There are many things that can cause a bad date.

Barfing all over your clothes, bad breath, bad manners, bad laugh (you should hear some of the people I’ve gone out with let it rip.

One sounded like they had gotten a horse stuck in their throats, and another thought she was Carlotta from Phantom of the Opera), bad shoes, bad dress sense, bad hair, bad face, bad jokes, bad conversation. Bad anything, really. But what really gives me the heebie jeebies, and about half the entire world population, is a bad kiss.

There is nothing like a bad kiss that can utterly ruin a date. A while back, I was dating someone, let’s call that person “A”. A was humorous, smart (meaning A shared the same opinions as I did on matters we were discussing), and was, well, charming. Which in my personal opinion, was far better than good looks. Of course, the fact that A was easy on the eye didn’t hurt a bit.

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We had two good dates, that ended with a chaste peck on the cheek or lips, a good night kiss. (P.S. Note to guys, if you like a girl, a goodnight kiss on the cheek is a good way to convey that. Not on the forehead, unless you want to be laughed forever for your “grandfather kiss”.)

On the third date, I decided that maybe it was time to take things a little bit further, so after the chaste peck on the lips, I lingered there, which again, is a good sign to let the other party know if you want to go further. That was when the game suddenly switched from baseball to Pacman.

Next thing I knew, A was slobbering all over my mouth like I was a bucket of KFC placed in front of a very hungry person.

I didn’t have time to express my freedom of speech and scream for help. At that same instant, I suddenly understood why some people called this act “sucking face”. Because it really did feel like my face was placed in front of a vacuum cleaner.

When I finally did manage to break free of the death hold A had on me, I pulled back my face, trying to hide my horror, only to discover that that was just the appetizer for A, and apparently there was a second course A was very eager to attend to.

Before I could even say “ugh”, A’s face lunged into mine again. Literally. All of a sudden, I understood what the people in Jaws felt like with the great white shark coming after them.

Now many people have called me a serial dater, meaning I go on dates and dates. It’s not exactly because I’m picky, but simply because I haven’t found the right person to keep dating.

Here was a major dilemma: should I pack my bags and make for the highway, or should I instead try to stick to A, and hope to change said person’s kissing habits over a period of time? It had been three good dates, which, admittedly, is rare for me. I was also tired of my friends making bets on how many dates my pick-ups would last.

I was about to give A another chance, when A suddenly pulled back, mouth opened wide, and gave me a tongue lashing. Literally. By the time A was done, half my face was wet. That decided my hesitation. I took the highway.

In the light of all these horrible experiences, which made me feel a little like Marlow, I’ve decided to compile a little etiquette on kissing that both boys and girls can use.

1. Soft kissing works. That’s the kind of kiss which is short, gentle, and involves lightly sucking the upper or lower lip. Repetitive, sensuous and intimate.

2. Your tongue is meant to taste, but don’t take me literally. If you want to taste the other person’s tonsils, ask permission (I don’t mean asking verbally, but in the process of kissing)

3. Kissing the eyelids is very intimate, and almost guaranteed to excite the other party.

4. There’s no need to rush off the clothes. And while your mouth is busy, keep your hands busy too.

5. If you’re a guy, shave properly. It can be very uncomfortable to kiss with an unshaven face, and no one likes razor burn.

So keep these facts in mind, and you’re off to a good makeout session. Hopefully more than that.

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