Sweet Sixteen and Never Been Kissed

Thesna Aston
4 min readSep 21, 2023
Photo by Jessica Felicio on Unsplash

Yep, that heading belongs to me.

(Family kisses don’t count.)

I have been 16 for nine months already, and no one (well, no one I thought was even remotely nice, least of all the boy I was crushing on had asked to kiss me, yet)


What is wrong with me?

What if I die an old lady with no boy ever wanting to kiss me?

The thought was too horrible to contemplate, and I brushed it off.

Maybe I have smelly breath.

I called my sister urgently.

“Smell my breath, please,” I begged her.

“Eww, you are so gross,” She pulled her face, turning away.

I turned her around and begged, “I’ll do anything, just smell it,” I nagged.

“Anything,” she looked up excitedly.

“Yes, anything, now smell it.”


I blew into her face.

“That’s disgusting,” she cried while holding her breath.


“The point is to smell my breath, so breathe in when I blow,” I said impatiently.


I blew into her face again.

She took a breath and immediately turned her head. “It smells like toothpaste,” she said. The look of pain on her face told me I owed her, and knowing my younger sister as I do, the price would be hefty.

“Ok, so it’s not my breath,” I thought as I breathed a sigh of relief.

It’s my lips!

It’s too big!

The boys teased me at school about my “fat lips.”

“Mom,” my lips are too big, and nobody will ever want to kiss me,” I cried.

As mothers do, she sighed, “There’s nothing wrong with your lips- it’s beautiful.”

I rolled my eyes because moms are supposed to say nice things.

She was no help at all.

I called my best friend to come over because she was lucky.

She had kissed a boy she liked and kept bragging about it. She was now “experienced” in the art of kissing.

“There’s nothing wrong with your lips,” she echoed my mom’s words.

“You need experience, though,” my suddenly wise friend said.


It didn’t take a genius to understand that I needed to kiss to have the experience I was supposed to have.

“You have to practice,” she continued, ignoring my puzzled look.

“Do what I am doing,” she said.

She puckered her lips, and I followed suit.

Next, she placed her lips on the back of her left hand. She closed her eyes and moved her head from side to side.

“Now apply only slight pressure,” she instructed.

“Ok, your turn,” she said.

Feeling like a duck about to quack, I puckered my lips, raised my left hand, closed my eyes, and moved my head from side to side while kissing the back of my hand.

“This was kissing?” I thought unexcitedly.

“Keep going,” she said, “ Now open your mouth.”

I opened it and heard her burst out laughing. “Not so wide,” said Ms. Experience, “Just a little bit.”

I did that.

“Doesn’t that feel good,” she asked, grinning from ear to ear.

“Kissing the back of my hand was supposed to feel good?” I wondered.

“It feels silly,” I mumbled as I intensely concentrated on kissing my hand.

“Well, silly or not, you can’t let the boy who is going to kiss you know that you’ve never kissed,” she said firmly.

“But I haven’t kissed,” I protested.

“Yes, but only you must know that,” she said, glaring at me like the strict Sunday school teacher at church.

“He will laugh at you,” she said seriously.

I didn’t want that, so I continued practicing as if studying for an exam.

Kissing, it seems, is serious business.

Life was confusing.

How do I get the boy I like to kiss me without him knowing I have never kissed?

What if he never kisses me?

Oh, horror!

What if he doesn’t like me?

Kissing never looked so complicated in the movies I had seen.

It all seemed to happen naturally.

My thoughts were jumbled as I tried working out a plan to get him to kiss me.

I am seeing him on Saturday at the get-together I’m invited to.

I figured I couldn’t just ask, so I would make sure that I sat next to him, and hopefully, the kiss would happen naturally.

“Hey, are you listening to me,” my friend asked, clicking her fingers near my face.


Back to earth with a bang, Thesna!

“No more daydreaming,” I mentally chastised myself.

“… as he puts his tongue in your mouth,” my friend continued as if I was listening to her all along.

“Say what?” I asked, in shock.

I looked at her as if she had grown two heads, “Are you saying he will put his tongue in my mouth,” I asked, both shocked and nauseated at the thought.

“Yes,” said Ms. Experience gleefully smiling,” it’s called French kissing.”

“That’s disgusting!”

“I’m not letting some boy put his tongue in my mouth,” I protested.

“You’ll enjoy it,” she said confidently.


My stomach turned at the thought, even though I liked this boy.

What if I gag?

What if I hate it?

What if he hates it?

What if our teeth knock together?

Lord help me, but the butterflies are having a field day in my stomach.

The thousand scenarios going through my head were all worst cases, with none about me enjoying the kiss.

Ms. Experience (Yes, that’s her nickname now) said when she kissed the boy she liked, her knees went weak, her heart raced, and she felt giddy.

I wanted THAT kind of weakness in my knees.

I wanted my heart racing from excitement.

I wanted to feel giddy.

I desperately wanted to kiss more than the back of my hand.

I both dreaded and looked forward to Saturday when I would feel how my friend felt.

I couldn’t wait!…



Thesna Aston

Writer-The complexities of life are simplified through my Writing. Wellness Coach, Human Rights Activist. Grateful for my life and family. Writing is healing