I discussed some of these “pre sexual” urges in the book, but either didn’t dwell on them or sprinkled their importance throughout the last half of my story. That being the case, I’d been thinking awhile about bringing these thoughts together, adding another chapter into what has been given a life of its own; stories that didn’t make it into the book.
At my inaugural—my first real date, with 11-year old Kay, one year my junior, (we went to the Uptown Theatre and saw “Treasure Island” with Robert Newton and Bobby Driscoll, which is covered in the book,) details how I spent half the film trying to get up the courage to hold her hand. That was my first encounter with creating moves necessary to satisfy an urge that would not only feel nice, I could also hope the girl I’m with would share the feeling with me.
As time wore on, these moves most always worked, which helped take me to the next, and even more delicious level: kissing.
I had kissed a few girls in grade school, but while aware of the softness involved, wasn’t particularly impressed—because I was still unaware that kissing is an art, approaches can differ—and early teenage had yet to catch up to me.
Shortly after that first date had drifted into sweet memory, the girls in my class began holding frequent parties, usually in their homes, not all of which were well-chaperoned (although we may have been spied upon). Inevitably, at most of these sessions, spin the bottle or other such simple kissing games were often initiated, which helped break the ice, give both sexes a chance to practice, and afford the opportunity to make a mental list of who might comprise our own personal “top ten” of the best University Junior High School kissers.
Another training exercise, at least from my point of view, was to take Kay by hand, and sneak up to the darkened third floor of the Education Building, if we had occasion to be there to rehearse a play or attend a sporting event. There was no place to sit while we enjoyed broadening our technique, but in some ways, standing while kissing gave us a foundation, as it were, to learn better the art.
These early sessions all took place during my 7th and 8th grade years. It wasn’t until the 9th grade, when Nan came into our lives, that the true pre-adult feeling of what a kiss can bring, and what was behind it to make it special, was realized.
I covered this moment in time in the book, advising readers I can still remember the feeling that swept through me when holding Nan’s hands, and, standing motionless on her front porch stoop, mesmerized, as she opened her mouth slightly, bringing closer her full, moist, soft and very red lips. Then, as all I’m describing was a half inch from my face and mouth, she stopped—and looked me straight in the eye. Then she planted her kiss, a silky depth charge that I was sure at the time altered my normal blood flow. I did, however, recover sufficiently to reciprocate without passing out.
Although I’ve never heard of or read a treatise about the Art of Kissing another human being, it would be interesting to know if such documents exist that might be read and later used for reference. Here’s one thing I’m sure of: When actors began the regular on-screen practice of kissing in the movies, back before most of us were born, their attempts were little more than pecks or close-mouthed clenches. It was only later, when oral cavities began opening a little wider on film and tongues became a part of the action that titillation levels increased.
As I grew older, (and hopefully wiser,) I found myself in position to more fully enjoy those ‘upper levels’ where the art of kissing had taken me. Plus, I learned a lot from the young women with whom I came in contact, between sophomore year and up to high school graduation and the final weeks before leaving town for college.
In addition to Kay, Nan and Carol, I am forever in debt to Sue, Sloane, Fay and Sherry (most names changed, to “protect” the innocent.) Any abilities I might have developed in the kissing department up to the time I departed home had been instilled in me by these special women.
Upon arrival, and during my next four years living and studying in the Chicago suburbs, whenever the occasion arose, I continued to polish my technique.