Please Advise: He'll do everything else but kiss me.

Nerve readers help one out one woman and her suspiciously Pretty Woman-sounding problem.

Each week, the inbox of our venerable advice columnist, Miss Information, is flooded with queries. And although she makes a valiant effort, she cannot answer them all. To deal with the surplus, we've decided to turn to you. So, don your spectacles and help this woman out. You can give her advice in the comments below, or, if you'd like to share what you wrote with your friends, on our Facebook page.

Dear Nerve,

I have been with my boyfriend, lets just call him Mr. Wontkiss, for six or seven months. Our relationship is pretty good, and I'm really happy with the way it's going except one thing. He will not kiss me. I understand that he won't drink after people. That's fine, but early on, he made the first move, not with a kiss, just feeling up moving. That led to sex. We have sex on a daily basis and we have great communication otherwise. We've talked about the kissing issue, but he brushes it off, saying he doesn't really like to kiss. I respect that, but a peck every now and then wouldn't kill him right? What really bothers me is that he has kissed past girlfriends much earlier on than this. Is there something wrong? With me or him? I also know that he was a virgin until I came along — you would think that you would at least kiss the girl who took your v-card.


— Pretty Woman


Looking for someone that'll engage in whatever kind of physical contact you mandate? Try Nerve Dating.

Commentarium (48 Comments)

Apr 06 12 - 12:40am

This is a gigantic red flag and smells to me of someone with much larger emotional issues/hangups. RUN!!

Apr 08 12 - 11:29pm

Screw you for being so judgemental! I don't like kissing and its presumptuous as hell to assume that its because of emotional issues. Maybe I'm a bit of a germiphobe, maybe I just think it feels weird but what kind of pseudo-expert are you to say someone has issues just because they don't like kissing?

Apr 12 12 - 6:18pm

Being a germiphobe is an emotional/psychological issue. Or is being called crazy better?

Aug 17 12 - 10:46pm

i dont know, but I have been in a relationship with my lover for a long time, and he seems not to like to kiss. Although I noticed he doesnt like to kiss, I have kissed him and he doesnt really kiss me back with lust like I do. Only one time he actually kissed me and he had a gum in his mouth, in which I told him mmmmm...I dont know if he thinks he has bad breath or I have bad breath. However, I keep really good hygene. I still dont get it though why he cant kiss me all over. He once kissed my forehead.. He wont touch my boobs either. He is like just laying there and I do all the job at first then he works at it with me, but cums quiet fast..
I wonder if he is just not attracted to me, but that couldnt be, cuz he is the one that looks for me when I dont call him..Any opinions? help..

Apr 06 12 - 12:47am

Maybe you have really awful breath and he doesn't want to offend you.

Apr 06 12 - 12:48am

Don't stay with him.

Apr 06 12 - 2:27am
Cynthia's Name

1) Shortest Version: DTMFA.

2) Slightly longer version: The above is a Dan Savage acronym: Dump the MotherFucker already.

3) Longer still: while I suppose there are people who don't like kissing, they're pretty rare ... and the thing is, you are not one of them. And apparently, neither is your boyfriend. You want something, it's important to you, he won't give it. This makes you and him basically incompatible. Don't drag this out; end it. You'll find way better, trust me.

Apr 07 12 - 12:40pm


Apr 10 12 - 1:43am

Ha, I always thought it was "Dump the Mother Fucking Asshole." Oh well..close enough.

Apr 06 12 - 3:03am

How have you been dating a guy for six to seven months and not kissed him?
And how did kissing never come up when you guys started dating?
And how do one have sex with someone without kissing them first?
I. Am. Baffled.

But, maybe he has a kissing phobia? Or just grab the mofo and smooch him! See what happens. Maybe he's worried he's bad at it.

Apr 06 12 - 9:00am

I had a boyfriend who hated to kiss. He was a germaphobe. Kissing is something that has always been a really important part of intimacy for me, and we never ever saw eye-to-eye about the issue... All in all, life is much better without that

Apr 06 12 - 9:17am

This would be a dealbreaker for me. But maybe he just doesn't like the stick-your-tongue-down-his-throat type of kisses. Would you be happy with the no-tongue variety, if that were OK with him? (Also: Does he ever go down on you or otherwise lick parts of your body?)

Apr 06 12 - 9:38am

I've been having an open relationship with someone for a year who can't kiss me. I sometimes take it personally and he knows its one of the reasons it will never be more than an open relationship; which is mostly verging, right now, on friendship. He has got insane barriers and is completely fucked up, yet is a loveable, wonderful person. That's why I put up with it (just about...just about) even during sex, though he knows it really pisses me off. He also knows that I think it's his problem – with intimacy, people getting too close, with love, with honesty, transparency & vulnerability – and not mine.

But it's certainly one of the reasons why I won't ever get more serious with him, alas. Good luck!

Apr 06 12 - 11:04am

I love to kiss. It's very intimate and makes me feel a certain way inside. To some people, like myself, this is very special and they will only kiss those whom they really like. Others will just do it because it comes with the relationship.

Apr 06 12 - 11:45am

His behavior is fringe - most people do not act like that. I'm saying this because it sounds like you're both young, that this is perhaps your first, or one of your first, relationships. Here's the thing: as you continue dating (and you WILL continue dating, because you are going to break up with this guy), you will constantly be confronted with the weird hangups, limitations, negative thought processes, hurtful behavior patterns, etc, of the person you are dating. Everyone's got something, but some people have a worse "something" than others, and some people's "thing" might seem terrible to someone else, but be totally ok to you. The trick is to decide for yourself what's ok with you and what's not, rather than suss it out based on "is this normal/common." EVERYONE tries to play off their "thing" like it's normal, but only you get to decide which brand of crazy you're gonna date. "No Kissing" would be a giant dealbreaker for me, as it sounds like it is for you. But it's totally your call. So what do you think?

Apr 06 12 - 1:57pm

It seems like the reason he kissed the other girls he dated is because they weren't having sex and he wanted some sort of intimacy. Since you guys are having sex he may feel like that is enough.

Apr 06 12 - 2:54pm

I like all the advice so far, and to add one thing, you frankly just don't sound that crazy about the guy. You said "Our relationship is pretty good, and I'm really happy with the way it's going except one thing."

Mutual funds are "pretty good," not sixth month old relationships that are working. A truly good sixth month old relationship, between two (presumably) young people, is squarely within that honeymoon phase that consists of: hot fucking; gushing over each other; and gaining a few extra pounds because all you want to do is go out to eat and, again, constantly fuck. If things are only "pretty good" at six months, well then this relationship has probably run its course. You should find a guy that likes kissing; and he should find a girl that's not really into it (rare, but they're out there).

Apr 06 12 - 11:46pm

Yeah, this.

Apr 06 12 - 3:52pm

I was involved with someone for several months who wasn't all that into kissing me. As it turned out, he wasn't all that into me, and really just wanted a friend with benefits.

Apr 06 12 - 6:32pm

If he's a germophobe, try listerine.

Apr 06 12 - 7:44pm

He has herpes and is afraid after reading all the comments on Nerve about giving it to you.

Apr 06 12 - 11:48pm

Yeah, the first words out of my boyfriend's mouth when we read this were "He has oral herpes and doesn't want to tell you."

Apr 07 12 - 2:29am

Doesn't most of the population have oral herpes? Do people really think it's like, a huge deal?

Apr 07 12 - 11:46am

I have the herp... my boyfriend knows... I generally refrain from kissing when I am obviously contagious. If you can't see the herps there is a very low chance of passing it on

Apr 06 12 - 7:57pm
Jayne Cobb

[After Mal has been poisoned by a girl through kissing]

That's why I never kiss 'em on the mouth....

Apr 07 12 - 10:35am
Kate G

You're phenomenal.

Apr 06 12 - 11:05pm

If your boyfriend cared about you he would kiss you when you asked for it, as it is quite obvious you really would like to kiss.

Dump him. He doesn't care about you.

Apr 09 12 - 12:39pm

You're a self-centered idiot. I hope you get dumped by someone who realizes how cold and callous you are. Did it ever occur to you that the dude might have a good reason for not wanting to kiss (someone/something instilled a serious fear of germs in him, it feels weird because of the way the nerves in his mouth are wired, he's got a contagious mouth disease he's too embarrassed to talk about, people have called him a bad kisser and he's really self-conscious about it, etc).

Apr 12 12 - 9:33pm
Felipe Arcano

Then dump him because he is too much of a wimp.
We all have issues, right?
But dump them on someone else instead of owning (and dealing with) them?
How can anyone believe that dealing with your issues is other people's problem if you are not at least honest enough to put them out there?
Honest enough to not leading her to believe that will be resolved in time while still not confronting them?

Apr 13 12 - 6:53pm

Who said anything about "dumping his issues on someone else"? He has dismissed the issue as saying "he doesn't like to kiss" - how is that not good enough for so many of you people? What makes you think he is leading her to believe "the issue" will be resolved? the fact that he's kissed other people in the past? Maybe he just plain old doesn't like it (LIKE HE SAID) and that's all there is to it. God fucking damnit - you people are all so quick to judge with so little to go on.

Apr 06 12 - 11:45pm

Is this a fake letter? You had sex with him when early on he made the first move and felt you up? I really don't believe this happened or if it did, you would put up with it for this long. Fake!

Apr 07 12 - 11:59am

I'm surprised no one has mentioned this previously but this is like "pretend dating a prostitute." They don't kiss either and though he says he's a virgin, this could be his reference point. I've dated germaphobes but never were they this extreme. I mean it's kind of the most basic physical communication between a man and a woman who are in a relationship. Confront him, if there's no flex, you should leave.

Apr 07 12 - 2:16pm

What happens when YOU try to kiss HIM?

Apr 07 12 - 3:25pm

1. He is using you for sex.
2. You have bad breath.

Apr 07 12 - 6:34pm

I'm surprised more people aren't considering #2. It's probably not the issue but still needs to be ruled out before any psych-heavy analysis comes into play. If he's a germaphobe and her breath smells like poop, there's your explanation. (I'm not saying that excuses him from his avoidant behavior, though.)

Apr 08 12 - 1:31pm

I disagree with the comments that suggest leaving your man or that he has other motives. As my boyfriend sounds exactly like your boyfriend. And we have a wonderful relationship and I could never ask for a better guy. He is just paranoid about certain things and we have discussed it so I understand where he is coming from. Maybe your man is just embarrassed to explain his reasoning to you as you might take it the wrong way, become offended, or think that his perception is silly. He maybe worried about diseases or maybe self-concious. Both of which, my boyfriend has concerns about. But with my understanding, my boyfriend is starting to open up some more. We have never frenched by any means but we do have sensual kisses. My advice is to be understanding and let him know that you're understanding, and give him the space and time to open up to you and the idea of kissing you.

Apr 08 12 - 11:03pm

You don't respect his choice to not kiss if you want him to kiss you. Plain and simple.

Apr 08 12 - 11:54pm
Cynthia's Name

Sorry, but the "maybe she has bad breath" camp isn't cutting it. Even if she has awful breath, if he really cared about kissing her and considered it a part of intimacy -- as she does -- then he needs to have said something by now. So he a) likes kissing but for emotional reasons won't kiss *her,* in which case he's not right for her; b) likes kissing but is put off by her breath, and is too utterly wimpy and passive to say something, in which case he's not right for most people; or c) he doesn't like kissing, but she does, in which case we return to a) -- he's not right for her. Any way you look at it, she needs to end it.

Apr 09 12 - 12:48pm

Anyway you look at it, you're a presumptuous bitch. You act like its all so simple and you understand the situation perfectly because you read a short, one-sided description of the problem. Maybe she has bad breath and he thinks it'd be impolite to bring it up. Maybe he's only kissed terrible, sloppy, tooth-knocking, biting-too-hard kissers and has learned that kissing sucks (though most of us would disagree with him on this). Maybe he's got a communicable mouth disease and hasn't come to terms with it. Maybe he's confused about his sexual orientation. Maybe he just plain old doesn't like kissing (its rare but it exists) and you're a bitch for insisting that this makes him undateable.

Apr 11 12 - 1:13am
Cynthia's Name

Well, Henry, are you available? I really enjoy it when my men call me a bitch without permission.


Maybe she has bad breath and he thinks it'd be impolite to bring it up. Maybe he's got a communicable mouth disease and hasn't come to terms with it.
What I said stands: he's a wimp for not learning how to man up and talk about something important.
Maybe he just plain old doesn't like kissing (its rare but it exists) and you're a bitch for insisting that this makes him undateable.
Undateable, period? Not necessarily. Not a match with her? Definitely.

Now, on to that insult ... it's really convenient when the person you don't agree with is female, isn't it? You can just trot out the misogynist insults; I don't have to be taken seriously, because I'm a bitch, and you're of course superior. What if I were male and said exactly the same thing? Where would you be then?

it's = it is
its = possessive

Apr 13 12 - 7:30pm

I called you "presumptuous" and you proved me right by presuming that:
A) the insult "bitch" had anything to do with your gender;
B) the guy is "wimpy" if he doesn't tell her she has bad breath/tastes funny - maybe he's "polite" or "tactful";
C) that he's not a match because she wants to kiss and he doesn't - they've lasted 6 months with this issue suggesting that somethings are working out well for them. You're so quick to decide they're not compatible because you're a presumptuous bitch (and BOY is it convenient that the arbitrary insult I chose struck a nerve! Bulls-eye, bitch!!)
D) that anyone needs your permission to call you names. Your permission IS required for you to be bothered by my insults, but since I'm in America (and on the internet no less) I can call you an ugly, stupid, insecure, whorish, bitch whose worthless genitals, opinions and personality are of no interest to me or anyone else except her presumptuous self. I don't actually feel this way or even as strongly as my words suggest, btw, just making a point.
Here's another point relating to the last three lines of your response:
You can measure communications by how well they're understood and the responses they produce. In my first message, I intend to "flame" you as much as I intended to share my opinion. Mission accomplished, I think. When you capped off your response with a grammar lesson, it seems safe to presume that you meant to imply something about your superiority and/or my own stupidity because, as everyone knows, apostrophes are an excellent measure of these qualities. Well done.
Oh and please don't get too bent out of shape about anything I've written. Verbal sparring over the internet can be a fun way to pass the time, but I genuinely don't want to hurt anyone. If you got a bit miffed, that's fine; in fact that's what I was after. But if you are still bothered by me an hour from now take it as a sign you've got something to talk to a therapist about.

Apr 08 12 - 11:59pm

I find it a bit shocking how far everyone is leaning toward "dump him." It's KISSING. Really? I have recently gotten to know someone who seemed very reticent to open-mouth kiss, even though he was clearly interested in me. After a little time together, I asked, and he shrugged it off. So I shared my theory: "Either you don't enjoy it, or you're insecure about it." He confessed to the latter. If you think about it, oral activities could be the most anxiety-inducing for someone without a lot of sexual experience. And making a big deal about it is only going to make it worse.

Yeah if you don't really like him, you don't need permission or an excuse to move on... But geez, I wouldn't let this sink a sound ship.

PS I wouldn't kiss someone who referred to "taking my v-card" either. Super-willies.

Apr 09 12 - 8:57pm

He thinks your skanky

Apr 10 12 - 8:40pm
The Kissing Expert

If he's not kissing you but having sex with you, he could have a fear of intimacy. Kissing is considered by many to be more intimate than sex ("The Pretty Woman" thing). If this is just a casual, fun thing for you, than enjoy as long as it works for you. But if you are looking for a deeper connection, and he doesn't seem interested in addressing, it might be best to cut bait.

Apr 13 12 - 7:33pm

Wow, this is BY FAR the best response anyone has put up. (Better than MINE, even!)

May 15 12 - 10:41am

I've been in a similar place as your guy with not really wanting to kiss someone, however never for that long. But I still wouldn't say DTMF. Kissing is so much about technique and there is no good or bad, there's just compatible and not.
Are you make-out-aggressive, or slow-kiss-lippy, tongue-grinding, or a biter?
It may be too late now, but maybe he just likes to peck, it exists. In that case his heart (and the rest of him) might be fine and you should just learn to like what he likes, or kiss something else (yeah I went there).

Aug 08 12 - 3:16am

Exactly a year we being intimate but no kissing, it drives me crazy sometimes but he compensates it with his lovable & sweet behavior towards me, that's why I put up with it.
Confronted him few times in early stage, gave me an answer of that he can't stand my breath as I am a smoker(he is/never smoke) also, he doesn't like kissing and not good at kissing, end up, I gave up and just go along, well, I miss kissing and strange that, my ex'es who don't smoke never complaint about my breath and kissed me passionately, this really buffled me and still keep me wondering, is it me or him??

Sep 06 12 - 1:15pm

Been married 30 years to a woman that won't kiss me. Sex and cuddles are good though. She has given various excuses, and I must admit that it has been very frustrating for me. But I have learned to live with it. Glad I found this site as no one else seems to be talking about this problem