Every Kiss Begins With 'Kay, No More Tongue Dominance.'
It's no big secret that FF has a shit-load of kisses. You'd be hard pressed to find a fic that completes without at least one. Being the fandom/community that we certainly are, it's not difficult to notice trends in kisses. I came upon this topic initially because I felt as if some of the trends were creating misconceptions. One of my reviewers once said something along the lines of... "They made out all night?! Don't they need to breathe?"
Sigh sigh sigh. This had festered in my brain for some time, and I'm choosing now to question people on kisses. I'm no kisspert. Sure, my fiance says I do okay, but I'm not a wordly woman or anything. He's been the only man I've kissed since I was just a wee teenager. So, I read these kisses and wonder if I'm doing it wrong, but... I've watched movies and my fair share of gay porn, and I just don't think it's me.
I mean, come on. These fics are like a
This was my initial intention, but as time went on,
Types of kisses
The Butterfly Kiss:These don't use lips at all. I wonder, while reading, if people aren't confusing the meaning of the "Butterfly Kiss" all together. The context seems funky to me given the definition. These kisses aren't kisses at all. This is where one person flutters their eyelashes over another's skin or eyelashes. Urban Dictionary, ehow, teenadivce, and basically anything Googled will confirm this. Feather, flutter, tickle... all appropriate descriptions of Butterfly Kisses, I think.
The Chaste Kiss:These commonly come first in fics. We all know it, have read it, have waited for the tongue to make an appearance, and have been left dissatisfied and wanting. Still, though, the chaste kiss has its place. Where else to begin the long road of romantic intimacy? These usually involve some cheek caresses, hair stroking, or for the more passionate ones, crushing of faces.
The Lip-lock:One-up on the chaste kiss. Someone takes a top lip, while the other takes the bottom and they suck. Gently, of course. These usually lead to...
The Tongue Introduction:This is where things get iffy. Begging for entrance... seems to have a lot of non-fans. Lips get traced, there's prodding and gasping and darting and sweeping and FUCK. Just open your fucking mouth, mkay? You know you want it, Edward just beat you to the punch. Christ.
The Tasteful French:Well, this is subjective, but I find that people enjoy subtle mentions of arousal and less physical description. More emotional. I really want to give examples here, but fear that it's just personal preference, and I don't play that shit. I'm a weird bitch who likes weird shit. You don't care. Comment with some tasteful kiss suggestions.
The Porn Kiss:These are criticized most, it would seem. I'm a big fan of some tongue shoving, I admit. It seems really passionate and feverish, but that's me. There's a lot of exploring, moaning, groaning, arousal, and general slobber that never really gets mentioned. It would seem as though both parties never draw back, instead deciding to just go at it. Think: Humping with a tongue...
The Vamp Kiss:Vamp/Human kisses are a curious case. This is where things get most heated amongst readers and authors alike. Everyone seems to have their own version of what is and isn't acceptable. Long live the joys of variety. We'll explore this soon...
Popular Annoyances"Battling for Dominance" ????-2009. Rest in Peace...
(I'm not putting names on these. This article isn't meant to be critical of kissing, but rather to explore the trends. I've been guilty of almost every one.)
Perfection Wrapped in Bows:-"That kisses just magically make everything right with the world. Rainbows and flowers just spring up out of the ground."
-"When a character "poured all my love into that kiss." Poured. ORLY. When I'm in the midst of a really hot kiss, I'm not pouring anything. I'm kissing and attempting to keep my legs from buckling under me. It's so overused."
Boring Kisses:-"They're boring or they cut straight to sex."
-"I'm not sure I can come up with anything really memorable. Most kisses seem boring and monotonous. You've read one, you've probably read a million."
-"Failure to put me in the moment. Telling me they kiss instead of showing me."
Physical Kisses:-"Call me old school, I don't need every detail - leave something to the imagination, KWIM? I may be the oddball, but I don't just want the physiology, I want emotions, thoughts, reactions. It kind of ties to Hope's smut article - don't be clinical - make me feel."
-"And maybe it's just me, but going after someone's teeth with my tongue isn't the most awesome way to kiss..."
Granting of Entrances:-"Just like what’s going to happen to the licking of the lower lip. Hot and, if I’m not mistaken, canon, but come on…"
-"The whole 'licking of the bottom lip = open sesame' thing. I missed that in Emily Post."
-"I agree with everyone who has said that these are overused:... licking lips for "gaining entrance".
-"Licking the bottom lip or sucking the bottom lip between the other persons. I don't kiss like that. Maybe i'm visualizing something else than what the writer is talking about."
-"Granting/begging for entrance with the tongue! GAH that annoys the crap out of me (no offense to anyone who's written it in their fics)"
Asphyxiation by Tongue:-"Ummm, [they have to come up for air] because they have a cold? Honestly, I can't help but wonder if some writers don't do it b/c SM did it."
-"WE’ve all been probably guilty of this. I can understand catching your breath because it can be a bit hard breathing in someone else’s air, but has anyone heard of breathing through your nose?"
-"I don't know if I'm just doing it weird, but there's definitely not a vacuum-like situation going on when I kiss someone. You can either breathe through your nose or even just separate for a second to breathe without breaking the kiss all together."
-"Something that annoys me... forgetting to breathe."
-YES. Good God, people. Bella and Edward have noses. Kissing a vampire Edward may result in dizzying breathlessness, but lets tone down the dramatics for the AHs."
-"I agree with everyone who has said that these are overused: ... anything about forgetting to breathe or not being able to breathe (that's what noses are for, people!)"
Battling for Dominance:
I don't think I got one survey back that didn't express an intense dislike for this term. I couldn't even post all the comments if I tried. It's like... the Brittany Spears of FF kissing. It was somehow popular at one point, but now, we see it and think, "Oh, fuck. Here comes the skanky, ghetto, panty-less crotch..." and close the window. We can smell the tasteless from chapters away. Who started this? And can we blame them? I implore you to google (with quotations) "tongues battle for dominance." The first entries to appear are some kind of Anime FF. But I suppose it doesn't matter where it began, so much as that it did, and caught on like a smutty wildfire. NO MORE TONGUE DOMINATING! Seriously, we can safely put any "Battling for Dominance" to rest. A moment of silence?
The Venom Slobber Debate
A Vampire Could, But Edward Wouldn't.Gallantcorkscrews: No way on God's fucking bluegreen earth would Edward ever fucking kiss Bella with tongue. Edward is a stick in the mud born from way-back-yonder horse-and-buggy years.
Think about AIDS scare type hysteria- like Seoul 1988 Olympic games when Greg Louganis hit in his diving into the water and bled in this HUGE POOL. He had HIV and it caused a big scandal because despite the chlorine and the MEGA DILUTION SINCE IT WAS IN AN OLMPIC SIZED POOL people were like WHOA EVERYONE WILL DIE AHHH. This is the kind of old world attitude we are looking at when it comes to contagion and this was just twenty years ago. Edward is sooo old school (born at the tail end of the Gilded fucking AGE PEOPLE! Before penicillin was invented!) and we all know vampires's characters are, on the whole, frozen when they are bitten. Just because he's been through an evolving world doesn't mean he's evolved with it. He's clung to sooo many old fashioned attitudes, from opening doors for ladies to wearing funky pea coats. He wouldn't risk dropping a milliounce (?) of venom in Bella's mouth, who's an anxious enough little worry wort- god knows she's probably bitten her tongue or something and has a flesh wound in there.
DefinatleyStaying: Could he do it? Yes – I believe the venom has to enter the bloodstream to actually harm her, which generally means – blood. Would he do it? No, because when it comes to Bella, Edward is afraid of his own shadow.
Maybe, a bit.americnxidiot: I think the only way that this could work is if Edward only puts his tongue in Bella's mouth, but I can't see him willing to open his mouth wide enough to slip her the tongue while also protecting her from his razor sharp teeth. So even if he could I don't think he would.
Definitely.Blondie: Assuming you're asking if it would be possible within canon for a vampire to French kiss a human, I'd have to lean toward yes. Edward specifically kissing Bella...well that's a little different, but let's look at things one step at a time.
On a purely logistic level, the venom has to come in contact with a human's blood. Since there didn't seem to be a problem with Bella eating venom (the pizza eating scene in twilight/MS), then it's safe to assume that a human's digestive system somehow filters out the venom. So a vampire's tongue in a human's mouth shouldn't kill the human. I would assume that if the human had an open cut on his/her lips, or (ew) an open sore inside his/her mouth, well, that'd be the last human kiss they'd have.
In the case of Edward (SM's Edward) - could he do it? I think so, if he worked up to it. He almost did it in Eclipse (he licked her lips in chapter 8, Temper).
Would he do it? I think a more interesting question is: Did he do it? If he could make love to Bella in the book everyone hates, I think he must have. If he couldn't handle his tongue in her mouth, how could he have put anything else into her? But that leads into the whole virginity/blood/venomous spunk debate, and well, I'm not going there. In short, I think that at that point he would have done it, and probably did.
Honster: Ok - this one has always driven me batty (pun intended). How bored would a teenager (or horny adult for that matter) get with closed mouth kissing. Yeah, I get the sharp teeth, but come on!! As for the venom - you could go semantics of open sore or cut - but somehow I don't think there would be near enough venom to penetrate. Plus you could argue the scent of blood on an open wound would be too tempting regardless of open or closed mouth. It always slayed me in the books - girlfriend went more than A YEAR without getting any tongue (or much more for that matter). No way - don't believe it.
Depends on the Story/Author.Copyright kamermans.deviantart.comI think it just depends. I think, as FF authors, it's our responsibility to sell the readers on it. If we truly want some spit-swatting, it's achievable. We just have to set our rules and remain consistent to whatever we path we choose to follow. I don't think any side is right or wrong. I think it's simply prefereance and the ability to make it fit into the story that's being written. Plenty of AUs have french kissing with Vampward and make it work.
AG Asks: What would venom taste like?
- I think it would taste like.. alcohol. Beer maybe? (i dont like beer, btw) Idk why, it is how I imagine. I guess because they say it stuns the person.. so deadens the nerves.. like booze. *shrug* i can imagine a nasty aftertaste though...
- It tastes or at the very least smells good in canon. And um no I don't think Bella can gulp that shit down. For vamps though, yeah, drink that shit in.
- On the fact- Edward's mouth probably taste like snogging a slobbering King Cobra.
- It just freaks me out to think that it would taste like anything sweet. Let’s pretend it’s just like any other saliva. Ewwww.
- I imagine venom would taste sweet but would make your mouth feel like you've been given Novocain.
- I have no idea, but put me down in the venom would taste sweet side. I'll leave this question to the AU experts.
- I think it would taste sour, like a sour appley flavor.
- I imagine either extremely sweet or like poison one of the two, but strongly flavored either way.
- And my personal fave response, from the fabulous and ever-witty Blondie: I think it'd have to taste pretty damn yummy. It obviously smells awesome - but so does vanilla extract (have you ever tasted that stuff? ICK). But Bella's had her lips on his so many times that she has to have gotten more than a sample, whether she got any tongue action or not. Didn't she say she loved how he tasted? Since the only thing he can excrete is venom, then it's mmm, mmm, good. It must be sweet - in a pick-your-favorite-candy kind of way. I love caramel, so I'd pick that...someone else might pick cotton candy (oh, I like that too, especially the way it melts on my tongue). It's kind of like trying to describe ambrosia...what does nectar of the gods really taste like?
Definitely not garlic, though...
The Epic Survey: FF's Best Kisses
(I chose the top 3 nominated for each category, usually anywhere from 10-20 nominations.)
Best First Kiss
From Innocence to Experienceby
Tropic of Virgoby
Bella Swan: Kidnapperby
Best Vamp/Human Kiss
Creature of Habitby
From Innocence to Experienceby
Best E/B Reunion Kiss (AU)
Irritable Grizzly Adamsby
Miss My Lionby
In the Blink of an Eyeby
Best E/B Reunion Kiss (AH)
Mutually Assured Destructionby
Behind Enemy Linesby
Most Awkward Kiss
Volterra Rocks!(kiss written) by
The Nymph and the Waterfallby
Most Passionate Kiss
Most Deceitful Kiss
The Teenage Angst Brigadeby
Scotch Gin & the New Girlby
Best Chaste Kiss
Just One of the Guysby
I Hate Myself For Loving Youby
Art After 5by
Best Non-Canon M/F Kiss
The Teenage Angst Brigadeby
Best Slash/FemSlash Kiss
All I Ever Knewby
The Trip Homeby
At The Deep Endby
Most Original Kiss Scene
A World Without Soundby
The Romanticidal Edwardian
Twice as Long as Yesterdayby
Kiss You Waited Longest For
Innocent, Vigilant, Ordinaryby
Coming To Termsby
Admittedly, people had some trouble remembering kisses. I had at least 10 come to me and confess that they just couldn't recall any favorite kissing scenes. This was somewhat bothersome. Kisses are supposed to be so significant to romance, and -- lets face it -- a good portion of Twi FF is surely romance. So my first conundrum was this: How to make fic kisses memorable?
I asked three of the survey winners to expound on their knowledge of kisses.
Well, that kiss was important to the story-- a first kiss should be important to the story. It was the sledgehammer that brought down the wall. There was anticipation, tension, desire, release. It was chapter 17. In my current story, I've posted 25 chapters, but the characters haven't kissed, so again, it looms- readers ask for it all the time. I remember that from FItE as well. If there is ever a kiss between B & E in Sanctuary, readers may just stop reading after that. Nothing more to want.
Well, I think that [descriptiveness] really depends on the characters. I don't know that I would declare a set formula for it, but for me, the first kiss engages all the senses. It's the first time the lovers are THAT close, THAT intimate, so it's about smell and taste and feel and sounds. There's a lot going on in FItE- the venom was kind of intoxicating. It was sweet tasting and also anesthetic in a way, so her reaction to that was important, and Edward's reactions are equally important, even though it's not in his POV. He still has reactions through bella's experience of the moment.
We all want romance and heat and passion and love and intimacy and a connection when we read characters kissing. It's the moment we all want and wait for, the first kiss and all the kisses afterward. But with two men doing the kissing the dynamic changes. It's not chicks with dicks, these are MEN! They want to be manly, even if they are in love or lust or curious about the man they are about to lay one on. It's all about balancing the emotions and the physical while still keeping a strong male voice in the narrative. With a man on man kiss the participants might want to exert their masculinity and dominance, reassuring themselves and the other party that they are in fact men and not women.
A lot of times, chaste kisses - and touches - are completely forgotten in the race to get to the more graphic sort of material. It happens in both real life and fanfiction. Once you've reached a certain level of physical intimacy once, it's easy to bypass that the next time. I think it's a shame though - a good chaste kiss can really build all sorts of intimacy and excitement. It's the same idea as making out without it going anywhere - it gives you a chance to focus on that specific act, seeing how soft his lips are, how her breath feels against your skin, and just finding that connection without getting lost in the sort or randy excitement later on.