Kissing – A Field Guide
Title: Kissing, A Field Guide
Author: Violet Blue
Publishing Company: Cleis Press
4.875 x 6.875, 144 pages
Kissing: A Field Guide is obviously a guide book to help you become a better kisser. It’s chock full of advice on the different kinds of kisses, the best time to deliver each kiss, and what to do if your date isn’t the kisser you hoped they would be. A lot of the information contained is just plain common sense, but some might find it useful to have it completely spelled out for them.
This book addresses females only, and was written for women who are seeking a male partner to swap smooches with. Though there are some snippets experienced kissers will appreciate, a lot of it is geared toward beginners or those who are insecure in their approach or technique. Most of the advice is focused on someone who’s not currently in a relationship or at least someone who’s not exclusive to any one person.
The nine chapters in this compact book cover everything from caring for your lips, to following cues, to various kissing games you can play. It’s sprinkled with humor throughout, and is a fast and easy read.
When this book arrived in the mail, I was actually pretty excited to read it. I love taking in any and all information that might improve the intimacy I share with my husband. However, this book left a sour taste in my mouth. If you’re in a committed relationship, you might experience the same bitterness I did.
A few times throughout the book, it touches on what to do if your partner is a bad kisser. Now, this is a common problem, and one that hits quite close to home. I was very interested in seeing what advice was given, and was rather surprised by what I read. Each time it brought up what to do, it ended with saying you had to decide if they were worth teaching or if it was time to move on. The book also mentions that just because you’re in a committed relationship now doesn’t mean you won’t have a first kiss again at some point in your life. Everything about this book was just wrong for a committed, married woman who has no desire in ever kissing someone new again.
The cherry on the top is in the form of lovely stereotypes presented in chapter four which is titled, Kissing: A Field Guide. In this chapter, it brings up specific personality types, how they dress, how they act, and kissing dos and don’ts. This chapter really bothered me. Fortunately I have enough sense to know that it’s unfair to group people together like that, but someone who’s inexperienced might not understand that. For example:
Appearance: Partly undressed; gold chains or cutoff jean shorts a bonus.
Attitude: Who’s going home with the king tonight? Or, who’s next?
Ideal first kiss: As often as possible.
Kissing don’t: Don’t expect that quantity means quality – this one’s been around the block and back (and forth, and back) because he’s not polishing his technique. But for quickie smooches, it’s always a sure thing with this slutmuffin.
Appearance: Clothes don’t fit, soft and sweaty hands, pale skin, blinded by sunlight, brain like a supercomputer.
Attitude: Afraid of girls but can’t stay away. They tend to be inexperienced kissers, yet sincere. Once uncorked, their sensual powers are frightening.
Ideal first kiss: Um, any.
Kissing don’t: Quick movements will frighten them, but soft kisses will sooth.
There are ten more of these. I can’t tell if the writer was trying to be sarcastic or comical, but this just feels very offensive to me. I have a big issues with the way this chapter went. Though some of what’s said might be true some of the time, it just feels very wrong to write it out like that.
The book is so full of sarcastic or ‘funny’ pieces that it’s difficult to tell if this is truly supposed to help someone, or just make them laugh. Not to mention the repeated information. A lot of filler was added to make this a full book, because I think if all the valuable information was put together and the bullshit was removed, it would have been a fantastic article.
If you’re looking for a good gag gift for someone, or are truly a kissing beginner, you might find some use for this book. However, I simply can’t recommend it, and am quite disappointed by it.
About the author
VIOLET BLUE is the best-selling author of numerous sex-instruction books and editor of top-notch erotica anthologies; she also writes about erotica, pornography, and sexual pleasure and health for various magazines, and is the creator of the popular podcast Open Source Sex. She lives in San Francisco.
Kissing: A Field Guide was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review. This is in compliance with FTC guidelines.