The Guardian has encouraged us all to be fondly nostalgic about our first kisses by pretending it's a "First Kiss Memory Study" to make it feel a bit science-y and not quite so self-indulgent. They don't need to make up science, though, because sometimes a bit of self indulgence is OK.
I have two first kiss memories. This is allowed, I have decided, totally arbitrarily.
I met Boy One at the local outdoor swimming pool. I don't remember particularly fancying him, I don't even remember agreeing to go out with him, although I suppose I must've done at some point. He was called Ahmed, I think, and he was nice, probably. My nostalgia is very vague on this, although I do have distinct memories of always paying for entrance to the swimming pool in 1p and 2p coins and the constant gnawing fear that a wasp had crawled, cackling, into my Coke can. Anyway, once Ahmed bought me some flowers (his parents had a shop, he told me, which explains how a ten year old boy could get hold of a pretty nice bunch of roses), and gave them to me in my back garden. I was quite surprised, although I think I was aware that I was supposed to be delighted and a bit swoon-y. He leaned rakishly against a tree and asked me to guess who he thought the most beautiful woman in the world was. I thought about this for a bit. "Sharon Stone?" I guessed. He shook his head, no. "Julia Roberts?" (This was about 1990.) Wrong again. I went through a few more lady celebrities. "Cindy Crawford? That one off Baywatch?" All wrong. I gave up. "Who?"
"You" he told me, proudly.
I was totally baffled. I was ten. I had freckles and skinny legs. There was just no logical way that I was even beautiful at all, let alone more dazzling than Pretty Woman or that one off Baywatch. He was, quite clearly, really stupid, I decided. I was just about to tell him this when he leaned forward and planted a kiss on my confused mouth. But it was too late. I had already stopped trusting anything he said. Boys must think girls are stupid, I thought. (I still mostly think this.)
Boy Two was a few summers later, at a party in a tiny, dusty hall, which seemed to meld seamlessly into the car park next to which it squatted. I wore (judge me if you must) blue checked hotpants, a white crop top and pale blue, high heeled jelly shoes. Go on, read that sentence again, then imagine the ensemble. Take a moment. I've come to terms with it, you can too.
All the girls were in similar outfits and the boys had that glorious nineties hairstyle known as 'curtains'. A friend of mine had found out that I had never "snogged" anyone before, and decided it was about time I started. Shy, and fairly ambivalent about the whole snogging thing, I entreated her not to tell anyone, but teenage girls are cruel and of course my words went woefully unheeded. Before I knew it I was being pushed out the back door of the hall with a boy called Lewis, who I found horribly unattractive but who had blond curtains and therefore counted as "fit". We stood awkwardly together, or at least, I was awkward. Lewis seemed to have a bizarre confidence which he wore like his orange-lined bomber jacket. My friend, of course had told him I had never done it before, and so he was about to initiate me into the delightful world of teenage "snogging". He, it seemed, had done it before, and to my considerable consternation began immediately demonstrating his expertise on my face. I knew I was supposed to close my eyes, and as I did so I wondered in horror whether it was meant to hurt this much and whether all the disgusting chewing was really necessary. After a while it was over, and as I tried to discreetly wipe the tide of saliva from my cheeks he regarded me, head tilted. "Not bad for a first time" he proclaimed, knowingly.
I wandered inside to find my friends, to lie to them about the whole spit/chewing fiasco. I made a strong, silent pledge to myself at that moment that I would never, ever do that again. Ever.
Tell me about your first time, if you like. (You can have two.)