How To Kiss A Girl… in 1911

My first thought, naturally enough, was, “How cute!” Odds are strong you’ll think something similar. The bit about sighing cracked me up, though I do recognize that social signals vary from one generation to the next, and more from one century to the next. (That said, eventually we’ll discuss the universality of such things.)

So without further ado, I give you instructions from 1911 on how to kiss a girl:

How to Kiss a Girl:1911Getting past the quaint wording about sighing and “love-lights which slumber,” and the fact that it is, after all, an ad for gum, we find some actually pretty good advice, noting that it is actually about getting to the kiss, not how to do the kissing itself.

First and foremost, do not verbalize either your intention or any request. Why?

  1. Unless you are experienced enough to pull it off, it absolutely, positively will kill any interest she has. And if you are good enough or her interest is so unshakeable that it won’t kill it, you don’t need to in the first place.
  2. Pretty much everything else in the list is accomplishing these 2 items in a nonverbal way. We’ve discussed this before, so you should know what I mean, and how to do it.

The younger lads may be wondering at this point why point 1 is true and why point 2 is any better option. You may have been misinformed by… well, frankly, an awful lot of what you’ve been told over the course of your short lives, and while this isn’t an article to undo all that at once, we can at least connect a couple of facts to reach a more useful conclusion or two.

You have to understand that while women seem to average a lot more talking than men (your garrulous host being an obvious exception), most of them have a deep love of nonverbal communication. It may manifest differently than men’s wordless ways, but it’s definitely, constantly there. Combine that with a romantic turn of mind which prefers words like magic, chemistry, and it just happens, and you can see how words can take something beautiful and turn it pedestrian. For heaven’s sake, don’t do that.

The other reference to using words, the bit about rosebud lips and Cupid’s bow? Take the cue of the intent, not the now-cornball wording. (Again, if you can do it, more power to you, and contact me to write a guest article.) Compliments are tricky things, which we should discuss in detail one of these days. If you’ve reached this point in the interaction above without her moving away, she is (nonverbally!) saying, “You can kiss me, so long as you don’t screw it up by being a complete weirdo.” Learn those nonverbal cues! So it’s alright to let on a bit about how attractive she is to you. Just a hint, mind you, as anything positive at this moment is a declaration of interest and therefore enough, and you want to avoid the weirdo thing by going overboard. Plus, as we’ve said, she already knows: this just makes it absolutely clear. The bit about Cupid’s bow is cute, complimentary, and references her kiss being an arrow that would pierce your heart. Not bad. But by Cupid’s holy fletchings, come up with your own, and one tailored to the recipient – as all compliments should be.

We’ve talked about first kisses before, so the bit about raising her chin should sound a little familiar. A bit of cute flattery (awful word in English, that) may have the same looking-away effect it had a century, ago, though the blush is apparently now optional. As I said earlier, the rest of this is ground we’ve covered before… plus sighing and the intrusion of antiseptic gum.

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