My dentist hovers over my open mouth as he holds a mirror to peer inside. He leans in — not for a closer look at my teeth, but to clutch my face in his hands and kiss me passionately on the lips. Startled, I reach my arms up to grab him by the shoulders and flip him onto the floor. I mount his body on the carpet and return his smooches with ardor. “Kiss! Kiss!” We are urged. “You’re her fantasy dentist!”
The dentist is my boyfriend, Kale (who is not really a dentist). And the floor belongs to our instructor, William Cane, author of The Art of Kissing. Cane is the pen name of Michael Christian, the nation’s (self-described) foremost expert on kissing. We’re sitting in folding chairs in his suburban living room, surrounded by a grandmotherly shelf of ceramic figurines and his 5-year-old daughter’s teddy bears. We’re here for his standard kissing lesson, a $155 class that promises to coach us through the kisses outlined in his Art of Kissing book.