Dear Miss Emily:
I have a little problem with my boyfriend.  We've been together for 5 months, now, but just don’t kiss!  Okay, we have kissed like 5 times, but never a real one.  I don’t know what to do, ‘cause I think kisses are important in a relationship and it’s not like we are 11. We are already 17!  I don’t know what to do, because he is a very, very shy guy.  He has a lot of insecurity, and he hasn’t kissed a girl before, but he knows I kissed a lot with my ex.  I don’t mean to pressure him, but I think it’s time (it was time since a long time ago).  Once I asked him what was his opinion about us kissing, and he said it was okay, but he quickly change the subject.  I can see he is embarrassed with his friends ( also mine), because he avoids the kissing subject with them, or says that we don’t kiss because I'm not ready or sure about it. I really love him, and I don’t want to break up over something so silly but, at the same time, it’s important to me.  I don’t know if I should just go and kiss him (I'm a little nervous, too, because I don’t have a lot of experience), or if I should ask him to kiss me or to wait for him.  Please help me with my pathetic problem, and thank you very much.
No Kiss ‘n Tell

-------------------------Miss Emily’s advice---------------------

Dear No Kiss:

The obvious – check your breath situation, although I am pretty sure this is not the problem.  In high school, I knew a guy who didn’t know how to kiss, and he needed to be taught.  After that, he was a kissing fool.  This may not be the case, here, but being painfully shy could be the reason he's balking.  However, you can’t usually get what you want unless you insist on it.  No kissing with a boyfriend is really more of you hanging around a boy who’s a friend.  His passing the buck – he thinks you’re not ready, may seem like a valid excuse to him, but no one with any common sense would buy it.  “Gee, it’s your fault.  Didn’t you realize that!”  I would tell him that you want to explore the idea of getting past this hurdle, because it’s important to you and, as you said, long overdue.  If he agrees, take control.  Set aside a time where the atmosphere is relaxed and stress free. Gently use your tongue, but don’t shove it down his throat.  Keep the saliva to a minimum.  No one wants a bath with a kiss!  If he’s not willing to do this, he’s got problems that go deeper than he's letting on.  Maybe he’s the gay guy in the movie “Clueless.”  He pretends he can be boyfriend material until the chips are down and he’s tested.  Again, tell yourself what you want out of this relationship, and pursue it.  Kissing is a normal couple activity, although some males are more into it than others -- for example, guys who see this as just a necessary means to moving toward the "big enchilada."  If it’s not for him, you'll have to decide if his other attributes are good enough to carry-on as usual. Frustration on your part regarding this matter will, most likely, drive you to having doubts about yourself, rather than realizing that this guy’s hang-ups prevent him from having a normal girl/boy relationship. Only he can fix the problem, and only "if" he's willing to do so.  I wish you success.