It’s completely normal to feel all kinds of ways about your first ever kiss. We’re here to support you.
For many of us, our first kiss feels like a defining moment in our lives – the moment when we change from a child to a young adult. The anticipation of having our first kiss can make us feel like a bag of excitement, anxiety, curiosity and self-doubt, all jostling around in our tummies like butterflies. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way; in fact, most of us do. Your first kiss can be incredibly daunting, even scary, which is why we’re here to reassure and support you through this stage in your life.
Consent and Peer Pressure
Before we talk about kissing, we need to talk about the most important thing – consent.
Kissing between two consenting young people in a happy, healthy relationship can be a wonderful thing but it can also be used by some people as a powerful tool to exert pressure over someone else, e.g., “I’ll only be your boyfriend if you kiss me”. This is never OK, and you should never do something you don’t feel comfortable with, no matter how much you love someone. If you are faced with “If you loved me you would do it”, use this line in response: “If you loved me you wouldn’t pressure me”. You have the right to say no and if your partner respects you, they will understand. In healthy relationships boys and girls/men and women talk about these things and always make sure that the other feels comfortable and safe. Before you kiss someone, you must always ask for their consent.
“My boyfriend kept telling me that I should kiss him because all his previous boyfriends had done it. I felt scared and nervous, but I was so worried he’d dump me, I just did it. He ended up dumping me a few weeks later anyway and I felt really upset and annoyed with myself for giving into his demands.”
Peer pressure can be another reason why people feel pushed into kissing before they’re ready for it. It might seem like all your friends are doing it, so you feel pressured into doing it too. You may even be bullied or teased because of this and feel like you have to kiss someone to put an end to the teasing.
“My first kiss was a dare. I wanted to get it out of the way – to get it over and done with because everyone else had done it and I felt like a ‘square’. It was sloppy and awkward, and I didn’t even fancy him. I wish I’d waited until it was with someone I actually liked and didn’t bow to peer pressure.”
Before you commit to kissing anyone, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I feel comfortable with this?
- Does this person understand my boundaries?
- Does the idea of kissing this person make me feel happy?
- Do I have their consent?
- Will this person treat me with kindness and respect?
If you can answer ‘yes’ to all five of these questions and you feel happy and comfortable with your decision, you can lean in for your first kiss!
Your First Kiss
Let’s be completely honest here – chances are, your first kiss may be clumsy, a little embarrassing, and a bit sloppy. Most first kisses are so don’t worry about it! It takes time and practice to work out what feels good for you and your kissing partner. The good news? This means lots more kissing!
“OMG, my first kiss with my boyfriend was such a nervy moment! I super fancied him and I wanted to make a good impression but it was really cold and my nose started running mid-kiss. Thankfully, he didn’t seem to notice and he ended up bumping my nose by accident anyway so we were both kind of clumsy! We definitely got better at it after a few more kisses.”
The fact is, it’s totally normal for your first kiss to be a little bumpy. You might clash heads, bump noses or teeth, or get the giggles halfway through. That’s OK! These are natural things that happen to people all the time, even those who have been kissing for a long time. Laugh it off, shake it off, and try again. The right partner will laugh along with you and reassure and support you.
These tips might help your first kiss go a little smoother and make the moment memorable for all the right reasons:
- This is a private (and probably nervous) moment between you and your partner so it might be best to do it away from friends or others.
- Lean in slowly, closing your eyes when you feel your lips press against theirs. It can sometimes be a little off-putting to gaze directly into someone’s eyes while kissing, especially for your first kiss.
- Take your time and try to relax. Don’t be afraid to stop if you feel like you need to catch your breath or take a moment to regroup.
- You can take the lead or let the other person do it – do what feels right.
- If you’re not a fan of their technique or it feels awkward or uncomfortable, you can always break off the kiss. You might feel better hugging instead. Or, if you still want to kiss but not in that way, you could try leading things – kiss them how you want to be kissed.
We hope your first kiss is everything you hope it will be. Remember, consent is key, and no-one should ever feel pressured into doing something they don’t want to do. Get more help and advice about kissing here.