Having at least learned something as to the nature of a kiss, let us seek information on how to kiss.  There are various general directions; the gentleman must be taller than the lady he intends to kiss.  Take her right hand in yours and draw her gently to you; pass your left hand over her right shoulder, diagonally down across her back, under her left arm; press her to your bosom, at the same time she will throw her head back and you have nothing to do but lean a little forward and press your lips to hers, and then the thing is done.  Don’t make a noise over it as if you were firing off shooting crackers, or pounce upon it like a hungry hawk upon an innocent dove, but gently fold the damsel in your arms without smashing her standing collar or spoiling her curls, and by a sweet pressure upon her mouth, revel in the blissfulness of your situation without smacking your lips on it as you would over a glass of mead.  It might be well at the conclusion of the operation to ask the young woman if it was satisfactory, for we are never satisfied that a lady understands a kiss unless we have it from her own mouth.

AUD NOTES:  That a first kiss should be gentle and desired by both parties and that holding hands is all the contact required.  Height is not a factor.  One may ask a lady if she can be kissed again sometime.  Also, there is a more intimate future kiss that is new to the north and is brought to us by the Normans who have taken Frankish wives and it is called French Kissing (See below for further details).


A Kent authority insists that a man must be in humor for the business; you want to get the idea into your head that the girl is just dying to be kissed by you and is only waiting for you to make the break.  Then you want to take a good view of her mouth and see just how much of it you can take in.  If she has a regular rose-bud mouth, why, take it all in and throw your whole soul into one kiss, but if her mouth has the appearance of a landscape cut in two by a waterless river, then the safest plan is to take in the corners and byways, and sort of divide your kiss into sections. Most girls have no end of cheek, therefore a fellow can seldom miss fire in kissing a girl on the cheek. Do not kiss her ear as nine cases out of ten the girl will make a slight dodge so as to impress you with the idea that you are really surprising her in your action; the result is you miss the ear, kiss her hair and get your mouth full of penny hair oil. Only actors kiss on the brow.  If a girl has a pretty mouth kiss it every time, but if her mouth is so large that you endanger your life by getting too near it, then resort to the next best thing and kiss her on the cheek.

We repeat, to kiss a woman properly the size of her mouth must be carefully gauged before proceeding to the work. Large mouths put a man to the severest test; he will be driven to his wit’s end whether to begin at one corner and conclude on the other, or to make a heroic dash at the middle and endeavor to reach both corners. The heroic dash is considered by students in the art of kissing to be the best, for it takes the least amount of time, and allowance should always be made for the struggle to get away from the kisser which, albeit only a mock effort, might inadvertently prove successful.  Delicately-formed mouths with rounded lips and of a velvety color are the easiest to kiss, and most submissive.


You must never kiss a young girl if she doesn’t want you to.  The main ingredient that makes kissing endurable is a willingness on the part of the female.  If it deepens into anxiety so much the better.  When a girl claws a man’s hair and scratches his face like a little fool drop her at once. As long as the girl doesn’t claw and yell and struggle like a panther, it is perfectly safe to continue prospecting.  If you are just beginning to teach a shy girl, who has only been kissed heretofore by her brothers and father, touch your lips gently to her forehead. She will take this as an exhibition of profound respect. That position gained, working the way down to the lips is as natural and easy as the course of a log sliding down the wood flume of a lumber company.

AUD NOTES:  Why are all books on kissing written by men?


A popular comic song with the imperative title of “Sock her on the kisser” states that when a man falls in love with a little turtle-dove “he will linger all around her under-jaw” and goes on, in a chorus, to give directions, to wit:

      If you want to kiss her neatly, very sweetly and completely,

      If you want to kiss her so’s to kiss her nice,

      When you get a chance to kiss her, make a dodge or two and miss her,

      Then sock her on the kisser once or twice.

That rhyme will do for the “gallery gods”; those in the orchestra seats will appreciate the following:

           The cutest trick in a kiss that’s quick

             Is to put it where it belongs;

           To see that it goes below the nose

             And knocks at the gate of songs.

           A kiss that is cold may do for the old,

             Or pass with a near relation;

           But one like that is a work—that’s flat—

             Of supererogation.

           If you’re going to kiss, be sure of this—

             That the girl has some heart in her;

           I wouldn’t give a darn for the full of a barn

             Of kisses without a partner.

           The point of this rhyme is to take your time,

             Kiss slowly and do it neatly;

           If you do the thing right and are halfway bright,

             You can win her sweet heart completely.


Of course hugging is often a legitimate part of kissing.  A Welsh writer has given us a humorous account of the dangers of hugging.  He claims that hugging is a comparatively modern institution and draws the line between the hug and the embrace.  The hug is an earnest, quick, impetuous contraction of the muscles of the arms and the chest when the object to be hugged lies within the circle bounded by the arms, while the chest is the goal or final point of the hug.  The warmth of the hug is determined by the extent of the muscular contraction. But the hug is not, as anatomists assert, terminated when the object is brought in contact with the chest.  On the contrary, the sweeping in is but the shell of the operation.  The kernel is reached when the space between the hugger and the huggee is annihilated, and the blade of a knife could scarcely be inserted between both surfaces.  The release, if not skillfully managed, is attended with danger and should be as gradual as the elementary pressure.  Expressions of anguish on the part of the huggee may, as a rule, be regarded as hypocritical, and should have no effect in inducing the hugger to diminish the pressure.  Danger signals, from the huggee, without foundation may be punished by from two to three pounds additional pressure.


The ladies of Rome, it is said, have but a faint idea of kissing, that art from which so few possess the capacity of extracting the most available ecstasy.  An Anglo-Saxon stopping in Rome writes: “I one day offered to show a dark-eyed, raven-haired young lady how Anglo-Saxons performed the act.  She laughingly agreed and I advanced upon her, my right arm bent at the elbow, afforded my hand an opportunity of accumulating her dimpled chin.  Gently folding back her head and throwing a look or rather a rapid series of looks of unutterable nothing into my eyes, I gazed clean through hers for a moment, and then with a long drawn breath I tapped her lips.  It was a revelation to her; she quivered visibly, but, instead of returning my kiss she broke away from my embrace and ran off to lock herself up, frightened, pleased, but astonished.  With me it was merely a mechanical operation but, after two days, I saw her and she told me with a deep blush that she wished she had been born in Angleland.”


A Hraes’ naval officer who, while in Cathay, had become smitten with a Cathayan girl, invited her to give him a kiss.  Finding her comprehension of his request somewhat obscure, he suited the action to the word, and took a delicious kiss.  The girl ran in another room exclaiming “terrible man-eater. I shall be devoured.”  But in a moment finding herself uninjured she returned to him, saying “I would learn more of your Anglish rite, kee-es me.”  He knew it was not right but he kept on instructing her in the rite of “kee-es me” until she knew how to do it like a native Anglish girl.  And after that she suggested a second course, remarking “kee-es me some more, Mee-lie-kee!”.  And the lesson went on until her mamma’s voice rudely awakened them from their delicious dream.

The concluding lines of a Cathayan poem show that in some circles of Cathay, at least, kissing is understood:

                 Oh for those blushing, dimpled cheeks,

                   That match the rose in hue!

                 If one is kissed, the other speaks,

                   By blushes, KISS ME TOO!


A man ought to know how to kiss and a girl ought to know how to receive a kiss.  Father Sidney of Smith, the witty divine, says: “we are in favor of a certain amount of shyness when a kiss is proposed, but it should not be too long, and when the fair one gives it, let it be administered with a warmth and energy; let there be soul in it.  If she closes her eyes and sighs immediately after it, the effect is greater.  She should be careful not to slobber a kiss but give it as a humming-bird runs his bill into a honeysuckle, deep but delicate.  There is much virtue in a kiss when well delivered. We have the memory of one we received in our youth which lasted us forty years, and we believe it will be one of the last things we shall think of when we die.”


The poets have sung of long remembered kisses. One fugitive poem

entitled “Three Kisses” describes the lover as sitting beneath the

whispering trees and speaking the tender words that rose unbidden upon

his lips.

             I gently raised her sweet, pure face,

               Her eyes with radiant love-light filled.

             That trembling kiss I’ll ne’er forget,

               Which both our hearts with rapture thrilled.


After ten years the sweetheart, now his wife, dies and he is gazing at the pale shape of clay, once warm with the throb of human life :

             Softly I stoop those lips to kiss,

               That oft have thrilled with rapturous love,

             But they are cold and motionless,

               No power again can make them move.

             The last farewell caress is o’er,

               E’en that cold touch is now denied;

             A grief, like waves on barren shore,

               Sweeps over me, an endless tide.

And so the bereaved one gives way to his sad thoughts and recognizes the fact that he must struggle on alone.  But while his tearless eyes with madness shine he feels the arms of his baby child stealing round his neck and the baby lips laid against his own:

               My bonds are loosed; I press the child

                 Against my breast while fall the tears;

               Beyond the throes of passion wild

                 A ray of living hope appears.

               Sweet child, thy mother’s very soul

                 Was in that kiss. Through worldly strife

               Perchance men find a Heavenly goal,

                 A purer love in death than life.

There is another anonymous fugitive poem also entitled “Three Kisses.”  The first of the three is “sacred unto pain,” and on account of the many times the twain had hurt each other.  The second kiss is full of joy’s sweet thrill:

                We have helped each other always,

                We always will.

                We shall reach until we feel each other,

                Beyond all time and space;

                We shall listen until we hear each other

                In every place;

                The earth is full of messengers

                Which love sends to and fro;

                I kiss thee, darling, for all joy

                Which we shall know!

The last kiss is given with the remembrance that they may die and never see each other:

                Die with no time to give

                  Any sign that our hearts are faithful

                To die as live.

                  Token of what they will not see

                Who see our parting breath,

                  This one last kiss my darling seals

                The seal of death.

A poetical apostrophe to the benefit of a wife’s kiss is entitled “Angel food”:

            “Give me a kiss, ’twill cure the pain and ache

              Of the long day of weariness and toil;

            Like summer sunshine all life’s shadows make,

              My burdens lighter, and my sins assoil.”

            So every day he lived on angel’s-food;

              Made strong and valiant by her wifely kiss;

            To bravely put aside temptations rude,

              Yet knew not whence his armor came, I wis,

            Nor knows he now, albeit she is gone,

              But lives his life in brave and saintly mood—

            The kisses which he grew and strengthened on,

              Are still to him his daily angel-food.

And here is a description of “Two Kisses”:

               You bent your head, then close you pressed

                 Your warm and glowing lips to mine;

               Your tender hand my hair caressed,

                 When first you gave that kiss divine,

               My heart was throbbing with delight,

                 My soul was steeped in holy bliss;

               I gazed into your eyes so bright,

                 When first you gave me that sweet kiss.

               In all the after years of pain,

                 When from my side you I did miss,

               I think I see your face again,

                 When you first gave me that sweet kiss.

               I stand again in that old lane.

                 But now the leaves are sere and yellow,

               And with a heart of grief and pain,

                 I see you kiss another fellow.

In the ceremony of betrothal a kiss has played an important part in several nations.  A nuptial kiss in church at the conclusion of the marriage services is solemnly enjoined by the York Missal and the Sarum Manual.  In the play of “The Insensate Countess,” by Marston, occurs the line:

              The kiss thou gav’st me in church here take,

It was also considered an honor to be the first to kiss the bride after the ceremony, and all who would might contend for the prize.  In the “Collier’s Wedding,” by Edward of Chicken, we read:

                 Four rustic fellows wait the while

                 To kiss the bride at the church stile.

When ladies’ lips were at the service of all it became usual to have fragrant scented comfits or sweets, of which we find frequent mention.  In Massinger’s “Very Woman” occurs the following:

            Faith! Search our pockets, and if you find there

            Comfits of amber grease to help our kisses,

            Conclude us faulty.

Pliny describes the introduction of the custom to the degeneracy of the Roman ladies who, in violation of the hereditary delicacy of the females of Rome, descended to the indulgence of wine. Kissing was resorted to by husbands as the most courteous process to ascertain the quality of their wives’ libations; and Cato, the elder, recommends the plan to the serious attention of all careful heads of families.