Too banal for Dan Savage...
June 22, 2010 6:19 PM   Subscribe

What another clear way for a (nervous!) girl to show a guy she's interested *other than* kissing?

Alright, so despite myself, I seem to have run into a guy that is nice, educated, well traveled, confident, and attractive.

I, on the other hand, am overly self-aware, insecure about my flirting/dating skills, and can over-think *anything* to death.

- No clue how to make the official first move, which I'm sure he's waiting for.
(he's a nice guy that way)
- Despite a nearly non-existent dating history, I have enough experience, ahem, to realize that I just do not enjoy or understand kissing.
- He's a preeeetty heavy smoker. So I wouldn't imagine kissing would be that fun anyway.

What's left to me to show him I wouldn't mind taking a tour of his bedroom, without being awkward or too forward?

Once we're there I'll feel more on solid ground, it's this transitional friends to NOT friends space that I don't know how to navigate.
posted by elleyebeebeewhy to Human Relations (33 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Squeeze his thigh.
posted by Netzapper at 6:21 PM on June 22, 2010 [3 favorites]

The easiest way to do this is go hang out with him someplace or wait until you are hanging out some place in common [I assume you actually know this guy and have not just seen him on the bus, yes?] and when you're having a nice talk about something just ask "Hey do you want to come home with me after this movie/meal/party?" It's a little forward but it's clear and direct; it will work or not and it avoids the kissing stage, though really if you're going to get a tour of his bedroom there will likely be kissing involved.
posted by jessamyn at 6:23 PM on June 22, 2010 [6 favorites]

do you guys go on dates? go out with a group of friends?

grab his hand, when standing in a group, wrap your arms around his arm so his arm is sort of (but not overtly) pressed on your chest. when he gets up to go to the bathroom, pinch his butt. hug him. if you already hug, hug him longer or nuzzle his neck while you hug him.

also: you realize that if you move into the bedroom you'd have to explicitly say "no kissing", yeah? because unless you do, there will probably be kissing. i went through a "i hate kissing" phase after a bad LSD trip and even then it was pretty hard to not kiss during bedroom time.
posted by nadawi at 6:26 PM on June 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you don't like kissing, in an ideal world how would things physically progress for you?
posted by grouse at 6:26 PM on June 22, 2010 [4 favorites]

Your options are:

1) Kiss him anyway
2) Tell him you like him
3) Tell him you'd like a tour of his bedroom.
4) Squeeze his thigh
5) Grab his ass
6) etc.

There is absolutely no way to do this without being awkward or forward. You are, in fact, asking how to be forward. So take a shot of whiskey if that helps, and say or do something.

Most "I like you" declarations fall into one of two categories: You're either totally at ease and not at all awkward because you're crazy about this person, or you're incredibly nervous and supremely awkward for exactly the same reason. Unfortunately, you seem to have ended up in the latter bucket. You can't wish your way out.
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:26 PM on June 22, 2010 [4 favorites]

The last time I heard of anyone making a first move other than kissing was when That Weird Guy in 6th grade awkwardly touched my friends' boob at the movies. It's really tough to take things to the bedroom without kissing first. Stand near him, look up at him through your eyelashes, and hold his gaze, then glance down at his lips, and back up to his eyes. Maybe bite your lip. Kiss him for as long as you can stand it, and then use your hands in the right (i.e. the obvious) places.

(And maybe you just haven't been kissing the right people?)
posted by sallybrown at 6:28 PM on June 22, 2010

Response by poster: Yes, I do actually know this guy... sort of.

There is some slight complications to the situation, we're not dating but we share a class together and we've gone out with friends for the past two weekends.
We've managed to somehow jump over the kissing/sex due to a couple odd and intense nights. You know those nights where you're having such a good time that it actually doesn't end?
Where by virtue of spending from 4pm Saturday til 4pm Sunday together, him sleeping on my couch, and then us getting breakfast together-- we've done this routine of semi-dating without sex.

Blah. I know it probably just comes down to needing to buck up and say, "So, I'm pretty sure we like each other... let's go do wicked things together."
But there's still this kissing thing, my past partners I didn't really care enough about to tell them I didn't like it, so I just put up with it and moved on.
I actually like him and would like to, dear god, really attempt something here. Would warding off kissing be like shooting myself in the foot right at the beginning? Is there more benefit to fake something in the beginning and tell him later? Or should I be upfront?
Blah, I am an emotional idiot.
posted by elleyebeebeewhy at 6:45 PM on June 22, 2010 [2 favorites]

You don't have to give a Deep Long Meaningful (tm) kiss. A guy might pass off a quick kiss, even on the lips, as a friendship thing, but a kiss that lasts just the little bit longer, even if it isn't actually a long kiss, is tough to misinterpret.

Physical contact in other ways can work too. When you walk together (you do walk together, right?) walk really close so that you are practically touching. Then get rid of the "practically" part. Put an arm around his waist. Suggest that you are cold and an ask if he could put his arm over your shoulder (yes, I know it's June. That just makes it even better because it's a transparent come-on).

But I think you are going to have to get past the not liking to kiss thing. Kissing isn't something that you stop when you move on to more intimate things; it's something that you do even more while doing these more intimate things. I do sympathize with the smoking issue, but that's why smoking was on my short list of absolute deal-breakers. I don't know what you do about that.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 6:53 PM on June 22, 2010

Best answer: fake it til you make it, and if it comes down to "you've had a couple of kisses with this guy and it's still squick city despite how into him you are" then while you're telling him that you're having a wonderful time mention that you're not personally a huge fan of kissing specifically but that any number of other things sound absolutely delightful and if'n he'd like to move on to any of them you're eager.

there is a chance that this'll be a dealbreaker (which you can't do anything about), and there's a chance that he'll think he can "fix" you (which could be fun, but don't let it feel like pressure), but there's a larger-than-either-of-those chance that he'll be entirely cool with that since he knows that there is plenty of fun left to be had.
posted by radiosilents at 6:53 PM on June 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ask him, "If I fall for you, will you catch me?"
posted by NoraCharles at 6:54 PM on June 22, 2010

Would warding off kissing be like shooting myself in the foot right at the beginning? Is there more benefit to fake something in the beginning and tell him later? Or should I be upfront?

Not wanting to kiss is totally and completely valid. However, it is also highly unusual--so unusual that it might be extremely difficult to find a dating partner who does not want to kiss.

Maybe I'm uncreative (I also love kissing, so I might be the wrong person to ask), but if someone told me that they hated kissing, but wanted to do me, I would have no idea, literally, how to proceed. There's groping, but then, during foreplay, I'd usually be kissing and groping. I think if someone said that to me, my head would explode. It might be a deal breaker for me.

(My husband reports that he wouldn't mind, if he liked the girl, though he says he suspects he's more tolerant of other peoples' idiosyncrasies than most I am.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:54 PM on June 22, 2010 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Oh radiosilents, (and PhoBWanKenobi's husband) you give a girl hope. :)

I am willing to accept the small possibility that kissing this guy will hold more interest/pleasure. Hell, I hope it does. It's not that I'm against using mouths for fun and enjoyment! Kisses on necks and the like, it's simply mouth to mouth that borders on unpleasant.

Its Never Lurgi, you bring up a good point. Maybe a token kiss will be enough and make-out sessions won't have to happen first. I'll at least be getting my foot in the door.

Maybe I'm uncreative [...], but if someone told me that they hated kissing, but wanted to do me, I would have no idea, literally, how to proceed. There's groping, but then, during foreplay, I'd usually be kissing and groping. I think if someone said that to me, my head would explode.

Yeah. yeah. That's sorta what I'd like to avoid. :|

I mean, ultimately if I have to lie back and think of England, I will. I'm just pretty sure that my lack of enthusiasm will be hard to hide.
posted by elleyebeebeewhy at 7:20 PM on June 22, 2010 [3 favorites]

Any form of affectionate touch that isn't a handshake or an awkward hug are pretty obvious signs of personal comfort and interest. Seconding hand on thigh, hand on hand, hand on arm, etc. Depending on the perceptiveness of the guy, it doesn't necessarily have to be drawn out or obvious; multiple subtle touches over the course of a day or evening can work just as well. If he reciprocates, he's probably has some level of interest. Escalate accordingly.
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:22 PM on June 22, 2010

Best answer: In terms of signaling that you like him "that way," it's as easy as grazing his hand with yours. Then maybe some eye contact. Then touching his hand some more. Maybe sliding your hand onto his thigh. This will very likely lead to kissing or almost-kissing, at which point you could say something like, "I don't really like kissing on the mouth...but I like kissing just about everywhere else." Then you can go crazy kissing each other's necks, faces, arms, chests, etc. I think the key is to keep kissing very much in the picture, even if it's not on the mouth, so that you don't lose that familiarity and intimacy (and hopefully this also helps to avoid the "what the f do I do if we can't kiss" sort of freeze-up that PhoBWan poses.)
posted by messica at 7:26 PM on June 22, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: For what it's worth, once things start getting 'hot-n-heavy,' the tastebuds bunk off for their own metaphorical cigarette break. It's not that you won't notice (you probably will), but it becomes really, REALLY, not important pretty quick.
posted by Ys at 7:37 PM on June 22, 2010

You have lots of options for ways to initiate something, many of them suggested above.

The problem is, if you put your hand on his thigh, or your hand on his hand, or invite him into your bedroom, or any of those types of things, if he's into it, his instinctual reaction is probably going to be to kiss you.

So whether you initiate the kiss or not, there's almost certainly going to be an attempt at a kiss. I can't see any way around this.

Perhaps the best option is to initiate the kiss yourself, and try to keep it relatively short, and move on to other things quite quickly. As I see it, if you take the lead, then you get to choose the activity. If on the other hand you squeeze his thigh, then he's going to turn around and try to kiss you.

Whatever you do, I wouldn't suggest anything along the lines of saying, hey, can we have wicked fun in my bedroom but I don't want to kiss you. This is going to create and awkward vibe before anything even happens. It might be better to have some fun first and then gradually guide him away from kissing towards other things.

After all, everyone has things they like and don't like. In my experience, you don't always need to have a conversation about those things (which can be awkward), but rather you get to know what the other person likes over time and through experience, watching, learning.

Also, there are some really, really bad kissers out there, so hopefully this one is just different from what you've had before.

On preview, messica's idea is a winner too.
posted by puffl at 7:37 PM on June 22, 2010

I'm just going to throw it out there that you might not have quite enough experience to know whether you like kissing or not. If you have a nearly non-existent dating history, but kissing experience, you were kissing people where there wasn't enough of a mutual interest for a relationship. This can lead to bad kissing, especially if you are not one to enjoy kissing for the pure sensation of it. Everyone kisses differently. The same people kiss differently on different days. Some people are awkward and unpleasant to kiss. It's totally situational, and it's very plausible to imagine that you are an individual who needs mutual emotional attraction to enjoy the kiss.

While there is plenty of good advice for how to keep the kissing stage short, you could also try using it as an experiment. Try a type of kissing you haven't before. There are long, deep kisses, but there are also short staccato, closed mouthed kisses. A series of quick kisses is very different from a long, deep kiss. They let you build up to a longer kiss, or provide for a less committed gesture so you can get away from the kissing quicker. The series is good for letting him know you're into him and it's not a friendly gesture. It also can be accomplished very playfully, and allow you to seamlessly move on to non-mouth kisses if you so desire.
posted by ohisee at 8:03 PM on June 22, 2010

Tell him you're quite powerful for your size and could easily beat him in a wrestling match.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:13 PM on June 22, 2010 [6 favorites]

Ask him to play strip poker.
posted by yohko at 8:49 PM on June 22, 2010

There's a move that a lot of guys have pulled on me that actually works pretty well. I'm 31, and guys since high school and on have been doing this. I think it is somewhere in the ultrasecret Man Manual.

This is how it goes. You're sitting next to each other, doesn't matter where, public, at home, other people around, alone, whatever. Take his hand and say something about it (for example, "Wow, you have such nice long fingers! Did you play the piano growing up?" On me, it was always, "You have such tiny, delicate hands!"). Then press your palm against his so your fingers are all lined up (so right hand on left hand or vice versa). Look deeply into his eyes. Then curl your fingers into his so that you are now holding hands. Smile. Commence swooning.

Anytime a guy does this, it's a surefire sign he's into me. And I've done it on a couple guys that I was flirting with and it totally worked. It's like the universal signal for "Hey, I'm really into you."
posted by Fuego at 9:38 PM on June 22, 2010 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Some great ideas upthread. The tiny point I wanted to add was that I'd be careful about what signals your "I don't like kissing" stance causes you to give out. Hearing about all of these slumber parties makes me think "really? And he hasn't tried to put the moves on her?" So I wonder if your thoughts of "please don't kiss me" are coming through too clearly. If you could briefly tolerate it, you could welcome the kissing as a gateway to quickly move through.

However, there are surely other ways! Noticing that he's been sleeping on your couch, what about something like "wouldn't you be more comfortable in here?"
posted by salvia at 10:46 PM on June 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Stroke his hand, slowly. Hot.
posted by ifjuly at 11:43 PM on June 22, 2010

Ask him "What fucks like a tiger and winks?"

Then wink.
posted by Wolof at 12:37 AM on June 23, 2010 [10 favorites]

Best answer: There's all kinds of places to kiss somebody besides on the lips. Just below the ear is a good one, or pretty much anywhere above the shirt collar. And those kisses are even more likely to give an unambiguous signal of 'more' than a kiss on the lips.
posted by Jasper Fnorde at 1:33 PM on June 23, 2010

What might be more week-end where you hang out..then when it's time and he hits the couch just say... 'the bed is more comfortable'.. he'll get it....and that's all you'll need to say.
posted by Weaslegirl at 3:05 PM on June 23, 2010

Best answer: Thigh touching, butt pinching and hand stroking are kind of ambiguous - they're affectionate, but not nearly sexual enough to launch things from 0 to...whatever you have in mind that typically comes after kissing. And groping is not sexy; it's just plain gross.

It may be best in the long run to come out and explain to him what you want and don't want from the get go. Yes, it's the 'adult' way to do things, but it takes some of the excitement and fun out of first-time sex with someone.

Here's what I would do: kiss him / let him kiss you for 10 seconds or so - for as long as you can stand. Then, while you're still kissing, press your palm against his chest and slowly move it down. With some force, move your palm against that nice spot on his side/abdomen (the obliques?), just above where his pants start, and then do it again under his shirt. That sends a pretty clear signal. He'll probably take over from there (if you want him to). Then, a little later, when the appropriate moment comes (probably after the "Wow, that was really unexpected!" conversation), you can explain that you're not a big fan of kissing.

Alcohol should really help if you're nervous about the 'don't like kissing' conversation.

If you really, really want to skip the kissing, you'll have to take charge completely. Have a romantic evening, drink wine, drop hints, and when the moment is right, look at him seductively and start unbuttoning your shirt. When he moves in to kiss you, as he surely will, guide his mouth elsewhere. Make a game out of not letting him near your lips. Voila.
posted by kitcat at 3:16 PM on June 23, 2010

Best answer: Just remember - not every hint - no matter how obvious you think it is - may be picked up. Have a backup plan that involves being quite direct.
posted by Moonster at 3:52 PM on June 23, 2010 [6 favorites]

Open your mouth and speak. Non-verbal games are self-defeating and, obviously, very subject to mistranslation.

If you want to invite the guy into your bed, just grab one of hands do it. Say something like "Let's go upstairs" Or "Let's go to bed". Trust me, he won't say no.
posted by justcorbly at 5:14 PM on June 23, 2010

Thigh touching, butt pinching and hand stroking are kind of ambiguous - they're affectionate, but not nearly sexual enough to launch things from 0 to...whatever you have in mind that typically comes after kissing.

Seriously, it depends on the details of how you do it. I had someone stroke my fingers while we were watching a movie once and it was the most intensely sexual come on I've ever experienced; it was damn unnerving how strongly sexual it was. (And no, we were not dating; it was kind of like the situation here--emotionally close but not physical, and it was 100% clear what he was trying to tell me when he did it.) It just depends on how you go about it, and the exact details of that are pretty impossible to describe in text to someone.
posted by ifjuly at 7:07 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I seem to have run into a guy that is nice, educated, well traveled, confident, and attractive.

I, on the other hand, am overly self-aware, insecure about my flirting/dating skills

He is too. We all are. Its about learning to cope better with a universal anxiety, not getting something you don't have. Act accordingly.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:03 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks MeFites!

Hopefully with your sage advice, some shots of tequila, and a sliver of optimism-- this thing'll get done. :)

side note 1: Moonster, that link is excellent. I feel more hopeful about my chances now. ...though it does make me wonder if maybe I missed a cue, and thought he was being literal when he was really issuing an invite. Hmm.

elle: okay, well... do you need another blanket?
Him: *looks at couch* Nah, I'll be fine. Actually... do you mind if I sleep without a shirt?
elle: Uhh. Nope. nope, that's... o. k.
Him: Thanks. *takes off shirt*
elle: ...g'night! *scampers away*

side note 2: internet fraud detective squad, station number 9, we should start a club. The "I've got a better use for that mouth, boy."-club. hee.
posted by elleyebeebeewhy at 7:47 AM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

yeah - i think he was trying to get into your bedroom. have another stay up late and chat session - at the end - "i'm going to bed - wanna joing me?"
posted by nadawi at 11:43 AM on June 24, 2010

There must be things you would like to do besides jumping into bed no? Do those, you know hold hands, cuddle, touch.

When he stays over at your place how close do you sit while talking? Invading someones personal space is a good way of finding out how comfortable they are with you. Sit close enough so your legs are touching. You could rest your head on his shoulder. If you think that may be misinterpreted as close friends you could always sit on his lap, without asking of course, gaze into his eyes, give him a mischievous smile. Should get your message across. Touch his chest, unbutton his shirt ... escalate.

Pretty glad to hear that women dont always pick up on signals too, we're always led to believe that women are all flirting experts and will know our every intention.
posted by freshfish at 6:18 AM on June 25, 2010

« Older What can I do with my dad's body?   |   High Wages, Low Credentials Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.