Kiss me, Kiss me, Kiss me

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
Apologies to alternative rock group The Cure, for borrowing the title of their seventh album for this thread, but reading a review of a new book, called 'The Kiss: Intimacies from Writers', by Brian Turner, set me off thinking about how I've written about my fictional characters puckering up.

Intimacy, infamy | The problem with kissing – Kristen Roupenian

My mind has been preoccupied with love & lust in my WIP, as my protagonist detective will finally leave an extended period of mourning his dead wife to begin a love affair.

Thinking back on the previous four Cornish Detective novels, there hasn't been much kissing, be it as a social greeting, a source of comfort or done romantically or sensually. Some of this is down to the protocol of what's acceptable among my team of detectives—were I writing about actors, there'd be lots of lip smacking action.

My protagonist's best friend is an eccentric 60-year-old forensic pathologist, who treats him with a mixture of cheekiness and nurturing, embracing him like he's a child, kissing his forehead and straightening his hair. The only kiss my hero has enjoyed in eight years came from a flirtatious massage parlour assistant, who teases him by kissing him farewell close to his lips. The woman he's been corresponding with for five years, and who's about to seduce him, gave him a chaste kiss as she left to return to Wyoming.

That's about it!

Parents have comforted children, a lesbian detective tended to her injured wife and a surveillance team observes an adulterous couple having a dalliance in their car, but there's been little passion. Perhaps I should slip some kissing into my manuscripts—this is one of the advantages of not being published—revision years after I typed The End! :)

That's not to say, that the absence of an expected kiss can't be a powerful influence in Life (and a useful writing tool), as this poem bySara Teasdale demonstrates:

The Look
Strephon kissed me in the spring,
Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all.

Strephon's kiss was lost in jest,
Robin's lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin's eyes
Haunts me night and day.

Not all of the kissing in the anthology is pleasant. The infamous 'Osculum Infame' is mentioned, which, I believe is the source of the derogatory phrases, "Kiss my arse/ass" and "arse-licking," as well as the command "Get thee behind me, Satan."

And, what of the kiss of death, Il bacio della morte, sometimes referred to as a Judas Kiss, as used by Mafia bosses to denote which gang member is marked to die?

There are all sorts of kisses!

How do you handle kissing in your writing?

Lots of description of the physical act, the tongue wrestling?

Or, more how the kissers feel about what's happening?

Do you have any favourite kissing scenes from literature?

Or poems about kissing?
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There was a young lady from Fylde
Who kept herself pure, undefiled
By thinking of Jesus
Venereal diseases
And the dangers of having a child

I live on the Fylde but don't know who wrote this quaintly charming little limerick.

But back to the kissing. Tonsil tennis, ugh. Ultimately it's all about 'that' look in the eye, isn't it. That look. How to bottle it?

Kissing Scenes in Literature
We all need this T-shirt!

I've been looking at this post for days and days ... trying to resist the temptation....

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Gustav Klimt

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Claude Theberge

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Claude Theberge

I think Theberge must have been a saucy sort of guy.
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