Lip Service © 08 Barry Gardner
It was all over very quickly that first time.
Both kept our mouths firmly closed and the contact was instantaneous.
“Give me a kiss,” I said, and she did. Over.
Then came the trepidation. Had anybody seen? Would anybody know?
Had we actually broken any of the Youth Club rules?
It had been a bit like kissing your maiden aunt really,
but with out being followed by the seemingly mandatory
lipstick-cleansing scrub from the dreaded spitted-on hankie.
Added to which it was an altogether more pleasant experience
anyway, reaching parts of the body Auntie couldn’t—
and initiating a life-long determination to practice.
And practice I did, at every available opportunity.
No two co-participants seemed to do it quite the same way,
and I learned to hone and adjust my own technique accordingly:
beguiled in turn by the pout and the pucker, the open mouth
and the invasive tongue, the slippery lip and the firm suction,
the soft avalanche and the hard grind.
Fifty years on and that initial determination is still there,
if any heightened rather than dampened by the now more limited opportunities.
It has to be said that the bodily sensation have diminished.
But when you get to my age you know when you’ve had a good snog
‘cos you get home with someone else’s dentures in your mouth.