Ok the faint-hearted, squeamish, my son’s friends, and my nieces and nephews following this blog might want to skip this story. I don’t usually announce the story line… I prefer it to unfold, but if you don’t want to read an in-depth discussion of kissing, YES KISSING, not other dalliances, do not read any further.
Earlier the summer, gav309 sent the following message on OKCupid: “Hi, I loved your profile. You are funny and straightforward. I am in the military and just moved to Fort Eustis. I’d be interested in meeting if you don’t mind the distance. I could come to you; there isn’t much to do here in Fort Eustis.”
I read his name. I am getting wiser; after almost a year, I’ve learned. Luverboy4U, MeDanEatYouUp, PortlandGoodtime, FiftyShadesofUS, Ballbuster69, Tongue2Travl, and others have made me PAY ATTENTION (and yes, those are all real profile names… there are many worse; I couldn’t make this stuff up)! His name, gav309, gave nothing away… or at least sent no red flags. I clicked on his name, listed above his message and next to his tiny, cropped photo to lead me to his full profile.
Once there, I checked his vitals: looks first. As I recently mentioned, I am not totally shallow, but looks are important to me. Check. Cute, dark haired, and tanned. NICE smile. 😀 Height: Check. At 6’3”, he was at the top of my comfort zone. Education: Check: Masters. Occupation: Army Officer. OK. With my initial screening done, I proceeded to read his profile. Why waste time if he didn’t fit my criteria, right? I liked what I read, so I returned to the messages and sent a reply. After several exchanges, I was intrigued. In fact, his humor enthralled me. I looked forward to reading his messages for the content as well as the dating potential.
I Googled him using the last name he provided to find his Facebook page, Linked-In profile, and official U.S. Army page. Based on the name, I predicted Italian descent. In the month that it took us to align our schedules, we exchanged multiple messages every day, and then about a week after his arrival, I met him at a Starbucks half way between he and I, but also near my sister’s. I arrived first, and sat at a stool in front of the window facing the parking lot sipping tea and playing Words With Friends. A Jeep pulled up; I always notice those because my son owns one. A tall, tanned, dark-haired man got out. Broad shoulders that tapered to a narrow waist and long Levi-clad legs indicated a fit man. He walked in, immediately spotted me, and walked up to give me a chaste one-armed hug that didn’t feel intrusive for a first meeting.
His photo did not do him justice; this man was handsome. The first hints of grey were speckling his dark, closely-cropped hair. Fine lines could be seen across his forehead and at the corners of his eyes, but other than that, his face and body belied his 49 years. He was an animated talker, moving his hands to gesture and enhance his stories… and that’s another check. I like a man who can tell stories. He didn’t monopolize the conversation though. He paused between stories to collect some of mine. I didn’t share the dating stories…not immediately. I usually prefer blue eyes, but his brown eyes ringed with dark, thick lashes were warm and friendly, drawing me. We were really hitting it off, but I had to go to my sister’s, and we agreed to meet again. He texted to arrange the next date before I even arrived there. He was interested too. Score!
Our first “real” date occurred the following weekend. We met at Manhattan’s, again about half way between the two of us. We sipped beer, listened to the band, and he even danced a song or two… the slow ones of course. I reminded myself that I can’t have everything, and not liking to dance could not be a criteria to immediately count him out. At the end of the evening, he walked me to my car and gave me his first…well… and second and third parsimonious kisses. Tight lips and little smooches were bestowed on me as he semi-crouched to hug his arms around me. Awkward! I was wearing heels to counteract the height difference, but clearly, they weren’t tall enough for his comfort zone.
Because we can all be nervous about first kisses, I didn’t immediately kick him off my dating list. Our next date was a few days later when he joined me to play trivia. He fit in well with my friends, and though we lost, we had a good time. My friends thought he was nice and let me know their opinions (they do that whether I want them to or not). Kiss test take two occurred as he walked me to my car. He just stopped mid-parking lot, turned to me and said, “You look so beautiful,” and he bent to kiss me. I’d worn my green 5” platform shoes, so I’d evened up the playing field a bit. Again, parsimonious, tight lipped kisses with the tip of his tongue just barely darting to my lips. Huh?
Ok… queasy part ahead.
I like kissing. A LOT, so these kisses weren’t going to cut it. It didn’t help that my ex kissed like that… until the end of our relationship (note I didn’t say the end of our marriage) when he told me he liked wet kisses (after 17 years of marriage and about 3 dating, he decided to share this information….yeah… I know. Looking back, I get it: he was cheating, or at least kissing someone else)… and by wet, he meant slobbery, wipe my mouth with the back of my hand icky. So family members, you can see why I said not to read.
In contrast, MJ and Beautiful Man are two of the best kissers I’ve ever encountered. I’ll never forget MJ’s first kiss because he startled me by thrusting his long tongue seductively into my mouth. I expected a little tongue play, but WOW!!! the first time was quite a surprise. Even now, his kisses sometimes startle me. MJ’s kisses always start with a tilt of his head and a full on gaze into my eyes as he slowly moves toward my lips. Once he makes his initial move, he pulls back to explore my tongue and sometimes even my teeth. His kisses while wet, are not sloppy. Sloppy is gross. His facial hair also tantalizes the surrounding skin. When we first met, he tried to call me hon or baby. I called him on it. In situations involving the intimacy of excellent kissing, those are terms for people whose names we forget. I told him I didn’t want to kiss someone who couldn’t remember my name, so he still whispers it as we kiss (very trainable). His kissing starts gently, and becomes increasingly intense as he firmly holds my head in place, strokes my hair, and oh so slowly moves his mouth across my cheek and down my neck. “Ummmmmmmmm Yummy,” he proclaims as returns to meet my gaze with a gleam in his baby blues. Yep. Excellent kisses.
Beautiful Man has a presence that soothes me to the core, and I don’t call him Beautiful Man for nothing. Blue-eyed, tall, fit, and very comfortable in his skin, he’s a man’s man who can fix anything. His hands are large and gentle but scarred and callused from work and foolish youthful behavior. This man is FIIIIIIIIIINE. I cannot remember our first kiss, but it occurred before he grew a moustache. I was away at a conference when he grew it and sent me a photo. At first glance, I didn’t like it; however, I remember the first kiss with it. Whew! I liked the moustache so much I insisted he keep it. Beautiful Man’s kisses are less invasive than MJ’s, but far more erotic. They are also neither sloppy or parsimonious. Although, our kisses begin with light lip touching, and his facial hair awakening the many sensory receptors surrounding my mouth, they quickly change to him lightly drawing my lower lip into his mouth, where he teases his tongue back and forth over it. From there he moves his lower lip up and down mine causing that weak-kneed feeling I never believed in. Gentle probings with a flattened tongue follow. He doesn’t need to be overly aggressive; he’s a big man, so he’s quite gentle, using his hands to cup my face, stroke my hair, and then trace my lips, jawline, and eyebrows with his fingers. He stares into my eyes as he kisses me inviting me to see how much he cares. Again, excellent kisses.
So, while gav309 looked like he fit the bill, it just wasn’t going to work. His tight-lipped kisses might appeal to some but not to me. I guess I am proving myself to be even less shallow than I originally thought. Or maybe it was just the lack of facial hair as I seem to be a bit partial to that 😉 …although it’s not a deal breaker.
And I know some of you are wondering why the heck I don’t chose excellent kisser 1 or 2, and stop dating. First, it takes two people to make that kind of arrangement happen, and second, I have my reasons; suffice it to say that even excellent kisses and fabulous blue eyes cannot do all the heavy lifting relationships require. And besides, I think I agree with the idea central to this article by Mark Manson.