This weekend at the Pink Heart Society our Natasha is here talking about kissing ....
The 6th July (Ally's birthday) was National Kissing Day in the UK. I missed it! (Kissing Day, not Ally's birthday. Ally's birthday I remembered.) I'd be more concerned about being unaware it was Kissing Day if the idea hadn't been dreamt up by Denplan, a health insurance outfit. Rather takes the romance out of it, doesn't it?
BUT as a consequence of National Kissing Day there's been a fair bit of discussion on kissing since. That's kissing games, kissing techniques, kissing anecdotes, best kissing experiences and countless surveys.
One survey revealed 95% of young women believe they aren't getting enough when it comes to kissing. But the good news, for me anyway, is that British men, with 42% of the vote, were dubbed the best kissers of Europe. The Italians came in second with 15%, closely followed by the French with 13%.
The Germans topped the list of the worst kissers with 38% of the vote. But whilst British men did top the best kissers list they also came second in the worst kissing one with 18% of the vote. The Greeks were third with 14% and the French in fourth place with 8%.
I'll need to put in some serious research before I can offer an informed opinion on the above. Obviously.
When it comes to kissing etiquette, 35% of women voted bad breath as the worst thing you can bring to the experience. Slobbering all over your partner was a sin for 31% of women and nearly a fifth (18%) are put off kissing someone who smokes. (I suspect they are the 18% who haven't seen Francesco da Mosto.)
When it comes to which celebrity we'd like to kiss, Johnny Depp won (28%), closely followed by Brad Pitt (27%). Angelina Jolie has the lips we'd most like to have.
When it comes to the most iconic screen kiss, 33% opted for Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in Pretty Woman. There's a fair bit of sizzle in that movie but .. most iconic screen kiss???? Not so sure.
Denplan commissioned their own survey. I mean National Kissing Day was their creation, after all.
In first place they have Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in 'Ghost'.
Second, the animated kiss between the cocker spaniel Lady and the mongrel Tramp in 'Lady and the Tramp'. Remember? Serenaded by a waiter singing the love song "Belle Notte", the dogs start eating from opposite ends of a strand of spaghetti. When they meet in the middle, they have a little kiss and Tramp offers Lady the last meatball on the plate.
Third, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in 'Dirty Dancing'. Agreed. That kiss was hot.
Fourth, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in 'Titanic'. It may be just me but I don't find Leonardo remotely attractive.
Fifth, Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell in 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'.
Sixth, Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in 'Gone With The Wind'.
Seventh, Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr 'From Here to Eternity'. Assuming you don't have my addiction to black and white movies, here's Sergeant Warden and the adulterous Karen Holmes on a sandy Hawaiian beach.
Which, I think, goes to show that location is as much a part of the kiss as anything else. Not a bad backdrop, is it? But my practical nature always wonders how condusive all that sand really is!
Eighth, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher in 'Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back'. There's something special about a 'first kiss'. I agree this one works - unlike Harry Potter's. Apparently, Daniel Radcliffe and Katie Leung took 30 takes to get their kiss right in 'The Order of the Phoenix'. Didn't work for me.
Ninth, Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in 'Romeo and Juliet'. So, yes, clearly I'm alone on the Leonardo thing.
Tenth, George Peppard and Audrey Hepburn in 'Breakfast at Tiffanys'. Why is kissing in the rain so romantic?
Amazingly, not ONE of those screen kisses would make my top ten. My winning kiss goes to Richard Armitage and Daniella Denby-Ashe in 'North and South'. It's the hands, I think. The way he cradles her face. And the fact it's a 'first kiss' which has been a long time coming.
And then there's Colin Firth and Renee Zellweger in 'Bridget Jones'. I liked that kiss. How about Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in 'The Lake House'? Come to think of it their chemistry was fantastic in 'Speed' as well. Then there's Drew Barrymore and Michael Vartan in 'Never Been Kissed'. And I rather like the kiss half way up the stairs between Paul Rudd and Alicia Silverstone in 'Clueless'. Oh and Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling in 'The Notebook'. That's a great rainy day kiss.
So, what would make your top ten?
Natasha's latest Harlequin Romance Wanted: White Wedding is available in the UK here and in NA here!
Romantic Times Magazine says: 'Natasha Oakley's Wanted: White Wedding (4.5) has its share of deeply touching moments, but what makes it stand out are the humor and the wonderful characters.'
You can find out more about it on her website and you can hear her moan about her sheikhs and other assorted disasters by visiting her blog.
Her contribution to the Niroli series, 'The Tycoon's Princess Bride', is available here and won the Romantic Times Magazine Best Presents of 2007 and is nominated for a RITA®.
'Crowned: An Ordinary Girl' has finalled in the National Readers' Choice Awards.