On French Kissing

This w/up is a lot more fun if you read it out loud in your best French accent.

A french kiss is an exquisitely sensual act which capitalises on one of our most sensitive human organs. Variations on the theme include affectionately nibbling the lips, kissing intimately with open eyes and getting handsy. Still, a kiss is not a french kiss without the meeting of the tongues, and oo la la what a wonderful discovery this has been. Dare I say... formidable?

My second amour certainly did not do justice to this phenomenon. He chose to use the infamous washing-machine-in-spin-cycle kiss on me, late one night at a busy bus station. I am not ashamed to say my best kisses have been with near or total strangers. My worst kisses have undoubtedly risen from situations were the kiss actually meant something. There were tears, there was saliva, there was teeth bashing... but it was him and he loved me so I patiently taught him the ways of the world in the ensuing months. The things a femme's gotta do... tut, tut.

Anyhoo, who shall we credit french kissing to? Who gets the gateau... le Prix Nobel? Although there are many theories, my favourite explains that it was a greeting used by farmers who returned to their wives after a hard day's work. It was not an affectionate gesture - attention, it was used to check whether the other partner had been drinking! My personal theory is that it is a wholly natural act and the human race would get to it, sooner or later. Then again - I am a romantic.

So we know what it is but why call it that way? Was it invented by the French? Are they better at it then we are?... And should I get my hands on at least one Thom, Frédéric ou Henri before I die? Well, although they may not have been the brains behind the operation, the French seem to come across as a nation with the least adversity to such open-mouthed matters.

Sacré bleu! It is interesting to see that the phrase "a French Kiss" most likely came from World War I British and American soldiers who were surprised by the less inhibted allied Frenchmen when discussing the deed. This explains why all sources pinpoint the 1920s as the era when the term first appeared in English-speaking countries. Of course, the theory that the "holier-than-thou" Manchester and Iowa boys benefited from the promiscuity of French womenfolk should not be outruled.

Thus, the term seems to have been coined (Closeup, n.d.) as part of an ongoing spate of pigeonholing. French just means rude. "It" can be a preface to anything which is considered inappropriate or sordid. "Pardon my French" sometimes follows overly-colourful language. A French letter? French postcards? The Americans are just plain silly. And to the Brits, the French stereotype propagated has always been that of a populace which is overly affected with matters of a sexual or enamorous nature. Just ask the The Pub Landlord if you disagree.

It is also fitting to note that there is no similar term in the French language. They prefer to use terms such as "tongue kiss" or "soul kissing." Apparently french kissing is an act so intimate your souls intertwine. Awwww. One Marseille garçon, bartender. Vite! Another, older name for 'French kissing' is cataglottis from 'cata' meaning 'down' and 'glottis' meaning throat, which doesn't sound as nice.

So when will you pucker up, french kiss, soul kiss... whatever... next? My boy's still in DE and it's been quite a while. KISS ON MY BEHALF! I won't even get a french kiss on my birthday. Grab your preferred sex, thank your history teacher and get to smoochin' boys and girls!

...But always remember.

Bashing teeth - No-no.
Big lips - Oui oui! And whilst we're talking about lips - Vaseline is your friend.
Bad breath - Big boo.
Braces don't matter, but they may mitigate actually getting to first base.

Tato informs me: I understand that at least among les homosexuels, fellatio is called "American style"

My incredible nerdism.