Since my very first slumber party at Emma and Devon's house back in third grade, I've loved hearing stories about first kisses. I mean, first kiss stories were the only kiss stories we had, since we were eight years old, and only one of us had actually been kissed. But still! First kiss stories can be romantic, embarrassing, hot, gross, life-changing, or even — eventually — forgettable.
Some kisses are so perfect, you know you will fantasize about them forever until you die, even if you marry Ryan Gosling himself. (But really, though, can you imagine getting to make out with the Gos for the rest of your life? Eva Mendes is one lucky woman.)
Meanwhile, other kisses serve as ammo for your group chat to make fun of you because they're so freaking cringe-worthy. Whatever — they happen to the best of us. Either the chemistry just wasn't there or you got stuck with someone who learned how to kiss by making out with their pillow and/or a poster of Jessica Simpson.
I asked girls to share their most incredible and most awful first kiss stories. Some things to expect below: swoon-worthy moments and several variations on the words "sloppy" and "slobbering." You've been warned.
The Best First Kisses Of All Time
"We were on the train. We'd been out dancing and flirting for hours and both lived up town in Harlem. It was almost 1:00 a.m. and the train was empty. I asked her if she wanted to make out and we kissed for seven stops. We've been dating for two years since."
— Giselle, 24
"My best first kiss was on a first date. It was raining and we were walking around Boston. He just stopped, said, "You're pretty," and kissed me. It was so good because I had liked this guy forever. A year later, I'm still with him!"
— Caroline, 18
"My best kiss was actually just under a month ago with a guy I met last year during the holidays. We texted every now and then over the past nine months. He has a very demanding job and is not single — don't judge! We’d see each other a couple of times throughout the nine months when we happened to be in the same location (he doesn’t live in the same city I do), and each time we’d reunite, it was as if no time had passed. There was always this strong connection between us.
After not seeing him since April, we got together in September and ended up kissing. I don’t know if it was the suspense, my emotions towards him, or just the intensity of it all, but the butterflies and sensations that you see in movies came to life that night. Best. Kiss. Ever."
— Sydney, 23
"The best first kiss I ever had was with a Swedish exchange student. We had been flirting all day and when he asked me to talk a walk with him down on the docks, I knew I wanted to kiss him. We sat down on the dock and he started playing Bon Iver's 'Skinny Love.' He ran his fingers through my hair and leaned in. Sparks flew! I was so into the kiss that I accidentally dunked my foot in freezing lake water."
— Hannah, 22
"Last December, I was out at a bar with my law school classmates after our last final. I'd had feelings for my friend for awhile. We were standing at a table talking with two other people, drinking and flirting a bit, and he made the move. The proximity of other people made the kiss super unexpected. It was short but sweet — he knew exactly what he was doing. Not a gross amount of tongue, but just enough. He followed it up with a few neck and shoulder kisses. I think the atmosphere and my feelings for him were what made the kiss really nice."
— Paulina, 23
"It was with my first boyfriend when I was 13. We were having a snowball fight with some of my friends in the backyard. I had finally worked up the courage to kiss him, but I wasn't bold enough to go right for the lips. I was going to kiss him on the cheek, then run away and go throw snowballs at people. As I was going in, he kind of moved, and I ended up awkwardly kissing him on the forehead. Then we kind of looked at each other for a second, and then (thank goodness), he was like, 'Wait, let's do that again.' Then we had one of those little pecks on the lips."
— Zoe, 20
"I met up with this girl for our second date at the beginning of freshman year. We were trying to figure out what to do, and she said something like, 'Well, what part of campus haven't we seen yet?' My smooth ass said, 'Well, you haven't seen my dorm.' We went there, sat on my bed and talked for a few minutes, and at a pause in the conversation, I said, 'Can I kiss you?' She said, 'Yes!' We kissed for like 20 seconds before my roommate walked in with her family."
— Julia, 19
The Most Atrocious First Kisses Of All Time
"My worst kiss was with a man who’s pretty well-known, successful, smart, funny. He drove me home in his Maserati one night after dinner and his tongue was more exploratory than my dentist when I go for a cleaning. Pure slobber-fest. I have never experienced such a bad kiss with such a good looking man. I didn’t go out with him after that. I ran into him with his wife not too long ago — he was single when we went out! My thoughts go out to her mouth!"
— Sydney, 23
"My worst first kiss was with a guy who was kind of my friend. I was 15 and just wanted to get it over with. He went in for it and missed my mouth entirely."
— Caroline, 18
"My worst first kiss ever was when 16-year-old me went on a first date at the local TGI Friday's. The kiss was outside as we sat on the sidewalk waiting for our parents to come get us, which is bad enough — but there's more. It was sloppy, uncoordinated, and disproportionately moist. Yup, I used that word... that's how bad it was."
— Sydnee, 25
"My worst kiss ever was with my freshman year high school boyfriend. All of our friends were around, pressuring us to kiss since we had been official for four months. Well, he finally leaned in to kiss me, and what I thought was going to be really tender ended up being just a peck. And while that was the first time I let him kiss me, it was also the last."
— Hannah, 22
"My first kiss was my junior year. I didn't really like him. It was more of a 'I have to get this over with' situation. There was a staircase in my school that didn't have cameras, so we went there. He kissed me, and it was sloppy, messy, and wet. Definitely a bad first kiss. The second guy I kissed was way better."
— Yolany, 18
"When I was 15, I stayed after school with two friends and we got high in an empty stairwell. The three of us were just wandering around the school, and my friend said she wanted to make out with somebody. I told her to kiss me. And then she stuck her tongue in my mouth and I didn't know what to do! I didn't know it wasn't normal to just go straight for the tongue like that and I was very high and confused, so I didn't really kiss back. The whole thing lasted for three seconds, but we wound up dating for a year."
— Julia, 19
"Freshman year, this guy asked if I wanted to go out to dinner and see a movie with him. I though, 'Meh, I'll see if there are sparks.' He said he'd pick me up at 7 p.m. He showed up and said, 'It's raining. Maybe we could just order in pizza and watch a movie.' I decided to go with it to be polite.
We sat side by side on the edge of my bed, not touching and awkwardly quiet. We could hear people outside having fun and being rowdy. I was not into it. Then, 20 minutes in, he leaned over and kissed me. My lips didn't even part a little bit. His mouth was fully open. It was so awkward and he immediately realized I wasn't into it. We sat in silence for the long rest of the movie."
— Giselle, 24
"I went on a date with a guy from a dating app. We went happy hour-hopping and had a bite before he walked me home around 10 p.m. I was into him, so I didn't mind that he went in for a kiss. But then he started to get super grabby and handsy, and even made an attempt to pick me up. No thanks!"
— Melanie, 23
"When I was a freshman in college, I went to a Halloween party completely sober because I was terrified of getting a drinking ticket. A boy dressed as a minion started up a conversation with me. I wasn't too into it, and I took fake sips every time he handed me his bottle of Jaegermeister. Then out of the blue, he shoved his tongue down my throat and pushed me against the wall. I was shocked — not only because it was my first kiss, but also because my first kiss was with someone dressed as a minion."
— Bella, 22
Here's a thought: Yes, a lot of these "worst kisses" were undeniably bad. But can't they also be kind of good, in a way? They make great stories — and once you've had the worst kiss there is, it's only uphill from here.
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