A friend complained to me recently that she’d suffered a mediocre first kiss from a guy she really liked and had been looking forward to kissing. The letdown was bothering her. I agreed that a bad first kiss could be a sign of things to come, or it could be a matter of circumstances and I asked for more details.
Apparently our hero and heroine had just emerged from their local watering hole after another long evening of exhaustive conversation and flirting, and were faced with the parking lot dilemma of how to part. She was prepared to say a friendly goodnight and then go directly to her car, but didn’t want to leave him with the impression that she only wanted to be friends. He seemingly had similar concerns, so he opted for the ineffectual and (guys take note!) never sexy, request “How about a hug?” The hug, of course, turned into a rather weak, completly anticipated and choreographed kiss, and they parted, probably both nursing similar feelings of disappointment.
Certain scenarios just lend themselves to perfect first kisses: a walk in the snow or on the beach; in front of a crackling fire; on a dance floor during a sweet song; in a car with windows steamed up and the rain streaming down outside…. you get the idea. But in the parking lot, after a date, is almost never a winner and, in my opinion, should generally be avoided. Better to allow the sexual tension to build a little more than to potentially deflate it beyond repair.
Because here’s the problem with most parking lot kisses: they can’t go anywhere. You’re standing in the middle of a parking lot, for Pete’s sake. Unless you’re into some fun exhibitionism, it’s going to stop at a kiss, and you both know it, so there’s a certain chasteness built in. Sure, after a great kiss you can do the whole, “Shall we go to my place?” thing where you get into one of your cars or follow each other (and there’s the inevitable discussion to decide that), and then the drive to whomever’s place (which, even if it’s only minutes, is always long enough to wonder what the hell you’re doing), and then the awkward walk to the door and entrance into the home, and by then, often, it all feels forced and anything but spontaneous and at least one of you is wondering how long you really have to stay and what this whole scenario now means for your budding relationship.
That’s not to say that some men can’t pull off a parking lot kiss with aplomb. Some of the most amazing kisses I’ve ever had — including one that literally left me so weak in the knees I stumbled as I walked away — have occurred in parking lots. Those kisses tended to have one big thing in common: men who were superconfident in the moment, and exerted that confidence physically by almost literally sweeping me off my feet in order to give me a kiss that I would remember. Granted, our hero’s tepid, grandmotherly approach was not a great set-up, but he didn’t have much to work with, being in a parking lot and all.
So, really, as I told my friend, give the parking lot kiss a break. It’s not always the kisser’s fault; sometimes it’s just the kiss.