DIFFERENT KINDS OF KISSES

The dictionary says that a kiss is "a salute made by touching with the lips pressed closely together and suddenly parting them." From this it is quite obvious that, although a dictionary-may know something about words, it knows nothing about kissing.

If we are to get the real meaning of the word kiss, instead of going to the old fogies who compile dictionaries, we should go to the poets who still have the hot blood of youth coursing in their veins. For, instance, Coleridge called a kiss, "nectar breathing." Shakespeare says that a kiss is a "seal of love." Martial, that old Roman poet who hid ample opportunity to do research work on the subject, says that a kiss was "the fragrance of balsam extracted from aromatic trees; the rise odor yielded by the teeming saffron; the perfume of fruits mellowing in their winter buds; the flowery meadows in the summer; amber warmed by the hand of a girl; a bouquet of flowers that attracts the bees."

Yes, a kiss is all of these ... and more.

Others have said that a kiss was: the balm of love; the first and last of joys; love's language; the seal of bliss; love's tribute; the melting sip; the nectar of Venus; the language of love.

Yes, a kiss is all of these . . . and more.


For a kiss can never be absolutely defined. Because each kiss is different from the one before and the one after. just as no two people are alike, so are no two kisses alike. For it is people who make kisses. Real, live people pulsating with life and love and extreme happiness.

Of course, there are different kinds of kisses. For instance, there is the kiss that the devout person implants on the ring of the Pope. There is the maternal kiss of a mother on her child. There is the friendly kiss of two people who are meeting or are separating. There is the kiss that a king exacts from his conquered subjects. But although all of these are called kisses, they are not the kisses that we are going to concern ourselves with in this book.

Our kisses are going to be the only kind of kisses worth considering the kisses of love. The kiss, perhaps, that Robert-Bums had in mind when he wrote:
Honeyed seal of soft affections,
Tenderest pledge of future bliss,
Dearest tie of young connections,
Love's first snowdrop, virgin kiss.

The amazing thing about the kiss is that although mankind has been kissing ever since Adam first turned over on his side and saw Eve lying next to him, there has been practically nothing written on the subject. Every year, hundreds of books are published telling you how to reduce, how to gain, how to get a job, how to cook, how to write and even how to live. But, on the art of kissing, very little has been written. One reason for this lack of proper instruction is accounted for by the Victorian sense of morals which has persisted through the ages. To the blue-nosed Puritans of the past anything that concerned love was dirty, pornographical. John Bunyan's writings show what these, Puritans thought of' the kiss. He wrote in big infamous "The Pilgrim's Progress," "the common salutations of women I abhor. It is odious to me in whomsoever I see it. When I have seen good men salute those women that they have visted, or that have visited them, I have made my objections against it; and when they have answered that it was but a piece of civility, I have told them that it was not a comely sight. Some, indeed, have urged the holy kiss; but then, I have asked them why they make their balks; why they did salute the most handsome and let the ill-favored ones go." Perhaps old Bunyan thought that way because be was one of the "ill-favored" who went unkissed and were let "go."

But, nowadays, people have taken a broader outlook on life. Our plays are becoming more civilized and less stiff. Our arts are no more censored by laws. This is being written about subjects that no self-respecting author would ever have dared to put into a book. Birth-control, divorce and the science of marriage are common subjects for books. Even the strange vices of mankind are brought out into the open and discussed and not allowed to fester in the dark chambers of censorship. Yes, like Van de Velde's "Ideal Marriage" and Stope's "Married Love" Ire openly sold in bookstores. But, nowhere, do we find which instructs people in the art of kissing, an art which is an absolute essential to a happy life, as we shall discuss in the oncoming days. Is it because we are not absolutely freed from the shackles of prudishness? In certain parts of this country, men have been arrested for kissing their wives on the street!

Is this civilization?

It is going to be a manual of the kiss. In it we are going to discuss the most approved methods of kissing, the advantages of certain kinds and, with the disadvantages of others, the mental and physical reactions of kissers, historical episodes of kissing together with examples from the literature of the world in which kisses were the subject. So, gird up your loins, pucker up your lips and let's to the kissing arena!

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