Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Vintage Louise: the art of kissing

So it was a shock to learn years later that we were, in fact, not suitably matched for kissing.  We bought a small book called THE ART OF KISSING at the Frick Museum store when we were vacationing in NYC.  It was written by Hugh Morris and first printed in 1936.  He states boldly in the chapter entitled, “Kisses Are But a Prelude to Love,” that “ . . . it is necessary for the man to be taller than the woman.”

And I think he means more than a half-inch taller.

“The psychological reason for this,” Mr. Morris goes on to say “is that [the man] must always give the impression of being the woman’s superior, both mentally and especially physically.  The physical reason with which we are more concerned is that if he is taller than his woman, he is better able to kiss her.  He must be able to sweep her into his strong arms and tower over her, and look down into her eyes, and cup her chin in his fingers, and then bend over her face and plant his eager, virile lips on her moist, slightly parted, inviting ones.  All of this he must do with the vigor of an assertive male.
And all of these are impossible when the woman is taller to the man.  For when the situation is reversed, the kiss becomes a ludicrous banality.  The physical mastery is gone.  The male prerogative is gone.  Everything is gone but the fact that two lips are touching two other lips.  Nothing can be more disappointing.”

Now Tom stands on a stair when we kiss.  And Mr. Morris is absolutely right.  Kissing is better when he towers over me and plants his eager, virile lips on my moist, slightly parted ones.

“In heaven, you will be six-three,” I tell him.  “You will be perfect.”

“Or, Tom says, “you’ll be five-three.  You’ll be perfect.”


  1. Based on this conversation, you actually are quite perfectly matched.

  2. I used to practise kissing on a mirror. I'd sneak my sister's lipstick and have a go. It was a messy affair.

  3. Oh, wow. I'm half furious and half amused. We've come a long way since 1936 and still have a long way to go, I'm sure. I hope in heaven you are a giant!

  4. Ha! I was just reading Grandpa's account of his and Grandma's first kiss where they were leaning on a bicycle in front of her house and the bike slipped just as he was moving in and landed the kiss on her nose! What a kiss to begin their love!

  5. I'm delighted to have discovered your blog, a dicovery resulting from trying to find contact information for you and Tom (for reasons he may have told you). The BYU directory seems to have you at different addresses or at least different area codes, which deeply troubled me, so I went searching for you online and found you! On kissing, I love the following from Adam Miller's "Letters to a Young Mormon": "Wait to kiss and then kiss like you would like to kiss again tomorrow, not like you would like to get all the kissing done, once and for all, today." This (from the letter on "Sex"--well worth reading, by the way) is followed by a telling account of his first kiss ("you only get one first kiss").

  6. Who wrote that kissing book crap? Pepe LePeu?