Twenty years ago, I met my husband, and a few weeks later, while standing in an empty parking lot, we shared our first tongue-twisting kiss. What followed was what one would expect of two horny youngsters: We made out EVERYWHERE. There wasn't a bus stop, movie theater, taco stand or gas station within 50 miles that didn't have a sweeping view of us feverishly swapping spit.
Then, as life often does, marriage and parenthood happened. Eventually our kisses got shorter (and drier), to the point where the only kissing we shared was a simple smooch on the lips, which has about as much romance as a monkey picking parasites from another's back. Sure, it's comforting, but all that pent-up teenage passion might as well have been a helium balloon—it had to fall flat at some point.
Or did it? I had to wonder what put the kibosh on our kissing. I mean, real open-mouth, shared breath, taste-what-you-ate-for-lunch kind of kissing. Was it that we'd grown too familiar with one another? Or maybe it was that we'd become the old farts who shook their heads in consternation every time our own teenagers played tonsil hockey with their girlfriends?
Whatever the cause, it became apparent that an intervention was long overdue. I decided to try a little experiment, unbeknownst to my husband, to see what would happen if I exchanged our everyday kisses for full-on Frenchies. That's right—without telling my husband why, I started French-kissing him every time we locked lips.
The first day I started was on a Monday night, when my husband came home from work. I was on bed rest after a recent surgery, so I had to wait patiently for my husband to grab something to eat in the kitchen before he made his way to our room. We exchanged normal after-work pleasantries and when he leaned over the bed to give me a closed-mouth kiss, I slipped my tongue in his mouth.
"Hey! I just ate hot dogs," he said. He was surprised, but in a happy way. He leaned over again for a redo, and once more, I gave him the tongue.
"Are you trying to taste hot dogs?" he asked. This is where I should explain that my husband sometimes misses romantic cues (not that forcing my tongue in his post-dinner mouth was all that romantic).
Obviously, my husband was enjoying the experience because he knelt down and attempted to kiss me a third time, lips still closed—and once again, I Frenched him.
"Well that's just weird. You must want to tongue me," was his brilliant reply. He walked away, turned and laughed, then left the room.
That night and the following morning, when my husband leaned over to give me a kiss, I did it again. All my husband did was laugh and shake his head in confusion, but never once did he ask what I was doing.
By the third day of this, my husband slowly got used to my new kissing style. At first, he seemed surprised, but eventually he started kissing me back, and within a few days, he would open his mouth first! Persistence pays off.
Every single time I kissed my husband over the week, no matter where we were, I opened my mouth instead of closing it like normal. I noticed something started to happen over the course of the experiment. Our kisses lasted longer and I felt more connected with my husband. Where before our kisses had been perfunctory pecks of acknowledgement, the new way of kissing made us both feel slightly more romantic. It reminded me that I am still very much in love with this man and happy to be the one he loves in return.
On the sixth day of my secret kissing experiment, my husband walked toward me and kissed me passionately. I was happily surprised. While not once did our kissing ever lapse back into teenage necking (and thankfully no one got a hickey), they were lovely moments. I kept wondering why we didn't kiss this way more often.
On the evening of the seventh day, I finally broke the news to my husband.
I didn't realize how much the kisses had meant to my husband. Every laugh, every confused look on his face was him trying to decide if I really meant those kisses or not.
"Babe," I said, "a week ago I decided to start an experiment with you. I wanted to see what would happen if every time I kissed you, I used my tongue."
"Oh!" he replied. "I wondered what you were doing. You know, I thought about it at first and said to myself 'what is she up to?' I wondered if you were doing one of your crazy experiments. But then I thought, 'maybe not everything is just an experiment.'"
Insert heart-dagger here.
I didn't realize how much the kisses had meant to my husband. Every laugh, every confused look on his face was him trying to decide if I really meant those kisses or not. Of course I did.
"Oh sweetie, it was an experiment founded in my love for you," I promised him. I felt bad but he promised me he didn't.
"I like it," he said.
Now that the experiment is officially over, guess what? We French-kiss more often. We don't use our tongues every time we kiss, but on average, about once a day and we both enjoy it. This covert kissing operation taught me that not everything we did as kids was silly, and that sometimes, we have to be willing to find the magic in the little moments. Kissing my husband is still magic, even after 20 years.