I had two conversations going on. One with my date (first date) sitting next to me and one in my head.
“They call this game the beautiful sport. Personally, I think bowling should have that title. What do you think?”
“I wouldn’t call bowling a sport.” She smirks.
“Sure it is. Hand eye coordination. Groupies. It qualifies.”
I lay my hand on her forearm. She doesn’t pull away, but she doesn’t return my touch with one of her own. Not a positive sign. Also, I’m turned to her and she’s still facing forward. I’ll try mirroring.
“That’s a very disturbing stick figure drawing. Does your mother know you have all this pent up aggression?”
“Hey, it’s your game. If you can’t handle it you shouldn’t ask to play.” She puts the pencil down with authority.
She brushes her cheek with the back of her hand. I put my hand to my face in a nearly identical gesture. Then I tug at the hair in back of my head. Almost instantly, she plays with a lock of hair on her head. Progress!
“Sounds like your parents have one of those relationships that most people envy.” I’m genuinely impressed.
“It hasn’t always been perfect, but yeah, I’m lucky to have them. They’re a good role model.”
I have my hand on her shoulder when she says this. I’m escalating kino by the book, but she’s not touching me in response at all. Her body language, while not cold, is not warming up either, although her punchy voice tone, her sincere smile, and her glittering eyes betray a deep emotional engagement.
It has been an hour and two drinks since we met this night. People are around us, but not much paying attention to us, except for one Slavic looking girl sitting with three men on the other side of the bar who keeps checking me out. Naturally, I notice this. When women’s eyes are on me, I feel a pleasant disturbance in my calm. A nuke could go off downtown and I’ll still take mental note of some random chick looking at me curiously.
Normally, this is the time of the date when I go for the kiss, but she has sent no signals that an advance toward her lips would yield victory. I’ve had girls faceturn on me before during a lip approach, and it’s an invisible blow to the solar plexus, but I always remind myself that the rejection of a spurned kiss is nothing to the regret of a kiss not taken. Yet… she is inscrutable. Not leaning into me, not leaning away from me. Smiling, but not licking her lips. Accepting of my touches, but not returning in kind. I absorb the tension of the moment, silent and serene, careful to avoid lurching clumsily into try-hard, but the seconds are ticking and the silence is expanding. I could put off the decision and move this conversation in a new direction, but then I risk losing momentum. If seduction were a balloon, overtalking is like pinching the knot to let the air escape slowly.
When I was new to the pickup arts, I defaulted to Mystery’s kiss routine to break the seal and kiss a girl on a first date (or first night). The routine was simple.
“Would you like to kiss me?”
If she says “Yes”, I go for the kiss.
If she says “No”, I say “I didn’t say you *could*… you just had that look on your face.”
If she says “Maybe”, I say “Let’s find out.”
It was a good routine, and never let me down, but as I (re)discovered through the accumulation of experience and memories of past seductions, it was totally unnecessary. The perfect first kiss is ushered wordlessly, imposed on the woman by sheer force of masculine will, intoxicating in its bold, unspoken grandeur, sophisticated in its exquisite timing. Cleverness and calculated filibuster, more often than not, detracts from its simple glory.
But still, I needed a sign. There is always a sign if you look for it.
As I finished speaking, I stared at her. In the silence, my pupils vibrated along a beam of mental wire connected to her pupils. An unmoved girl would quickly glance away. She would have, but not before a telling second passed when her gaze met mine and lingered, and I had all the excuse I needed. Plunging headlong into her aura of feminine repose, I struck the softness of her lips with purpose, and she answered with abandon.
The only kiss routine you need is this: does she hold your gaze for a second longer than is comfortable? If so, you must move. Failure to do so will constitute the loss of a magical moment that will never quite be recaptured in the same way again.