the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

I Won’t Delete This One — Maybe

Note:  This is an example of writing something just for my own benefit.   I know it isn’t very well-written.  I just like TO WRITE, even if it is dumb.  The main theme, kissing, is something that was on my mind today.  I know it isn’t a major issue of the day, but it is what I think about when I sit around at 1AM. 

I’m not writing this note as an apology.  I actually hope to be inspiring.   I think I wimped out earlier by deleting those two other posts.  What’s the big deal if I just left them on?  Do I want this blog to be all about high quality literary posts?  If I do, then maybe I should just write one post a week.

Eh, screw it.  I don’t know what I’m talking about.  I’m feeling all these contradictory emotions about everything, including YOU.  I am confused why strangers would care about me.  At the same time, I hate the fact that when I go on Twitter, life in the world just goes on.  I remember one day, a few weeks ago, there were two main conversations going on in Twitter — one was jokey and the other was about the Democratic primary.  People were chiming in, this way and that, entirely convinced that the world was listening to their views.  And then, another person who didn’t have many followers, wrote, “my grandfather died.”  And everyone just kept on talking, oblivious.

I feel lucky that I have people who read this and seem to care.  But as a “dependent” personality, I need to remember that I don’t need you for validation.  If I write this, the job is already mostly done.   Everything else is dessert.  The act of writing — the words on paper — the fact that I amused myself for a bit — is the important thing…


OK, if this is going to be my life, it’s time to get my ass out of my childhood bedroom and start preparing for battle.  Life is like war, and every soldier needs his comrades, his buddies who will support him NO MATTER WHAT. 

You are those comrades-in-arms. 

Let me put this in a way that YOU can understand, because some of you seem to get lost in my “over-your-head” blog posts.  I am a samurai and you are the sidekicks in Akira Kurosawa’s “The Seven Samarai.”  Or I am Princess Leia, and you are Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca.  Or maybe it’s better to say that I’m Luke Skywalker and you are R2D2 and Obi Won Kenobi.  or I am Frodo and you are Sam and the other Hobbits.  Or I am the Karate Kid and you are my Mr. Miyagi.  Or I am Seabiscuit and you are…Ok, you get the point?

You need to advise me and help me in my goals.

For many months now, I have been — how can I say this politely so as not to offend any Christian mommybloggers? — vaguely insinuating that I was mildly interested in finding and accompanying an intelligent, kind female into my bedroom where we would hopefully partake in an ancient, natural, intense, and completely “eco-green” ritual that would be satisfying and immensely spiritual for both of us — well, at least for one of us.

In the past, this was theoretical.  But the future is looking different.  Can this dream become a reality?  Hell, I’m not ready to be thinking about this.  Shut up, yes you are!   You can’t HELP not thinking about this.  I need to first be comfortable with yourself and figure out what you want to do.  You’re an idiot.   Who gave you such miserable advice? 

OK, if I am going to think reality, I need to start thinking practical. 

Myth — Most women do not jump into the sack with you like they do in the movies.

As much as I would love to have some hot woman come up to me in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and say, “Oh my God, you’re Neilochka from Citizen of the Month.  I’m a beautiful curator at the museum, and graduate of Princeton with an Art History degree.  Let’s have sex in the Temple of Dendur after the museum closes!” it is unlikely that this event will ever occur. 

As for myself, I would feel uncomfortable having sex this way.  I know it is “controversial” for a man to say he wouldn’t take any opportunity for sex, but I would probably turn this woman down.  I’m shy in that way.  It’s taken me three long years to feel OK even HUGGING bloggers, especially those crazy southern bloggers who seem to hug everyone, even the checkout guy at the supermarket who bags their groceries.  Besides my shyness, I’d be afraid of getting caught having sex in the Temple of Dendur.  Or worse — being videotaped and ending up on YouTube.  or even worse — desecrating the temple grounds with our sex act and getting some horrible Egyptian curse bestowed on me where my penis turns to stone, and then slowly wears with time, whithering away into dust.

Oh yeah… yeah, what the hell is this post about?  Am I going to be deleting this nonsense in five minutes, like the two posts from yesterday?  Why don’t I just stop blogging for a week since I clearly have nothing to say? 

But I do have an important topic to discuss.  I read this site that scared the hell out of me.  For all of my talk about sex and penises and doing it upside down on a trapeze, it seems that — IN THE REAL WORLD — if I want to pass GO — I have to first KISS the woman — and get this, DO IT WELL!

It has been theorized that a woman decided within five minutes of meeting a man whether or not she will have sex with him. Possibly true, but there is one catch. Most women I know, myself included, may initially decide we’ll have sex with a guy, but when we find out he’s a bad or a mediocre kisser, we change our minds entirely. We decide we will never have sex with this guy. He won’t even get asked for a nightcap, much less for breakfast the next morning. As our lips part while we stand on the doorstep, we will announce that we have an early-morning meeting or (if you were really awful) that we’re actually already married to someone else.

What we will never, ever say is, “God, you’re a lousy kisser. I was going to have sex with you until just this moment.” This is one of the ways in which men and women differ. If a man is very attracted to a woman but discovers she’s a bad or mediocre kisser, he’ll probably have sex with her anyway if presented with the opportunity. A woman can’t get past a bad kiss.

I’ve been with Sophia for years.  I’m not entirely convinced that I can kiss someone new and just hit it off — 1, 2, 3.  Will I be out of the picture if I don’t “up my game?”  Should I have Sophia write me a note to hand to the woman explaining that I’m not really “hip” to any of the new twenty-first century kissing techniques?  Have any women out there really rejected a guy because of his kissing?  If you are a married man, are you keeping up with your passionate kissing — just in case your marriage falls apart and you need to go back into the dating scene?  Maybe you’re like me, and didn’t realize how serious this kissing thing is to women.

What makes a good or bad kisser?  

Hopefully, if I go to BlogHer, my blog friends will come to my assistance and make out with me.  I will be putting up a sign-up list on my door.  Please tell your husbands and boyfriends that this is completely innocent, and that you are just helping a fellow blogger with his research.

Maybe I’ll delete this later.


  1. adena

    I think, more than the technique of kissing (tho’ that IS important…I mean, we don’t want to be slobbered on) I think that kissing is really the only way to gauge the chemistry between people. I mean, you can be wildly attracted to someone, and expect that you’re going to have crazy monkey sex in the next 20 minutes, but then, if you kiss them, and there’s just….nothing…there…then, sorry, but it ain’t happening.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the technique. If the chemistry is there, then there’s not much you can do wrong. (Well, except for excessive slobbering.)

  2. chez beziat

    I could learn a lot from your words. Whenever my blog gets close to greatness, I get all self-conscious and it all goes to crap.

    I’d say one post a week is way too few posts from Citizen of the Month.

    My best.

  3. Bri

    I was going to say that, too. I think you feel all the initial chemistry in that first kiss, and whether another date is going to happen can be decided in that moment. Technique isn’t something you should worry about, because I think everyone kisses differently and I think your kissing can also change over time, I know mine has. Some women like a more forceful kisser, some prefer a more subtle approach, compatibility in kissing should then lead to compatibility in…um, that other activity you mentioned. Good luck!

  4. the slackmistress

    I wouldn’t worry so much, as I’ve found that your internet-women-types are slightly different than your average-female-types. Meaning that your target audience – the one that you’re interested in? Probably willing to train.

    I have a whole bunch (okay, maybe two) of antisocial networking posts coming up about this – guys who get worked up and worried when chances are the type of women who “decide in five minutes” are the women who you probably wouldn’t be interested in dating anyway.

    Also, do not feel odd about feeling odd about not jumping in the sack – there are PLENTY of guys like that. It’s the fantasy that sounds good, but the reality that ain’t so appealing. Like sex on the beach.

  5. Miss Syl

    I’ve only encountered two significantly bad kissers in my years of experience, and they both involved “French” kissing technique. One used to open his mouth so wide to kiss me that it was like he was hoping to swallow the entire bottom half of my face.I’d pull away and have vast amounts of saliva coating the entire area around my mouth.

    The other guy would open his mouth to French kiss and then just do that–leave it open, not work his tongue or anything. It was like kissing into a deep, hollow cavern.

    So I’d say my two rules are: don’t slobber on me, and engage the tongue somewhat (but don’t try to choke me with it, either).

    Of course, other women may like those sorts of things. The world is full of different tastes.

    Honestly, I think it’s pretty damn hard to be a bad kisser. The vast percentage of people are gonna be fine at it. I wouldn’t worry. Kiss the way you enjoy kissing. If the person doesn’t like it, find someone who does.

  6. Jane

    Kissing is an intuitive act, and not one that can be simply deconstructed into technique. The basics – not excessively slobbering or sucking or choking, and closing your eyes – are early-learned essentials. The rest is about intuition. It’s about remembering that the kiss is not about YOU but about THEM. Your sacred romantic duty is to stop the dialog and questions in your own mind, and tune into her mind and spirit again. If you do this, you will know if she wants it faster, slower, or with more tongue or less. You will learn if she likes a gentle bite on her lower lip, or if she wants you to go deeper or linger on the surface.

    The art of kissing, Neil, is to leave one’s self out of it and to feel the other person.

    This, as usual, is my well-studied opinion. 😉

  7. margalit

    I agree with the other comments. Kissing is one of those things that, if you’re not a slobberer and you use breath mints or something refreshing to keep your breath nice a clean, just happens when you lose yourself in your partner. Being self-conscious is when kissing isn’t great. Closing your eyes and just submitting to the kiss, letting go of everything but the kiss… that’s the kind of kiss that has women begging for more!

    But don’t forget the mints.

  8. Yvonne

    Your mention of the grandfather dying twitter made me feel sad. I hope someone did get back to them about it.

    About kissing – if you’re an intuitive person I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

  9. Artful Kisser

    We assume the kiss is the entree that tells us whether we’re in the running for a main of sumptuous wagyu or a slapdash sloppy $2 burger. However experience shows that sometimes wagyu follows fries – and sometimes the quickest lousiest burger follows the most earth shattering entree ever.

  10. better safe than sorry

    i gotta agree with these comments, good dental hygiene, no slobbering, and don’t worry too much about technique, i think good eye contact before that first kiss would help, most importantly, be yourself.

    and you’re a writer, just write, you need to get these words out, it should help clear your head seeing them down on paper.

  11. natalie

    oh my gosh…the artful kisser just totally rocked my world with that comment. it was perfection!

  12. Roadchick

    I have to say that there was one guy that I dated and he was nice, and he was ok looking, and it was all looking kind of mediocre until he kissed me goodnight.

    I still think about that kiss sometimes.

    Unfortunately he moved a couple of states away for work so the relationship never went beyond a few kisses . . . but damn, those were some kisses. I still wonder sometimes what sleeping with him would’ve been like.

  13. Sarah

    Wish I could think of something profound or even witty to say here. I hope you don’t delete this…it might be raw, but it is honest and moving.

  14. gorillabuns

    I have honestly said after a kissing a guy, “this isn’t doing it for me.”

    Only once.

  15. Not Fainthearted

    When and if I ever return to I plan to plagiarize this:

    “… mildly interested in finding and accompanying an intelligent, kind [male] into my bedroom where we would hopefully partake in an ancient, natural, intense, and completely “eco-green” ritual that would be satisfying and immensely spiritual for both of us….”

    just so you know.

  16. Caffeinated Librarian

    Best kiss I ever had was with my then boyfriend, Wickham. We were standing in front of my front door and he was leaving to drive back home. And although we’d been dating for a while it was the first time he’d ever kissed me soft, sexy and completely toe-curling way.

    Four days later we had broken up in part, although I didn’t know it then, because he had recently also started dating the women he would eventually marry. Which sounds very depressing, I guess…certainly on the surface not as uplifting as some of the things that other commenters have said. But I don’t think of it that way.

    Kissing is important. Sex is important. But they aren’t all that matter…which means that being good at them doesn’t always equal happiness nor anything else.

  17. nancypearlwannabe

    It’s true- I could never get over a bad kisser, but would consider dating someone I wasn’t sure about if they were a great kisser. But then, maybe I am just fickle.

  18. kenju

    Back in my school days, I kissed a lot of frogs and some real princes. If a guy couldn’t kiss well, and wasn’t teachable, he didn’t get anywhere with me. Guys need to know that there are 2 things they need to love doing and do well – kiss and dance.

    I like your idea of sex in the Temple of Dendur. I am an Egyptophile and that strikes me as a great place to do the deed – although the possibility of being shown on Utube sort of makes that go away…..LOL

  19. Julie Pippert


    (Hope that was a little satisfying. Since I am Christian and a mommy and blogger.)

    I hope you leave this up because who doesn’t want to hear people talk honestly about this?

    Oh never you mind about that group; they’re on the way out. 😉

    Wow, you’d have been flipping out in the press room and at the blogger’s caucus in Austin this weekend where TOTAL STRANGERS were hugging as a greeting.

    Or maybe it would be a good thing. Hang in the South, get over body boundary issues. There’s a tourist tagline for the chamber of commerce.

    A good kisser (or insert any other here) is someone who can pay attention to himself and his partner at the same time.

    Also the weird thing about Twitter is that just because you see someone doesn’t mean anyone else does—who knows who follows and is following. I see Leo La Porte but does he see me? And so many people come into talk, not listen. Sometimes there is very little feedback, even if you address someone directly. I am honestly surprised if I get a response. So…good point about that.

    You know…you should check in with my friend Liv at madness madness i say. She’s an expert.

  20. LVGurl

    Kissing is a big deal for me, and bad kissing is (AHEM, I mean WAS) a deal breaker in a couple of instances.

    If you’ve been told that you’re a good kisser in the past, Neil, you will always be a good kisser. I think you’re safe 😉

  21. sarah g

    hey neil,
    i dont ‘put out’ anyway, but there was one time i considered it. until we kissed. not good, why do it if it wont be worth it. Which I’m glad about anyway. That whole its better if you love someone thing. I’ll step off of that soapbox..

    but. as for writing and having us there. everyone needs someone who cares. what does it matter if its through this or someone you meet in line for coffee who becomes a friend. we never know “HOW” we’ll befriend someone. why wonder? instead, be thankful. obviously the person who had to share about his grandfather, needed someone, anyone to reach out. Thankfully you have that. I hope that you reached out to that person!

    also. dont worry about how it’ll be. work on making something meaningful and trustfilled, and you’ll know if you have chemistry. the rest of it, takes care of itself!
    have faith in YOU. enjoy being YOU. the person that Sophia has loved, and does love, is a magnificant person that is worthy of someone elses attention.

    and as Neil. Not as the persona of you from this website either. So they’ll walk up to you as YOU not just cause you write this witty and touching post!

  22. Finn

    Hmmm… I think I want to kiss Jane. I think what she says is very true.

    I love that area of the Met, btw. I miss New York. 🙁

  23. Miss Britt

    This is not such a crazy concern. Because when you’ve been kissing the same person for YEARS, anyone else you kiss is going to feel “off” at first.

    BUT, I think most women who don’t live by the Bible of Cosmo understand that.

  24. Memarie Lane

    Most important thing is to take it easy with the tongue. Concentrate on the lips, not the dentistry.

  25. Neil

    Memarie Lane — so I don’t need to practice sticking my tongue out while looking in the mirror. It is tiring. I don’t seem to have a very strong tongue muscle. Maybe wii-fit could come up with a new exercise.

  26. sizzle

    Kissing is serious. If a guy is a bad kisser it’s kind of a turn off. BUT if that’s the only “bad” thing then I assume there can be lots of practice and if he’s open to trying new things…we can work on it together.

    Also, I’d like to be Yoda (if I get to choose).

  27. ajooja

    I broke up with a girl because she was a weird kisser. She wanted me to give her a hickey on her lips. She tried to do it to me.

    Weird, man. Weird.

  28. Lynda

    As far as your writing is concerned, stay true to yourself. You don’t always have to be funny. I liked the Penis post though. I thought it was funny.

    As far as women are concerned, be true to yourself. Don’t try to be something you are not. If the kiss is right, the woman is right, the everything will fall into place.

    That’s just my 2 cents, for what it is worth.

  29. skcitygirl

    i have to agree with the others – kissing is about chemistry.

    i personally believe that if you kiss with passion and confidence and use the basic fundamentals of good kissing then it will be quite nice.

    as far as blogging for yourself despite the quality i say do it! while it’s always a pleasure to read a well constructed and thought out blog sometimes it’s nice to read the private thoughts that can be revealed instead. i write because i enjoy writing and it’s my method of catharsis. just because i eschew capital letters and tend to avoid commas even when i know i should use them doesn’t mean what i write doesn’t come from the heart.

    remember that. some people may read for the quality others read just for the content.

  30. HeyJoe

    Hi Jane…um, I thought maybe you might want to, you know, get a cup of coffee or something. Um, I mean if you want to.

    Well said, btw and very true.

  31. Jane

    Aw Joe, how sweet, but Finn asked first. 🙂

  32. Neil

    Jane — Actually, it is my blog. So, I get first dibs.

  33. Jane

    Man, if I could get asked out this much in real life, my friends wouldn’t have to play matchmaker for me!

    Alright, Neil. You come to Mpls., and I’ll bring the Deluxe Scrabble game and the coffee. I will also bring Kleenex, because I suspect that you will cry when I beat you several times in a row.

    Compassion in real life, yes, however — in the game of Scrabble, there is no mercy.

  34. kanani

    Okay, so here it is. You had to go three years before you could hug a blogger?

    Well, my dear, I’ve only met a handful of bloggers, and of those –I’ve only seen one of them sense. I don’t know, as much as I enjoy communicating through blogging, there’s something distancing about meeting up. In fact, even without blogging I’m not a social social type of person. Not that I’m asocial, I’m just not into making little plans with groups of people (though I’ve tried) and going somewhere and pretending to have fun. No, that’s me.

    So it take me a long time. Right now my best friends are writers. We see each other once a month and we’re like on crack the whole time.

    And I wonder… well, guess what. I was always like this. Nice, but private. But public enough to have a blog.
    Go figure.

  35. Karl

    I’m with you, Neil. I wouldn’t just accept sex from anyone, though a beautiful museum curator would probably get approval. And I’m ALSO turned off by bad kissers. It’s a deal breaker.

    Most of the time.

  36. Carolyn Bahm

    I wouldn’t dump a man for being a bad kisser (practice makes perfect), but I’d do it for bad breath. Not the garlicky kind, or the morning-breath kind that goes away with Crest — the kind that comes from dental or sinus problems. (Yuck — I dated one man with sinus problems; his mouth was always … slimy and cold, with a faint wisp of bad breath. GROSS! That relationship didn’t last long.)

    Hmm, I’m in sync with a lot of your commenters about basic kissing advice. ;o) But I’d also add this: Take your time and really taste and feel, nibble (gently), and lick lightly (just flicks and gentle slow slides of the tongue; you’re not cleaning out a bowl of pudding here). The point is to enjoy the sensation yourself while you’re pleasing her. Sort of the “Zen” of kissing — get lost in the moment, not in the bedroom goal. I know that when a man is really enjoying touching me, breathing me in, letting our breaths mingle with his lips touching mine and then pulling away for a moment with his lips barely brushing mine before kissing me deeply again, really experiencing me — it’s a heady feeling. And an incredible turn-on to know that he’s savoring me.

    Your writing says you’re sensitive and charming; I can’t imagine your kisses would be different when you’re with a woman who interests and attracts you.

    Good luck, and have fun! This was a great post. (Think I’ll go upstairs and kiss my hubby now. *wink*)

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