Mar 192014

Kissing – A Field Guide


-The Facts-

Title: Kissing, A Field Guide
Author: Violet Blue
Publishing Company: Cleis Press
Trade Paper
ISBN 978-1-62778-040-7
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.

-My Thoughts-

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:

Man Slut
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.


Geek Boy
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 is available in Paperback form through Cleis Press, and on in both Paperback and Kindle editions.


Kissing: A Field Guide was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review.  This is in compliance with FTC guidelines.

  7 Responses to “Review: Kissing: A Field Guide”

  1. Well this sounds like a serious disappointment. I don’t like relying on sexist stereotypes and I don’t like the idea that if someone lacks a skill (especially something intimate and personal like kissing) you should just ditch them. Thank you for being honest. This doesn’t sound like one of Cleis Press’s better books and I’m really surprised at that, coming from Violet Blue.

    • Everything about this book was sexist and didn’t sit well with me. There were only a few pieces that I actually got something from, but the rest left me shaking my head. I can’t say enough how truly disappointed I am with it.

  2. I really appreciate seeing how unashamedly “negative” you are in reviewing this item. I’m someone who’s never experienced kissing before and I can see myself rolling my eyes at a lot of stuff in this book.

    Only thing I’d mention about the whole committed relationship thing is that a partner/spouse can die, but it sounds like from the context that might not be what the author was referring to.

    • You are absolutely correct that someone’s spouse could pass away and that would lead to potentially kissing someone new. However, being in a committed monogamous relationship I would never read this book and think about that.

      That part was actually written in the forward which was written by William Cane. It says:

      …”and remember, even if you’re in a relationship…there’s always at least the possibility if a first romantic kiss with someone new”

      It’s not inaccurate, but it’s not something I want to even consider for my life and/or relationship.

  3. I was offered this book but I am glad I did not take it, it does not sound like a great read at all.

  4. I just got the book to look over. Sounds like it was not as good (to put it mildly). The Better Half had said it looked interesting when it arrived, so I wonder what she will say when she reads it after I am done with it (we do share books. Hey, the couple that reads together, stays together we say).

    Best, and keep on blogging.

  5. A bit of a shame this turned out so poorly. I’m a big fan of instruction books, but my intimate life is such that a lot of what’s out there wouldn’t apply to me and my partner. So a kissing book? Sounds like just the thing as there’s no real restrictions regarding anatomy or orientation. That this guide restricts itself so tightly is disappointing and a little disturbing in it’s -isms. Thank you for your review.

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