On that contrived notion of ideal kissing height, and a mildly interesting and/or ironic language thought or two, as well

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/02/04 04:31 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2008/02/04/7422519.aspx

In response to my blog yesterday entitled A sign that is actually a symptom, and not in Unicode anyway, Dana asked in a comment:

What exactly is the "typical ideal kissing height for me while standing up"?

To provide some additional context, the text from the post:

And it is still with me even today, though only when I cause it by bending my neck forward. Usually for me it only runs down to my fingertips though during acute exacerbations (both genuine and inspired by subclinical illness) I sometimes feel it down my legs as well. It kind of screws up the whole "making a person's toes tingle" notion for me, as it is kind of like my waking state, and if I kiss a person of typical ideal kissing height for me while standing up then I will feel tingling in my limbs independent of how good or bad the kiss is.

In my late teens when I discovered how much fun it was to kiss girls just for the sake of kissing them, I had a fair amount of opportunity to compare and contrast various ways of kissing people of different heights.

I also picked up some bad habits like kissings too aggressively or messily that I was only able to shed later as I realized the habits were (in fact) less than ideal, despite mostly being picked up from others and thus were not such a bad idea in specific cases even though a terrible idea in the general case!

An additional lesson I learned is that aggressive kisses that lead to hickeys are a really bad idea if a girl has an older brother who fancies himself a protector of virtue eventually, even if both boy and girl think them to be a good idea at the time; with the 3wisdom of afterthought, I know they were not....

But one thing I learned when kissing someone while standing up, it tended to be a better kiss when there was a height differential of 4-8 inches so that one person is kind of "kissing down a bit" toward the other person (when kissing while not standing up, height is not nearly as relevant since we are all the same height lying down).

I'm about 5'10".

Although in theory the woman could be that much taller than the man, the number of women I dated who were between 6'2" and 6'6" is best described as scant (not through any prejudice of mine, most women who are taller seem to not prefer men shorter than them), so I have more data for the other way around.

Not this is hardly an absolute with people -- I have been involved in some earth-shattering kisses with people where the differential did not exist, and also one can quite handily "fake" the differential by standing in heels (not my personal preference on my feet since they are so uncomfortable to wear but women don't seem to mind them as much!) or standing on a step or something. It is just that all things being equal the differential seems quite effective at helping to deliver those kisses that helps to make toes tingle even without Lhermitte-induced symptomatology, and in my mind is the typical ideal height for kissing while standing up.

In later years, when the whole Lhermitte thing reared its head (or neck, as it were) which could cause "toe tingling" without the effectiveness of the kiss being the main inspiring factor, as did the "positive" Romberg sign (which would cause me to fall over if my eyes were closed and I were not braced against something), the ideal kissing height issue became more theoretical and I don't think I am as good of a kisser in such situations now (given the distraction that the whole "falling down" thing adds to the situation).

So I don't think I can stay sufficiently undistracted from falling on a person accidentally to inspire their toes to tingle in such a way that they would otherwise like to have someone fall atop them (thus in a choice bit of language manipulation I am less able to inspire such an action as my body somehow finds it to be so much easier of a thing to do!).

The other irony here is that people can talk about a great kiss being one that causes one's toes to tingle, yet if one is kind of bored in a relationship a common expression to use is that they are "putting our feet to sleep" which is kind of like the way flammable and inflammable mean the same thing. :-)

As for me, I am kind of retired from all of this now, most of the time. But I can think back to that ideal kissing height....


This post brought to you by(U+0981, aka BENGALI SIGN CANDRABINDU, who, while sitting a bit above the letters that it is attached to and thus feeling quite topical, wanted a second sponsorship opportunity on this follow-up post since the first time was so much more accidentally relevant!)

# Zooba on 4 Feb 2008 7:49 PM:

Michael, you think way too much about this stuff :-P

Though perhaps an alterior motive may be to be cited as a source on topics like this by Wikipedia?

# Michael S. Kaplan on 4 Feb 2008 8:46 PM:

Well, my standards for authenticity are probably lower than that of Wikipedia; I have trouble imagining being cited for my random blatherings. :-)

# Shauna on 7 Feb 2008 4:04 PM:

Hmmmm.....have given this a lot of thought. Great kisses need not be from a standing position and I speak from experience. And your eyes need not be closed. As a matter of fact, with eyes wide open, they can be extremely sexy....give it a try and let me know what you think. Now to go find the boyfriend......


# Michael S. Kaplan on 8 Feb 2008 9:22 AM:

It is true that one does not have to be standing, but many kisses (first kisses, for example) usually don't involve situations where one is lying down. :-)

I have kissed with my eyes open (I usually do these days for the sake of my balance!) but I learned with eyes closed so it makes the kiss feel less natural to me....

(Mostly a theoretical point, given the amount of kissing I am doing these days!)

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