You never know what you’re gonna find in the Romance section at Barnes and Noble. Sandwiched between Self-Help and Sexuality, it could be anything. I always think it’s cute when the people perusing this section don’t want anyone to know they’re there. It’s like the Corridor of Shame. Which, in my world, means the perfect time to use my outside voice. “SO…YOU’RE READING HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU? HONEY, LET ME SAVE YOU THE $12.95. IF YOU HAVE TO READ THIS, HE ISN’T.” The looks on their faces as they flee through Travel…God, I crack myself up sometimes. And may be the reason Borders has gone out of business. 

Me, I’m not at all ashamed to be caught in the Self-Help/Romance/Single Woman With Shih Tzu section. And will announce loudly to the people around me anything that seems especially profound. Like the kid from Jerry Maguire. “HEY…DID YOU KNOW MEN ARE FROM MARS AND WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS? BUT THE ATMOSPHERE OF VENUS IS 96% CARBON DIOXIDE. YOU WOULDN’T SURVIVE A TRIP TO THE SURFACE.” Then, I just play it off like I have Tourette’s.

Unfortunately, there would be none of the usual hijinks on my last B&N excursion, when I was devastated to discover they only offered up two books on kissing. Two. There were 365 books on how to land a man, but only two on kissing. And those were pretty lame. A mix of kissing history, love poems, and how to do the Spider Man. 

Dear Kissing Book Author,

If you think a man clad in Spandex hanging upside down from a fire escape does it for me, you are from Mars. 

So, in light of the scant body of research that currently exists on the types of kissers one may encounter, may I offer up my own Top 10 list? A girl should know what might be comin’ her way. 

10. The Awkward Andy 

This is the guy you’ve been friends with for five years. Buddies. You may even have fist bumped a few times. He comes over one night to watch TV, like he’s done a hundred times before. Except this night is like something out of a Twilight Zone episode. You suddenly notice him giving you a look you’ve never seen before. Did he eat something bad? Is he recalling a hair-metal ballad from 1987? Did he suddenly notice you wearing your holey PJ’s and glasses?

The next hour is a blur. At one point, you’re literally rolling on the floor laughing. Until he dislocates his shoulder. And you watch in jaw-dropping horror as he has to pop it back into place like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. Then…bing, bang, boom…he’s kissing you. You don’t want to be rude…I mean, two minutes ago the guy’s shoulder was hanging there like Raggedy Andy…so you go along. Only you’re immediately sorry. Because kissing Raggedy Andy would be more exciting. And less awkward. 

The next day, he calls to make sure you’re ok. That’s sweet, you think. Two months later, he moves to Florida. You never see him again, but always wonder about his shoulder. 

9. The I’m Just Not That Into You…But I May Be Into Your Best Friend

Undoubtedly, this will be the guy you’re in love with. The man to whom you’ll give your favorite t-shirt and best driver’s license photo. Who, after an innocent night of Italian food with your best friend, announces to you on the car ride home that he loved how she ripped apart her garlic bread and offered it to him. And now he thinks he’d like to kiss her instead. Even though she obviously has garlic breath. And was just trying to be nice.

PS…NEVER kiss this guy again.

8. The Kissopotamus

Do you know what animal is responsible for the most human deaths in Africa? Besides mosquitos the size of your head? It’s the hippo. That’s right…that lovable stuffed hippo you had as a kid? Really would have killed you in your sleep. The reason hippos are so deadly is because they’re deceptively adorable. Tourists are like “Oh, look at the adorable hippo and her little hippo baby” and then RWOF! You’ve just been eaten by a hippo.  

It’s the same with the Kissopotamus. Nothing kills the moment like a guy comin’ at you with nothing but tongue and teeth. Dude, I can see your adenoids.

The thing about a kissopotamus is you won’t see it coming until it’s too late. But you’ll know you’re in the belly of the beast the minute your lips touch. Except your lips never really touch. It’s just open mouth and tongue lunging towards you. Aggressive tongue. And you’re frantically scrambling to assess. You remember learning in a school assembly what to do if you encounter a wild animal in the wilderness. So you know not to run. But there are no tall trees around, you can’t speak calmly (or at all) at the moment, and you don’t have any pepper spray on you. And kissopotamuses might be irritated by pepper spray anyway. So you do the next best thing. Recoil in obvious horror, give the kisso a conciliatory hug, and then run back into the party. Because that’s not awkward.

PS…there’s a clear distinction between a well-executed French Kiss and a vocal cord exam. A skilled kisser knows the difference.

7. The Wax On Wax Off

This is the guy who must’ve watched Karate Kid a lot during puberty, and now wants to school you like a sensei on the art of Wax On Wax Off. This guy could care less about the kiss really, or your face, in general…because all he really wants is the bubbies. And you’ll spend the next 30 minutes blocking like Ralph Macchio in a bad boy dojo.

6. Mr. Peck….And I Don’t Mean Gregory

Despite all appearances to the contrary, when it comes to love, I’m a realist. The first couple of years is nothing but endorphins. At first, all you wanna do is smell each other. And eat chips and queso together. 10 years in, there are some days when you can’t stand the sight of each other…and the last thing you want to do is share your cheese dip. In fact, you could lick the bowl clean, if it wasn’t for him sitting across the table. And a Mexican restaurant full of people. I get that. But what I don’t get is the perfunctory peck. That half-a-second obligatory smooch you get (or give) when you’re running out the door. Some men peck really hard, too. Like you’ve just been jumped in a Mexican cockfight.

Dr. Ellen Kreidman, author of Light Her Fire, Light His Fire, and The 10 Second Kiss, believes that kissing – and connecting with – your partner for 10 seconds every day is the magic ingredient to keeping love alive. And isn’t that what we all want, people? Is 10 seconds a day too much to ask for?

PS…if I ever become Mrs. Peck, please stage an intervention. Immediately. 

5. The Clive

Clive Owen is HOT. I suspect even straight guys think so. The only thing hotter than Clive Owen is Clive Owen wearing glasses. It almost makes you forget some of the films he’s made. And although I haven’t spent a day with him yet, I’m willing to bet he has 5 o’clock shadow five minutes after shaving. The women he’s smooched probably had to seek medical attention for that beard burn. I decided to research “beard burn” for this article. I was surprised to find how many online forums where devoted to the woes of stubble. What do you mean?!? Beard burn is one of the perks of kissing. Next to Man Scent, stubble is one of the hottest things about men. Don’t tell your Clive you love it, though, or he’ll go overboard. And you’ll spend 10 days in the Cedars-Sinai burn unit. Otherwise, invest in high-quality moisturizer and enjoy.  

4. The John Wayne

This is the strong, silent type. Well, maybe not silent…but definitely strong. As strong as you are. He’s persistent…and undeterred in his course to win your heart. He doesn’t just want to kiss anyone. He wants to kiss you. You are definitely the burr under his saddle, and the feeling is mutual. Until one day…when you become his Maureen O’Hara in The Quiet Man. PS…this is the kiss, and kisser, that movies are made about. 

3. The Wrestler

People should wrestle more. If we eliminated all weapons of individual and mass destruction and resolved our differences with a nice Three Quarter Nelson wrestling maneuver, the world would be a much better place. Same in relationships. If you’ve never kissed a wrestler, you should. And he doesn’t have to be Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake…just someone with a mischievous glimmer in his eye who’s game, but who you know won’t break your neck or cut off your air supply. 

Nothing builds up to a great kiss like a good scrap. Inevitably, there will be carpet burn and casualties…like one of the calves from his mom’s ceramic cow collection. But the kiss afterwards more than makes up for it.

PS…no baby calves were harmed in the making of this kiss. A little Super Glue and he was as good as new.

2. The Comedy Writer

This is the guy who can always make you laugh. You face planted in front of a City Bus, forgot your lunch, and got a $500 red light ticket on the way home…and this guy will somehow manage to have you laughing out loud by sundown. You’ll want to kiss this guy. A lot.

1. The Face Man            

When a woman kisses a man, the first thing she thinks about is the kiss. The second thing she thinks about are his hands. Where are they? And what are they up to? A man’s hands during a kiss tell you everything you need to know. If they head south within the first 10 seconds, you know he’s only interested in kissing as a prelude to other activities. Blech. 

Then there’s the Face Man. This is the guy who, as Greg Behrendt would put it, is totally into you. Kissing you is all he’s had on his mind for the last week. He’s not going anywhere, and neither are his hands. When a guy’s hands go for your face first, he goes to the top of the list.


Do you have a kisser to add to the list? Leave me a comment below!

{ 4 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. 1

    How about the raisin? He has wrinkled too-long-in-the-tub lips and kisses a dried out peck on the lips.

  2. Kristin Brittain

    My first kiss was with a Face Man. A steady stream of Kissopotami and Awkward Andy’s followed, until I found the wonder that is the Comedy Writer. (Occasionally, I can even get him to channel his inner Face Man!)I never experienced a real Clive Owen, but at least now I have a solid goal for my next husband.

  3. 3

    My guy Jason has been all of these at one time or another, but mostly he is number 2 and I would not have it any other way, he is the best! And he would be right there with you in the bookstore doing the Tourette’s thing. This was a great post, true and hailarious!

  4. Nancy

    How about the Mount Rushmore? This is the guy that has no idea what gentleness is when kissing so it’s like getting hit in the face with a rock.

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