Spin to Win a Kiss

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At the youthful age of 12 I locked lips for the first time. It was hardly romantic, but it didn't stop me from sweating my tits off. Perhaps the most concerning part was that this lip locking didn't happen alone, it wasn’t a private event between two people - but then again, we were 12. 

Let’s call him Robert, we’d been dating for 5 months now, and by dating I mean we never went anywhere - it was a school based affair. Maybe the odd love seat on the tech bus or I’d help him with his afternoon homework. 

Leading up to this big impactful moment you could say i was a daydream believer, I was on the hunt for the ultimate love. Big girl, big heart, big girl. There was nothing naughty about our affection for one and other, we were very innocent, almost too friendly.

When it came to a Saturday night birthday I was dressed up (not really) in my new blue check waist tie dress, too many Chezels and fizz later in the darkness of a caravan eleven of us sat down to play spin the bottle. It’s almost expected isn’t it? What were our parents thinking? Leaving boys and girls together on a sugar rush?

Looking back you forget the suspense of the game, the pounding of your chest, the clamminess of you palms, the wonder if you brushed your teeth earlier. It was just your stock standard lemonade bottle, but tonight it had the power to change my life. 

As I spun the bottle around it was almost guaranteed to land on Robert. And it did. We lent over each other, moving closer and closer together. Lips puckered, eyes closed. Our lips locked. And that was it, the kiss happened and then it was over. Did I like it? Was I down for more? Not really. The bottle continued to spin, but our love (okay we were not in love) was fading. It wasn't till the next spin around when he subtly jabbed a tongue in my cavity that I decided this wasn't for me. 

One week later I approached him on the basket ball court, after much avoidance I’m almost certain he saw it coming. It wasn’t him, it was me. And really, it was me. I didn't like the tongue and breaking up was my way of enforcing it never happens again, ever. 

And it didn’t, not for a long time. For me anyway, for what felt like everyone else it was all go. There’s this high school moment when every boy and girl, girl and girl and boy and boy start tonguing like vogue just called it in season, and if you don’t have a partner then you can’t play the game. As much as games are fun, if it’s based on the rules of Pokemon and everyones trying to collect them all, do you want to play? Bench please. 

From this whole first kiss experience you find yourself realising the immense build up upon particular events in our lives. The first kiss, first love, first time, first marriage - it all sounds like an awful lot of expectation. So what if these moments aren't perfect? Where are the roses? The candles? What is all this excess saliva? For me I didn’t return to lip locking until late sixteen, and this time it didn't involve the fate of a bottle. I was bad, it was not good. There might have been dribble. But he taught me, it was a safe position to be in and most importantly, I was ready. 

On average, 20% of youth don’t have a first kiss until they reach their twenties and you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that. One day someone will want to share saliva with you and for now, acknowledge that your experiences do not define your self worth. Whether you’ve got mad cool factor or more comfortable in the shadows the distance you’ve gone sexually has no reflection or indication on you as a person. 

Hannah Jensen