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Have you ever had a thought that was so troubling, you never really gave it a chance to manifest in your mind? You just pushed it to the back burner because it was too much to deal with. And your little plan to ignore this thought was working until someone said the very thing you didn’t want to think about.

This happened to me a couple of years ago when I was at my Aunt’s house for Thanksgiving. We were all sitting around having dinner when the standard questions of boyfriends came up. It was myself, my female cousin and my sister and my aunt went around the table asking each of us if we had one. We gave our answers. Maybe because we were all in various stages of unattachment at the time, my aunt took that as a sign to transition into the also standard, “these men are no good” speech. She spouted off a couple of cliches about how scandalous they are, how they generally can’t be trusted and what not. And then she said it, “And the way everybody is licking everybody else these days, I wouldn’t even kiss them. I’d be tasting another woman! 

NOOoooo! That was it. That was the thought I’d repeatedly pushed to the back of my mind. I didn’t want to have to deal with the thought of second-hand kissing another woman’s poon. Jesus Christ. But now it was on the table. We all groaned in disgust and settled in for the discussion. That thought and subsequent conversation forced me to ask myself how close had I been to other women through a carpet munching man?

Admittedly, I’ve kissed men without establishing exclusivity first, it could have easily happened… like every time. The thought still makes me shudder. My lip is literally on curl as I type this. But the truth is, I kinda want/need to kiss a man before I establish exclusivity. I’ve been into men and then the first kiss proved that there was no way in hell it was ever going to work. I wouldn’t want to bypass that crucial step.

I remember in high school, I was eavesdropping on someone’s conversation as this girl passed around a picture of herself kissing her boyfriend. When her friend looked at the picture, she noted that the girl’s eyes weren’t all the way closed. She said, “My grandmother always told me if you don’t kiss him with your eyes closed, that means you don’t trust him.” I’ll never forget that little nugget. It was so interesting to me. I would later discover that personally, I prefer kissing with my eyes open. Not because I’ve never trusted the men I’ve kissed, but because I like watching their reactions. I’m nosey and maybe I don’t want to relinquish all control. (Sounds kinda like trust issues…but whatever.) We were having a conversation to this affect at work one day, when one of my coworkers said in response, “Well, if you can’t surrender, then you shouldn’t be kissing him in the first place.” Goodness! The list of eligible men to kiss was getting smaller and smaller everyday!

I have to trust him. We have to be exclusive. Both of our eyes have to be closed.

Do you know how long it takes to really trust a man? Some would say years. Realistically, the number of men who would wait years to kiss a woman they’re dating is slim, very slim. Unless he was one of those people who didn’t believe in kissing until marriage, I’m sure he would take it as an indication you didn’t like him at all and would move on.

So, in addition to providing yet another reason why dating sucks…balls, I’ve also posed this question: When should you kiss a man? When you know he’s not licking anyone else’s snatch? When you trust him? When you can keep your eyes closed? Inquiring minds want to know. And when you leave your ideal answer, also be sure to tell us whether you’ve always followed that “rule” in your dating life.

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