The Hook Up: My Girlfriend Can’t Kiss!

My girlfriend can’t kiss. She just sucks. We’ve been together three years. How do I make her a better kisser?

Anna says: Three years! My goodness. That’s a lot of face licking to forgive. Hopefully this girlfriend of yours is amazeballs in every other department because, seriously, three years! I can’t imagine enduring that many years of bad kissing, even if I was dating Kristen Stewart. (Yes, fine! I have a thing for Broody McMopes-a-lot. You saw the recent Elle cover, right?) In my experience, consistent bad kissing is a precursor to bad Everything Else. It’s a signal that the chemistry is off, and that if you forge ahead anyway, then flowers will wilt and puppies will fall out of hand baskets! Terrible, senseless things will occur, in other words! But forge you did. This, I think, works in your favor here because it means you’re an incredibly patient and courageous person. You will need these things should you choose to accept this mission, which we will henceforth refer to as Operation Literal Tongue-in-cheek. (Ed. note: Naming missions was the portion of the CIA test in which I received a “needs improvement” score.)

Tip #1: Don’t be blunt. I don’t often advocate lying to someone you’re dating, but it’s never a good idea to outright tell someone, “Hey, you suck at this intimate thing. Can you never do that again?” Safeguarding your girlfriend’s feelings is important in this arena if you want her to change. Also, “good” kissing is subjective. A tonsil-swabbing poke fest to you might be a really great time to someone else. So, bear that in mind. It could be that your girlfriend thinks you simply adore whatever it is she’s doing to your face. And since you haven’t ever said anything to the contrary, it’s safe to assume she thinks she’s treating your mouth hole right.

Tip #2: Put the onus on you. Tell her you want to shake up your kissing routine. (But try to make it sound less Cosmo-esque). For instance, if your girlfriend’s kissing style involves drawing blood, then tell her it’d really turn you on if she was slow and gentle. Be really specific. If you can’t tell her, then show her. You could also try to make it a game if you’re watching something. Be like, “Don’t you love how Hot Celebrity 1 kisses Hot Celebrity 2 in this Hot Celebrity Movie Scene? Kiss me like that.”

Tip #3: Positive reinforcement. When she does do something right, then really hammer it home. Tell her verbally, moan, hold her tighter, be enthusiastic. She’ll get the hint and keep doing more of that. You can also say something to this effect while you’re not in the moment, at some other neutral time, like when you’re eating sensible, high fiber cereal and watching   re-runs. Most people aren’t bad kissers all the time. In a similar vein, if she does something you find abhorrent, then don’t be afraid to use your body language to communicate you’re not wild about the unsolicited dental work or what-have-you. Pull away, change the rhythm, take the lead back. I’ve found it helps to hold a person’s face with my hands if they’re getting too probey.

Tip #4: If she doesn’t respond to subtlety, then you’ll have to pull out the big communication guns and talk to her, or end it. Because a life of hungry bird pecks is no life at all. Good luck!

I went with a couple of friends to a lesbian party. Finally, after several hours of coaxing myself and drinking (alcohol helps!), I went up to the girl that I was staring at and came up with an awesome pick-up line. She bought it and we talked and talked for a long time. We shared quite a lot. Had a good laugh. She even introduced me to her friends. We even exchanged numbers. She did give me the right one. (I checked.)

I decided not to play the “Let’s wait for one day and call her” game. She did not pick up her phone, nor did she call back. I decided to let two days pass and sent her a text message asking her out for coffee. Nada. So many things are playing in my head. What went wrong? Did I read her so badly? I am rarely wrong at reading people. She was sincere with her questions and I believe we genuinely had a good time.

I tried to stay positive and reminded myself that I am proud that I had enough balls to go up to someone I think is hot even though the chances of rejection could be there. I also reminded myself that it was a positive experience in the club. But, damn, I can’t relish the moment because I am so consumed with the question why she is not texting me back. And I am sooo not going to call her or text her again because that just makes me look pathetic and probably desperate. Why can’t she be mature and text back “Sorry, but I am not interested in you that way” rather than the radio silence? The silence is indeed deafening. I know she is going to the next party in a couple of weeks, since she told me that she is going and she was even asking me if I would be. So, if I do see her, what should I do?

Anna says: I’m sorry you got rebuffed, Honey Muff. I also wish I could tell you why she gave you her number if she didn’t want you to contact her. But my psychic capabilities are weirdly only related to scenarios involving North Carolina (It’s complicated). However, you’re right! You did good. You saw what you wanted and you went for it. You walked the walk and talked the talk. How many of us can say we go lez-balls-out in those situations? Not many, if it’s any indication of all the emails I get from girls who never go for what they want and then regret it for eternity. So, I give you hella mad props for that. I’d even give you a propcicle if that was a thing that existed and I had one on me!

Now you gotta stop torturing yourself with the “whys” of the situation and simply move on. Who knows what was going on with this girl? Maybe she just got out of a break up and isn’t over her ex. Maybe she’s straight but was too polite to break it to you. Maybe she just wanted some attention from a hot girl. No one can know but her, and I doubt she’s going to give you a big reveal, so you might as well take your biznass elsewhere, you know? You’re also right that it’s wise to not contact her again.

If you do see her around at the next lesbian party, act like the cool cat that I know you are. Be polite and brief. Smile, ask her how she is, and then go back to your friends. If she wants to address her texting faux pas, then let her bring it up. But your best course of action is to treat your first encounter like a friendly conversation that didn’t lead anywhere, which is what it was. Whatever you do, don’t let this one missed connection ruin your mojo. Her reasons for not calling back probably have nothing to do with you. I’ll confess that I’ve ignored texts from people in my time. Perfectly lovely people, with nice brains and good dental hygiene. I’ve ignored them because I was hung up on some other girl. I’ve ignored them because it seemed like we wanted different things. I’ve ignored them because I was depressed and hating humanity. I’ve ignored them because, even though we had a good time, I didn’t feel like we had chemistry. Sometimes it’s simply easier to blow someone off than to be blunt with them. I know it’s not the most admirable behavior, but different people have different methods to the madness known as dating.

And seriously, pat yourself on the mf-ing back. You were awesome. That girl wasn’t for you, but it’s no big swig. Keep doing what you’re doing, and girls will be all over you like 50 Cent on Vitamin Water.

Hailing from the rough-and-tumble deserts of southern Arizona, where one doesn’t have to bother with such trivialities as “coats” or “daylight savings time,” Anna Pulley is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Find her at annapulley.com and on Twitter @annapulley. Send her your Hook Up questions at askthehookup@gmail.com.

More you may like