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a kiss


Introduction a kiss everything about one thing

Kirsty Dalton: everything a kiss can be...


PA SSI


A kiss... Gone with the wind Margaret Mitchell

She felt again the rush of helplessness, the sinking yielding, the surging tide of warmth that left her limp. The quiet face of Ashley Wilkes was blurred and drowned to nothingness. He bent back her head across his arm and kissed her, softly at first, and then with a swift gradation of intensity that made her cling to him as the only solid thing in a dizzy swaying world. His insistent mouth was parting her shaking lips, sending wild tremors along her nerves, evoking from her sensations she had never known she was capable of feeling. And before a swimming giddiness spun her round and round, she knew that...

she was kissing him back.


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Cute, happy, romantic. New beginnings.


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d, we never wanted it to end, we never wanted it to end, we neve r wanted it to en d it to en d...


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Familiar adjective well known from long or close association

First kiss: young, public, surreal, quick, pressure.


Beautiful adjective pleasing the mind or senses aesthetically

I was 19, it was dark and late and night time and I was in a woods at a festival and there were lots of people dancing, I was dancing, it was mild and dry weather, I felt warm. There was smoke, lights and flags. Ejeca was playing and I made knowing eye contact with someone who I knew wanted to kiss me. I wanted to kiss them too, I was unbelievably happy at the time and had love for all my friends around me and all of the people I had met. We kissed with just lips, very softly. It felt ridiculously good and we just stayed that way gradually increasing pressure, very soft feeling lips and we were squeezing each other firmly and it just felt so good and not even in a sexual way at all, just a beautiful feeling.

Last kiss: relaxed, gentle, soft, tingly, warm.


Excitement noun a feeling of great enthusiasm and eagerness

There is this little tugging sensation that I get when I kiss my boyfriend. It’s a tiny little tug that feels like it’s coming from very deep inside between my belly button and my pelvis. The kiss has to be a particular kind for it to occur. It’s like a rush of excitement and nerves all jostling for space inside your head. I stepped off the train and he was there on the platform, having bargained with the station people to let him through to meet me off the train. He ran over and we kissed. It was like a homecoming, I had found where I needed to be in that exact moment, not to mention the little tugging feeling going crazy! It was a beautiful moment that brushed away all insecurities that built up over absence.

Last kiss: goodbye but see you soon.


Passion noun strong and barely controllable emotion

Beautiful girl from school. We were both 15. She loved The Cure and The Smiths too. Our first date started at the bus station on Gorse Stacks. She told me she was moving away the following week. It was heartbreaking. We went to see Police Academy 3 at the old Odeon in town and didn’t see one second of the film. We kissed as if we would suffocate if we were apart, like that day when she was going to move away could be frozen in time, kept at bay, by our lips and tongues and us falling entirely into each other. I’ve not felt like that before, or since. Unrestricted passion. Two hearts lassoed together. I can shut my eyes and remember exactly how that kiss felt. It was over a quarter of a century ago. Fuck.

Last kiss: I hate when you leave.


Safe adjective protected from or not exposed to danger or risk

I’d stayed at my boyfriend’s house the night before I moved abroad for a year. It was about 10AM, and I had to head home to pack. The sun was shining but it wasn’t particularly warm. A crisp winter morning in January. I didn’t want to leave. We stood in the doorway of his house for ages, just talking. Trying to delay the inevitable. He put his arms around me and just held me. That was the safest I’ve felt in a long time. He kissed me, and I never wanted him to stop. I didn’t want to move abroad, and I didn’t want to let go. But I did. And with a whispered bye, I got into my car and drove away, watching his silhouette getting smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror.

Last kiss: the best I ever had.


Amazing adjective causing great surprise or wonder

A kiss to me is something special, my boyfriend and I share many. However each one can have a different meaning, a goodbye, hello, I love you, and so on. It makes me feel loved as usually when you share a kiss with someone then they probably mean a lot to you. I particularly remember good bye kisses, as I am really bad at goodbyes, they remind me of positive things yet they can leave you feeling empty. They usually happen when one of us is returning home for a while, before the summer break. I knew I would have to wait two months before I could see him again. It was painful, but the kiss after the two months felt amazing and worth the wait.

Last kiss: a kiss with controlled passion.


Magical adjective beautiful in a way to seem removed from everyday life

My best kiss. At a camping trip we all headed down to the beach one night for a bonfire, bbq and beers. It got late and we were all pretty merry. We were all lying on the sand around the bonfire, just chatting and laughing and singing then suddenly one of us saw a shooting star. Then another, and another. We were lying under a meteor shower, it was so beautiful and magical. My boyfriend at the time, who was lying next to me, took my hand, turned to me, told me he loved me, and kissed me, under the hundreds of shooting stars.

Last kiss: I wish I could remember.


Lust noun very strong sexual desire

Sometimes relationship kisses are unremarkable, comforting, and simply another way of saying ‘how are you?’ or ‘I missed you’ or ‘I love you’. Every now and then, a kiss that stops time makes you remember that lust; the initial passion that fuelled the love. In the kitchen, hands full, then dropped because this kiss is more important than the dozen others you’ve shared that day. Evening, always evening. Radio on. A kiss with more meaning, more levels. A reminder kiss; this is where it all started. We’ve still got it.

Last kiss: half asleep goodbye, good morning.


Kiss verb touching with the lips as a sign of love or greeting

The first time I kissed my best friend this August. We were tripping all night with our friends, a candy flip of mdma and acid. I guess I realised how much I wanted to kiss him that night. We didn’t kiss for hours, we talked and rolled around on his bed for hours on end, we compared hand sizes, we kissed, for what seemed like a few minutes, turned out to be a whole day. That was the best kiss of my life so far and I’ve had many kisses, but none quite like that. I waited a whole year just to feel his lips.

Last kiss: I will kiss you again.


Moment noun an exact point in time

He went to kiss me on the cheek as I went to kiss him too and then we just kissed. It was amazing, it was absolutely tipping it with rain though so he pulled me under his jacket in his hood and kept kissing me. Then he ran away as he was late to lesson! I had no idea at that point if he would come back. That was probably one of the happiest moments I have ever felt, we dated then for 5 years, things haven’t worked out now. But every time he kissed me it still felt like that first ever moment.

Last kiss: I don’t think he remembers.


Comfortable adjective physically relaxed and free from constraint

I had stayed friends with my ex since we stopped seeing each other when I was seventeen. About three years later at a party around Christmas time, we were both really drunk but I can remember it so clearly, I turned around to say something to him and he just sunk into me and kissed me. Every clichĂŠ of how your first kiss should be fitted, I felt so nervous and so comfortable. Why did we waste the last three years not doing this? We ended up seeing each other after that for a few months, until he went travelling.

Last kiss: perfect but not long enough.


Cuddle verb hold close as a way of showing love or affection

Our first kiss happened on the 14th April 2011, we were lying down on a grassy hill, cuddling while enjoying the warmth of the sun on our bodies. We looked into each others eyes and as clichĂŠ as it sounds, everything just seemed to disappear around us. I remember my heart racing and in the blink of an eye our lips were touching. It was only a peck but I remember feeling all tingly inside and the trace of his lips on mine. It was very special for me.

Last kiss: quick goodbye, I love you.


Bliss noun perfect happiness; great joy

I was curled up on his chest, running his fingers up and down my arm, it was so relaxing. I just lay there in absolute bliss not believing it was really happening. He continued running his fingers up to my face, across my eyes and over my lips, then finally under my chin and lifting my face up to his. It was so sweet and gentle at first then built up to something special and passionate. It is safe to say as first kisses go, that was pretty perfect.

Last kiss: it was passionate and heated.


New adjective discovered recently or now for the first time

That kiss: secret, longing, cheeky, new, exciting.


Rush verb act with great haste

New Year’s Eve. Paolo Nutini on the TV, 00:20. Is he ever going to kiss me? “Would you like a drink? Yes please.” He goes and gets one and as he puts it down I leap from the other side of the room in a rush thinking I need to kiss him, his parents will be home soon. Yes our teeth bashed together, but I thought, I could work with this and have been for 5 years, and the kisses have got a lot better.

Last kiss: goodbye, sad, soft, gentle, heartbreaking.


Timeless adjective not affected by the passage of time

I kissed a girl from work I’d liked for ages. She was hot and we got on really well. Our mutual interests led to us hanging out and one night we drove to the beach. I can’t remember if we kissed there, I don’t think so, but we stopped outside her house and spoke and then kissed for ages. One of those timeless kisses that could have been 5 minutes or 2 hours. I got the girl. It was raining outside and before the night ended, I got her to kiss me in the rain.

Last kiss: exciting, quick, desire, strong, passionate.


Romantic adjective relating to love in a sentimental or idealised way

We were walking out of the cinema towards the car it had been a really nice night, it was cold and kind of windy. As I was fishing for the car keys he put his arm around my waist and pulled me round to face him then he grabbed me and kissed me. It felt so romantic, for some reason being out in the cold made it feel even more romantic. Afterwards he said “Sorry, I just had to do that.� It made me smile the whole drive home.

Last kiss: goodbye kiss, cute, happy, romantic.


Memorable adjective worth remembering or easily remembered

My most memorable kiss was five years ago with one of my best friends at the time, who has now been my boyfriend for the last four and half years. We were fifteen and at a house party and lying on a trampoline star gazing. He rolled onto his side and I noticed he was watching me so rolled over too, we were closer than I thought, and he kissed me. It was amazing, it turns out you can fall in love with your best friend!

Last kiss: morning, I left the house.


Lovely adjective exquisitely beautiful

My most memorable was just after we got married. It was August 2008, just after 2pm. The first time we were on our own on our wedding day, we had snuck outside where the ground was wet but the sun was shining. My husband had his hand on the side of my face and it was a lovely emotional moment between the two of us. I have never felt as safe or special than I did in that moment.

Last kiss: quick peck on the lips.


Butterflies noun a fluttering or nauseated sensation felt in the stomach

First kiss with my boyfriend; we were best friends and flatmates at the time and have been for ages. We were lying in his bed talking when we stopped and it just sort of happened. It was a bit cheesy but it was genuinely the first time I realised I liked him as more than a friend and it just felt different to kissing anyone else. I had butterflies in my stomach but at the same time it just felt so normal!

Last kiss: saying goodbye, sadness and love.


Intense adjective having or showing strong feelings or opinions

My most passionate kiss was whilst on a date with a guy after a gig last year. We were walking along the beach in the evening and sat down on the sand. We embraced to keep each other warm as the sand was fairly chilly. It must have been around 11pm. The kiss started slow and then it gradually got more intense. I could have easily stayed there all night.

Last kiss: cheeky, spontaneous, smooth, fresh, fiery.


Spectacular adjective beautiful in a dramatic and eye-catching way

I was 16, it was in her conservatory, after watching our favourite film. It was in the evening, overcast and about to rain. After years of wanting to and waiting... it just happened, and was nothing short of spectacular. My mind went blank straight after and I struggled to open the door to leave afterwards, she thought it was adorable.

Last kiss: left a smile on my face.


Intimate adjective closely acquainted; familiar, close

Longing, intimate, lose your mind feeling. Nothing else in the world matters, you can’t remember it in those sparing moments that the kiss is happening. Recollection might be tainted as it happened a few years ago when times were better, but the feeling of losing your self in the moment is still there and true.

Last kiss: hasty, quick, secretive, urgent, reassuring.


Emotion noun instinctive or intuitive feeling

I held her hand in mine and ran my thumb over hers whilst I cupped her face in the palm of my hand, we were the only people in this moment. Within this one kiss, I was sending her every emotion that I felt for her, the absolute depth of my heart. I felt an indescribable willingness to be lost with her forever. Who can forget a kiss like that.

Last kiss: captivating passion, private and secret.


Joyful adjective feeling or expressing great pleasure and happiness

On a very wet day on the 29th December at around 2:30 in the afternoon, in the Filey Methodist Church. We had our First kiss as man and wife which was a very happy and joyful moment for both of us. Even though the pair of us are in our mid thirty’s it was very nerve wracking at the time.

Last kiss: loving, passionate, warm, happy, soft.


Speechless adjective unable to be expressed in words

Against a vending machine, it left me completely speechless and out of breath, lifted up, held up like a doll, kissed till I was weak at the knees, and put back on my feet. He smiled at me and left the room. I had to sit down for five minutes because I was a little wobbly, I couldn’t stop smiling.

Last kiss: soft and he was keen.


Special adjective exceptionally good or precious

Those kisses: strong, relief, love, genuine, comfort.


Gentle adjective mild in temperament or behaviour; kind or tender

It happened one day after school. We knew that we had liked each other for a long time, but still never admitted it due to fear of torment from our peers. I leaned forward, gently touched the side of their face, closed my eyes and we kissed. Everything seemed to go silent, like we were the only people in the world.

Last kiss: regret, guilt, lust, quick, unwanted.


Touch verb bring into mutual contact

A quick kiss when you see your boyfriend again for the first time after two months, you want to kiss him passionately for about an hour, but because you’re blocking people from getting on and off the train you have to move. A quick wet, touch of the lips has to suffice until you get home.

Last kiss: short yet sweet, longing kiss.


Happy adjective feeling or showing pleasure or contentment

It just felt right. I was twenty years young, it was in my bedroom. I knew, from then on, that I would be happy to never experience any other lips touching mine again; I would be happy to kiss these lips for the rest of my life.

Last kiss: a mixture of various emotions.


Confused adjective unable to think clearly

First kiss, it was around 5pm, and nearly dark. I was thirteen and went on a date, a thirteen year old kind of date. Drenched with rain under a tree with mascara running all over my face, confused excited and scared at the same time, mostly confused.

Last kiss: familiar, long, rainy, hopeful, warm.


Warm adjective showing or expressing affection or kindness

Seeing his face, knowing that I’ve missed him for only a matter of days, but so overcome with emotion. I love that face, we smile, and then we are the closest that we can be, passion and love flowing between us, it’s warm, it’s loving. Perfect.

Last kiss: loving, warm, brief, intense, content.


Strong adjective powerfully affecting the mind, senses or emotions

First time I’d seen my boyfriend in 3 months, we didn’t kiss straight away, we had a 40 minute car journey, then we talked and finally we kissed. It was strong, passionate, felt like a weight of my shoulders.

Last kiss: effortless, comfortable, weak, longing, soft.


Brave verb endure or face without showing fear

Our first kiss. October 24th. I decided I’d rather walk home in the rain than wait for the last bus. He walked with me. It was raining. It was wet. I was brave. We were happy. We still like the rain.

Last kiss: short, sweet, outside, goodbye, hurry.


Desire noun a strong feeling of wanting to have something

First kiss, train station, love, nervousness, desire, beautiful eyes, cold crisp day sun shining, twenty years old. Anticipation, overwhelming sense of feeling towards soft lips, an incredible feeling.

Last kiss: rush, indifferent, normal, bland, heartache.


Buildup noun excitement or preparation for a significant event

The buildup had been going on for weeks. Touching was like electric. When we finally kissed my head span and afterwards neither of us could speak sensibly. Then we did it again.

Last kiss: intense, hard, wet, tingle, long.


Quick adjective happening with little or no delay; prompt

On a balcony over looking the Alps. It had been brewing all week during a school ski trip, it happened very quickly because a teacher suddenly shouted up to us asking why we weren’t in our rooms.

Last kiss: train station, hurried and bitter.


Luscious adjective having a pleasingly rich or sweet, taste

My best kiss. It was unexpected andlasted only a moment before she walked out the door to start her day. Luscious is a good word for it. Like biting into a ripe juicy nectarine.

Last kiss: her neck as she dressed.


Longing noun a yearning desire

When my boyfriend came back from Australia after over a year. It was passionate, emotional, longing and as if we never wanted it to end. Smiles and tears.

Last kiss: morning, sleepy, soft, loving, quick.


Fun noun enjoyment, amusement or lightheartened pleasure

Last kiss: goodbye for now, in love.


Deep adjective emotion or feeling intensely felt

First ever kiss, in a genuine thunderstorm, I was 16 saying goodbye one day and it happened. Most romantic moment of my life. Long lasting, and deep.

Last kiss: stupid, fleeting, meaningless, fulfilling, fun.


Surprise noun an unexpected or astonishing event

Standing on a mountainside, looking down at the lakes and wonderful scenery. It took me by surprise; he took my hand and leaned into me.

Last kiss: passion, compelling, exciting, luscious, soft.


Best adjective of the most excellent, effective or desirable type

16, with someone I had liked for years but never had guts to say. In her room she kissed me. First proper kiss and still the best.

Last kiss: surprise, exciting, fun, elated, meaningful.


Soul mate noun a person ideally suited to another

1:15 pm 1st January 2013, I was 47, it was amazing. Like I’d never been kissed before. That was the day I met my soul mate.

Last kiss: as good as my first.


Euphoric adjective a feeling of intense excitement or happiness

About 2am in the morning this summer at a festival in Croatia with my boyfriend, while we were in the middle of a euphoric crowd.

Last kiss: saying goodbye at the station.


Anticipate verb look forward to

First kiss. Nervousness, butterflies, anticipation, fear, clammy hands, fast heart beat, awkward.

Last kiss: slow, gentle, loving, happy, soft.


Tender adjective showing gentleness and concern or sympathy

The first kiss as a married woman, nearly 21 years ago. Soft, warm, tender and loving.

Last kiss: sad, anxious, soft, loving, farewell.


Perfection noun highly suitable for someone or something

Last night, peck on the lips, indoors, just to say good night, perfection.

Last kiss: I love her, that’s it.


Feeling noun an emotional state or reaction

Twenty three, we held each other and there was a lot of feeling in that kiss.

Last kiss: quick peck on the lips.


Raunchy adjective earthy, vulgar and often sexually explicit

Raunchy, up against a wall saying good bye at the train station.

Last kiss: same sex for the fun.


Love noun an intense feeling of deep affection

First kiss with a guy I loved. It was perfect.

Last kiss: sloppy, emotional, odd, drunk, hazy.


Breathtaking adjective astonishing in quality as to take ones breath away

Deep, tingling, breathtaking.

Last kiss: new beginnings, realisations of love.


Full page images in order of appearance Gone with the wind, Margaret Mitchell 1939 Goodbye kiss, Unknown 1950 Sequence images, Kirsty Dalton 2014 The Kiss, Robert Doisneau 1950 V-J Day in Times Square, Alfred Eisenstaedt 1945 Francesca and Daniel, Kirsty Dalton 2014

Content Gone with the wind, Margaret Mitchell 1936 Anonymous survey collected by Kirsty Dalton 2013


A kiss  

A university typography project. Everything about one thing. I chose a kiss, and tried to communicate everything that a kiss could be by g...

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