The tongues


Photo by edikenkoyon on Flickr.

The first boy I ever loved was named Bobby. I tried to keep it a secret, but I guess my adoration was obvious. His last name was Crudo and on the playground, I plugged my ears to taunts of “Judo Crudo,” but I was only pretending to be bothered. In first grade, I was a gangly, freckled, bookwormy redhead; I’d been called much worse. My name up until then had been rhymed most often with cootie and booty, so being rhymed with the object of my desire was a big improvement. I don’t know what he thought. We didn’t talk about it. I can’t actually remember talking to him at all. About anything. I loved him from afar, across a crowded classroom. Bobby taught me how to pine more than how to love, and I pined for him masterfully, heroically, all the way to sixth grade, when I fell for Scott.

Scott was like the anti-Bobby. I didn’t like him at first. He was loud and had a lot of opinions for a sixth grader. He was almost always the center of attention and almost always in trouble. Then one day behind the library after school, he dared his best friend, David, to kiss me, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. On the one hand, I was intensely curious about the kissing thing; on the other, I’d never been curious at all about David, who was sweet and pudgy and utterly unassuming. And although his friends had told my friends that he liked liked me, just then, behind the library, he looked more mortified than impassioned. If he could’ve melted into the ground and disappeared forever, I think he would have.

I felt so sorry for him I stepped in between the two of them and let Scott have it. I told him David didn’t have to do anything he didn’t want to. I told him I didn’t know why David was even his friend the way Scott treated him. I told him I thought he was mean and immature and that’s when Scott kissed me. On the mouth. With tongue.

It was like being plugged into an electrical socket, every nerve inside me raw and open and clamoring for more.

“That’s called French kissing,” he said afterward, studying me as if I were the subject of an experiment he’d just conducted. “The tongues,” he said. “That’s what makes it French.”

I nodded.

“Wanna do it again?” he asked me.

I nodded. We did it again. We did it again for quite a while in fact, until my limbs felt rubbery and my breath felt unreliable, and my insides were all jumbled and racing and alive, and I knew nothing would ever be the same again.

When, trembling, I said I had to go home and do my homework, Scott said, “okay,” and we separated, both in a daze, both of us trying to get our bearings, both of us suddenly remembering David, who was nowhere to be found.


Got a first kiss story? I’d love to hear it. (And yeah, I know. David. I feel bad about that. I do.)


  1. Milli Thornton on April 30, 2012 at 5:01 am

    What an adorable story, j. Loved the fun writing. Especially “Scott was like the anti-Bobby.”

    Not sure I can even remember my first kiss, per se. (Hmm, couldn’t have been too thrilling if I don’t even remember.) But there was the time Chip Deffee tackled me. It was second grade in Great Falls, Montana and I was His Girl. I believe the tackle was meant to express the desire to kiss.

    (We all know you have to translate certain boy body language from macho to tenderness. At least, us girls know. ;~)

    • j on April 30, 2012 at 7:23 am

      Ha! Except, growing up with boys and then growing up and having boys, learning girls has been a little more of decoder-ring thing for me. But yes. I do know what you mean. I love tackling as a “let’s kiss,” gesture. I’m going to try that on chad tonight.

  2. LunaJune on April 30, 2012 at 5:11 am

    what a wonderful first kiss
    I was in love with Ricky from afar from grade 1-4 I wrote his name everywhere…and the poor boy, his older brother and mine were best friends so when my brother went to his house I always got sent too, seeing as Ricky and I were always in the same class but I saw instantly that look upon his face when my beaming smile walked through his door… he’d run.. upstairs and pretend to be sick… to be fair to him I did chase him around the playground almost everyday of grade one screaming his name out in letters LOL… they they moved away…
    grade 10.. home room.. I always sat in front of the teacher a safe place to get away with stuff… for me anyway…
    first day… 1/2 the class already finding seats.. and no one took that seat it’s like the Universe knew it was for me LOL
    I put my books down.. look right…look left and there…2 rows over….caught in my eyesight.. Ricky Seabury….and as his mind figures out who I am I see the blush take over him and he 100 % remembers me…I giggle and let him know.. it’s ok.. I’m not 6 anymore .. we never really talked again..

    that wasn’t the kiss …
    this is

    Joe… he’s still a friend of mine..
    I was 16….I’d had a few kisses but this was the first real curl your toes, float forever, and as I write these words I feel the snow falling…
    he was the best friend any girl could have asked for
    he walked me home one night.. it was really late…
    we stood in the laneway 2 blocks from my house
    the snow.. big fat flakes falling without making a sound
    he was 6 ‘2″ and I’m 5’10”
    the electric spark ran through me , and looped a bazillion times as we stood in the cold, our nostrils sending streams of warm breath into the night….5 minutes of pure bliss in that kiss
    I went back the next day to the spot…I looked up… the garage we’d been kissing in front of had a giant pink cut out heart painted on it.. and the tree across had been cut to look like a hand holding the peace sign… I giggled… and for the next 8 years whenever I was headed home I walked that laneway just to see in my minds eye.. the love exchanged in that moment.
    He went out with a couple of my girlfriends… we never did but we’ve been friends for 30 years.

    thanks j for taking me down this path of tongues this morning
    you rock :~)

    have an awesome week

    • j on April 30, 2012 at 7:24 am

      Wow. I think that place on the street had (has?) some crazy-wonderful love voodoo going on. What a great story!

  3. Clare Flourish on April 30, 2012 at 6:06 am

    After growing up in Argyllshire, I went to London when I was 18. When the Prom section of the Albert Hall was full up, Moira and I were at the head of the queue, the first not to get in, and we went for a drink. The next weekend we got tickets to sit for the Prom (note- means something different over here), and after, we climbed over the railings and walked through the park in the darkness. Holding hands was mindblowing enough, and she shared the feeling with me. Of course, like everyone (even me at the time) she thought I was a bloke.

    Saturday night I was entwined with Linda while her partner Mark was sitting two feet away- we just got closer, and closer, and closer… I tend to feel, with my particular gift, that I am an ideal first staging post for lesbians in denial, and I might have been doing my friend Mark a favour (we have not discussed it). I was celebrating because it is ten years since I last pretended to be a man.

    • j on April 30, 2012 at 7:26 am

      Congratulations on your 10th anniversary! I remember my first time holding hands, walking home from school. I was so painfully aware of how sweaty my hand was getting. All I could think of was letting go and wiping it on my jeans.

      So I figured Prom meant something different. I’m off to Google.

  4. Amy on April 30, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Love this post. My first kiss isn’t very interesting. His name was David (!) and mine was also in the 6th grade (apparently that’s when we all become curious?)…he was smaller than all the other boys and everyone teased him. I was freckled with CURLY red hair (not much different than today), so I wasn’t one of the popular girls. We sort of glommed onto each other. Ended up kissing behind one of the school buildings. It was okay. He then asked if I wanted to play strip poker after school, which I respectfully declined.

    Here’s the interesting part – years later in college, I found out he’d become a juvenile delinquent and ended up in jail for shooting his neighbor!

    • j on April 30, 2012 at 7:29 am

      We’re twinsies! Only, in your story, David doesn’t get rejected until he tries to get you out of your clothes. (And it sounds like you definitely made the right call on that one.)

  5. Pam on April 30, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Love your story.

    My first kiss was with Jeff, the son of my parents’ friends. We were gathered in Bolinas for some long weekend, and all the kids were running around, inventing games, playing in treehouses, riding horses. One evening the older kids started a kissing game. I don’t think it was spin-the-bottle, but whatever it was, Jeff ended up kissing me. It was not an electrifying kiss, but it did make me think I had a crush on Jeff.

    • j on April 30, 2012 at 10:56 am

      That reminds me of a funny spin-the-bottle story, which I won’t tell you here since it might make a fun love (hi)story post. (If we interpret the word “love” VERY broadly.)

  6. Tricia on April 30, 2012 at 7:39 am

    My extroverted friend picked up some boys at the mall. Naturally she got the better looking one. She always did. Actually mine was not even remotely attractive. But I tongue kissed him anyway. Why? because I was thirteen, dammnit, way too old to not have kissed anyone yet.

    I wonder if “using” a boy from the very start set me up for some bad love karma later.

    P.S. The first boy I loved was also named Bobby. High school. I pined for him and he never knew. Even when I was driving slowly in a parking lot, saw him, and promptly crashed into a light pole, popped hood, smoking engine, he still did not know.

    • j on April 30, 2012 at 10:58 am

      I know, I thought about that as I was writing this. My first kiss was really great, but in the end, I didn’t do right by David… maybe I’ve had my heartbreaks coming to me ever since.

      I LOVE your P.S. story, of course. You always make me laugh. xo

  7. Annie Neugebauer on April 30, 2012 at 8:11 am

    My first kiss was the summer after eighth grade with my “boyfriend” at the time. Our first kiss was a carefully timed and much debated event. The thing I remember most was my stomach rumbling very loudly, and him leaning over and telling it, “Shh, you’re spoiling the moment.” =) I love your first kiss story!

    • j on April 30, 2012 at 10:59 am

      “A carefully timed and much debated event” made me laugh. And his talking to your rumbling stomach is pretty damn sweet.

  8. jb on April 30, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Hmmm… I don’t really have a first kiss story, but I love yours. Especially how you stuck up for David and told Scott off; I love that he wanted to kiss you after that.

    • j on April 30, 2012 at 11:01 am

      I don’t know where he learned about it (though Scott had all older siblings), but I think his attraction to me was less about my badassery and more about wanting to try out what he’d learned about French kissing!

  9. Katie on April 30, 2012 at 10:34 am

    My first kiss was with a guy named Steve in 10th grade. He’d been a thorn in my side for two years, always hanging around and chasing away any guy I talked to. When I turned Steve down for the Homecoming Dance (because I was going with someone else), he threatened to kill my date, and then himself. Naturally, I went to the principal and reported the threat.

    Steve was absent from school for two days after that. When he finally came back, he asked if he could talk to me privately. Outside the gymnasium, he told me that the school had sent counselors to his house, and his parents had lost it. But he also said that I probably saved his life. He leaned over and kissed me. I responded by shoving him away and telling him that I’d kill him if he ever tried something like that again. In retrospect, that was a poor choice of words on my part, but he just walked away smiling.

    Thankfully, no one has threatened murder-suicide in order to kiss me since then.

    • j on April 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

      How weird is it that I’m sitting here thinking, “Wow. No one’s ever threatened murder/suicide for me before.”

      Don’t answer!

      (I like that he was smiling when he walked away.)

  10. Sue on April 30, 2012 at 11:13 am

    School crushes can get dangerous! Someone had a crush on me in grade 7 but I didn’t know it until he tripped me on the way home from school & broke my collarbone. 😛

    • j on May 1, 2012 at 7:35 am

      This made me laugh, but getting your collar bone broken is so NOT funny. Were you out your 7th grade year? (Talk about tough love!)

  11. Nuttin' on April 30, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    My first kiss isn’t nearly as memorable as my first “college” kiss. I had been at school for about 48 hours when I first met Jimmy. I was at the college bar with my friends and he was part of that crew, but we didn’t know each other. He was sitting at the bar watching me flirt with one of his friends and I was watching him watch me flirt. Until I tired of the watching and (I was fairly bold at 18) sat at the bar in the empty seat next to his.
    We talked so long and laughed and stared at each other, we finally realized everyone had left, he gave me a ride back to the dorm and he told me he had a girlfriend.
    Jimmy and I were inseparable after that… we played tennis and soccer and hacky sack. He came to my dorm each night to watch Mash and I rested my head on his chest… every night. We sat at bars and talked endlessly and every day he told me he had a girlfriend… every day. She was on the volleyball team and incredibly beautiful but with a less than pleasant personality. She had many boyfriends, but wouldn’t release her emotional hold on Jimmy. My love for him was common knowledge amoung our friends, including his girlfriend who only cared about him when he was spending time with me. But we were clearly just friends, in his eyes.
    Then one amazing night, we drank beer with friends until our flirting had reached the point of no return — we kissed in the parking lot, it was like nothing I had ever felt, we were pressed so close together, I was ready for this to be a night of many firsts. Then, he pulled away and told me he had a girlfriend. We stared at each other as he drove away.
    We went back to being inseparable and watching Mash and playing tennis and soccer and hacky sack and drinking beer on the deck of the pub… and flirting.
    Then, after a year and a half, Jimmy caved to my cute smile and funny disposition and we were boyfriend and girlfriend, finally — for a while anyway.
    The reasons we stopped being boyfriend and girlfriend are cloudy now, I can’t remember a fight, just a drifting apart as he was older and graduated — but that first kiss, wow.
    If Jimmy walked though my door right now I would absolutely jump… well, I would still be excited to see him.
    I wonder what he’s doing these days?

    • j on May 1, 2012 at 7:36 am

      Ha! I sense a Facebook or Google search coming on. 😉

      • Nuttin' on May 1, 2012 at 11:40 am

        Never underestimate the power of the Internet… 🙂

      • Nuttin' on May 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm

        If I said the boy I was flirting with at the bar that night when I wanted to be flirting with jimmy just friend requested me… really, you just can’t make this stuff up.

  12. Lance on April 30, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Kerrie H. in the sixth grade. We were each other’s best friends. She was the only girl I knew who could quote storylines from Spiderman comicboos, baseball card statistics, and rock song lyrics. We were totally simpatico. I didn;t even want to kiss her. I just wanted us to be buddies forever. She decided we should “go out” since everyone thought we already were because we were so close. To make this happen we had to kiss. Well, that’s what she told me. I remember bumping into her black rimmed glasses, Getting her long stringy blonde hair in my mouth, and tasting her cherry lip gloss. WE “went out for a year”. After we broke up she met teh man she’s married to today, in the 8th grade. Her husband and I are friends on the facebook. We laugh about her “ex” still being in their lives.

    • j on May 1, 2012 at 7:38 am

      Wow. Meeting Mr. Right in the 8th grade. I think that’s amazing. When you think of how drastically you change over time, it’s amazing two people could change together, starting so early. Hats off!

      LOVE your kiss description, Lance!

  13. Meg Sweeney on April 30, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    WowZa! My sister told me all about “french kissing” when I was in third grade, she in sixth. I almost died of the description! After that discussion I just kept looking at my tongue in the mirror and wondering how someone else’s tongue was going to feel next to mine. Truly, as I said before, nearly died…and couldn’t get the image out of my mind for a long long time. What would be the appeal for a tongue to reach out to another tongue? I just didn’t get it. My sister’s description of the actual sex act made more sense…I could wrap my mind around that, but two tongues kissing…ugh. And as I said before, I was the slut of third grade when I announced to the class “where babies come from.” The whole thing is a little over the top! When I finally did ‘the french kiss’ it was a little bit of a let down. Might of been doing it just to be able to say that I had. Ha.

    • j on May 1, 2012 at 7:42 am

      Reading this, I think it’s good that it was a surprise lesson, rather than something we went over first! 🙂

  14. Rita on April 30, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I love this story! thanks for having me think about my first kiss…so much so i wrote a post about it.

  15. joanne firth on May 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Fantastic story! I couldn’t even begin to recapture my first kiss the way you have here. Melty, shivery and dizzy. That much I remember. Thank you for sharing something so beautiful and special.

    • j on May 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      Melty, shivery and dizzy is a very good rendering, me thinks! This was fun to remember and fun to write. xo

  16. Nancy on May 2, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Judy, I loved your story and the stories in the comments! My first kiss was with Roger Dale who lived across the street from me. I believe we were in kindergarten….no tongues involved, and my memory of it is factual only….not sensory. So my mind turned to other kisses. :-). My first pseudo french kiss was a “gift” from a boy named Walter in third grade. Poor Walter was one of the uncool kids, so he developed a habit of french kissing girls on the cheek…my response was to run into the classroom and grab the scouring powder from the lab sink and use it to clean my cheek. Ack!

    My first real french kiss was somewhat icky. A guy with onion breath…and as I recall very little thrill for me. My first pleasurable french kiss which was, I must say, pretty damn amazing was from a man who later broke my heart. I still remember the kiss, though.

    My favorite “first” kiss was an amazing five minute kiss that nearly brought me to orgasm with the man who was (and in some ways still is) the love of my life…a man I hope is my first soul mate in a world where people who believe in love are lucky enough to have two soul mates. Oh myyyyyyyy. Grin.

    Thanks for reminding me of sparks with your description of yours!


    • j on May 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      I can’t stop laughing at a kindergartner French kissing girls on the cheek! That is great (and will no doubt make it into a story I write.)

      And for the record, I believe we have multiple soul mates – not all of them are even romantic. But some are and – YES! – of course you get second chances at happily-ever-after (and third chances, and fourth). To think any other way is ridiculous. Lose at one great love and then you have to sit life out? Agh! Stupid! I want to punch people who say shit like that!

      Whew. Apparently I feel very strongly on this. There’s probably a post here. xo

  17. Nancy on May 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    You tell ’em Judy. You make me smile. 🙂


    • j on May 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      You’re my muse, if not my soul mate. <3

      • Nancy on May 3, 2012 at 9:33 pm

        Beams…yes….we are soul mates who will laugh and eat cheesecake together this summer. 🙂

        • j on May 4, 2012 at 7:00 am


  18. Giulietta Nardone on May 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Hi J,

    Fun story about young love. I loved this guy named John Donovan in eighth grade. I had a science class on the first floor and he had a social studies class on the second floor. But it was one of those “up the down staircase sort of set-ups.” I used to peel out of class and run up the stairs knowing that he peeled out of his class to run down the stairs.

    We would collide in the hallway and he’s say something like, “i like your choker.” Just the smell of him made me feel faint …

    thanks, for the memory. g.

    • j on May 4, 2012 at 7:02 am

      I have to admit, the innocence of all our stories (and some that have been sent to me off blog) makes me feel nostalgic. It’s easy to see why we fall prey to pining for “simpler times.”

      “I like your choker” reminds me of “As you wish” in Princess Bride. 😉

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