Who taught you to kiss?

I felt ridiculously emotional about you today; I hope that impending grapefruit explains it. At any rate, even after I got up, it seemed immensely rational this morning to invest in a company that would breed a grapefruit tree capable of bearing in season in my parents’ backyard despite the snow, and to call my retirement adviser to urge him to move all of my savings into that grapefruit futures credit default swap derivative thingie.

Or maybe I’ve been looking at the wrong stuff, torturing myself. Helping out a little with this post last night, I got sucked into a key scenes rewatch of Between the Sheets, something I don’t let myself do very often.

Paul Andrews (Richard Armitage) is the recipient of special favors after the conclusion of an investigation into his behavior in episode 6 of Between the Sheets. My cap.

Well, okay, it wasn’t just that. Although I like that stuff. And, as Jas notes, you are beautiful in rear exposure. There’s also this:

Paul Andrews (Richard Armitage) admonishes Kieran facetiously, in episode 6 of Between the Sheets. My cap.

It’s my favorite mischievous brown-haired, boy-next-door look. Even if red isn’t really your color. And this was nine years ago, now. And you’d be better with a beard.

After chatting last night, and then watching selected scenes, I drifted off, the fantasy of you, brown-haired and naive, in my arms, and woke up, the fantasy of me in your muscular, Porter-esque arms. I lay there and let the fantasy take over.

And my fears didn’t matter when you kissed me, opening with the gentle, patient, waiting caresses of the lips with which you often start a love scene.

Lucas North (Richard Armitage) kisses Sarah Caulfield (Genevieve O’Reilly) in the instant after he gets the proof that she’s lying to him, in Spooks 8.5. All the more poignant because of all the lies in this scene — not just hers to him, but his to hers — and then the kiss, so gentle. My cap.

Who taught you these kisses, I often wonder. So pregnant with emotion, so unhurried, another way of speaking when your tongue has no more words. Who taught you to caress, and then wait for a response? To forget yourself so fully? How did you learn that the lips could be the extension of a gentle soul, reaching out for connection? Promising tenderness? Tracing the trajectory of an emotion too complex to speak itself?

~ by Servetus on May 19, 2012.

44 Responses to “Who taught you to kiss?”

  1. Noch eine großartige Frage, servetus! (Probably no answer?) Those kisses make me think, that I’ve never seen something comparative before. They’re driving me over the edge ever since I saw RA kissing for the first time and making me yearn for to get kissed like that myself. In those scenes his tenderness and attention towards the women is so deeply touching and rarely seen from another actor elsewhere.
    (I remember my first decent kiss was at the age of 13 with a classmate of my 1 year younger (!) brother and I recall it as an unbelievably quite perfect one. It took me nearly 8 years throughout my adolescence, till I found another likeable, good kisser whom I fell in love with (at least for a couple of years.. ;-) ) )
    The erotic scenes with RA in BTS are really, really hot and incredibly well played. They have an intensity, that whenever I watch them, they always make me fidgety and respond strongly, as all seems almost palbable real.
    Yeah, he must have had a talented, warmhearted and relaxed (calm, unhurried) teacher. Or is he a natural?
    Ok, going into raptures … Sigh…I could do with your fantasies about a brown-haired, naive guy with Porter-esque arms…

  2. *fans herself* Contemplating his kissing prowess makes me feel quite weak at the knees.

  3. I think I may have to get a copy of Between the Sheets! There is something wonderful about a great kiss. To lose yourself completely in someone else is one of life’s wonders.

    I think everyone learns to kiss better as they get older. Those first teeth-crunching, tongue-thrusting, lip-sucking kisses from school where you feel you are going to have to visit the dentist for new teeth. Moving to those amazingly passionate ones when you finally meet the person you want to be with where you try and work out if you can do your job with them attached to you. Then those kisses after 15 years together that are a peck but have that history of all the others kisses gone before. I love kisses (even snotty ones from my 4 year old boy).

    RA always looks very focused when kissing. I think he would be a great kisser.

    • I don’t think the kissing in BTS is that great — that was just where I started this particular rabbit trail. His BTS character is not someone who would give this kind of sweet kiss.

      Nice point about the context of kisses and their meanings.

  4. This title made me groan into my cup. I appreciate his kiss scenes immensely. It’s easy for me to believe that he is a natural. It has something to do with his attitude. Good natured, gentle, empathetic, patient and yet hungry.

    • I agree that is has something to do with his attitude, more than with the technique. Every time I read how his (female) co-stars praise him and describe his qualities as a screen partner, I like to think that he displays similar qualities as a kissing partner/lover.

      • yeah. given the structure of his lips, and the way they look when he stretches them out at the beginning, you don’t expect the kisses to be as melting as they are.

  5. Some people are just naturally good kissers I think. There is something magical about a darn good kiss, and a good old fashioned pash session!

  6. I don’t think anyone taught him! :D Agree with those those who say he’s a natural. His kissing is too natural and unselfconscious to have been taught! :) (I think he quite likes women…)

    • I didn’t mean he took lessons. Don’t we all learn something about kissing from each of the people we kiss?

  7. I think he’s a natural, too, but an educated natural. Can you just imagine that education?

  8. *sigh!* This was just the perfect post! From your very amusing beginning (can I get in on your grapefruit futures thingy?) to your very evocative descriptions of some of my favourite RA kissing scenes. and then your. lovely fantasy…. I was reading it while listening to Neil Young’s “Only a Dream”. The whole experience practically gave me goosebumps I was so touched with emotion! Thanks for putting my similar feelings into such expressive words.

    • the grapefruit onset was awful this time — probably had something to do with the change of time zone / climate. Glad you liked the post.

  9. Whoever taught him to kiss -if there was indeed such a person- was one lucky, lucky woman (or man?although I do think RA is straight..), that’s all I can say…(btw, I was 32 when I had my first proper kiss!I know, shocking, isn’t it..)

  10. One thing is for sure, GoR either does NOT know how to kiss, or just can’t do it on camera… those love scenes between Lucas and Sarah in Spooks could have been so hot if it weren’t for her!

    • The whole thing could have been so hot – power struggle turned into love between enemies. Lots of potential for great drama and irresistible tension.

    • I actually think her kiss here really does a good job of reflecting her character’s presumable position (if we believe the script).

      • Yes, you’re right, Servetus, but for example the kiss on the riverside, their first kiss.. That was pretty lame! She was so unresponsive!

        • presumably she didn’t want to be kissing him, though.

          • Erm.. Sorry I can’t get my head round that. She’s supposedly a straight woman and she doesn’t want to kiss THAT MAN?

            • Sarah is trying to “get closer” to Lucas because of the whole Nightingale plot strand. So presumably she’s not kissing him because she’s into him. He makes the decision to kiss her (having been manipulated into playing a power game). It would make sense that she wouldn’t be 100% into it, or that even if she was, it would make sense for her to play hard to get in order to continue the game she’s playing.

              • Oh. OK. That makes sense. :)

              • You must think I’m rather thick…:)

                • No, not at all. I just sometimes think that often the “they had no chemistry” argument forgets what the script demanded from the actors. Genevieve O’Reilly is actually a pretty good actress, and I think if the script had demanded that she play head over heels in love with Lucas she could have done that.

              • I need to rewatch these episodes with this perspective in mind! I wouldn’t have thought she was playing hard to get because she had organised the hotel room for that night after their first kiss on the riverside.

                • well, there’s hard to get, and hard to get. You can f*** me, but I’m going to withhold …

                  • I’ve been thinking (always a worry, as Gerri Granger would say) and surely if a female spy is assigned to honeytrap a male spy, shouldn’t she at least pretend she’s into him? Otherwise, where’s the honey in the trap? :) In fact,where is the trap? :) Oh well, maybe I was unfair to Ms GOR..Like Mezz, I may have to rewatch the Sarah-Lucas episodes with a different approach. :)

                    • Presumably if she wasn’t into him she wouldn’t let him kiss her, no? And she was playing with him for that whole episode. Give / withhold — it’s called intermittent rewards, and it’s a very successful manipulation technique.

                    • You’re probably right Servetus! OK, I’ll stop criticising GOR’s kissing technique! What do I know… :)

  11. Hi Serv,
    This is a really lovely post. Richard Armitage’s gentleness in his lovemaking scene portrayals in kissing and gazing, etc.–and I’m not referring to sex–perhaps betoken the gentle soul of the man himself within these tender and loving portrayals. I like to think so anyway.
    Sighing Swooning Cheers! Grati ;->

  12. Indeed, S8 was a wasted opportunity.

  13. The RA kissing scenes I recall are mostly the first kisses. And RA’s first kisses are just they way a first kiss should be — slow and delicate…almost chivalrous. My dad and I used to watch movies together and he would always comment on the way people kissed in the more modern movies and it was always the same comment – they look like they’re trying to swallow each other. I haven’t seen many kissing scenes with RA but the ones I have seen, I was glad to see he wasn’t trying to swallow somebody.

    • This is an interesting point, just because those early movie kisses were often stiff-lipped, close mouthed — and a lot of viewers now don’t like them for that reason. I maintain that one can make a close-mouthed kiss just as attractive as an open-mouthed one. And Armitage is really proof of this.

      • I think it’s all about finding a good middle ground between those old-fashioned stiff-lipped kisses and the “snogging each other’s faces off”-type modern day kisses, to make the kissing look tasteful yet sexy. Of course a lot depends on the actual situation in which the kiss takes place, the genre of the film, the director, script, period setting etc.

  14. Sorry to ask this, but I’m new to all Richard Armitage things…Do you have the BtS dvd or did you watched online? Because I wanted to watch, but can’t find anywhere, and unfortunately my country doesn’t have have it anywhere to sell…:/ Thanks!

    • Thanks for the comment. You can watch BtS on youtube — just the segments with Armitage in them, with the explicit scenes cut. I bought my copy of it used on amazon.com a few years ago. You do need a region-free DVD player. There may be various illegal ways to view it as well.

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