Everyone remembers their first kiss. At the time it feels the most important moment of your life, but a few years go by and it’s hard not to cringe, or laugh, or both. And it’s also hard not to tell somebody about it.
So, to celebrate the innocent, fluttery infatuations of Valentine’s Day, Hive asked a handful of musicians to tell us about their first kiss. Next time to listen to one of their songs about love and/or lust, remember that it probably all started right here.
Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura
My first kiss with with Adam Jones. His dad was a fireman and his granny was Welsh, the same as mine. That’s probably why I let him kiss me. It was primary [school], 2 or 3. I remember “Come On Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners being sung in the playground. Adam Jones turned out to be the class bully by primary 6 ,and everyone hated him, including me. We celebrated when he left to go to another school. I’ve got much better taste in men these days.
Alessi Laurent-Marke of Alessi’s Ark
My first kiss was on a street corner in rush hour in Boston, Massachusetts. About a half hour earlier I’d experienced a half-‘first kiss’ on a bench by the Soldiers and Sailors monument in the Common, but I was so incredibly shy I don’t think that counted. It was August and I remember the sun was very bright that day. I had a train to catch, so every moment felt all the more fleeting. The commuters and locals were rushing to and from South Station, and it was on a corner outside a bustling department shop that we kissed. It didn’t last long and the crowds swirled and blurred around us. I thought about the kiss for most of the train journey back to New York. My mum met me at the station and I think I was hovering mid-air for the rest of the evening.
Brandon Welch of Crocodiles
Early in my fifth grade year a new girl, Melia, came to our school. A prototypical bad girl, she was moved back to our class from the sixth grade in September. I only really remember vague details about her: she was brunette, she was born in Hawaii, she cursed and most importantly, she had already grown boobs. In October, my friend Jasper had decided to throw a Halloween party. His house was always the best for hanging out because his parents didn’t do a great job of supervising us. Jasper and his parents had decorated his living room with orange and black streamers and the room was dark except for the light from two plastic jack-o-lanterns fitted with light bulbs. This kid Bobby was most likely “DJing” — he was always playing tapes, switching them out from song to song to provide variety. His tastes leaned towards R&B, so it’s fair to assume Color Me Badd was played at least once that night.
I can’t remember why I had this costume, whether Jasper’s parents provided it or if I showed up already dressed in it, but I was dressed as a yellow M&M. Melia showed up about an hour after I did. Melia initiated the kiss but I can’t remember the details leading up to it. I had kissed girls in the past, probably Melia as well, but they had only been “pecks,” the same kind of kiss you might give your grandmother. I remember expecting this style of kiss, but instead Melia jammed her tongue in my mouth and swished it around mine, holding my head tightly against hers. I remember her mouth tasted like cigarettes and it seemed to go on forever. I was vaguely grossed out; it felt like what I’d imagine an eel thrashing around in my mouth might feel like, but low and behold I also had a hard-on. I hope she couldn’t see it poking out in my M&M outfit. I acclimated quickly and we proceeded to make out intermittently for the rest of the party. I also distinctly remember this being the first time I worried that perhaps my hard-on could run out of skin and explode.
Matt Korvette of Pissed Jeans
As a teenager with my first “real” girlfriend, she drove me home on our second date, to my parents’ house. I wasn’t totally smitten with her, so much as [smitten with] the idea of actually going on dates with a girl. She walked me to my front door, and as we shared our first kiss, I whispered “I love you” to her, because it was pre-programmed into my brain to say that while kissing, as I had only ever kissed my relatives before (platonically, of course). It was a total accidental slip; I didn’t love her, but she didn’t know that, and she whispered back “Don’t say that yet… you are so sweet”. Shocked by both the kiss and my wrongful admission, I then went inside, and saw my mom, equally shocked on the couch — the windows were open and she heard the whole thing.
My first kiss was a clumsy braces-filled mess standing on a corner street in NYC. I was 13 and the boy was 15. It was a freezing winter evening after school. I think I had just finished soccer practice in Central Park. I wasn’t expecting it as he lunged towards me. When we kissed, it was like a disgusting eel swam into my mouth. His braces cut my gums and the cold air surged into my mouth. I hated it.
Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav
My little sister had a seeing-eye dog, we lived near a place in New Jersey where you could raise a seeing-eye dog from a puppy. So my sister really wanted to raise a dog, and Sneakers came into our lives and was just a beautiful, blonde lab. Sneakers was a little scamp, and really liked to goof around, chew on furniture. He also a very lick-y dog. I do not recall Sneakers gender, we did not get that far, but I may have touched Sneakers nipples which may have counted as second-base.
But anyway, I remember the first time I thought about getting to first base with Sneakers, and that’s what I count as my first kiss. Because before Sneakers would just cuddly lap at my face and it would be fine. But suddenly I started to have adult sensations. It was near the end of our tenure with Sneakers, so luckily Sneakers was out before things went too far. It’s indicative of all of my relationships, because I’m pretty sure I liked Sneakers more than Sneakers liked me.
Yoni Wolf of Why?
I think I was 16, most of my friends were having sex already. This girl’s friend would pass me notes like “Megan likes you” or whatever. So we started going out with this friend, in a real juvenile way. Then I was over at my friend Yuri’s house. His parents were out of town. We were hanging out in the basement probably drinking lemon extract or something dumb like that. So this girl, who I guess was my girlfriend at the time, she comes by with her sister, and she’s hanging out with us for a while and it was awkward. I was really nervous. Then they leave, and five minutes later, they pull up outside again, and we go out to see what’s up. And this girl Megan darts up the driveway grabs me and shoves her tongue in my mouth. I was so nervous. It felt weird. She ran back to the car and yelled at her sister like “I TOLD YOU I WOULD DO IT!” So they take off and all my friends are cheering for me. And we went back down to the basement and I immediately vomited everywhere. So we smoked some more weed and turned on The Wall.
Kitty (formerly Kitty Pryde)
I spent the majority of my last semester of eight grade staring at my AIM buddy list and waiting for Ryan Gaylord to sign in, and then waiting for him to IM me first so I didn’t look thirsty. We’d never met in real life, but I had sent him like three photos of myself and it was totally on. Granted, I definitely remember pulling some serious angles and had recently learned how to use Picasa so I feel like the brightness/contrast levels were probably working to my advantage there as well. Either way, I was completely in love with Ryan and based 99% of my actions/reactions on what Ryan would think if he was actually with me.
But one fateful day, we decided to actually meet. My skirt was the shortest I could possibly find, my bra was padded. My eyes were painstakingly smudged with what my mother called “the black stuff”. I was ready to face the object of my preteen desires, and I shoved like $15 in my back pocket just in case he swept me away on the county bus to elope. I flitted from one cluster of tweens to another like a hummingbird. His hair, shiny brown and swooped over one eye like an anime hero, caught my eye right after halftime and I caught tummy butterflies when I was walking towards him. All his friends had skateboards and he smelled like beer, and I don’t know how I even knew that smell yet but it made me fall even deeper in love because, how dangerous. His friends shared glances and teasing teen-boy chuckles like they knew me or something. Smirking, he pulled me away from the group and wrapped his hands confidently around my waist.
“I’m so happy to finally meet you,” I squeaked, trying not to get really sweaty and feeling a rash bubble up on my arms.
“Yeah,” he had the smirk on his face still and it was making me worry. Why wasn’t this the last scene of The Notebook?
I felt his hands sliding down into my back pockets. My heart pounded. He leaned in close to my face. Haphazardly, he mashed his lips against my face. I think he missed my mouth a little and it felt like being squashed against a person in the backseat of a car with too many passengers. Regardless, my stomach still felt like a fist was wrapped around it. I never wanted it to end, but he removed his dry lips from my cheek and slid his hands carefully out of my pockets and said what kind of sounded like, “I’ll see you later.”
I floated to the nacho stand and barely noticed Ryan and his huddle laughed hysterically and whacked each other with their skateboards. Surely this was just a teenage rite of congratulations. They were all jealous. I was so cool! I was so hot!
I reached into my back pocket, reluctant to wipe off the Ryan DNA but also really really wanting to buy nachos. All my marriage money was gone.