With today being Valentine’s Day, I’ve been somewhat inclined to make an attempt at some sort of sentimentality. I’ve always found Valentine’s Day quite embarrassing more than anything else. Cards, flowers and chocolates signed from ‘X’ and then you start to suspect any guy that gives you a sideways glance but still hold out hope that it’s actually from ‘the one’ till you discover that ‘the one’ is actually taking Chika from Finance out to dinner instead of you. The pressure is always on (usually for the fellas) to make some overblown gesture and buy into all the commercial hype when really you should be showing that you care every single day regardless of what Hallmark has to say about it.
Then I got to thinking. What is the single most romantic exercise that a couple can perform to show devotion to one another? The one act that let’s both you and the world – if it’s watching – know that you really dig each other?
It’s got to be a kiss hasn’t it? Now where did your mind wander to? Ironically enough as I write this ‘Kiss’ as performed by Prince is playing on the radio! The diminutive pop legend himself is obviously with me on this one. Before writing this article I thought I’d indulge in a little research about the elusive history of the kiss. It seems it officially began with the early Christians who used the kiss (known as a holy kiss of peace) as a symbol of their unity in Christ but it soon began to catch on that the brothers and sisters weren’t just thinking of unity in Christ when they puckered up to each other hence the beginning of the segregation of the sexes in the early church.
How and when exactly the action of kissing changed in significance from the religious to the amorous not even the history books can tell us but its predominant use between lovers is very definitely here to stay. You want to know something else I found out? It seems that in Africa, south of the Sahara, kissing is something that has only recently caught on and when I say only recently I’m talking about less than two centuries ago – it was introduced to us, quel surprise, by the Europeans – I’m putting bets on the French being the most active at encouraging ‘le smooch’. To be honest this didn’t surprise me as I expected as much. We are a continent more given to hand gestures and direct action so to speak. Public displays of affection between lovers are a relatively new thing for us and although we may not all be comfortable with it I expect it’s too late to turn back the tide.
So, enough history and back to the crux; kissing. Too often have I had to bear witness to a couple inexpertly jawing at each other with tongues lashing back and forth like seals being trained at SeaWorld. I haven’t wanted to watch, it was just a morbid fascination and a fear of what damage they might do to themselves. More often than not it is the guy who is most torpedo-like with the use of the tongue, perhaps utilising it as some sort of precursor. Hands up all girls who have almost been choked insensible in the act of kissing a guy. Hands up all girls who have been put off by said guy due to his lack of smooching expertise. Guys – take notice.
But the ladies aren’t entirely innocent in their abuse of the snog, oh no! You get some chicks that turn into the human vacuum cleaner, sucking on the poor guy’s face as though Henry Hoover himself were paying them commission. Girls, be warned.
My point, which I am getting to in the most roundabout fashion, is that if you and your amour become so overwhelmed with passion you decide to indulge in a kiss, do it properly, do it right and keep it neat. In my experience there is nothing more seductive, more thrilling or more exhilarating than that first tentative kiss, like butterfly wings gently, hesitantly touching. Then when you make full impact, your lips tenderly massage one another (tongues put well away for another occasion) and that electrically chemical connection is made, all the lines that separated you are blurred, you even lose yourself in the process and it is incredible. Done correctly nothing beats it and sometimes when it all comes together so well, you just know without any doubt in your mind that this person is it. All from that kiss. Told you I was being sentimental.
Now, how you proceed past that is entirely your prerogative. My campaign here is simply for the kiss. It started off as something holy and the way in which we share it with one another should maintain elements of that sacredness. So, next time we find ourselves in a position to pucker up be it the 14th of February or whenever let’s do the kiss some justice and show the French how well we Africans have improved on their original model.