Each week Kerri Sackville is running a series titled “My First”. This week the theme is My First Kiss. I decided to add my thoughts.
My name is Georgie, I am nineteen years, nine months old, and I have never been kissed.
I know. In a world of Tinder, Cosmo, and casual hookups, I’m still sitting at the kiddie table.
I’m not sure how it got to this point. I never intended for it to. In my young imagination I was going to have the Real High School Experience, complete with huge parties and lots of making out. But I suppose along the way I was ‘blessed’ with social anxiety and Saturday nights spent partying turned into Saturday nights spent in bed, fearing the outside world. It’s a bit hard to be kissed when you’re too scared to talk to anyone of the opposite sex.
Meggie Royer, in her wonderful piece “For Twenty Year Olds Who Have Never Been Loved”, writes:
All of a sudden two decades have passed and you still have not kissed anyone with tongue, or kissed anyone at all for that matter, or had a 3 AM conversation with someone who would rather look into your eyes for ten minutes straight than talk.
And it feels like that. I’ve blinked, and suddenly my twentieth birthday is less than one hundred days away. I’ve spent two decades on this earth, and no boy has ever wanted to press his lips onto mine. No boy has ever thought I was something special. No boy has ever looked at me like I was the only person in the room.
As every birthday passed, every New Years countdown ended, I promised myself that this would be the year. But so far, it hasn’t been. Years keep passing, and I remain in my sad corner of forever alone.
Being almost twenty and still being un-kissed can be a very lonely place at times. I’ve been interning at DOLLY all year, and every time a story is pitched relating to summer hookups, or relationships, or kisses, it feels like a stab in my chest. Because I have grown out of the DOLLY Readership and yet cannot relate to much of what they write. This, of course, is nothing compared to how I feel reading Cosmo or Cleo. Sex tips are no use when you can’t even get a guy to look at you.
It’s an overwhelming feeling of WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! A feeling that never quite goes away, because there are always kids in school uniforms making out at bus stops, or facebook posts announcing pregnancies of people you went to school with, or boys sneaking out of your neighbours’ rooms at college. All around you is evidence of the love and physical connection that you’re so obviously lacking. And it hurts.
This causes you much guilt and self-blame and sadness but above all, an overwhelming curiosity. Are you really that ugly, that unwanted, that uninteresting, that boring, that no one, absolutely no one, has ever looked at you like the only thing on earth?
Every time I open a magazine which assumes that I have been loved I just want to throw it across the room. It is a kind of pain that can’t be explained unless you have experienced it. Because the world is assuming there is something wrong with you because you have not met their standards. You have fallen behind, stumbled somewhere on the path of growing up, and you’re running your hardest but you can’t breathe and you can see everyone else but you can’t quite reach them. So obviously there’s something wrong with you. Or maybe there’s not, but that still leaves so many questions, all of them beginning and ending with why.
Whenever I tell someone about my virgin lips, they smile sympathetically and tell me that at least it will be special, that I’ve waited for a reason. And I smile back, but in my head I’m screaming that just because I’ll be years older than most when the first kiss occurs, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be any more magical. If anything, it will probably be more awkward.
Because there’s the fact that one day (hopefully) there will be that illusive first kiss. But should you explain to that person that it’s your first? Should you just suck it up and be a crappy kisser? By twenty, most people are experienced, so what’s the etiquette when you’re not?
Nobody thinks about what life is like for people who have never been kissed. It impacts you in random ways. Like playing truth or dare, or talking to groups of people. It’s one thing to be a twenty year old virgin, but to have never even been kissed? That’s an instant conversation stopper. It comes up when you’re reading books, when you’re listening to music, when you’re watching movies. It’s always there, the embarrassment, the awkwardness, the feeling that you’re missing something important. And it sucks.
It’s not just me, and I know that, but we are a silenced minority. The young adults who have never been kissed. It’s not a title we’re proud of holding, but for now, it’s one we’re stuck with. We are underrepresented, made fun of, and misunderstood. Maybe one day the media will acknowledge us, maybe one day it won’t be such a lonely way of life. But for now, I have three months until I turn twenty. Three months until I have officially made it out of my teen years without so much as a second glance from a boy. And I can let it hurt, like it does and likely always will, or I can remember the words of Meggie:
But someone out there is eating a bowl of Ramen noodles right now, or putting on slippers, or settling into bed. They are doing all the normal things that you’ve done in your own life. They are just like you. They have extra fat in all the wrong places and goals and fears and doubts and bad handwriting.
The truth is that they are just like you, and being just like you, they’re looking for a lover too. They’re what you might call a soulmate.
They think they’re all alone in feeling the way they do, but you’re really both two halves of a whole.
And one day you’ll meet them, bump into them on the street, and your two halves will be put together, and you’ll make one.
So here’s to that hope, and to all of us who are still waiting for the prince charming and fireworks promised to us by every movie ever.
frangipani princess xoxo