18 People Describe Their First Kiss in Haiku
06.08.17

My first kiss was with a boy from Montana named Paul. I was 14. My friend Kristi and I were on a skiing trip with her parents and I met Paul in the kid’s lounge of our hotel in Reno, the biggest little city in the world. After a night of what must have been stimulating conversation, Paul knocked on the door of my room and asked if he could kiss me. I was wearing baggy sweatpants and a pink T-shirt that had the letter L written in rhinestones (they didn’t have an H and I really loved the shirt). I said yes. What followed was catastrophic and thrilling. I suppose you could call it a make out, but it’d look more like one if you slowed it down to quarter speed. It was so frantic and unpracticed.

This was pre-cell phone, so I had to wait days to tell my friends about it. The utterly poor quality of the kiss had no bearing on my level of excitement, which was just outside of Earth’s atmosphere. Back then, attention from a boy was nearly indiscernible, emotionally, from attention from a boy I actually liked. A boy was a boy, a kiss was a kiss. I felt like I’d won the lottery.

Maybe all first kisses are both electrifying and awful. By definition, must they be? In case that juxtaposition lent itself well to prose, I asked 17 people to tell me about their first kisses in haiku, and wrote my own too. Click through above and then add your own below. And in case you missed our past poetic endeavors, read our haikus about losing our virginity, going through puberty and our boobs.

A special thanks to teen braces for making this story possible.

Graphics by Maria Jia Ling Pitt. 

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  • Willa Konefał Davis

    Nina’s was precious. Loved the last line of Harling’s.

    Like Martha, mine was also during a Truth or Dare situation. It was so terrible that I ran to lock myself in the bathroom, and wouldn’t come out until he had left. Also I was 99% sure I was a lesbian for not liking it. This turned out to not be true after a better experience 🙂

  • Tammy

    Quite short and awkward
    My brother was in the room
    I married the guy
    Age kissed: 15

    • Andrea Raymer

      you win!

  • Abby

    In kindergarten
    Alone in the reading loft
    I told your mother

    His mom was our room mom, I think he got in trouble? I was blasé about it but she was right there and I’ve never been good at keeping things to myself. He definitely never came near me again.

  • Hayley

    On a village bench
    It was quite a wet make-out
    I was not impressed

    Age: 13

  • Quinn Halman

    At summer camp, duh
    Thought he was going to stand*
    Friends watched from window
    Age kissed: 13

    *I thought his leaning in was him going to stand up, so I stood, he followed suit, asked me “are you prude, or something”, I responded (assertively) “no” and leaned in to kiss him and leaned in a la Sheryl Sandberg.

  • lillian c.

    hugged bye at lockers
    our friends were screaming “do it!”
    “that was weird” you said

    age kissed: 12

  • Emily

    It was snowing, which
    Should have been romantic but
    Then he ran away

    age kissed: 14

  • MATT!

  • Alone on a beach
    Tongues playing tug of war game
    Why is your shirt off?

    Age Kissed: 16

  • Mya Patel

    can Mr Haikus please become a regular thing. they truly make me happy.

  • Andrea Raymer

    omg. here we go:

    I was twenty-three.
    First ever date. From Tinder.
    I don’t get kissing.

    Age Kissed: 23, obviously. did you read it.

    Kissing is still a relatively new phenomenon for me and I still don’t get it. I just feel like it is boring. I keep asking all of my friends if it is supposed to be good and fun. Please advise, I’ve been having and existential crisis about it for weeks.

    • Juliet Hall

      Thank you!!!! It IS boring! Yet to have a decent kiss, and not ashamed to admit that.

      • Andrea Raymer

        the world needs more transparency with this subject because I am so freaking confused.

    • Honestly it can take a while! I’ve been lucky with my first kiss but I’ve definately had kissed that.. happened. That’s all that can be said about them.
      Physical attraction is rly important, did you feel attracted to the person? Did you have a connection? I know some ppl who can only enjoy physical uh.. contact when there’s an emotional connection, maybe that’s a factor?
      Also, as it was your first kiss, you might put more pressure on it and be worried about how special it has to be and yada yada. It’ll be fine, whatever else happens.

      • Andrea Raymer

        yeah, that was 3 years ago. ever since then I have still found it rather boring. I think maybe the emotional connection has something to do with it. it has always been people that were basically strangers. I feel more butterflies when certain people look at my Instagram story than I did kissing anyone. so far I’m not a fan.

        • mm I can imagine it’s difficult to just not be into it, there’s such a focus on ~romance in western society.. If you don’t mind me asking, do you experience physical attraction? I ask bc I’ve heard this from someone before and a while later she realized she was asexual. (not saying that’s the case, but y’know, everythings a spectrum and not everyone enjoys physical contact etc)

          • Andrea Raymer

            Definitely physically attracted to them, but it was just not fun.

          • Maybe kissing’s just not your thing?
            Just hope you don’t feel bad about this, there’s nothing wrong with you!

    • Erin Kerr

      thanks girl!!
      21 and never been kissed, go through phases of not thinking about it & feeling weird about it.

      • Andrea Raymer

        I definitely felt, and still feel that way. When I graduated from college having never kissed anyone I was basically in panic mode for weeks. I felt like it made me less human than everyone else. Even now, 3 years after it happened I still don’t really get the hype and I don’t feel any different than I did before.

        • Erin Kerr

          Yeah going into my senior year right now and it never really bothered me until a certain boy appeared recently, now I’m like ‘oh god wtf am i supposed to do if this progresses’

          • Andrea Raymer

            I’m still that way. I have only ever kissed people that were basically strangers and it has never been an enjoyable experience

          • Erin Kerr

            god you’re my fave, ty for being so honest

  • Olivegirl94

    It was summer camp
    He was blonde and a true hunk
    Lasted one second

  • 8th grade my basement
    a game of spin the bottle
    kissed four more same night

    …….really went from 0 to 60.

  • Mia Lenore

    Sleep away camp. Jews.
    Truth. It was a dare. I lied.
    Said I didn’t care.

  • SE

    Discovery Zone
    Yeah, Yeah. After being chased
    through ball pits, zipline.

    Age kissed: 7

  • our friends locked us in the garage
    so we’d better uh.. you said
    so nervous. you were wonderful.

    age: 13

  • chouette

    he touched my face and
    said “aw you’re blushing” then
    he kissed me hard

    age, 13

    • Imaiya Ravichandran

      a john green book come to life

  • dtjb

    In a friend’s basement
    Why did you eat those Corn Nuts?
    Ew. Gum did not help.
    Age kissed: 12

  • Andreia Quintas

    It was at A fare
    It felt like you were eating my face.
    Age 15

  • sarah

    25, and lame
    Guy, but wow, what a make out
    Session, four hours

  • Greer Clarke

    K so if you read Matt’s one way it’s cute, if you read it another way it sounds non-consensual :/

    • Greer Clarke

      (PS the cute way is extremely cute, I know you didn’t write a Haiku about kissing an unconscious drunk girl)

  • Kubla

    What’s necking? we asked
    His hot breath on my wet throat
    Mo Better Blues played

  • Kubla

    Lost a spin the bottle
    Outside on log we sat
    Looking at the trees 🌲

  • TinySoprano

    Playing Sailor Moon,
    Accidental mouth-bumpage.
    Ew, said everyone.

    Age kissed: 8

    • KK

      “Ew, said everyone” is my favorite line of all of these haha

  • Kubla

    We knew right away
    At his doorstep when I asked
    Can I use the loo?

    Age: 26

  • Olivia

    Laying under stars
    Five kiddos on one hammock
    Noses brushed; you missed

    Age kissed: 13

  • Kubla

    It wasn’t a kiss, no
    More of a dick between legs
    My manny and I

    Age: 7

  • Kubla

    Crushed under a suit
    He felt up my padded bra
    Mentoring on Wall

    Age 36

  • Kubla

    Black shiny curtains
    Haloed her tender eyebrows
    Mother and I: One

    Age: 3 weeks

  • Kubla

    Last night I gave up
    Being a woman or man
    Became a speckle of spit

    Age: 43

  • Kubla

    Mary I forgot
    Forgive me for not seeing
    Your last kiss of death

    Age: 43

  • Dani

    In secret with a tough boy
    Thought I could improvise
    So bad he made fun of me
    Age kissed: 19
    (I obviously can’t write haikus lmao)

  • Heather Brisson

    Sitting in my dark closet
    He wanted light to see my face
    I prepared with mouthwash
    Age kissed: 17

  • Sorority dance
    you were drunk and sloppy
    neck felt paralyzed
    Age kissed: 19

  • KK

    Catholic school dance
    Leave room for holy spirit
    Teacher shut it down

    Age: 15

  • Madeline

    in love with Kyle’s. here’s mine:

    my arm had gone numb
    i was afraid to adjust
    my hand that he held

  • Patricia

    Beach party with a local basketball star
    Laying on the sand, hella romantic
    Never saw you again
    Age kissed: 16

  • Rachel

    Fifth grade, Truth or Dare.
    Five inches shorter than me.
    Should have chosen Truth.
    Age kissed: 11

  • slutshaming hamilton

    I was so thirsty
    All our friends were on that bus
    I’m glad it was you

    Age kissed: 13

  • allison fargo

    TBH i’ve never laughed so hard

    we just saw twilight
    all of my friends were cheering
    still, it was very bad

    age kissed: 14

  • beatrix kiddori

    high school grad party
    he asked permission. good job.
    cheeks hurt from smiling!

    age:18

  • Chrystian Petit

    Movies with some friends
    Slept hard, thought it was a dream
    Woke up to her lips

  • Fezzers

    “Kiss? I don’t know how.”
    “Hey, I don’t know how either.”
    And then our lips touched.

    Age 18

  • Summertime house party:
    cute coworker I’d crushed on,
    so much tongue. Finally.
    Age kissed: 20

  • Katy

    my doorway, nineteen
    jolly rancher in his mouth
    never loved me back

  • Meg S

    Sitting on the beach
    So cold, he gave me his coat
    He used too much tongue

    Age: 16

  • Jenni

    In the dark room
    Red lights flickering
    He turned my head round
    Age : 16