsome football player kissed me and tried to move things along far more quickly than I was ready for. Meanwhile my friend sat next to me telling me I was a slut for making out with a boy I didn’t know. Needless to say I have leant a lot about consent, being empowered about my own sexuality and kissing since then!

  42. Solveig says...

    I was 17 and in my first year of university (after spending all of high-school surrounded by all-girls). We had gone on a sort-of-double-date with a friend and her boring boyfriend to a midnight halloween wonderland – complete with rollercoasters and haunted houses. Throughout the whole night he held my hand because he was totally terrified of the clowns that would follow you around the park. My friend kept joking that he would HAVE to kiss me and it was infuriating. We got back to our university dorm around 5am, after I fell asleep on his shoulder on the long bus ride back. He insisted on walking me back to my room. The kiss was… fine. In the very moment I was thinking, “wow, this is not at all exciting,” he pulls away and says, “I could keep kissing you forever!”

  43. JR says...

    My fourth grade “boyfriend” and I were in two separate classrooms at our elementary school, but they were connected by a shared internal door. During quiet reading time, we’d each sit on one side of the door and pass notes underneath. We thought we were SO sneaky.

    One day, he wrote on a Post-It note, “I think we should kiss.” I wrote back: “No, we’re too young.” (I was a very practical 10 year old.)

    Fast forward to our college years, home for summer break at one of those big hometown parties. That same boy found the wrinkled Post-It in his childhood room, and we had a real good laugh about it.

  44. Jemma says...

    I was 12. The guy was having an end of the year pool party. It was dark and by then everyone had been drawn inside in search of warmth. Clearly we had seen too many rom-coms because I said that the stars looked beautiful. He responded with “like your eyes” and kissed me. At that age, I swooned. Today, I’d probably laugh.

  45. Bianca says...

    I hadn’t thought about my first kiss in so long, but it is such a great memory that I am so happy to have found this post!

    I was 15 and the cute boy that I sat next to in English class was in my friend group. We were all hanging out at a friends house and we broke off from the group. We walked through a little apple orchard and down to the lake. The entire time it was happening I had a million things going on in my head and I felt like the speed of the thoughts was making my face so red and hot. “This is so perfect!” “I can’t believe I am going to kiss this guy.” “This is the most romantic place ever!!!” We were standing on the dock and finally started kissing. It was so great, but then we stopped because we heard a strange noise. Standing super still we realized that there was a possum a peeing a few feet away. We let him finish and then walk away. It was strange, but also very memorable and very sweet.

  46. Nicole A. says...

    I was twelve when I had my first puppy-love crush. We met through a mutual friend at church. He asked me out with a homemade turquoise earring and necklace set on my thirteenth birthday next to a vending machine. Soon after, he confided in the mutual friend that he wanted to have his first kiss with me at a pool party she was going to throw. Like a true bestie, she spilled the beans to me, but I told her I wasn’t ready. So when the day of the pool party arrived, and he tried to make his move, I stopped him and said “if you are willing to wait, if in a year we are still together, we can have our first kiss.” Like a true gentleman, he understood. Lo and behold, like the good kid he was, he did indeed wait that full year. On the dot. We kissed outside the children’s church on a cold night after Wednesday small groups. It was short and sweet, innocent, and perfect. We continued to date until late high school. He wanted marriage, but yet again, I didn’t feel that I was ready. We decided on separate colleges, and I let him go. He’s married now with the girl he met right after me, and they live in Las Vegas where he works as a fire safety engineer. We’re Snapchat friends, and we have the occasional (obviously civil and appropriate) chat once and awhile through the app. I hope he’s just as pleased that I was his first kiss as I was pleased that he was mine, although I’ve never asked, and I guess I shall never know!

  47. Leah says...

    My first kiss was actually quite a lovely experience. I was sitting at a campfire with a few close friends one summer evening, and there was another girl there that I had just met that night. We immediately clicked. We were, well, a little tipsy, and when my friends went inside to go make some cookies, the two of us tentatively kissed. It was lovely.

  48. Elisa says...

    I love reading these comments. I’ve always felt a little self-conscious and embarrassed for being a late-bloomer, but now I know I’m not alone! My first kiss was at age 21, with my (now) husband – watching the oh-so-romantic movie Good Will Hunting, thanks Matt Damon.

  49. Emma says...

    My first kiss was the summer before high school, laying down in the grass at a park. The kiss was great, but I ended up getting a terrible poison ivy rash all over my face that required steroids to treat it. My (extremely conservative) parents said it was God punishing me for going down a path of sin! Needless to say, I’ve had some things to work through in therapy…

    • Tricia says...

      This made me laugh because I am all too familiar with the conservative parents ?

    • Amy says...

      Oh, I can so relate! My first kiss was at 22. I had a few opportunities to kiss in my teens, but my ultra-conservative mom made it seem like kissing was a short step away from all-out “fornication.” Even holding hands with a boy was grounds for a shameful look and long lecture. I ended up marrying my first kiss. While we are very happy together, I’m definitely going to encourage my daughters to kiss a few frogs before they find their prince. I regret not having more fun as a teenager.

  50. After reading more of the comments (which are so fun) most of us had terrible first kisses, but many of us have had wonderful first kisses with our respective partners. So, maybe the bad first, first kiss experience just paves the way for the magical first kiss experience?

  51. Tracy says...

    My HS bf. It was sweet and awkward, kind of a ‘fail’ because we tried to do like one of those “movie scene” (hot-heavy) kiss. It was bad and slobbery, but we laughed a lot and had a lot of fun “practicing” afterward. :)

  52. Late bloomer over here, too. My first kiss was at 19 years old. Even then, I had wanted to wait until my wedding for my first kiss. Thinking back, it wasn’t even because of some moral stance. I just wanted it to be really special and really personal to whoever I was with, and apparently I wasn’t completely sure about the guy I WAS with. He kind of forced one out of me, though, and it was NOT magical, to say the least.

    BUT, fast forward to easy summer hang outs with a cute and funny coworker, and after talking and laughing for hours on a picnic quilt in the park he went for it. Not contrived, not forced, and truly, wonderfully magical. And now he’s my husband.

  53. Emily says...

    My first kiss was in 6th grade and it was on a dare…that I orchestrated. ? Despite not being a real kiss and in front of my friends, it was sort of lovely and awkwardly sweet. My first real kiss was when I was 18, after a folk dance, under the stars. I didn’t stay with him, and I’d never want to be with him again, but I still feel tingly thinking about it. It’s one thing I would love to have again, a first kiss.

  54. em says...

    I love reading all these! I was 19, a sophomore in college, and utterly in love with a guy who had broken up with his longtime girlfriend only a month earlier, and Ricky Nelson was playing in the background. It was winter break, and we were parked in the driveway at my parents’ house. “I didn’t get everything I wanted for Christmas,” he said, smiling, and I was so naive that before I figured out what he meant, he leaned over and kissed me. I remember it being heart-throbbingly wonderful and . . . WEIRD. I told my sis after, who asked what it was like, “It’s like you suck on each other’s lips a little!” He walked me to the door and that’s the only time I’ve ever felt butterflies, so intense and immediate. There were some awful humdingers in the interim (the horrible scraped-face-from-beard-kiss among them!), but my last first kiss, 13 years after the first one and from my now husb. is the only one that has held up to that memory–we entered gently into our relationship and he warned me by text in advance he’d like to kiss me (so I could bail if I wasn’t interested!), so there was all the anticipation going into it. When he kissed me, the room slowly spun around. “This is it,” I thought, “this is the feeling of letting go of control.” And I’m so glad I did.

    • HH says...

      Er, I’m the sister and I remember thinking, “Gross!”

      I’m also a “real” late bloomer. First kiss was at 22, with my first boyfriend, a friend-turned boyfriend. The kiss was on my parents’ front porch and completely unremarkable. Imagine kissing your brother. Later on, his longer kisses resembled kissing a metronome. “Peck. Peck. Peck. Peck.” For obvious reasons, the relationship was short-lived, but the friendship lasting. :)

  55. Shannon says...

    I was 21 years old; it was in Belfast, and with an Englishman I had met at a pub named Aaron. He walked me and my friends back to my hostel, I suggested I walk him back down the street and it happened :) Oh, and it was raining. Complete rom-com material.

  56. Karen says...

    7th grade dance! I’m trying really hard to remember the song right now, but I can’t! Would have to break out the old middle school diary to figure it out (cringe). It was bad though, for sure.

  57. Jodi says...

    My first kiss was in the 8th grade at one of my classmates’ notorious “end of the school year pool party”. He was my boyfriend at the time and we snuck off into the woods behind his house with towels wrapped around ourselves, over our wet bathing suits from swimming, barefoot, climbing over branches until we were far enough in that no one could see us. We didn’t speak about what was going to happen, but it was pretty damn obvious to each other we were going to have our first kiss, and the anticipation was killing me. It was super awkward looking back, but so sweet and innocent. Clearly neither of us had any clue what we were doing because we walked out of those woods with slobber all over our faces haha. I remember looking at each other after, thinking “what just happened! that was awesome!!!”

  58. Jill says...

    “I don’t want it to be special, I want it to be over.”
    –terribly business-like, 24-year-old me to a hot-and-cold friend of years.
    (also used that night: “I mean, if it’s not you [guy’s name], who’s it gonna be.” Somebody call Nancy Meyers already.)

    • Laura says...

      This made me laugh so hard, and is VERY FAMILIAR!

  59. Sarah Butterfield says...

    My first kiss was at the altar, right after we said “I do”!!! Yep, I was twenty years old and a complete victim of evangelical purity culture, haha. My husband and I have been married for fifteen years and have grown so much together, that I look back at our twenty-year-old selves with absolute wonder.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a fascinating comment, sarah! you sound awesome.

    • Becca Lynn says...

      As a fellow victim of evangelical purity culture, I hear you! We waited till we got engaged haha (I was 21!). Somehow my husband and I have stayed married despite completely walking away from our evangelical roots and in some sense, the whole reason we got married in the first place. I’m a little envious of everyone’s sweet teenage romance stories!

    • Ha ha I was raised on ‘I kissed dating goodbye’! I rebelled a bit, then a lot, and had to pass through a lot of guilt, anger, etc before finally feeling normal! Needless to say my own daughters will be allowed to date and have normal teen kisses and more :)

    • Sarah F. says...

      Same! Although it was a beautiful moment (accompanied by a sweet awkwardness!), my husband and I often wished that we had done otherwise. I agree with you in that I love how we have grown together since then. Looking forward to approaching things differently with my own children!

  60. Annie says...

    My first kiss was when I was a freshman in high school on the way back from seeing a haunted house with friends. In hindsight, it wasn’t great, but at the time, IT WAS PERFECT! His name was Jake, and he was a handsome, older drummer with a classic car. I mean…hello!

    If I’m being honest though, my actual first kiss was in 8th grade when a gross guy in class came up, grabbed my head and planted one on my lips in class. I was SO upset (and ashamed for some reason? I never told my parents). I did tell the teacher and the boy got punished (paddles, as we got hit in the 90’s, ha). I had completely blocked it out until our future president bragged about grabbing pussy, so there’s that.

  61. A says...

    My almost-first kiss happened in a Spanish nightclub at age 16. I was in Spain for a few weeks with a friend, and she and I went out with some family friends of our hosts. I was swaying along to some pop version of “Besame Mucho” when one of the guys whispered in my ear (in Spanish): “Do you understand the song? Do you want to try?” I laughed but told him no thanks. I don’t regret not kissing him… my real first kiss was 3 years later, with my now-husband of 3 years, in the first snowfall of the season. Much more my style.

  62. Kristine says...

    Mine was at 16 or 17 with a boy who really had a crush on me (I don’t remember how I felt about him…)
    Anyway, it was on my back porch, sitting on the steps, he leaned in to kiss me. I think I was taken unaware and it felt like our two mouths were wide open and vacuuming each other! I still laugh about it! I thought “that’s kissing? No thanks” and I think I broke up with him a couple days after!! Poor fella.

  63. Agnes says...

    I was newly 20, and it was with my first boyfriend, about a month into the relationship, I think. We were standing on the deck of a cruise ship and he went for it, tongue and all. I just stood there with my eyes open, looking around like, ‘what the…’ I wish I could say it was romantic, but it was just a bit of a surprise and I don’t think I realized kissing could happen with tongues. Also, he was high and I didn’t realize that at the time either, I just thought he was a funny and giggly guy. Probably my best kisses have been with my current boyfriend.. he’s in his mid-40’s and gets ridiculously excited about French-kissing, it’s so sweet :)

  64. DP says...

    16th birthday party- thrown by my best friend exclusively so this kiss would happen. Sweet boy, wearing braces like me. Nice moment in between songs. When I opened my eyes everyone was staring and cheering. My friend got a picture of the moment.

  65. Timmie says...

    I definitely couldn’t stop giggling when I had my first kiss at 18. I was so nervous and wanted to “appear” experience, though, now at 26, I realize we were both just making it all up. Lovely guy, but I was immature and full of unnecessary drama. So that ended.

  66. Liz says...

    My first kiss is a special memory, happening on prom night. I was a young 16-year-old junior in high school. My date was a 17-year-old senior, and we were best friends. The evening was so magical, as my date and I were elected to be part of the Prom King and Queen’s court! The entire school chanted our names as we danced together. Then, our photo landed in the paper.

    During our after prom gathering at a friend’s house, we were “dared” to kiss in the closet. We found ourselves in the dark, whispering. Then, he leaned in for a sweet, innocent smooch on my lips. Early the next morning, I was on a plane for Florida with my family for our first trip to Disney World. My first-kiss encounter replayed in my mind that entire trip!

    A few months later, my prom date became my boyfriend, and our first french kiss turned into a fit of laughter! We just couldn’t figure it out. The third try was much better, and we perfected our smooches while we dated for three years. We tried to reconnect years later, but our kiss lost its magic. We both eventually met our soulmates, and we remain great friends today!

  67. Libby says...

    My first kiss passed away in a tragic car accident a few years ago in the prime of his twenties. We hadn’t talked since high school, but suddenly what I had long ago packed away as an awkward, somewhat forgettable moment became such a sweet, special memory that I now cherish. He was a good guy, whip smart with a sharp whit, it was on a happy night after our basketball games, in front of our old brick high school, in a tiny little town that I left behind years ago. A funny thing about aging, how you don’t realize how precious youth can be until its gone.

  68. My first kiss was awful. It was more like lip and tongue rape. I was grossed out, but also elated. I didn’t know what to do about my feelings at the time….

    BUT I had my last first kiss nearly 2 years ago. I took a trip with my now husband to NYC. We ended up at Central park and decided to row the boats. When we got up to one of the bridges I yelled to a women to take our picture and text it to us. She did and then yelled, “KISS HER.” We did. It was awful. I think our teeth hit, but we have improved since then.
    Sad news though–WE NEVER GOT THE PICTURE! It kills me a little inside thinking about it now, but I got the best prize. I get to kiss that boy everyday now.

  69. Kelly says...

    Mine: I was 12-ish. Playing truth or dare under my basement stairs with another friend and two brothers. The friend and the one brother were known to be a ‘couple’ and I just happened to be there. Ended up kissing the other brother on a dare, which turned into an extended slobbery kissing session. The next day he wanted to do it again and I was horrified to realize I didn’t even like him! Spent the rest of my teenage years awkwardly pretending I didn’t know he existed.

  70. Blythe says...

    My first kiss was with my junior prom date. I had a huge crush on him and prom was magical – I’m pretty sure it was Paris themed, like all proms. AND I drove us in my 1995 Honda Accord EX (it was 2006). After prom, in his parents driveway, while listening to the Angels and Airwaves tape I’d copied from the CD, he leaned over and kissed me and it was AWFUL! I remember driving home in my beautiful dress and thinking, “That was it? That’s what I’ve been waiting for for 17 years?” To give you a visual – he was the dog. And I? The water bowl.

    My now husband and I had been on a few dates that all ended with long glances and arm brushes and close conversations. We’re out at bar dancing and he stops in the middle of the dance floor and whispers to me, “There’s something I need to get out of the way.” AND THEN HE KISSED ME! Like movie level first kiss. Where the entire room faded away and it was only us on the dance floor. If you knew my husband you would know how out of character it is for him to be so bold. And MAN was I stunned into a love stupor.

  71. Jillian says...

    I just have to say, having had the most stressful week (looming work deadlines, teething baby, moody preschooler, sleep deprivation), this post is giving me life right now. I just spent a delicious hour reading the comments and living vicariously through everyone’s first kiss stories, as well as recalling my own (8th grade, at the beach, with a group of friends watching and heckling us; it was sloppy and terrible but thrilling all the same!). What an incredible relief to be able to take a break from taxing adulthood and slip back to a simpler time, with a group of smart, funny, insightful women. So grateful for your posts and the discussions they inspire! xx

  72. Charlotte K says...

    I was in summer community theatre and we had an end of summer party at a big outdoor venue. I was 14 and had led a fairly sheltered young teenage life up to that point. A nice guy a year or two older and I had made friends during the production. I’d never had a male friend before. He’d come over on the weekend to see my older sister and me. And we’d explore the countryside together in his little Volkswagen bug. At the party we were sitting together in the dusk with lights in the trees and he took my hand. Then he leaned over and kissed me one time. It was like a dream. Then he left for boarding school and I never saw him again. But I’m grateful it was so lovely. The next summer I got a “real” boyfriend but I’ll never forget that first kiss. I wish it could be that nice for every girl.

  73. Tshego says...

    Mine happened a week before my sweet sixteen, which made me a little sad. It happened on a rainy day in boarding school. It was a really nice kiss though. He had these really cute thin lips so for years after, I was terrified of kissing guys with ‘juicy’ lips :o

  74. Julie says...

    Is it weird that I don’t remember my first kiss? Either at a party or during a play… I have absolutely no idea. For me, it just was never a big deal. I remember a few great kisses in my teenage years though, with the greatest at a McDonalds with a cute guy I had met at a party… It changed my perception of McDonalds forever!

  75. Hanna says...

    My first kiss was with my husband. We were both 17 . . . it’s hard to believe it was more than 20 years ago. I don’t remember much about the kiss now, except that neither of us really knew how to do it properly. We figured practice would fix that, and it did.

    What I remember much more than the actual first kiss, are all the times I wanted to kiss him and didn’t because I was too scared. One night in particular, we went out together to watch comet Hale-Bopp. We were all alone on the grounds of the observatory. It was pitch black and cold. The comet was amazing, and we sat for over two ours in the grass with his coat wrapped around both of us, and our heads leaned together, cheek to cheek. All either of us needed to do was turn a few inches. But we didn’t.

    Sometimes I think about that night suddenly when I see him working at his computer, or cooking, or washing dishes. And then I bound across the room and kiss him thoroughly, because I can!

  76. Gillian Friedlander says...

    My first kiss was with a boy I had known all through middle school. He wasn’t my first choice (ha!), but I was home for the summer and he was sweet and kind and we took a sweaty hike up into the woods in the park by my apartment and sat on a rock together, knees touching, and he leaned over gently and kissed me. We kept at it for a while. It was nice and simple and I never felt pressured Afterwards I think we went and got some rice and beans from the bodega (ah NYC kid memories) :)
    The kiss I remember best, though, was with my now girlfriend of three years. We’re both bad at making the first move and we both wanted to kiss the other, but just weren’t getting there. One afternoon we spent a snow day watching awful B horror movies and after the second I groaned and said “wow that one was terrible.” And she looks at me with her big blue eyes and says “would it make it better if I kissed you?” It was so corny, but so cute! And it worked, so that’s what counts. And that was my first kiss with a girl and the first time I really realized all I had been missing!

    • Mclean Ryan says...

      Ugh, LOVE this post. My first kiss was something I worried about for so long, and is now one of my favorite memories. I was 16 years old, on a 3 week wilderness course when my new friends realized I didn’t have a first kiss story to share at night when we all laid under the stars and talked. They all started having these little huddles that would dissapear when I came near, and I kind of guessed what was up when I realized that the other night when they made us all describe our “ideal partner,” my description matched the cutest, sweetest boy on the trip. We all woke up for sunrise one morning in the desert and hiked up the mountain we were sleeping on the side of, and right after the sun rose everyone left, and Cam and I stayed. It was awkward, but I steeled myself and tried to put away my embarrassment. He asked me if I had really never been kissed, sorta didn’t believe me. We kissed a few times, and the next night in our sleeping bags, and another night too that moved into a little more than just kissing. I was so ready, and grateful to be in this space where I felt powerful and valued. Made it into my final writing piece my freshman year of college: “It was in the mountains that I had my first kiss. Technically, it was on top of a mountain, at sunrise, but the significance is the same. I was sixteen, older than society tells us we should be. I had been embarrassed, at first, that I hadn’t completed this silly ritual of our over-sexualized society, but as the sun rose I realized my distaste was a defense mechanism. In the mountains, I didn’t have to be shy about it. My hiking skills were solid and good, my meals were filling, and my storm-proofing skills were practiced. My friends were kind, my hair was dirty, and the boy was sweet. “In wilderness, there is no shame.” It was Cameron, the mountains, and I that morning. We sat for a long time before we kissed, and we sat for a while after. His face was bathed in the orangey golden light of a summer morning in the desert, and I felt safe. Later that day when we were all belaying each other up and down the sides of the canyon, the mountains beyond seemed to wink at me each time I completed a climb. The sunlight would glint across their still-snowy caps and sparkle, as if lighting off a small, inconspicuous sparkler just for me. I’ve always thought that the mountains know everything I do and more. When I am in them, I am completely known. It’s like when Joseph Bruchac said to us, “you probably think I’m nuts saying the mountains have no word for ocean, but if you live here you begin to believe they know everything. They maintain that huge silence we think of as divine, a silence that grows in autumn when snow falls slowly between the pines and the wind dies to less than a whisper and you can barely catch your breath because you’re thrilled and terrified.” The silence of the mountains is similar to that of a mother, always watching and planning, but staying far enough away so we can figure things out on our own. Like my mother, they know just what to do to remind me of my own strength.”

  77. Nikki says...

    My first kiss was a drunken teenage wet kiss… terrible cringe!
    But the best comes later, my first kiss from my soon to be husband was immensely gentle no tongue while holding my face. I still remember so well after 9 years. Magical.

    • Silver says...

      I love this!

  78. Stephanie says...

    My first kiss happened when I was eleven with my first “boyfriend” (doesn’t everything seem serious at that age?). We were standing on my back porch and I said to him, “I’m waiting,” and he said, “waiting for what?” “For you to kiss me,” I said (!), and he happily obliged with a small, kiddish peck on the lips. I think it was uncharacteristically bold of me, and probably a line I heard from a show, but it makes me happy that my first kiss was something I deliberately wanted and went for, especially when many kisses in the later years were so unwanted, where my choice or desire wasn’t a consideration.

  79. JB says...

    My first kiss was at 17. At 12, I literally grew 6 inches taller than every boy in the school and no one caught up until then. Even then, middle row back for school class picture day for liffeeeeeeee.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahaha

  80. Mollie says...

    I was SO scared. I was 17 and thought I was a late bloomer, but after reading these comments I feel very average. We had been “dating” for like, 3 months. He was super experienced and had already had sex, which made me even more scared. Finally, after weeks of me turning my head away when we’d hug goodbye, he was like, “just be still and let me kiss you.” AND HE HAD A SINUS INFECTION. I let him do it, and promptly got sick too. The kiss itself was actually pretty good though, mucus and all….!

  81. Anni says...

    I was the latest late bloomer of them all, being 28 when my first kiss happened. I was super nervous about the whole thing. My soon to be-boyfriend and I had been to a super romantic weekend-getaway in a foreign city(like in “Before Sunrise”) and that had been so nerve wracking that I could not eat and sleep. We wandered around streets day and night, aimlessly and I knew that he might like me but I did not know how to kiss someone and how it all would go down. After two sleepless nights in different beds, we drove home to my small college room and at night we kissed and outside the windows, the treeleaves rustled a little. It was not super overwhelming, just nice and it was not hard and kind of natural. So I always feel like all my years of anxiety for not having a boyfriend were worth it because now I know who I am and my first romance had those moments of “concious magic” because I could appreciate it all more.

  82. My husband was my first kiss and I was his. We had actually been dating a couple years before we kissed. We set very firm boundaries for our dating relationship, wanting to save intimacy for marriage. But, the kiss…..It was one humid, summer night. He was dropping me off at my parents house after a date. He walked me up to the door. The tension over kissing had definitely been building for a long time. We had a lingering hug then all of a sudden, we both turned our faces to each other and kissed. And kissed again. Lips closed but warm and promising. After a good time smiling at each other like goofballs we said a final goodnight, hug + one more kiss. It was perfect.

  83. My first kiss was a story. Literally. Well, a play about having never been kissed. 17 and away at a theatre camp (of course, of course, the old story of having your first kiss at camp!) and we were creating a show of “30 plays in 60 minutes” with at least one “play” written by each cast member. Also in the cast…. a boy with beautiful eyes and a bashful way where we just clicked.
    I submitted a monologue describing what I thought a kiss might be like, thinking of this boy, but not really expecting the writing to be picked. The director had complained about too many monologues and how he wanted interaction, but… mine was one of two monologues picked, and the director wanted a first kiss at the end of our first live performance!

    Oh, the drama, and the build up! Because, of course, everyone could see us starting to fall for one another, and because everyone had so many expectations surrounding this kiss based on their own experiences, rom-com wishes and secret hopes. A few days before the show was actually when our first kiss happened. Coming home from an ice cream date on a hot Chicago night, with fireflies in the bushes (also, very romantic, in retrospect), this boy had confessed he had wanted to be the one giving me a first kiss, but didn’t want our first kiss to be in front of an audience.

    The next day, a glow or whatever totally gave us away. For several days afterwards, various other girls (and boys, but mostly girls) in the cast caught me alone to share their feelings on this development. One was so mad that we had pre-empted the “romantic moment” of the show, another confessed she hadn’t wanted us to kiss at all because “the play is about having never been kissed and I never have either.” Others shared they were so glad it was a private moment for us, and still others just ribbed us good-naturedly.

    Funny thing is, the play’s kiss still felt special and unexpected, and most of the people who commented to me about the monologue were adults who shared their own stories of first love. Camp love doesn’t translate to beyond high school summers, but I still smile to think I got to share that experience with a sweet boy – but also with so many others and their secret thoughts on romance.

    • Lana says...

      this should be published. Seriously!

  84. Mariah says...

    Eighth grade graduation dance in the school gym, 1999. My first boyfriend and I were slow dancing. He was at least a foot taller than me but leaned down for a slobbery makeout, the first kiss for both of us. Fortunately neither of us had braces.
    Afterwards I was so freaked out by it that I broke up with him via email. Ah, young love!
    (He and I are friends to this day.)

  85. Ellie says...

    Also a bit of a late bloomer, I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 19. I was completely, crazy in love and it was both of our first kiss. I was so nervous and I remember the tension, the way time seemed to slow as our breath mingled, our lips so close, but both of us so afraid to close the final distance. We ended up laying together in bed, just kissing and holding each other, for 4 HOURS. I remember pulling away and looking at the clock, doing a near double-take to realize how much time had passed. That’s the bonus of waiting until college! We had all the time in the world to enjoy our first kiss. We’ve been together for almost 12 years now (and are still completely, crazy in love).

    • Clairellyn says...

      Yes, the joys of college dating! Similar to my first kiss with my husband. I remember many hours kissing in a twin bed. Crazy thinking how we could have fit then.

    • Erin says...

      I didn’t end up marrying my first college boyfriend — the relationship only lasted a few months — but I have lots of happy memories of marathon make-out sessions in our dorm-room twin beds. Once, lying in bed, I read Dylan Thomas’s “The Outing” to him while he cuddled with me, and at the end he said “That. Is a story about. Getting. Drunk.” (We both barely drank.) We thought this comment was hilarious. It’s funny how I thought at the time that this sort of thing was normal romance, and now, decades later, realize that it was all a product of being 19. :)

  86. Liv says...

    I’m 26 and it hasn’t happened yet! I used to feel embarrassed – it’s not something I share easily with friends – but I don’t mind so much anymore. I never dated a lot and the opportunity never presented itself. I’d rather wait and kiss someone I really like than do it to just do it. If anything, I feel much more protective of who I kiss first, because I’ve waited so long.

    THAT SAID….I’ve been casually seeing a guy I really like the past few weeks, so maybe I’ll be able to come back to this post and share my story soon ;)

    • Lindsay says...

      Liv I didn’t kiss anyone until 28. And it was completely worth waiting until I found someone I was completely comfortable with!

  87. Sarah says...

    I was 24 when I had my first kiss. And I was terrified. I grew up in a conservative environment which meant I watched a lot of first kisses happen at the alter at weddings. I did not appreciate being subjected to that spectacle and knew I did not want any witnesses to my awkward moment.

    I dated two guys in my early twenties for a few months each without kissing them (thanks to one of them being a non-defined-all-sexual-tension relationship and the other one possibly being gay) until I dated a wonderful guy who I was excited to kiss. After a few dates, I told him I had never been kissed but that I’d be happy to have him be the first. This was less about the gravity of the situation and more of a warning of how bad I was going to be.

    The next time we saw each other, I was PANICKED and he could tell. I squirmed all through a walk along the river. When we were retracing our steps to the car, I was walking behind him and the comfort of not facing each other made me relax enough to tell him why I was feeling nervous. At that exact moment, we stepped out onto some rocks to cross a creek and he stopped, turned around, and said “Sarah can I kiss you?” and we did. It was unlike what I imagined but very sweet. Instead of being transported, I was extremely present. We practiced all evening and by the end of the night I was enjoying myself immensely.

  88. Cheryl says...

    I always thought I was the late bloomer but these funny and sweet comments prove 16 wasn’t so late. I, too, was nervous and certain the kisee would know my kissing ability was weak and untested. No one knew, not even my best friend, I had never been kissed. I was sure I had to be a bit drunk but only to blame any lack of technique on something. No moment was ever right!
    Then it was summer and I was a lifeguard and went to the party of an older lifeguard. His friends were smokers, musicians and slightly nerdy. One of them latched onto me and during the car ride home after the party, kissed me as sloppily as a puppy. When I turned my head away in disgust his tongue went right into my ear like and eel. My friend was sleeping over and witnessed the whole debacle. We laughed like hyenas until deciding to sneak back out to the same party after my parents went to sleep.
    My first kiss perked up upon seeing me. I completely ignored him and wound up sitting in the laundry room, on top of the wash machine kissing his best friend, Tom. Tom was a veritable make out connoisseur in comparison. Every kiss was like matching puzzle pieces, soft and warm, sweet and slightly probing, then long and deep. I don’t think I breathed for an hour. I managed to keep my gum. I count that as my first kiss, after all it was the same night. Tom wanted to date afterward but I realized the kissing was the best part of him.
    After that I kissed joyfully, excessively and with reckless abandon.

    • Mollie says...

      Oh I love that final sentence! I want to find a way to use that in every day conversation!

  89. Ashley says...

    I grew up knowing the story of my mother’s first kiss and always hoped it would be as special. In fact, I think my first kiss was a little staged by me, only because I hoped it would be as magical as hers must have been (I don’t think it was). It could have been that I’ve always romanticized the thought of home life in the early 70s, or because my mother’s sweet and gentle demeanor tells the story of an innocent first kiss well. Needless to say, hers is a more scintillating story.
    She had a crush on the neighborhood boy, Victor. Something about him was different, and he saw through her shyness like no one had before. She was 13 and not quite a child anymore. They ran circles around her parents’ house in the daylight, mocking a game of chase and laughing with their bellies. He caught up to her at the side of the house and pressed her body against the brick wall. He kissed her firmly and intentionally. Then he pulled back, smiled, and walked home without uttering a word. She floated into her home.

  90. I was in eighth grade and all I remember was being surprised at how wet it was – HAHA.

  91. Lisa says...

    Seventh grade. In back of the movie theater. (I don’t remember if we even saw a movie.) Sitting on the edge of a concrete walkway. I don’t remember it being terrible, more interesting/new, but I’m glad it’s gotten better since then. I like remembering first kisses with each new person rather than just the first first kiss.

    • Jamie says...

      Haha, same for me! Seventh grade, back of the movie theatre watching Hot Shots (with Charlie Sheen, I think). We both had braces. We just opened our mouths and did a very wet awkward tongue dance for like 20 seconds, then just continued to watch the movie. I think we broke up two weeks later. It wasn’t very magical. :)

    • Rue says...

      Agreed! I have a few perfect “first kiss with that person” stories. Including my long term ex, who kissed me first on the forehead and then the lips, which I consider a wonderful gesture.

      We were together for ten years, and I still love him, but I also sometimes secretly wonder whether the forehead kiss was an early sign that we deeply love each other but don’t quite have the passion for each other that I want to have in my next partnership. But the forehead kiss is so unmistakably “us” that I still cherish the memory.

  92. Deana says...

    We were both 14 and under a downtown bridge – and so was his twin brother with my best friend, through whom I met the guys just 10 minutes before. The only way to tell them apart was that mine had a silver tooth. It was fine. The disappointment came later, when he tried to steal my friend away from dating his brother. They both had the same taste in woman, as twins do, I guess(?).

  93. Jenna Brown says...

    What a great conversation! My first kiss was quite dramatic. I had been “dating” a boy for about a month, which meant holding hands and talking on the phone. One night a bunch of friends were out walking around town (which is what we did at 14) and the arcade/pizza restaurant started on fire! It was chaos! My boyfriend and i snuck away and had our first kiss/make out while the firefighters and half the town was on main street. The arcade burned to the ground. I haven’t thought about that for years.

    • Erin says...

      You win! This is the best story!

  94. I was 16, he was 15, it was amazing, even when I realized five minutes in that I hadn’t put the car in park and we were rolling down the street.

    • Clairellyn says...

      Ha!

  95. Deana says...

    We were both 14 and under a bridge downtown – and so was his identical twin brother with my best friend! It was fine. The only way to tell the boys apart was that mine had a silver tooth. The disappointment came later, when he tried to steal my friend away from dating his twin. They had the same taste in women, as I suppose twins do (?).

  96. You want to talk about late bloomers? My first kiss happened at the ripe old age of 25, with one of my coffee shop co-workers. I was at a party that one of our other co-workers was hosting. I knew he had a crush on me, and I thought he was funny and sweet, but he was a couple years younger and I just didn’t see it moving beyond friends. Well, all night at the party he was hanging around me, giving me looks and I’m sure I was flirting with him, despite my resolve not to date him. At one point, late into the night, I went to the kitchen to get some water, and he was standing there. No one else was around. We chatted for a bit, then he pulled me closer, said something about how great I was and how he wanted to kiss me. “Well, that’s not going to happen!” I declared, nervously laughing. But I didn’t walk away, and we kept chatting about other things. A little bit later I went to check on my roommate who was—ahem—puking her guts out in the bathroom, and decided I should get her home. As she was cleaning up, I went back to the kitchen to collect our things. Andrew was still there, so I casually told him I was leaving, trying to pretend that the air wasn’t thick with the anticipation of him very clearly wanting to kiss me. He hugged me goodbye…and then didn’t let go. Then, he sort of kissed me? Like, lips just barely brushing against mine, almost like it was an accident. I was like, “Huh?? Was that a kiss?” So I looked up at his face for a second, kind of confused. And then it happened. The real kiss. Sweet, soft, almost like a question. Not at all what I imagined my first kiss would be like—but also, maybe the perfect first kiss. Just sweet, simple, and from someone it turned out I liked and admired a lot more than I let myself believe. Though immediately afterward I again declared that nothing more would happen, we would not date, etc., about six months later we did date for a bit. He was charming, hilarious, and though in the end it didn’t last, it was lovely.

    • Courtney says...

      I had my first kiss just a few months ago at age 29. I wasn’t waiting for any particular reason–had just never dated. Friends set me up with a cute guy and we went out a few times before we watched a movie at my place one night. At the end, he asked if I wanted to kiss him. I did, and that was that. It was terrifying and lovely and I couldn’t quit laughing! He was a great guy but we stopped seeing each other shortly after. Since then I’ve been ALL ABOUT kissing, haha! The sound, the connection, it’s all great.

    • Emily says...

      “Sweet, soft, almost like a question.” How beautiful.

  97. Lauren E. says...

    My first kiss was te-rri-ble. It happened during a game of suck and blow (yes ew) when I was 13 and I had a crush on the guy next to me but he was sooo not into me. But I like to think my first REAL kiss was when I was 17. I was in the school play and my character had to kiss the lead, and it was super awkward. Then he confessed he liked me IRL and actually kissed me in the basement of our friend’s house. The next time we had to kiss on stage, the director of the play yelled out, “FINALLY! SOME CHEMISTRY!” Huzzah. :)

  98. Cary says...

    I was 27 (!) and incredibly nervous! I felt so far behind everyone my age, but I’ve always been busy with work, school and travel. I’m really intuitive and take relationships seriously; until then, I just hadn’t come across anyone that felt right.

    We’d walked out to my car after our first movie date. I fumbled with my keys and he stepped in close and kissed me. Surprised, but not unwelcome ;) We got heckled from some people driving past and he just laughed and said “let’s show them how it’s done”. Pressed me up against the car and had a Notebook moment.

    Found out making out isn’t as difficult as I imagined. He was a good teacher haha.

  99. Oh my good lord my first kiss was terrible!! Sloppy and too much gusto. But now Skittles will forever taste like my first kiss so I guess it could’ve been worse….

    xx

    bombshell-to-be.blogspot.com

  100. Annie says...

    My first kiss was actually in a church, of all places. My nervous 8th grade boyfriend and I were in the same youth group and I wanted to kiss him so badly. I kept trying to find time for the two of us to be alone so we could FINALLY kiss somewhere, including suggesting (much to the disapproval of our youth group leader) “a group game of hide and go seek in the dark, like but with partners, like, outside somewhere…” Finally, my sweet then-boyfriend decided to step out to go get a drink at the water fountain down the hall and I SPRANG into action and followed him. And we kissed!

  101. Selby says...

    i think i was 13. his name was “doug” and (beware, this is scandalous), i was “dating” a guy named jon (we had gone to two movies together and held hands). doug and i were hanging out at a playground over summer break and somehow ended up under one of the platforms. we got close and i was expecting my first kiss to be a peck, but then he started opening his mouth! all of a sudden it was sloppy and wet, it was not natural and i was very confused. i was expecting kisses to just be a peck!

  102. M says...

    I was 17 (late bloomer! ha!) I was a senior in high school and he was a junior. We were over at his house on the couch cuddling after watching a movie. I think we were both super nervous but I turned around so we were facing each other and just went for it. I think my lips were super chapped and I didn’t feel any “sparks” so it was just… fine. haha – kisses have gotten better since then!!

  103. Melinda says...

    My first real kiss was just “meh” – I was 16, and I had flirted with this boy off and on for years. I regret kissing him now – girls, save your first kiss for someone you really care about! I do remember being surprised at how soft and warm real lips felt, as I had “practiced” on a red metal support beam in our basement! I cringe to think of that now, haha! My second kiss (at 17) was with my first real boyfriend (and now husband) – it happened while we were stargazing in a field on our very first date. Just perfect!

  104. I was 15 and it was December. My boyfriend’s friend was driving us home but my bf decided to sit in the back with me, which was a little weird because that left the passenger seat empty. We snuggled in the backseat quietly chatting but the tension was palpable, it was 10-15 minute drive, and when we go close to my house he gave me a gentle kiss. You could tell he wanted to the entire drive but was nervous and when we were finally near me house he made the move since he was running out of time. Obviously, this was premeditated since he chose to sit in the back with me and his friend didn’t question it so I’m sure he was in on it too. I was also pretty sure it was going to happen and hoped it was. It was sweet. He was sweet. Still is. We still check into each other once in awhile.

    And fun random fact, he is the only boyfriend my father has ever gotten a Christmas present for. It shocked both me and my mom. My bf had a real shitty car and his door handle was broken on his driver’s side and my dad scoured Ebay to find him a replacement.

  105. Allison says...

    I am so glad to see posts from so many fellow late bloomers! And as the mom of an 11-year-old, the early bloomers are giving me a panic attack! ;-)

    I was 19 at my first kiss, and a freshman in college. It was with a boy I had a HUGE crush on, but to him we were just friends. He knew I had never been kissed. We were hanging out in my dorm room late one night, and somehow started cuddling (I’m sure the drinks we’d had earlier contributed!). I told him I didnt know how to kiss, and he said I should “just grab a lip” – ha! Well, I did, and it was great. I was on cloud 9 for ages after that, but we never did date. In retrospect I know that he would have made a terrible boyfriend, so it’s for the best, but damn it felt good to kiss a crush!

  106. I was one of the last of my friends to be kissed. Summer before 8th grade with my second-ever boyfriend (that’s right, my first boyfriend and I went all the way to holding hands!) on the couch at his mom’s house. Two of our friends were there, spying on us. Everyone knew it was my first kiss. It was a lot of buildup for something that was…fine. But, he was kind about it which is really all you can hope for at 13. I can’t even remember if we ever kissed again! Just that first time.

  107. Jessica says...

    It was my 13th birthday. I had actually had a boyfriend for several years (!), but we hadn’t kissed – a fact that nearly everyone in our junior high made fun of. We lived in the same neighborhood, and there was a street corner in between our houses where we liked to meet. We met that day for him to give me a birthday present, and it finally happened! I remember being relieved, because I had been nervous about it for literally years. It took several more months before French kissing was broached, about which I was again so nervous.

    It’s so funny looking back on it; I never would have believed that one day I would look back on my kissing anxiety with such warmth and nostalgia, but there is something so sweet and universal about being nervous about your first kiss.

  108. Jan says...

    What a wonderful, fuzzy-sweater kind of topic! It’s delightful to read about the spectrum of first kiss experiences, & interesting that – as with so many experiences – emotions that feel so deeply personal & unique are so universal.

    The kiss that I’ll remember as my first real kiss was when I was 22. He was tall, tan, & smoking hot. We had been dancing around each other for the better part of a year, and that night I had reached a point where – one way or another – I wanted all the will-we-won’t-we anticipation to just be over already.

    We were at a house party, standing alone on a balcony overlooking the moon- & star-lit beach (warm summer night, etc), & I was in the middle of telling him why we had to STOP chasing each other (his ex-girlfriend was my flatmate’s best friend) when he pulled me close & kissed me.

    I completely forgot what I was saying, as well as pretty much everything else. That night was amazing, as were many other magical times with him: movie script-style memories I feel so lucky to have.

    He’s a wonderful guy & we’re still good friends 12 years later.

  109. Michaela says...

    My first kiss happened when I was 16 years old with my very first boyfriend in high school. We were at the State Fair and I later discovered that he had been nervously planning it for days. His big idea was to make the move on the Ferris Wheel (oh, the romance), but his plan was spoiled when the Ferris Wheel operator informed us of the “minimum of 4 passengers per cart” rule. He sweat the evening away until there was a moment later in the night when we were holding hands, lagging behind our group of friends. Out of the blue, he abruptly stopped, pulled me back, and planted one on me in the middle of the crowd. I was completely stunned but the spontaneity of the moment was magic.

  110. Kim says...

    Mine was awful! I was in 10th grade at my first high-school party with alcohol. Needless to say, the fuzzy navel peach (cheap) wine went to my head way too fast and I didn’t know how to handle it, having never drank before. There was a guy at the party from another school. In my haze, I found him to be dreamy (when I saw him sober….gross….what was I thinking???). The kiss was horrible……I remember he tasted like beer and cigarettes and our teeth kept hitting each others. Not a good night at all. And I don’t have many regrets but I do regret that first kiss!

  111. Emma says...

    It’s hard to say how much l love this post and this community of women!

    These stories are a return to such a sweet, thrilling time in life, so much less complicated than today. I was sixteen — he was eighteen, and more experienced than me (in every way). We were in his car and he had his head in my lap. He pulled my head down to kiss him and I remember the feeling of an absolute explosion in my stomach. We dated for a while but he turned out to be a pleasant dud. It’s now 20+ years later, I’ve had plenty of kisses since, and I’m now happily married to a much better man, but, boy, I’ve never experienced anything like it since.

  112. Clairellyn says...

    I was dating my first boyfriend in the fall of my freshman year of high school. And by dating I mean mostly hanging out. When our friends found out that we hadn’t kiss yet, they teased us until I grabbed him behind a stairwell and kissed him. It went fine. But the next day, I was terrified of having to kiss him again. Too much pressure. I came up with excuses for weeks before breaking up with him.

    My next kiss was in the fall of my freshman year of college, and it was prefect. I married that man.

  113. my first kiss is one of the most awkward stories of my teen years (and that is saying A LOT). it was at my seventh grade christmas dance, with my “boyfriend” and we had talked about it at length (via paper notes passed between classes, of course). the first one was just a peck, but THEN the drama happened. he “frenched” me and i wasn’t expecting it! i was so grossed out by all the tongue, i ran to the bathroom, followed of course by my girlfriends who had been watching all along. i felt so uncomfortable with what had transpired, i broke up with him that same night! after that i swear i didn’t kiss a guy again until i was 17… clearly i just wasn’t ready!

  114. cgw says...

    In 8th grade this boy I had a crush on gave me his FILA jacket to wear, that’s how I knew he liked me. A bit later (a month? after much hand holding and jacket wearing) we went to see a movie with some friends. The movie didn’t matter, we just needed a dark space because, while unspoken, we knew we’d have our first kiss then. Friends split up into various areas of the movie theater, and I remember we choose to be waaaaay at the back, up against the wall because I didn’t want anyone to see my silhouette (and I was so paranoid and convinced my parents knew my plan and had taken the day off from work to trail me -hahahah!). He went in for the kiss, tongue and all and I was so shocked by it that I immediately jerked my head back and flustered, exclaimed in a not so pleasing way “Thanks a lot!” It took him a while before he kissed me again, and when he did, he asked meekly “Can I give you a kiss?”

    So awkward, so innocent.

  115. Lauren B. says...

    I was in 9th grade and it was on the back row of the movie theatre during…wait for it…The Green Mile. Least romantic movie of ALL TIME. To make it more awkward, our mutual friend was there with us in the seat right next to me and basically supervised our first kiss (even though she was the same age as us). I remember my friend telling me before the movie started, “he’s probably going to try to kiss you tonight” so I was freaked out and panicky the entire movie and kept periodically putting more lip gloss on. I didn’t pay attention to the plot of the movie at all; years later I actually watched the movie in its entirety when it came on tv and felt humiliated all over again. ‘I had my first kiss during THIS?! Oh my gosh, shame on me!’ Ha!

    • Emma says...

      This story cracked me up! (Especially all that lip gloss). ;)

  116. Sarah says...

    My first kiss came from my boyfriend when I was 13. We were in the same math class and had been “going out” for a while. One day after school, I took an assignment to his house, and in the front hallway, with his dog jumping all around us, we each had our amazing very first kiss. Our lives went different ways after middle school, of course, but twelve years later we reconnected, and this summer we’ll be celebrating our second wedding anniversary.

  117. This is so fun! I love reading all the comments!

    My first kiss was with my Publix (grocery store here in Atlanta) Bag Boy turned first boyfriend, at 17. He was a couple of years older, in the army, and easy on the eyes. I asked him out after many trips to publix just to exchange awkward smiles. I always made sure I went to his line, even if it was the longest. We’d been boyfriend/girlfriend for a week maybe and after a date to the park, we got in my car and right as I was about to back out of my parking spot, he kissed me, and it was glorious. Right amount of everything. I dreamt of his kisses long after we’d broken up and even when I was dating my ex of 7 years.

    Fast forward 10 years from that first kiss to my first kiss with my current boyfriend who I’m hoping will turn into my husband (!). It was on our second date, we went to an ethiopian restaurant, and our chemistry was palpable. He was being so polite and was really respecting my boundaries (I’d previously told him I wanted to pursue friendship first, and quickly changed my mind after our first date when there were sparks flying in every direction). So, at the end of the date, as he walked just in front of me to open my car door, I gently ran my fingers up his back. He knew, at that point, that it was game on. After chatting for what felt like an hour, me sitting in his passenger seat, him standing at the passenger side door, he got quiet for a second and my stomach filled with butterflies because I knew this gorgeous man was about to kiss me, and ladies, that he did. And he did it SO well. He is THE BEST kisser, even more glorious than the first boyfriend (which, I previously thought was an impossible achievement). Our first kiss lasted a good while, and we’ve been inseparable since :)

    ps. I met him on tinder, for any ladies who need encouragement! And I used the advice in the “Dating lessons from my therapist” cup of jo post. I posted an update in the comments, if you’d like to read.

    • Yulia says...

      Oh my gosh, Naseem! I went back and found and read your update–this is wild!

      Joanna and others–I love how you feature reader comments so often (and even on Instagram)! What if you highlighted stories from some of your readers now and then? Sort of an everywoman/everyreader perspective pulled from great comments-turned-posts. Mainly I ask because I want to hear all/more about Naseem’s cool story! (If she was willing to write about it.) But also–your readers are amazing!

    • Nicole says...

      I second Yulia’s comment!

    • I WOULD LOVE TO!!! :) Thanks Yulia and Nicole! It certainly feels wild to me too. I feel so lucky and am so grateful for that post.

      Joanna — I’d love to write a post/share our story! As a matter of fact, I told Michael (the boyfriend) that I wanted to be featured on Cup of Jo this year, as one of my wild-possibily-unachieveable-goals. Would be a dream.

    • Annie says...

      I just read the update too! That made my day, Naseem!

  118. Katherine says...

    Oh man, my first kiss was a hot mess express. I was about to turn 16 and had never been kissed (my parents divorced when I was 15 so I was not super thrilled about boys and dating T that age). Anyway, a friend of mine, who was boy crazy and always had boyfriends, decided I couldn’t turn 16 without having been kissed, so a few days before my birthday she secretly arranged for a friend of her boyfriend’s to hang out with us when I spent the night at her house. We were watching a movie, and then all of a sudden this dude that I had only met a few hours before came after my face, trying to make out with me hardcore. All I remember was the shock and surprise and slobber. Since then, my other first kissed with boys were much more enjoyable and consensual. ?

  119. Kathryn says...

    Mine was at the movies when I was 15. He tested like spaghetti.

  120. Oh man. I was such a late bloomer that you would think I’d at least have waited to get the first kiss thing perfect, but no. I was 19 and at some hideous college party when the random guy I was dancing with went in for the kill. And it was terrible, so I don’t really count it. I do count the next one, which also happened in a less-than-sober state, but this was at least with one of my college guy friends (we had great chemistry, but never dated).

    The one I’ll never forget was when I met my current boyfriend for the first time. We were a Tinder match — made possible only because he was on a road trip and happened to be driving on the highway past my city — and after six weeks of nonstop talking he made the 10-hour drive to visit me. We’ve been together for 2.5 years (he moved in with me;) and still kiss like we’re in the honeymoon stage.

  121. Kimberly J says...

    My very first was in preschool and a friend who was a boy laid one on me at nap time. I was four.
    My technically second kiss is a better story.
    I’m in sixth grade, awkward as hell and totally in love with my best friend, John. He dated the most popular girl at school and always asked for girl advice from me.
    On a Friday night in spring, our grade was invited to the middle school (oooh!) for our first school dance with big kids!
    John and his gf were making out on the bleachers of the gym, and a few other couples. Another late bloomer and myself tried to fit in. And it was weird and awkward and full of braces. And a tinge of Hawaiian Punch.
    All of a sudden, the gym lights went on, we were all exposed and dragged into the principal’s office, where they called our parents. My dad was out of town, and my mother’s car needed work or was at a mechanics’. So she had to call my grandmother, her MIL and tell her that her sweet, innocent, 11 year old grandchild had been kicked out of her first dance for kissing boys,and she needed her car to pick me up. (And of course, upon seventh grade I was already a known troublemaker!)

    The next week (I think, literally, that Monday) was our schools’ 6th grade trip to Cape Cod to go whale watching. Our teachers kept all the cannoodlers separate, so I was happily stuck with John the entire trip, in which his gf also temporarily broke up with him. This was my chance! He held my hand throughout the whale watch, even as I got sick over the side. What a guy!

  122. Jessica says...

    So fun reading all these stories. I was 13 and so was he but he was ‘way more experienced’ He had been to some kind of summer camp where, apparently, making out was a regular evening activity. He had been waiting for a long time and was tired of ‘just talking on the phone.’ Finally, I went to his house and we were in his room drinking Fruitopia–remember those?–and he went in for the kiss. It tasted like punch and I remember the whole region south of my nose being wet. His mouth and tongue seemed huge. Ick. I’ve had many better kisses since then.

  123. Melissa says...

    Mine was when I was in fourth grade, I believe. There was a dilapidated old mansion by my house that housed about a dozen cats and one extremely kindly and extremely old woman. It had once been a real showpiece in town and was built on the edge of a hill, so the sloping backyard – now overgrown and weed-infested – had once been elaborate formal gardens.

    Anyway, the woman used to let all the neighbourhood kids play back there, so my first kiss was with one of my friends that lived just down the street. We sat on a crumbling stone staircase with half-feral cats rubbing up against our ankles, mosquitoes everywhere. It was exploratory and sweet and he tasted like spaghetti.

  124. Mallory says...

    I was an even later bloomer. I was 21 years old and had never been kissed. There had been opportunities, but I’m a romantic and was always enamored with the idea of my first kiss being meaningful and special. So age 21, I was in a bar with friends and some folks we’d met the day before. (We were all at a conference out of town.) I was dancing with this guy to old music, and we were laughing and having a blast and I could just tell that this was the night. Excited but panicked, I went to the bathroom, ducked into a stall, and did what any gal would do: called my best friend. I asked her if she thought I’d regret “spending” my first kiss on some guy I’d just met and she said absolutely not, that I’d regret NOT kissing him. She was right, of course. I mustered up my courage, went back out to the bar and onto the dance floor, and within 15 minutes, while Sweet Child Of Mine was playing on the jukebox, I got my first kiss. And in a hysterical twist, we spent that entire night making out like a couple of teenagers. I went from 0 to 60 real fast!

  125. Liz says...

    I was 15. We were friends from school and went to our 9th grade prom together. Our families were camping in the same campground that summer. One night we went for a walk and stopped by the lake – I kissed him! It was super quick and I was so embarrassed so I started walking away. He followed me, grabbed me and said “we can do better than that”.

    Spoiler – we broke up a month later. Ah young love.

  126. BRUTAL STORY ALERT! Had a huge crush on my friend Vik and it finally started to feel vaguely romantic. After hanging out on a trampoline under the stars, he pulled me towards him and…slobbered his tongue all over my lips. My first reaction? “Ewwww.” And yes I said it aloud. Needless to say I tried to recover by mumbling, “Ew…I think someone was just spying on us!” but he didn’t fall for it. Let’s just say our friendship ended soon after. Poor Vik. I hope he learned how to kiss.

    • Agnes says...

      Oh myyyyy… this is soo funny!!! HAHHAAHA

  127. Elaine says...

    I don’t remember where I was but I know Elton John’s Your Song was playing and I was worried about our braces locking but it was all fine. The coda is more important though: my first kiss is still a dear friend and I have a bigger girl crush on his awesome wife now than I did on him as a teenager. One of the highlights of my family’s summer is the week we spend with his family on a lake vacation. I may have set too high a bar for my teenage daughter — she expects her first kiss to come from someone she can imagine maintaining a 40+ year friendship with!

  128. M says...

    I have always been embarrassed to admit my first kiss wasn’t until I was 18 — so embarrassed, in fact, that I used to lie to people about having kissed a boy 3 summers earlier (I almost did, but then chickened out). It was on the bus after prom, he was a “popular” junior I’d asked at the last minute (I was a not-so-popular senior, just emerging from my awkward phase.) It was a good kiss. We dated for a month after that — my first boyfriend! — and then he broke my heart. BUT then I left for college where the first few months there, I definitely made up for my lack of experience by making out with every boy in sight :D

  129. Charli says...

    I was 14, he was 16. We both worked at the same restaurant and had been flirting for about a month. I went to the storage closet to get something, he followed me in. He kissed me and the manager walked in and caught us. I didn’t know it, but the manager called both of our parents to let us know. My parents didn’t tell me for years but they sure were weird about him giving me rides home from work for the rest of the time I worked there.

  130. Hannah says...

    Mine is pretty embarrassing! I was 24 (that’s right – TWENTY FOUR) and I had been so shy throughout school I had only ever “talked” to guys – never dated seriously. I had moved to a new city for work and just decided to get it over with. I went out with a group, took a shot of Fireball, started talking to a guy that I thought was cute at the bar, and we danced to two horrible bar songs (one was by Pitbull if that tells you anything about the atmosphere). And I kissed him. And that was that. I kept picturing Tina Fey and Amy Poehler from Weekend Update – b*tches get sh*t done!

  131. Rue says...

    Ugh way to remind me that dating in my 30s has a lot of parallels to teenage first kiss anxiety for overthinkers. (I want to KNOW when I will meet someone! And what do I have to DO to make that happen? What checklist can I follow to end up married?!)

    Ok ok but mine was a game of spin the bottle at summer camp when I was 13. Outside at night, in front of the lake, in Vermont. For whatever terrible reason, the other participants would tell the two people whether or not they had to use tongue. (Teens are the best and the worst at the same time.) So I finally landed on my supercrush: tall, blue eyes, dark hair that would fall in front of those eyes. We kissed, with tongue!

    A few days later we got up early to watch the sunrise from the boat dock and he asked me to be his girlfriend. We “dated” for a few days, and then I got cold feet and broke up with him RIGHT before the Saturday night dance. Because I am heartless. I later regretted my decision, and we reconnected by email in the fall. We long distance dated for *two years* (including meeting each other’s families, it was the cutest) before drifting apart, but we have been sporadically in touch as adults. I still consider this one of my genuinely good, successful relationships, even though we didn’t kiss again until we were in college.

    I truly loved that boy, and while I have no illusions that we’d ever be in a relationship again (he lived outside the country on and off for the last decade and is now married), I feel so much tenderness and joy for 13 year old me and 14 year old him. If the universe could send another boy my way who’s similarly tall/handsome/kind, I’d be eternally grateful.

    • Taylor says...

      You’re entire first paragraph about dating in your 30’s…..I relate so much to that!

  132. Heidi says...

    My first kiss was on the back porch of my friends’ parents’ vacation home. A bunch of us, including my crush, had gotten together to go to the lake and hang out in the sun all day. After a fun day of jet skiing and water sports with the guy I liked, we sneaked out to the back patio to have some time together and talk. I say “sneaked” out, but everyone else (including my friend’s parents) must have known what was going on and gave us some space. We went from zero to 60 and ended up making out, when I’d never even kissed a guy before (I too was a late bloomer). It was all very good, and he was a good kisser. I could even tell you the date because my friends’ parents interrupted us about 30 minutes into our kissing to let us know that Princess Diana had reportedly been in a horrible car wreck. I think that pretty much killed the moment.

  133. C.J. says...

    I was 13 and in 7th grade. I had been “dating” the same boy since 6th grade which mainly consisted of passing notes and watching Eagle’s football games together. We had talked about kissing but neither one had the guts to actually do it. After almost 2 years it was becoming expected from everyone. It was after the Patriots beat the Eagles in the superbowl and even though he was disappointed because his favorite team lost, he kept smiling at me. We were standing on the side of my garage waiting for his parents to pick him up and he kept doing a slight pace back and forth. Immediately after headlights pulled into the driveway he said, “okay see ya.” He then proceeded to give me my first kiss which felt (and I am sure looked) like a dog trying to get peanut butter off the roof another’s. It was sloppy and a mess and yet, so perfect.

  134. Nicole says...

    My first kiss was one of the most “off brand” evenings of my life. First, I was a total spaz when it came to guys growing up and never dated anyone in high school. Second, I’ve always been pretty shy and introverted when it comes to meeting new people. Cut to my semester studying abroad in London my junior year of college. One night, while out with my friends dancing at a bar, I set my eye on a dreamy 6’4 Danish tourist. I got him to dance with me, drank his beer (without asking), and then we fully made out on the dance floor all night until they closed down the bar. The next day, my neck was sore from straining to kiss him. He asked me to go home with him and I said no, but insisted he buy me a rose from a vendor outside the bar. And that was the night of my first kiss. It was equal parts empowering, exhilarating, and mortifying. He was an incredible kisser; my friends were all aghast. (I had asked one of them to hold my purse for the evening and they were all on standby the entire time.)

  135. Tora says...

    On what should have been my first kiss. I too was a late bloomer but got a boyfriend when I was 13. We were together for 9 months and the relationship was sweet, we were together all the time, held hands, slow danced at school dances but we never kissed. I was too scared. His mouth was so big that he could fit a BigMac in it and I was afraid he would eat me……. Found out some years later from a later exgirldriend if his that I had every reason to be afraid!

    • I’m so sorry, but I can’t stop laughing at this!

  136. Kate says...

    I also felt like a late bloomer for everything. My first kiss was at 16, at the movie theater (wish I could remember the movie from 1998), and it was a french kiss! Talk about startling! It was awesome, though, and the start of constant makeout seshes in his attic bedroom of his parents house.

  137. Kristin says...

    I was another late bloomer, though I prefer to think I had high standards. I was 18, it was New Year’s Eve, and I think he got me by my ear while I kissed the air. We’ve improved our aim, have been married almost 28 years, and have two awesome kids…or maybe I should call them young adults.

  138. Katie Larissa says...

    I was 19, we were sitting on the couch at his apartment, (sooo romantic, right?) and I knew I wanted to kiss him, but since it was my first kiss, I didn’t just want to go for it. So I said “I’d like you to kiss me, please.” He did, and all I could think was “this is damper than I expected!” (No tongue…I guess his lips were just moist?) Haha! It was a sweet first kiss, and I went on to marry him, and I secretly kind of love that he was my first and only kiss.

  139. Dollylonglegs says...

    With the boy next door at age 12 – and he was super sweet and actually asked if he could kiss me. It was warm and tender and actually pretty hot all things considered (looking back in retrospect!). I was totally awkward afterwards, not really knowing what to do so I kinda jumped up blushing and went home, never to really have a proper conversation with him ever again (other than some snide comments and brush off’s …. what was I thinking??). Still one of the best kisses I’ve had, for sure. Stanton, I’m so sorry I never acknowledged this and treated you weirdly afterwards but you should know you set the bar for all the kissers that followed ….

  140. Ann Burns Thompson says...

    My first kiss was with my now husband at 17 years old. He had been pursuing me for over a year and was bringing me Starbucks on a particularly bad day of mine. It was raining, in front of my parents house and I just went for it with coffee in hand. I spent the whole next few days puckering my lips because it was such a great feeling.

    Rewind to a year prior, my homecoming date tried to kiss me and i moved my head at the right time. I don’t know why, because I was pretty insecure in not having been kissed, but I’m so happy that moment happened!

  141. Lisa says...

    I was a late bloomer because I had STUPIDLY strict parents. I was 18 when I had my first kiss. I was on the world’s lamest gap year, working in a music store in a small town. Someone who used to work there invited me to his house warming party, and that’s where it happened. I think his name was Johnny. It was awful – our teeth clattered together and the next day he told me he didn’t want a girlfriend, but a couple of weeks later turned up at drinks with one. AWFUL. Fortunately I went on to have much better first kisses

    • Lisa says...

      To balance this out (I still cringe about that first kiss. I think he also said some dodgy stuff, but I’ve blanked it out of my brain), my best kiss. It was with my husband, when we were still dating. He’s gone on holiday with his family, and we were meeting up in Paris for New Years. It was a year when it was snowing like crazy (the flight with his family nearly got cancelled on the runway). I had gotten up super early to get the Eurostar (like 3 am early), and then took a very stupid route to go and meet him, ended up dragging my wheelie suitcase through the snow for ages. We met up in this cafe called “nectarine” which is in Le Marais, and I just remember walking into the cafe, cold, exhausted and missing him so much and he stood up, took me in his arms and kissed me and all was right with the world

  142. 14. And this seems to be a common age, reading the comments. Many years on, I rather wish I had waited a bit longer but it seemed vitally important at the time to get this done. He was nice but I wasn’t really ready for a boyfriend, had I but known it. I think, looking back, I would have been more confident a bit later on. I took my time to find my first, proper boyfriend and that was the right decision for me in my 20s.

  143. I was 13 when I had my first kiss. It was after the school youth club (where the girls’ school met up with the boys’ school) and his name was Ross. I can remember feeling very insecure about it all and also feeling pressurised by my so-called friends. I was appalled when he stuck his tongue in my mouth and slobbered all over my chin – it was disgusting! I was convinced that when I got home, my parents would know what I had been up to. Put me off boys for years, I can tell you!

  144. Sarah says...

    I was in a play when I was in 8th grade, and had an onstage kiss, as well as a new boyfriend. My friends decided my first “real” kiss couldn’t be onstage, so they locked me and my boyfriend into a room to get the job done.
    After we kissed, I said, “I guess [other actor] won’t be my first kiss now” and my boyfriend replied, “or your second” and went in for another. So smooth.

  145. AK says...

    Almost 14. Super nervous. He had had his wisdom teeth out a few days before. Like kissing a fish tank. Second one was better. We shared a banana beforehand to even the score.

  146. Victoria says...

    I was a late bloomer, I think, and was at a house party when I was 16. The guy I fancied had invited me and when he went in for a kiss I was a bottle of beer down. The sensation of his tongue in my throat caused me to throw up! I spent the rest of the party in the bathroom vomiting. So embarrassing!

  147. joana says...

    terrible! i was 14 (almost 15), an extremely late bloomer in all things boys, and i was at a very good friend’s birthday party. she and her friends came to tell me this boy wanted to kiss me (it was kind of fashionable back then to do it like this) and i didn’t really want to
    (i was scared, terrified!, and also in the middle of all these people??) but peer pressure has its ways so i went up to him and we kissed… and it was gross. i was totally disgusted by all of it and thought i would never ever like this kissing thing. which was kind of horrible! i was scared that i would be the only person in the world not to like kissing… thankfully, that changed :)

  148. rita says...

    My first boyfriend believed I had had a boyfriend before him (very long story), so when I first kissed him, after he had tried to kiss me and I had said no a couple of times (due to faithfullness to fake boyfriend, whom I had allegadly left at this stage), he told me that one could tell I had lots of kissing experience. Not the most romantic of comments by far, but I was thrilled not to get busted and that I was as good a kisser as I had hoped, haha!

    Secret tip: I learned not by kissing the mirror, but by kissing my arm. In case some panicked teenager is reading, I think this is the way to go, because you are giving and receiving the kiss and you can tell how it feels. It also feels rather good in a self-erotic sort of way, if you manage to forget about the awkwardness.

    (that relationship lasted a while, so I eventually came clean on the whole fake boyfriend stuff, and he forgived me, probably while worrying a little about my mental health)

  149. Hannah says...

    My first “real” kiss (as opposed to the kiss on the lips I gave my love/best friend at 6) with tongue and everything happened in India. I was on vacation with my family and met up with a local guy (he was a bit older and worked at his cousin’s beach shack). We took a walk on the beach, talked and then – at sunset, waves softly caressing the sand – he kissed me. It was wonderful.

    Later, I found out that he’d also tried that with my sister (who didn’t go for it) and in retrospect he was way to slobbery in his technique. My face was wet. But the moment itself? Great!