• 19:07
  • 20.01.2019
What does your kissing style say about you?

What does your kissing style say about you?

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Meeting and greeting strangers is a sticky, nuanced business. Time was, we would hold out a hand and say, ‘How do you do?’ And they would reply in kind, and nobody would be any the wiser or any the awkwarder.

The handshake itself is both an act of communion and division, keeping the stranger at arm’s length. But it waned a generation ago, leaving us with the supposedly glamorous act of... kissing strangers. 

Maybe it is time to revive the handshake. The handshake that is a blessed relief from the crowdedness of life.
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We are herded on to trains, crammed into lifts, packed tightly into small houses (because of the £ per sq ft) and stuffed into waiting pens at airports. We get stuck in queues and traffic jams and on buses. But rather than desensitise us to our lack of personal space, all this has made us fiercely protective of it. 

So why kiss a perfect or imperfect stranger? It’s almost always a bit unwieldy and icky. Isn’t kissing something best done with someone you already know you like (or someone you have to pretend to like)? Cheek-on-cheek – velvety, bristly, cool, greasy, powdered, burning, scented – is cosy, fleshy. You breathe the other person in.

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Stranger kissing has started to feel most peculiar to us. Upside down. Is it going out of fashion or is  it just us being particularly frigid?

Valiantly and vainly, we do try to shake hands. But our stiff little extended arms are greeted as though we are curtseying while doing a folkloric witch dance. The stranger will tend to do one of three things: shoot us a look of pity blended with surprise, turn the handshake into a kiss, or say, ‘Look at you, being all formal and funny.’

In the same tone that we used to say, ‘Oh, we’re kissing are we?’ as teenagers back in the Nineties, when mwah-mwah stranger-kissing was bedding in and making us all flustered and itchy.
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We suspect that the solid, stolid old handshake may be plotting a comeback. The time feels right. Everything is so uncertain. Kissing has taken on a lowest-common-denominator blandness while handshaking seems rather dazzling, rather Mitford, rather glorious. Masterful and in control, yet lightly ironic. ‘Look at us, shaking hands like grown-ups.’ 

Let the gauche paw each other and try to work out the perennially dull and stressful conundrum of whether they’re in for one kiss or two. We’re over it. We could always use Brexit as an excuse: ‘My body is my island.’

In the end, shaking hands is definitely sexier because you get to look at someone, make eye contact and absorb their immediate impact on your mood rather than fussing around with all that municipal modern closeness. 
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Can we do that? Or will people just think we are weird?

What does your kissing style say about you?

Three kisses: Too much time on your hands. So studied. Someone somewhere once told you that three kisses would make people remember you forever. They will.
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Two kisses: You’re a traditionalist. You enjoy symmetry and balance. Double kissing is politeness and duty to you. You probably hold your breath.
One kiss: You enjoy keeping people hanging, guessing, slightly panicking. Control is your thing.
The Air kiss: You may be drunk and missing your mark; heavily lipsticked and considerate; or profoundly socially awkward.
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The Hug: You just want to spread a little love. Either that or you’re a pervert who should anticipate an industrial tribunal.
The Handshake:  You’ve probably had therapy and you use the word ‘boundary’ a lot. You may have intimacy issues but you are elegant with it.
The High Five: You are someone who makes an effort. That effort may not always be welcome, but you make it nonetheless.
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