Recently, while I was listening to Cardi B.’s chart-topping opus “Bodak Yellow,” I heard the lyric “My pussy feel like a lake/ he want to swim with his face” as if for the first time. It got me thinking about a few things.
One, can we praise all that exists for those who dive face first into juicy pussy? There should be a physical and virtual ‘Juicy Pussy Dive” for easy filtering.
Two, the importance of being wet and getting wet can’t really be overstated. Different bodies get wet in different ways; some bodies get wet between the thighs while some don’t, so I’m not speaking of getting wet as a purely physical state or even as a pussy-specific experience. I’m speaking more precisely of deep arousal: the heat that unfolds in the body and reminds you that you are wired for pleasure.
It got me thinking: What really awakens arousal? And how often do we skip the sweet landscape of arousal in order to plant our flag in someone else’s genital region?
I might be a bit of a curmudgeon, but I think the proliferation of dating apps has resulted in a speeding up of the lovely organic process of arousal and desire. In the olden days, which lasted until a few short years ago, we used to meet in person and begin seduction with subtle upticks of attention, lingering glances, brushing past each other, shaking hands, feeling the alchemy of proximity that announces, from the root chakra up, that this is a person to devour/delight in/adore.
We can now swipe through faces and body shots, making decisions based on surface presentation—the things people choose to say about themselves. And we are expected to get to sex pretty quickly. Heck, even I encourage having sex before making any significant commitments! I think sex is where we get some of the most important information about how alive our connection is, how generous and present we can be with another, and if we have tendencies of pleasure and power that align.
And all of that is all good.
But can we slow down and enjoy the abundance of contact? I want to make a case for first base. That’s right, kissing, making out, planting your lips on another’s lips and staying right there, slowly creating a whole world of sensation and communication without words. When I bring up making out to other adults, they often respond with nostalgia. Back in high school or middle school, they recall, attraction led to finding a place to make out, learning to kiss by kissing. Moving past awkward tooth bumping and sloppy starts into the gift of arousal.
If the kiss was bad, you’d pull away and move on with life. If the kiss was good, you’d feel your body and the other person’s body simultaneously get softer and harder, flush with longing, more and more places wanting attention. If the kiss was excellent, you’d relax into it, feeling you could live in the kisses, suspended in the desire and exchange of breath and wet mouth. Often, this early kissing predated being sexually active, so there was just a volcanic building up of pressure, an increasing urgency of arousal, a creating of need for each other.
Kissing shifts once we have sex. Kissing becomes a stop, a gate, a level we pass on the way to sex. But I’m surprised lately by how many people in my life are starved for kisses, even if they’re having regular sex. I’m advocating for more kisses. I think we need to kiss and be kissed more, to have enough time in our lives for making out. I’m talking about kisses that start with no tongue. That open up, that dance. Kisses with hugs, cuddling, groping, wonder. Kisses through tears, over giggles. Kisses that thrill the lips and then meander, move along the jawbone, under the earlobe. In all the universe, to our knowledge, we are the only species with lips like this, who can reason and write poems about kissing. We are the only ones pursuing this art.*
Hot and Bothered Homework
Your homework is to dedicate time to kissing. Either kiss someone you are already physical with or ask someone on a kissing date! Kiss until everything in both of you is wide awake, alert, and feels like a lake. Slow down, connect, and, as the Talking Heads teach us, “Sing into my mouth.” Then step away and reflect on the gift of kissing.
*Your dog tonguing you down doesn’t count.