First, Best, Forbidden and Worst: Memorable Experiences of Intimate Kisses among Heterosexual and Sexual Minority U.S. Adults

Kendra S. Wasson Simpson, Lucia F. O'Sullivan, Ashley E. Thompson, J. Dennis Fortenberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Intimate kissing is often viewed as a preliminary or ancillary behaviour in studies exploring sexual interactions. There is a lack of research that focuses on differentiating the types of intimate kisses, including the contexts in which they occur, and desirable and undesirable features. The current study was designed to assess memories of first, best, forbidden and worst kisses. Participants were 691 U.S. adults (mean age 32.27 years; 55% identified as male) who completed an online survey addressing kissing attitudes and experiences using both structured and open-ended survey tools. Four themes emerged through content analysis: Physical components, connection to the partner, context, and emotions evoked; and these are discussed for all four types of kissing memories. Findings are discussed in terms of embodiment that intimate kisses capture, their role as a metric of one's attraction to a partner, and the means by which kissing experiences might solidify a sense of oneself as a sexual person.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Relationships Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • gender differences
  • intimate kissing
  • memories
  • sexual attitudes
  • sexual identity

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