Who is Miss Abigail?

Abigail Grotke
Silver Spring, MD
email: missabigail at missabigail dot com
twitter: @DearMissAbigail

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Miss Abigail has a collection of over 1,000 classic advice books, spanning from 1822 to 1978 and covering a variety of topics, from love and romance to etiquette and charm. The collection sparked the idea for this site, then a book, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage, which has inspired an Off-Broadway production of the same name!


Posts Tagged ‘first kiss’

Help! It’s My First Passionate Kiss

Monday, July 19th, 2010

don't drool as you kiss herQ Dear Miss Abigail:

I have recently met this girl who I’m very fond off. Things have got far enough for us to start kissing passionately. I have never kissed anyone before, however. Could you please tell me the ins and outs of my first passionate kiss?


A Dear James:

I don’t know what’s going on out there, but I’ve had a few questions from boys and girls recently about “passionate kissing.” For the answers, I have checked with the companion books The Sensuous Woman (by “J”) ~ the first excerpt ~ and The Sensuous Man (by “M”) ~ the second one. Too bad those authors remained anonymous. I was hoping they might be available to offer private lessons.

1969: The Kiss

The secret of good kissing is a relaxed mouth. Nevernever pucker your lips, or kiss with the lips and teeth sealed firmly shut. How would you like to kiss someone who feels like he’s in the early stages of lockjaw? Well, he won’t like it either. Let your lips go almost limp. Ease the tension from your chin. Automatically your teeth will part slightly and you will be able to slip that teasing tongue of yours into his mouth as the pressure of the kiss (and your passion) mounts.

Naturally you will follow his lead while kissing, but there is a great deal you can do that he can’t regard as “taking over.” The trick is to slip in an embellishment here and there of your own in response to him. For instance, when you are coming up for air after one of those long, hungry soul kisses, lightly and quickly kiss him on the eyes, the nose, the forehead, hair, chin and then the mough again, pulling the right side of the upper lip into into your mouth and then the whole lower lip with a gentle sucking motion, releasing and then running your tongue silkily across his front teeth, gums and around and down inside his lips and then let yourself be swept into a deep keep again. Uhmmm. How delicious.

Source: “J.” The Sensuous Woman, New York: L. Stuart, 1969.
~ pp. 111-12 ~

1971: The Mouth

The mouth is the most beautiful, the most sensitive, the most active organ you can reach while she’s still dressed. The kiss is probably the single most important move toward the bedroom. It’s the key! It turns her on ~ or off ~ and, since life is a lot better when you turn her on, you can hardly do too much homework in this lesson of love.

1. Don’t crush her lips against her teeth to show your passion.

2. Don’t squeeze the breath out of her as you’re kissing her.

3. Don’t try to ram your tongue down her throat in order to stimulate her.

4. Don’t bite her lips.

5. Don’t use a dry, birdlike, pecking kiss with no pressure at all.

6. Don’t kiss with your mouth wide open and slobber all over her.

7. Don’t drool as you kiss her.

8. Don’t hold a kiss so long that she can’t breathe.

9. Don’t don’tdon’t have bad breath.

Source: M.” The Sensuous Man. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1971.
~ pp. 75-76 ~

Kiss Me, You Fool

Monday, July 19th, 2010

keep looking at his lipsQ Dear Miss Abigail:

OK, first off I am writing from an email address I just made so that I can have lots of assured privacy. But my question is: I really like this guy that goes to my school (I am twelve and he is sixteen) and I know he likes me. I want to kiss him. I don’t mean just a regular kiss, but a French kiss. I don’t know what I should do, though. What do you think I should do?


A Dear daebyrd:

Wow. I think I was just realizing I had lips when I was twelve, and food was the only thing that touched them until embarrassingly later in life for me. So I’ll sternly say ~ and you’ll probably think me terribly old-fashioned ~ that I think you should maybe find someone your own age to practice kissing with. Or, you know, like wait until you are like fourteen or fifteen to start smooching with boys?

Now onto the kissing problem, because even if you do wait, I’m sure you’ll still be wondering. Here’s some advice from Barbara Lang’s Boys and Other Beasts, published in 1965.

1965: Yes Please

Once in a great while, you might want your date to kiss you good night even though the idea has not occurred to him. Now if there is a paucity of literature on how exactly to avoidbeing kissed good night, there is not a word anywhere on just what you can do to get kissed. In fact, the only people who will tackle the question at all are the soap, deodorant, and mouthwash companies, and their approach is really rather a negative one. It’s also pretty eerie. If I ever saw my romance fade, fade, fade away and dissolve into thin air, I wouldn’t reach for a toothpaste, I’d apply for the booby hatch.

But to go back to the problem of what to do on those rare occasions when you would like your date to kiss you good night. The people who know how apparently aren’t talking. The most you get from them is a suggestion that you lean toward him and look up expectantly. I did that once and my date offered me a cigarette. A dreamy, yearning look is apt to provoke a comment such as, ‘You okay?’ or ‘Hey, do you wear contact lenses?’

I can think of only one thing to suggest, and I can’t tell you why it has worked once or twice for me. The thing to do is to look at his lips ~ not from across the room, but standing fairly close to him. This seems to remind him that they’re there and may provoke him into touching them to yours. On the other hand, a self-conscious boy is apt to take out a handkerchief because he guesses he has mustard on his mouth from the hot dog he ate at the game. Even if he does that, keep looking at his lips. He may still give in and kiss you. (On the other hand, he may break out in fever sores.)

That’s really the only slightly subtle approach I can suggest for this problem. There are of course other more obvious moves you can make. You might, for example, ask him, ‘Do you like this perfume?’ and then collapse against him so he can smell your neck. Be prepared for him to wrinkle up his nose and reply that it smells like A-1 Sauce. Boys are not too bright at times like this. At least mine never have been, but I wish you the very best of luck.

Source: Lang, Barbara. Boys and Other Beasts. New York: Pocket Books, 1965.
~ pp. 181-82 ~

The First Kiss

Monday, July 19th, 2010

enjoyable to both boys and girlsQ Dear Miss Abigail:

When is the right time for the first kiss?


A Dear Larrisa:

Ah, kissing. Certainly one of my favorite things to do. But your question is a serious one. When is the right time, when the time always seems to feel right? Hopefully this advice from Evelyn Millis Duvall’s 1956 Facts of Life and Love for Teen-Agers will help answer this question.

1956: That Goodnight Kiss

In many communities, a goodnight kiss is expected as the customary way of ending a date. It is usually enjoyable to both boys and girls, especially if they both know what it signifies. A goodnight kiss can mean any number of things. It may be the way a girl says ‘Thank you’ to the boy for giving her a good time. It may be a way of saying, ‘I like you.’ It may signify their special awareness of each other as dating boy and girl friends. It might just be a way of saying, ‘Come again.’ Or it may be a very special token of genuine affection. What it means depends upon the two persons and their definition of their relationship and of themselves.

Most girls, and boys too, agree that the first date is too soon for a goodnight kiss. Girls say that it seems too easy when it closes the very first date. Boys sometimes confess that they will try to kiss a girl the first time they take her out but that they really do not expect her to allow it, especially if she is the kind of girl they respect. Both boys and girls generally feel that a couple should have seen each other long enough to have become somewhat better acquainted than is possible after just one date, before they kiss each other.

How many dates before the first kiss? This is a good question, but hard to answer precisely. It depends upon the persons involved, how they feel about each other, how well they know each other, and what kissing means to them. Some couples date for a long while and never are particularly interested in kissing. They may enjoy each other’s companionship but do not feel the need of expressing their interest that way. Kathy liked Tom a lot. They had great fun together on bike trips on Saturday afternoons and playing together in the school band. Yet she never thought of him as a kissing partner, somehow. Not that he was repulsive; just that he was a pal, a friend, a comrade, whose contact with her was such that kissing him never entered her head. Perry on the other hand had swept her off her feet and she was ready to kiss him goodnight long before he took the initiative.

Source: Duvall, Evelyn Millis. Facts of Life and Love for Teen-Agers. New York: Association Press, 1956.
~ p. 169-70 ~