For once, teenagers were right.
I don’t make out anymore.
I used to make out a lot when I was younger. It was so exciting, so new. I was so happy to be kissing someone, anyone, that I’d just lose myself in the act.
We’d go park my car somewhere and the only thing on the agenda was making out. We’d spent hours upon hours just locking lips for the joy of locking lips. At the time, I couldn’t imagine anything better. (Well, I probably could, but parents and privacy were a big concern back then.)
But now that I’m older, I look back on those marathon make-out sessions with amazement. How did we go that long? WHY did we go that long?
That kind of kissing almost seems unnatural in retrospect, like an engine running at full speed without any oil. Why didn’t we have friction burns? Where was all that saliva coming from? And why weren’t we bored? How were we able to keep up that repetitive motion for so long without one of us just getting tired and saying, “OK, OK, you’ve made your point”?
THAT makes me feel old.
Because my current laziness be damned, making out WAS awesome.
It IS awesome. And I think more adults need to remember exactly why teenagers are so excited to spend a whole afternoon just kissing each other with wild abandon.
Because the kissing isn’t boring. We’re boring. And that kind of romantic complacency can take a toll on long-term relationships.
So, here are 5 reasons why relearning how to make out like a teenager might just add some much needed spark back into your romance:
1. Because sex isn’t everything.
I think this is one of the biggest obstacles for adults to get over when it comes to making out — the idea that kissing doesn’t HAVE to lead to sex.
Sure, it’s nice when it leads to sex, but if you only see kissing as either a quick “hi and goodbye” thing or as the opening notes of foreplay, you will completely forget to enjoy kissing as something in and of itself.
So why not carve out some time to just kiss your partner because it feels AWESOME?
Don’t put sex on the table. Don’t try to make the kissing lead anywhere.
Schedule some time to make out without anything planned afterwards — that’s the only thing you’re doing tonight — and you’ll start to rediscover how good kissing can feel if you’re not trying to rush through it to get to the next thing.
2. Because body language is important.
One of my most vivid memories of learning how to make out was how carefully I had to pay attention to the body language of the girl I was kissing.
I was so nervous and new to making out that I was hyper-aware of my surroundings. “What is she doing with her mouth?... Should I do this?... Why did she move her hand?... Did she not like that?”
And that nervous inner monologue was actually a good thing. That was my brain paying attention to my girlfriend and working overtime in an attempt to meet her needs.
That’s a level of romantic responsiveness that too many of us lose as we get older.
The next time you’re kissing someone, slow down and really try to read the physical signs that your partner is giving you. Pay attention to where they seem to be leading you. And let them guide you back to a time when you were still learning how to read a romantic partner. They’ll thank you for it.
3. Because you don’t know everything.
Another big problem with making out as adults is the pervasive sense of “been there, done that.”
“Why are we going to spend a bunch of time kissing? We’ve been kissing each other for years!”
That’s an unfortunate assumption on our part — that kissing has nothing “new” to offer us. It’s also an odd argument, because orgasms haven’t changed significantly over the past century and yet we still pursue those with unrivaled vigor.
The key is remembering that, like with orgasms, most of the fun is the journey, not the destination.
Kissing might feel like a well-worn path to some adults, but that just means you need to work harder to stay in the moment. Stop thinking about what comes next, what comes after, or what you need to do tomorrow.
Just allow yourself to be there, in the present, enjoying the intimacy of kissing for what it is. Because, once you start doing that, kissing stops being a vanilla appetizer and you start rediscovering all of the sensations and flavors that drove you so mad when you were young. If you open yourself to the idea that kissing can feel new again, it will. You’ll be surprised.
4. Because stamina matters.
Let’s be frank — sex can be exhausting. It’s the best, but… yeah, after a while, you both get tired, things get dry, and you’re confronted with the sad fact that the spirit might be willing, but the flesh is weak. It’s a humbling experience.
But making out feels great, and it’s much easier on the body than sex. It’s also self-lubricating to an almost limitless degree, and it can act as an energetic (and less physically taxing) intermission while you and your partner allow your sex batteries to recharge.
So, don’t overlook making out. If you’re frustrated by the cardiovascular toll that sex can have on the human body, kissing passionately is an easy way to keep your intimacy levels high while everything else gets a much needed breather.
5. Because teenagers are too damn happy.
Remember how happy you were when you would make out when you were young? Remember how excited you were?
As a spiteful old man, I definitely don’t want punk kids to have exclusive rights to that kind of unbridled romantic happiness.
Let’s take back making out, people. If only because a). we can’t let teenagers hog all the pleasure, and b). watching old people suck face will really, really gross them out.