Ode to Men Who Know How to Kiss Women

Thank you for the gentle way

you invite us in with your smile

your eye contact

the way you listen

You know what consent looks like

You wait for it to be written all over our faces

before you lean in,

tenderly taking our cheeks in your hands,

slowly moving your lips towards ours

until they meet

for a dance

in which no one leads and no one wins

in which there is no objective

but a sensory experience of innocent pleasure

where nothing is assumed

but a connection between beings

in the present


Author’s Note

Engaging in verbal communication before you touch someone is respectful and is always a good idea. However, with the increasing cultural emphasis on getting verbal consent, there is isn’t an equivalent amount of discussion about how to give and read powerful nonverbal cues. That’s why I felt inspired to write this—I wanted to show my gratitude for men who are present, observant and non-attached in the way that they connect with women, both nonverbally and verbally.

In my experience, men who understand the art of seduction enjoy holding space for women without needing for it to “go” anywhere. They appreciate the connection in and of itself and invite women to be comfortably themselves through both verbal and somatic cues. If a woman’s body language coveys a relaxed openness because she feels safe, seen and not pressured, then and only then is initiating a kiss appropriate.

I’m glad that there is so much dialogue happening about getting verbal consent, but why aren’t we talking more about cultivating situational awareness and body language as precursors to asking, “can I kiss you?”


The Kiss of the Siren by Gustave Wertheimer


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