Have You Ever Been Kissed By a Total Stranger Without Warning?

A couple kissing

Dear Evan:

When I was younger (disco diva days), I used to have this (fun for me!) phenomenon of men just coming up and kissing me. Nice kisses, movie-style, lip lock but no tongue. Then they would smile and just walk away. I’m verbal, but not that kind of quick wit and so would be left standing there with a silly grin on my face and my girlfriends or guy buddies asking me “Who was that?”

It was never a guy who had asked me to dance; never a guy who I had approached or had knowingly flirted with; and never would they talk to me or ask me out. Just kiss and run. Anglo, Hispanic, sometimes I wasn’t sure of their ethnicity (disco lighting); but never an AA (which I am). Sometimes, they would just hug me.

Well, disco days passed, I got married and so for the past 20 years – nothing, as I was definitely on ‘off.’ Well, here I am divorced, as of ’05, fast approaching 50 and trying to turn it ‘on’ and it happened, again, of all places in a Lowes! It was a kiss on the cheek. A lovely one and the gentle man gave me his business card – so some things have changed, but some have not, as I’m still not at all quick enough to follow up with anything.

And I was out, for the first time in years, with a girlfriend, having a fun time playing pool, and I got hugged as I was leaving the bar. The gentleman said bye and that he hoped I’d come back to the bar soon.

Well, this has made my ego feel good, but, it got me to wondering. Have you heard of this before? I don’t know what to do with this effect, but would like to turn it, safely, into a way to met guys and maybe, this time out, finally learn how to date well.

Thanking you in advance.


PS: I ‘ m not a beauty – am described as ‘cute,’ 5′ 9″, a little ditzy and a geek, don’t wear makeup, and no one has ever described me as being ‘cool.’ And I really like your blog.

Dear ML,

Rarely do I get an email that renders me nearly speechless, but you take the cake. Usually, something is shocking because it’s vulgar or dirty or embarrassing, but this is just…surprising.

You turn men into Kissing Bandits, and profess total innocence about how this keeps happening to you.

And while I’d like to think have a considerable amount of experience and knowledge in the dating arena, I have never heard of anything remotely like this in my life. Which is why I feel unqualified to weigh in as to what this means or what you can make of this.

But that’s never stopped me before.

So stick with me while I think out loud here…

You’re saying that strange men kiss you for no reason without ANY warning?

No smiles, no sideways glances, no conversation, just… SMOOOCH?

Where I went to college, this could be considered battery. A unsolicited physical assault from a stranger? How is this any different than being flashed or being groped on a subway?

In fact, the more I think about it, I’m not sure which is more unusual — the fact that you have a penchant for bringing out the friendly freaks or the fact that you really seem to ENJOY being touched by these friendly freaks….

And hey, I believe you when you’re telling me that it’s always gentle and innocent and it goes no further. I just don’t understand how a guy could a) think that’s an effective way of meeting women, b) somehow avoid getting slapped or doused by a succession of woman, and c) hasn’t gotten his ass kicked by some large, unseen boyfriend. And I know there are men reading this who have trouble approaching women, and they’re thinking, “THAT’S how easy it is? You just go up and KISS ‘em?”

No, guys, you don’t. Unless it’s ML, who seems to be cool with it.

I tease, ML, if only because I don’t know what else to do.

It sounds to me like you have a beautiful spirit and an easygoing way about you that would not only make guys comfortable enough to talk to you, but to plant one on you as well. And anyone who has THAT power should figure out how to bottle and sell it to the masses. You probably have a way about you that is simply open, compelling and non-judgmental, all of which are key in attracting men.

So keep doing what you’re doing, my friend, as long as it doesn’t bother you. And next time a guy liplocks you out of nowhere? Make sure you give him your card instead of taking his. If he REALLY wants you, he should know where he can find you.

Oh, and talking to them might be a nice idea as well.

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  1. 1
    dirty filthy princess

    Even if she doesn’t say anything, perhaps she is giving off signals that she would be OK with that sort of thing. The smiles, the flirty looks, ect. So, as long as she is OK with that kind of attention and it never develops into something scary, I say go for it!

    Or, maybe she’s one of those people that kind of looks like someone else. 🙂

  2. 2

    Hi Evan,
    I know a woman being kissed in this manner seems rather odd however, I can attest to this happening cause It happens to me as well.
    It doesn’t matter where I’m at or what I’m doing, if in a restaurant men will walk up to me and say “Hi, how was the food”, next thing I know, they hug and kiss me. Kiss me either on my cheek, forehead or lips (no movie star lip locks though, lol.)
    Yes, this is strange and no you really won’t believe it till you see it up close and personal. My 27 yr old daughter didn’t believe it till she saw it …. she asked me IF I knew the guy, I told her NO, then reminded her of what I’d previously told her. She still cannot wrap her mind around it even after experiencing it.
    SO maybe your next course will be something specifically for women like ML and I As I’m sure there are more of us out here.
    BTW: I’m 43 and this started happening to me 2 yrs ago when I moved to FL. I’ve been in VA for 6 months and now in NC – it’s still happening. lol

    1. 2.1
      Not Jerry

      Beverly, you are just a friendly looking, kissable girl!     Nothing wrong with that!
      I hope we meet some day. Haha.

  3. 3

    Wow, I’m glad to see this has maybe happened to a few other people out there! I had this happen to me last night when I went out by myself (yes, I did, but I was safe, had protection,  and I am very aware of my surroundings). I was just really enjoying myself dancing with others and obviously having a great time! I wasn’t drinking… I noticed an attractive guy walk by, I thought, he’s cute, then let it go. A minute later, he leaned in, said, “my friends told me to do this”, then kissed me on the cheek! I guess he must have sensed that I looked at him and thought he was cute?! I dunno… totally caught me by surprise. Then, after talking for a little bit, he walked off with his friends, but kissed me on the hand before he did. Not sure what to make of it, other than the fact that he liked me and had the guts to make it clear!

  4. 4

    I have had men kiss me with their eyes most certainly (many more times that I should admit really) but the ones who just kiss me?
    Just like that?
    Selected out by me.  
    Because they have no manners.   Or they’re just pig ignorant.

  5. 5

    Hi I’m 17 going to be 18 very soon and I had something quite similar happening to me.. I was at a rock festival in france when a guy ( in his 20s 30s I’m not sure) just walked up to me, hugged me and leaned in for a kiss. I wasn’t scared but startled as I wasn’t expecting it, naturally I tried to push him gently away by putting my forearms in front of my face as protection. Then he just walled away with a stolen kiss like it was completely normal to do such thing he just turned around one more time with a grin on his face and that was the last I so of him.. And my friend was just staring the whole time looking at me like who is this guy.  

  6. 6

    Dear ML I think you have a strong feminine side and men find that quite attractive it could be little things like the way you lean,  men find femininity adorable and sexy but it is not the norm to have somebody kiss you and disappear.    

  7. 7

    This happened to me a couple nights ago for the first time… I am in my early 40’s, and I was at a neighborhood bar. Lots of regulars, though I am not one. Being NYE the bar filled up while we were there, but I had noticed a handsome man early on, though we never even made eye contact. It was several hours later when he swam through the sea of people right to my spot at the bar, and just clasped my hands and looked into my eyes. We were both grinning like idiots, then he just kissed me. We talked and flirted for maybe 5 minutes, when he told me he had to leave. He disappeared, but returned a couple minutes later for another kiss or two while his buddy waited impatiently. I wouldn’t say “no warning” since we were holding both hands and eyes locked and mutually enjoying that moment… I’m pretty sure he felt positive vibes from me, before he attempted to kiss me. We didn’t exchange numbers, as we almost didn’t even exchange names… (“Hey! So, what’s your name?!”) but if he wants to call me, it wouldn’t take much asking around to track me down.  

    I have to say, this is not the first time I’ve experienced instant chemistry with someone, but since we kissed I think before even saying hello, this was a first for me. So Evan, it does happen. And I can imagine that when it happens to other women, those men also feel a positive energy or else yes, that would be very invasive.

    i personally would like to see a piece on the “why”… Why do men approach women in this way. I’m often told by men that I’m very attractive, although I don’t really have great self-esteem, and so a little voice in my head says “was it pity?” And “did his buddy dare him to kiss a woman, any woman…” Or “was that a meaningless, belated HNY kiss?” I’d really like to understand a man’s reasons for doing it. Is it the thrill! Genuine interest? And since this is new to you, too, maybe doing the research on this would even be fun! Lol!  

  8. 8

    This has happened to me before. I was at a club, and it was the end of the night, about 3 am, and the place was emptying, and a youngster who must have been 19 or 20 came right up to me and kissed me square on the lips, took me totally unawares, and then walked away. It was weird. I can’t say I liked this – it was invasive.

  9. 9

    I had a guy start talking to me at the bus stop one day.   He was talking and flirting. We were   laughing. Then he just kissed me on the lips and smiled.   I was shocked and told him so but what bothered me was that it didn’t bother me more. He asked me out and we dated for a while. But this is the only time it happened.

  10. 10

    I have done it. One I was talking to a girl and she was smiling and I was looking at her lips and.. I don’t know I really could not resist but something told me she would let me and boy did she seem to enjoy it! It took all of 2 seconds for her to melt in my arms. We made out for probably over 30 seconds and we reppeated often for the rest of the evening.

  11. 11
    Not Jerry

    I’ve done it, more than a few times over the years.

    When she was close and looking up and me with a friendly expression.   What would you expect?

    Mostly well received.   Heh.

  12. 12

    That was also happened to me when I went to virginia walking on a street and a guy came in the car and get out of it and says ur very pretty very pretty just kissed my cheeks and said ur ADORABLY PRETTY. And then I never find him that   was too shocking and amazing to me

  13. 13

    I was pleased to see this older post, as it addresses something that I have experienced. I’ve read that when one person is attracted to another, they automatically assume the other person is attracted right back. I think that’s probably what is happening here. The men are feeling strongly that they would like to kiss, the woman is doing a behavior that they see as welcoming or accepting (smiling, looking into their eyes) and the man goes ahead with the kiss.  A kiss on the cheek I can see as being just excessively friendly, and even a kiss on the lips (for those raised where family kisses on the lips) can be seen as friendly.

    I genuinely think that men believe that a woman who is openly sexy, must mean that she is open to sex with them. Even if she’s married or modestly dressed. I don’t think that it occurs to them that it’s a function of that woman’s personality, rather than a reaction to them personally. I could be wrong, but I think women are more accustomed to having men flirt with them in a non-personal way and realize that people who are flirts, flirt! It is not consent.

    This is not to tar all men with the brush of blame, that men are jerks who disregard consent. I think they get distracted (who can think with all that blood pooling below?),   consider a smile and direct gaze a good indicator of consent, and have a great deal of social pressure to ‘man up’ ‘be aggressive’ or to ‘have game’. Probably they are under the impression that the woman is in fact trying to woo them and respond accordingly. I think younger men have a better idea about what is actually consent (a verbal agreement) but there’s room for education there (see Laci Greene on YouTube).

    One way to handle it is to just not get that physically close to them. It gives you more maneuverability and reaction time when they get the wrong idea. If you are not actively dating, wear a ring. It will deter all but the most determined.


  14. 14
    Dan Smallpebble

    I am one of those men that has kissed a girl stranger. I did it drunk in nightclubs between the ages of 20-24. I lost my virginity at 24. It all started by copying my first kiss (which a stranger gave to me at 18 or 19 on the street).

    I think back on those times now with some fear and panic. I never want to do it again. I feel I have learnt my lesson however I am still having to place trust in the complete strangers – it could be seen as breaking the law at anytime.

    There is a part of me that thinks ‘Hey this should be completely acceptable  and a part of me that thinks my behaviour is horrible’.

    Of course the issue stemmed from my family life having a largely vacant father.

    If the issue continues to bug me I might get back in touch with the people and ask them how they feel about it.

  15. 15

    I too am AA and have been randomly kissed by a stranger. It happened recently in an elevator. I was just standing there.I had just walked into the elevator, pressed my floor and said good morning.   He said “good morning. Wow,  you’re really beautiful.” I am by no ones imagination movie star gorgeous but Im petite  and pretty I suppose. He then closed the gap between us and open mouth kissed me with tongue. It was early in the morning and I was still groggy so it took me by surprise and knocked me off balance. I was in shock when the elevator doors opened and he stepped out. He turns and looks back under hooded eyes and says “Are ya married?” I managed to squeak out a yes. Then he with his head shaking says “lucky man”. The  doors closed and he was gone. He was tall with dark hair and white. He looked like he was a drummer in a rock band all piercings and tattoos. Did I look like a 20 something groupie to him? Freakin weird right? Im just glad I’m not the only one this happens to. It did happen more often by the same type of guy when I was unmarried and in my 20s but I wasnt a groupie. I’m now closer to 40 and it still happens.

  16. 16

    I am a woman who is definitely not happy in her relationship. I can’t stand kissing the father of my kids( we not married but have been together for 9 years now). I feel disgusted by everything he does e.g his chewing. I always feel lonely and have the desire to be kissed. So this morning I went to the doctor and he did some medical check ups on me and without aa warning he just kissed me and it was good I really enjoyed it and it was the best kiss I have ever had in my whole life. This is not the first time it has happened I was walking around a shopping mall and another guy just grabbed me and kissed me and left like that.

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