Social Kissing

the higher your rank, the higher you kissed


If Tommies used to kiss their fellows to encourage each other during the Trench warfare (400.000 English death), when fighting side by side with the French, until very recently the English were reluctant to social kissing.

This sign of affection was restricted to gays or close friends.

But for a good ten years now, social kissing has becoming increasingly popular in England (read the very interesting Guardian article). UK-India Business council had to insist at some point, on telling the British « effusive kissers » businessmen not not kiss their subcontinental alter egos, who might not appreciate this far too intimate gesture.

It looks like the femeninisation of the office space helped un-purse the stiff upper lips of the Brits at work and also that the need to get more rapidly into a relationship boosted by the Internet, played a part too.

Eurostar factor

 The Eurostar factor is obviously the strongest of all. We contaminated the British citizens with our habits.

Please note it is clinically less dangerous to kiss someone on the cheek and even the mouth than to shake hands. Furthermore, kisses are very good for your health for they boost serotonine, a natural anxiolitc according to the New Scientist.

After all, Social kissing is just the return of history. In the beginning we all kissed… If we were allowed to, as blogger, Saddie Mercier explains. You could kiss someone who was your equal on the mouth. But the lower in the  hierarchy, the more you had to bend down. Hence the locution of « bootlickers » « lèche-botte » which we use in both languages. You had to kiss the shoe of the Pope.

Kissing was used to seal an agreement when very few people could write.And to materialise this kiss, people would pour an « X », that is why when one sends literary kisses, one puts a number of Xs…

We understandably all stopped kissing with the bubonic plague and religious considerations. Dental condition also made it unappealing for a long time until the kiss sneaked back into the bedroom… Oh sorry no sex, you are British !

But the social kiss was also a code between revolutionaries in 1789, for social kissing implied that we all were equal… I read that NOT kissing someone thereby exposed aristocratic origin that could trigger a rapid end at the Guillotine.

It may well be that the fashion of social kissing in England has something to do with the decline of monarchy ???


Bluff your way in French culture

How many kisses : on se fait la bise ?

Now that the British citizens have turned to social kissing, one could think it is easier for them to invade France under cover. It is not. Like the invaders with their little fingers up, it is very easy to detect an English person, trying to pass for a French while social kissing.

The Brits are easily spotted for they do not know when to kiss, whom to kiss nor how many kisses to deliver. Even if the French have a reputation of easy kissers, there are rules. If  for example you are social kissing someone for the first time, you need that person to consent. You should ask « On se fait la bise ? ». Otherwise, your victim may step back out of surprise.

When practicing this French national sports, of « la bise » you will notice, that if most people are doing real kisses, others, mostly snobbish people, are “kissing in the air”, making the kiss noise, but not putting their lips on your cheek. I hate that.

Here remains the main and burning question : how many kisses ? This does not depend on the status of the relationship of the two people kissing, but on their origin. In Paris and Lyon, and up North,  two kisses will do, more will make you look like a peasant. On the other hand, if in Normandy, you only kiss twice where they do four pecks on the cheek, people will think your are being contemptuous, or, lets imagine… a true Parisian ?

To try and relax before kissing. You should know that even the French are often ignorant and self conscious about the subject. Fortunately, a French man, Gilles Debunne decided to come to our rescue with his very à propos and updated web site : HYPERLINK :


the higher your rank, the higher you kissed

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Mikaeli (non vérifié)

fév 22, 2016 · Reply

Well. Being a girl, I know that if I wanted to kiss soemnoe longer, and there was no reason not to, I would keep doing it. So, I think there is something else going on. I'm not sure how old she is,how long you two have been together, or how much experience she has, but I'd almost bet that those are factors involved. She just may be scared/a bit uncomfortable with longer kisses as they often lead into bigger things. The best thing you can do is be patient and supportive, and try not to focus on it. Do smaller things so she becomes more comfortable with herself and you. Build up to longer kisses. Another thing is to hold her face or chin lightly. It is sweet and romantic, and just might give her the boost she needs to give you a little bit more.Good Luck =)