Is it hotter to ask permission or just kiss her?
Photo by: Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock
I was 16 years old and sitting in bed with two of my friends. I can?t remember what movie we had just watched, but there was one scene where a guy asked a girl if he can kiss her.
We were trashing it.
?Can you imagine a guy asking if he can kiss you?? one of my friends said. ?That would be so fucking awkward!?
We all agreed, and one of us added, ?Yeah, just man up and do it!?
We were so sure that being asked permission would do nothing but kill the mood. It would suck all the passion and romance out of the moment.
?I want to be with a guy who knows what he wants and takes what he wants,? one of us said. When we tried to picture a guy asking if he can kiss us, we all pictured the same thing: a guy who lacked confidence and was way too timid.
I was reminded of that discussion when Bryan Havoc sent me this tweet:
I?ve completely reversed my attitude on this. I?m no longer the girl I was at 16 and I now completely agree with the sentiment in the tweet.
But I also sympathize with the women who don?t. Because I was that girl, too.
Consent vs. Awkwardness
I used to have a very thin understanding of consent. I mostly grasped the importance of, you know, not sexually assaulting someone. But I also thought that asking explicitly before escalating seemed so lifeless.
Worse than that, I felt it would be incredibly awkward.
When you?ve got social anxiety (and I had it in spades), awkwardness is one of the worst things you can experience. If you?re shy, too, that makes it even worse.
It?s like all your fears and worries come true at once. All of a sudden, a big decision is in your hands, the spotlight is on you, and you have to worry about answering the right way.
And if you?re self-conscious enough or you have low self-esteem, you might even panic a little and ask yourself if saying ?yes? will somehow take a bad turn. Like if you agree to a kiss from a boy, he might suddenly mock you ? ?Oh, wow, you thought I?d actually want to kiss you!??
I?ve always been a submissive person, too. I thought being asked would feel so unnatural, like it put the pressure on me to take charge instead of being pursued or seduced.
On top of that, I was very uncomfortable with my sexuality. I had a hard time admitting I wanted sex or that I wanted certain things when I was having sex. And that trickled down to kissing, too. I loved making out but I felt weird about admitting I wanted to lock lips with someone. If I had been asked, I might have declined just because I didn?t want to out myself as someone who was into that sort of thing. (I know, it?s weird, but having emotional baggage is always kind of weird.)
And then there was the people pleasing. It was a huge part of my life. I kind of just went along with things instead of making independent decisions.
Being a people pleaser affected my love life. I had a list of things I liked in guys that I could rattle off, but the number one thing I really looked for was a guy who liked me. If he liked me, I?d try to make myself like him, too.
People pleaser sex is basically how you imagine it. If a guy I was with wanted sex a certain way, I tried to like it that way. I just went along with it.
And yes, that meant kissing, too. If someone wanted to kiss me, I usually just went ahead with the kiss. That was a bit part of my discomfort with the idea of being asked. I didn?t always know or even care what I wanted. The only question that seemed to matter was whether a guy wanted to kiss me ? I almost never asked myself if I wanted to kiss him. So, a guy asking if I wanted to be kissed just seemed pointless. To me, that just wasn?t an important question.
So, it was one big complicated soup of social anxiety, regular anxiety, shyness, discomfort with my sexuality, submissiveness, and hardcore people pleasing. But just one of those would?ve been enough to make the girl who didn?t want to be asked.
Realizing Who Might Kiss You
One of the reasons I changed my mind about the whole asking thing is because I started to think about the full range of possible scenarios when it comes to being kissed.
I think this is probably why some women, and especially teenage girls, don?t want to be asked.
They?re thinking about the guys they have a crush on just planting one on them.
They?re thinking about getting to know a guy at a party, kind of liking him, and wishing he would just make a move.
They?re picturing meeting The One and having him give their first kiss at just the right moment, without saying a single word.
It?s thinking about the best-case, super romantic or sexy scenarios that make them feel like being asked would be awkward.
They?re not picturing the guy who?s just a friend and nothing more misreading some cue and trying to start an unwanted makeout session.
They?re not picturing a guy they just met who?s out of the ?half her age plus seven? range thinking he?s got a shot.
They?re not picturing all the sloppy drunk creeps who are too wasted to notice (or care) about all the signals that show she?s not interested.
Those aren?t the guys we hope will just man up and go for it. These are exactly the guys we want asking permission first. Asking if they can kiss you will probably still be awkward, yes, but it?s a lot better than fighting off lip contact with a guy you?re not attracted to.
And we can?t just assume, like I think me and my friends did, that all you have do is put out the right kind of vibe. It should be simple. Be receptive, coy, and flirty with the guys you want to kiss. Be standoffish but polite with the rest, and they?ll know not to kiss you.
We hadn?t met Bryan yet.
Bryan was a guy my husband was friends with in high school. He was the kind of guy who would make you say ?bless his heart? after just a brief conversation.
He didn?t have a lot going for him in the charm department. He was really dorky and way too attached to his mother (and it showed).
But he was also a hopeless romantic and a raging horndog. He fell in love with almost every woman he spoke to, and he lusted after the rest.
And ? bless his heart ? he had a knack for finding ?clues? that these women liked him, too.
His evidence for their attraction was usually a little on the delusional side. What was clearly just some woman being kind to him or even just friendly he read as full-on flirtation.
Bryan was one of the reasons I changed my mind about asking before kissing. He would?ve tried to kiss half the women in town based on the signals he was convinced they were sending. The only thing that stopped him from invading everyone?s personal space is that he at least had enough gentlemanliness to ask first.
I?m sure most of the women who had a run-in with him were on some level relieved to hear the question. It might have made them uncomfortable to be asked, but nowhere near as uncomfortable as they would have been if he had just gone for it.
Bryan showed me the importance of explicit consent, even for something as simple as a kiss. But it was my future husband who showed me that asking could also be really hot.
The Love Story I Can?t Tell My Kids
I met Mr. Austin through a mutual friend and got to know him online. We would email each other, chat over Messenger, and sometimes turn on our webcams to see each other (not like that ? get your mind out of the gutter).
We got along really well online and by the time I got to meet him in person we already had a few inside jokes.
One of them had to do with his cock. I made a couple of jokes about him showing it to me when we finally meet in person. That joke became a running theme in our conversations. And when I was there, hanging out at his place for the first time, it turned into a very real question. Was I actually going to see his dick?
I liked being around him. Our online chemistry translated into IRL chemistry. Meeting him confirmed everything. The guy I thought I liked became the guy I knew I liked.
I probably wouldn?t have left his place at all that night if it wasn?t for the fact that I brought a friend along and she had to leave.
But I wasn?t going to go without doing something bold. As we were getting ready to leave, I said, ?So, when do I get to see it??
He told me I could have a look at it right now and took me to another room so we?d have some privacy.
If my nerves were tense before, they were on high alert now. Was this really happening? Was I really going to see his cock?
I was. And I was going to get to do more than that, too.
He shut the door behind me, undid his pants, and asked if I wanted to take it out or if he should do it. I volunteered, reached into his underwear, and pulled out his fully erect cock.
I said something complimentary about it ? I can?t remember what it was, only that I meant it.
Then I stood there with his cock in my hand, looking down at it, biting my lips and nervously shifting from one foot to the other.
Things had already gone further than I expected them to, but I wanted more. He must have sensed that because he said, ?You want to kiss me, don?t you??
I nodded and we started making out while he tucked his cock away.
He had asked to kiss me, but nothing about him seemed timid. His words were firm with confidence. They set my little submissive, lovesick heart fluttering with butterflies.
That kiss was the start of an amazing relationship, and I have never once looked back to it and wished he hadn?t asked.
Asking Is Hot
So, yes, ask her before you kiss her. It?s the right thing to do and it won?t kill the mood.
In fact, if it?s someone you want to kiss, having them ask you usually makes the moment even hotter.
Being asked makes you feel safe. It makes the person asking seem respectful and trustworthy. It shows good character and that they care about you. That?s sexy as fuck.
And there are plenty of ways to ask. If one of them sounds awkward to you, you can try another and find the one that works.
You can simply ask ?Can I kiss you??
Or ?Would it be okay if I kissed you??
Or make it a statement: ?I?d really like to kiss you right now.?
You can take a more subtle approach with ?I can?t stop staring at your lips.?
And if you?re one bold motherfucker, you can even try ?You want to kiss me, don?t you??
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