As Valentine's Day approaches, so do the romantic daydreams of all things love, and kissing of course! From being children thinking of kissing as totally gross, to growing up gushing with anticipation over the next lip-lock, looking back on these memories has the power to make swoon or shudder. And since no two kissing experiences are ever the same, we’ve rounded up the IMAGE crew to share with us their first, worst, last, and absolute best kisses. They're sure to spur your own memories of discos past, Irish college and heady romance.
"When lovers kiss on the cheeks, it is because they are searching, feeling for one another's lips. Lovers are made by a kiss." Emile Zola
First kiss: Aged 11, at a family friend’s NYE party. I was the last to be found in a racy game of ‘Hide ‘n Seek ‘n Kiss’ and definitely not ready for the tongue that found me. He was 12, just in case it sounds like the adults were playing. They weren’t.
Best kiss: My first kiss with my husband, who was also supposed to be my first fling.
Last kiss: Planted on my daughter’s forehead and my son’s cheek. They’ve gone to stay with their Nonna for the night.
Worst kiss: Aged 16. He alternated between two techniques: Classic Carwash, where everything below the brow line and above the jawline got a good rinsing; and Dyson 600, where I was lucky to walk away with both lungs.
First kiss:1996, aged 12, in the local green with a boy who'd just eaten a bag of cheese 'n' onion crisps - it put me off cheese 'n' onion crisps and kissing for years.
Best kiss:The first time I ever kissed my husband was deadly. It was in Iskander's kebab shop on Dame St cuz we are pure classy.
Last kiss: I kissed the back of my baby's neck this morning and it was delicious.
Worst kiss: My worst kiss was in 1997 with a guy who insisted on adopting a Liam Gallagher pose - remember Liam used to clasp his hands behind his back to sing into the microphone? That's how this guy approached the kiss. Hands off and off-putting.
First Kiss: In Irish college at the last night discó. I was so terrified that my squad of cailíní insisted on squishing into one toilet cubicle beforehand to give me a pep talk and list out the do's and don'ts. I followed their advice ("whatever you do, make sure you tilt your head to the left. The rule is that everyone goes to the left.", but of course, my clueless suiter went to the right. This meant that we bumped heads and the huge circle of our respective friends burst into fits of laughter.
Best Kiss: If by best, you mean "most entertaining", it would have to be the time an ex-boyfriend and I tried to engage in a quick smooch whilst both on our respective bicycles. The whole idea was very foolish, and as we leaned-in to pucker-up, our bikes crashed, and down we fell.
First kiss: Shoved into my neighbour's bedroom with his best mate who gave me the aul washing machine. Needless to say, it was the worst and sloppiest/wettest kiss of my existence.
Best kiss: The first time I kissed Jake, obviously *butterflies*.
Last kiss: My doggo, Molly. This morning before leaving for work.
Worst kiss: See first.
First Kiss: Under the table in senior infants. Myself and my then true love used to hide from the teacher and share a moment. He would later save me seats in class so he could stab me with pencils. Cute or what?
Best Kiss: I came home from traveling on the day of one of my really close friend's 21st birthdays and I hadn't seen him in about four months. By the time I got to his house I was so late that he was trying to be annoyed with me but I was so excited to see him I just kissed him. He sadly died a few months later but I still have the photo taken of us that night in my room.
Last Kiss: I do give my housemates kisses most days, especially when I'm needy but the last proper smooch was a guy that was so much younger than me. My best friend has now labeled me as his confirmation sponsor ... he was over 18, I swear.
Worst Kiss: My worst kiss was followed by me smacking my head against a wall, passing out in the toilet and being three hours late for work the next day with a lump on my head ... and then a message to tell me we had kissed.
"Close your eyes and I'll kiss you, tomorrow I'll miss you..." Give your favourite people some smooches today!
First Kiss: On holidays aged 14, I kissed the 'hot' pool boy. I ran up to my mum and she was as giddy as I was.
Worst Kiss: Waiting for a taxi to get the hell away from a date I DID NOT FANCY ( there was zero attraction or chemistry. I turned to say goodbye and he planted one me and shoved his tongue down my throat.
First kiss:I was at summer camp, and a boy one year my senior planted one on me right in front of the camp counsellor. She kindly pretended not to notice.
Best kiss:I'd like to say it was my husband, but kisses from my children have since beaten his record.
Last kiss: This morning as I drank my coffee and my husband left for work.
Worst kiss: I've blocked it from my memory.
First kiss: I was age 10 in my old conservatory in the back garden. It was 4th class and we were playing hide and seek! My friend and I went in behind the couch and wondered how long we would be there, so we decided to kiss to pass the time...
Best kiss: Ios, Greece 2008: blonde haired girl, 3 am, about 10 strawberry daiquiris in, it was a good one.
Last kiss: Friday night.
Worst kiss: When one of the lads has had a little one too many he likes to kiss whoever is around him at the time...