Relationships

Should Men Really Ask To Kiss Women?

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner··  4 min read
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Should Men Really Ask To Kiss Women? shutterstock

Women are often confusing to men. We don’t always say what we want, know what we want, or even want what we think we want.

And lately, there’s this new rule being thrown out that men should verbally ask to kiss a woman he’s interested in. While I understand the sentiment, it’s not tangible in real romantic situations. 

Sure, it kind of sounds good... But imagine you’re walking along the beach, holding hands with the man of your dreams, and instead of leaning in to kiss you, he stops, plants his feet firmly, and says, “Can I kiss you?”

The one time a potential boyfriend asked me this it was stiff and ruined the mood. I was so turned off I ghosted him. So should men really pop that question right off the bat?

Please Don’t Take EVERYTHING Literally

Communication is so much more than verbal expressions. Literally asking “Can I kiss you?” led me to say no to a guy who would have gotten a major make-out session if he had let my body do the talking. 

awkward can i kiss you

I’m not alone in this. Plenty of women have expressed their repulsion of being asked for a kiss. It’s too straightforward. There’s no build-up, no tension, no mystery. All the heat that makes for a great first kiss is kindled by attraction, and for a lot of women, there’s nothing more attractive than a man who knows how to get his answer without asking. 

asking me for a kiss

Now to be fair, ladies, you can bring up your distaste of men who ask for a kiss. That’s always a nice hint that gives a guy some direction. But only admit it if you’re interested in being pulled into something steamy.

Figurative Asking Is All about Social Cues

Of course, men can “ask” for a kiss without speaking. The best method is “the lean.” If a man leans in and the woman they’re with wants to kiss him, she will draw closer. If she doesn’t, she will pull back. But this requires a guy to be perceptive and really pay attention. 

Timing is everything. “The lean” doesn’t work if she’s talking to someone else or bending down to tie her shoe.  

hitch 90 10 lean in for kiss

Another way to “ask” without asking is by giving a woman a gift. If you’re not dating and you’re stuck in the “are we friends or could there be more?” phase, a simple gift will say it all — or how it’s received will, really. That’s why men traditionally sent the women they wished to woo flowers, candy, or just a simple note expressing their affections (sans questions like “Can I kiss you?”). 

tom-hanks-i-brought-you-flowers youve got mail

meg ryan kathleen kelly gets flowers youve got mail

Social cues and simple gestures mean everything when you’re just getting involved. Hand-holding should always come before a kiss. Call me old-fashioned, but I still get the tingles when my husband clasps my hand in his. (And he DID NOT ask to kiss me when we started dating, not verbally anyway.)

pride-and-predjudice- darcy hand flex

If men want a kiss, they need to have fun and enjoy the romance. Patience is a true virtue here. There is nothing sexier than the moment a man you like gently brushes your hair from your face or scoots closer to you. The anticipation is hot. And it makes kissing way more intense than just puckering up after a dude asks, “Can I kiss you?” 

Each Woman Should Be Treated Differently

In truth, there are some women out there who actually want to be asked, and some who think they want it but don’t. I do not envy men in the current, post #MeToo dating climate. The guessing games and “rules” around consent are a lot weirder than when I was just entering the dating scene. 

The days of worrying about bad breath and what to wear seem like a picnic compared to modern dating rules. So how should we set the standard for kissing, now, in the modern era?

Honestly, people need to get back to knowing each other before they go for it. If you spend a bit of time getting to know someone as an individual, you’ll figure out what they want – whether they verbally express it or not. 

a walk to remember i might kiss you

I have two sons, and I worry about their future dating prospects far more than I worry about what’s in store for my daughters. There’s a lot to take into consideration, and it seems like a headache just writing about it, but I really believe a lot of misunderstandings and discomfort can be avoided if men just get to know a woman before they kiss her and vice versa. 

Closing Thoughts

There are many ways to gain permission for physical affection. Flat-out asking seems a bit robotic and easily ruins the mood, but it depends on the person. Get to know the one you’re with if you truly want to learn their desires.

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