Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My First Kiss

Conor Friedersdorf on The Daily Dish prompted readers to send the story of their first kiss.  SO I decided to write this up for the blog (and to send to him).

Frankly, my first kiss story isn’t interesting.  It’s the third kiss where you get the goods.

First Kiss: I was a freshman in high school, and there was some sort of Christmas party or dance.  An older girl — sophomore, I think, maybe named Dori? — brought over a sprig of mistletoe and kissed me.

Second Kiss: At our high school, Senior Prom was paid for by the Junior class, so all the seniors had to do was attend.  Which means you kind of have to, or you look weird.  Which means you have to get a date, and dress up nice, and take her out for dinner.  (sigh)  On the girl’s end, that means there’s an expectation of a kiss of some sort in the mix.  My date was my younger sister’s best friend, Amy.

Sense where this is going?

Third Kiss: His name was Lin.

Just short of turning 22, during the summer between first and second years of grad school at the University of Oregon, I finally decided I was gay.  (More on that tale someday.)  That fall, I found that there was a gay men’s discussion group at a community center just a block or so from my apartment, which I learned about from the campus newspaper, so I attended a couple sessions there.  I have no idea what was discussed, how “out” I felt at the time, or any of that.  (I do recall that the next spring, I went to some potlucks and to a gay campout with some of the guys from there, though, so I must have kept going regularly.)

I met a guy there named Lin, originally from Wyoming.  I don’t know how old he was — late 20s, maybe 30, I think today looking 21 years into the past, but for all I know, maybe just 23 or so, but definitely older than me and more experienced.  He was, I think, about 5'9" tall, with a beard and curly hair and a bear-type body.

Memory is weak after all these years — was that the first discussion group I attended, or after several weeks?  No idea.  I’m pretty sure it was the Wednesday of Thanksgiving weekend, and I was making cinammon rolls from scratch, to take to my parents’ house in Kennewick the next morning (a six-hour drive?  Maybe they were for breakfast on Friday?).  Lin came back to my apartment with me while I attended to the rolls, punching down the batter the first time, which had risen during the discussion group.

I have no idea today just how we met at the discussion group, or what I had told him about myself and my then lack of experience, but while the rolls rose a second time, I had my first roll on the carpet.  Fifteen minutes of rolling around on trashy rust-colored shag carpet later, wildly exploring each other’s faces, we came up for air, and I remember his quote exactly:

“Are you sure you’ve never done this before?”

Guess I was a natural.

All we acquainted ourselves with that first night was tongue.  Other gay things came easily (ahem) as well, but not until the next week, after I got back from Thanksgiving.  Getting your first tiny taste of sexuality and then having to spend the weekend with your parents a couple hundred miles away is not recommended for frustration minimization, believe me!

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