10/25/2012 05:34 pm ET Updated Dec 25, 2012


Dear Waldo,

I'm having a problem with kissing. Don't get me wrong. I've kissed plenty. But when I kiss these days all I think about is what I think about when I'm sheet rocking. See, I'm a sheet rocker. The seams have to be perfect when you're putting up plasterboard. And so, when I run my tongue over the seams of my fiance's teeth, I naturally think about what it would be like to mud that up, to smooth that out. I never say anything of course, but sometimes my sweetie pie says how come we don't kiss more, and then what I do is I just put my head down and kiss like a linebacker which I was for four years at which time my baby doll often pulls back and asks if she's bleeding. Any tips on how to get to be a better kisser? Also, how come we even kiss in the first place? How come we don't just go directly to screwing?


Dear Sven,

My brothers used to pin me down and then one of them would tickle my armpits, and the whole idea was to get me laughing so hard that I cried, and then the tickling stopped. Kissing strikes me as the same sort of bargain. You do this essentially nutty thing to a particular part of another person's body with the goal of whipping that person up into helpless emotional spasms and then its over.

And yet, I must tell you Sven, if I am kissing and being kissed in a certain way, I am no longer anything that might be useful in the march toward a better society. I am marching only toward more of this ridiculously fabulous kissing. If my hair is on fire while kissing is going well, I will certainly put out the flames, but in a bit.

The truth is, Sven, I know no more about kissing than you do. Your question about kissing technique is like asking a boxer what's the best way to knock someone out. There's no single answer. It's a combination of things made horribly complicated by the unfortunate fact that there's always someone else involved. It works or it doesn't.

The more interesting question if you ask me is why do we kiss at all? That is, can you think of other creatures, not in the throes of a blood-splattering fight to the death, that put their mouths together for such long periods of time? I can't. And so here's my guess about why we kiss. Warm and wet and slippery is much more pleasant to humans than cold and dry and rough. Therefore, wherever the warm-wet-slippery combo is to be found upon the human body, those locations will be sought after for pleasure. However, the happy evolutionary design of placing the mouth near the eyes -- as opposed to somewhere not near the eyes -- accounts for the great popularity of kissing. If our mouths were, say, where our genitals are, and our genitals where our mouths are, I can't envision there being nearly as much kissing going on. Why? Because the loveliness of kissing has much to do with the proximity of the mouth to the eyes of ones lover, a site wrongly overlooked, if you ask me, in the search for the soul. All of the real sex gizmos may be below the neck, but there's something more deeply intimate somehow in the act of pressing mouth upon mouth with the eyes nearby.

As for the nature of a kiss itself, Sven, it's a fabulous way to use the equipment available to us. What a miraculous, versatile orifice, the mouth. It speaks. It bites. It chews. It stages that most delicate ballet between lips and tongue. And that tongue! Are we born with an instrument more capable of precision, more shy yet commanding, more playful yet skilled, than that thick wet thing in our mouths? And what a medley of kisses that mouth of ours can perform, from the tight-lipped sexless peck to the voracious climb-inside-me gobble to the let's-take-our-time-with-this version in which it's all the heat of the breath and the small movement of lips and the patient exploring of the tongue, and when it works it may be as close as animals ever get to two being one.

In conclusion, Sven, I don't think kissing has played any part in the evolution of our mouths. I think the pleasure of it is a joyous accident. Just as the playing of instruments came late to our fingers, so probably did kissing come late to our mouths. But Sven, I say so what. Better late than never. My advice to you: Kiss and keep kissing with those lips and that tongue of yours, and if you're patient, and if you keep your stupid linebacker's head out of it, you will discover the answer to your own last question.

Your Fan,
Waldo Mellon