I said what I said!

By Jen Kirsch
Jan 19, 2021 @ 5:34 pm
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Credit: ABC/Getty Images

Everyone and their mother seems to have an opinion about The Bachelor's Matt James kissing with his eyes open, and I am absolutely one of them.

The prevailing opinion, based at least on the deluge of memes and posts on Twitter and Instagram, is that his behavior is "unorthodox" and even "monstrous."

But here's my unpopular opinion: Kissing with your eyes open is great. The same way you lock eyes with a lover when intimate, taking a peek at your partner while making out adds an element of intensity.

Before you report me to Bachelor Nation, hear me out.

Chemistry with another person is something we can't control — something that comes innately, just like kissing when the mood strikes. It's such an in-the-moment act, and so unique to each couple. The movements and pace and force (or lack thereof) come naturally, with little to no thought. You pick up each other's energy and you explore that connection through the act of swapping spit. Amen.

Credit: ABC

So when one or both people have their eyes open — even just for a few seconds — within the heat of the moment, it only adds to the passion. If you happen to catch someone with their eyes on your lips and tongue while you're kissing them, you get to be a part of a rare shared moment of mutual desire, an acknowledgment that you're both on the same page. You're both so into each other that you can't help but sneak a peek. It's sorta, kinda hot, and reassuring to boot.

One of the best feelings when you've just started dating someone (or in Matt's case, 30 or so women), is catching them stealing glances at you. From across the room. When you're by their side. Maybe even through a sea of equally eye-catching gowns at a rose ceremony. It's butterfly-inducing and makes you feel admired and desired, something all humans crave.

I have no shame in confessing that I love feeling the eyes of someone I'm invested in on me, whether when locking lips or otherwise. There's a weird sense of security that comes with being the sole focus of another person. I am 100 percent guilty of what will forevermore be called "The Matt James," and I have no shame in my game.

Remember when you were a tween watching all those teen movies starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, or perhaps watching make outs left, right and center on Gossip Girl? You likely imagined what kissing would be like when you were an adult, and perhaps even studied how your favorite characters kissed so that one day you might emulate them. What these scripted and directed scenes fail to show is the reality that not all kisses are created equal, and there's no one way to kiss, contrary to the opinion of everyone posting about Matt James's kissing style on Twitter last week. The Bachelor is living his best life on reality TV, people! Do you want something real? Or do you want a perfectly edited kiss, which doesn't really exist in real life because, reality check: There isn't one generic way to make out?

I'll take reality, please and thanks. Everyone has their "isms," the habits, behaviors, thoughts, and ways of speaking that make them unique and set them apart from others. It could be the way they say a certain word wrong (or if you're me, you can never just answer a simple question and instead have to tell an entire story with nonsensical details).

The more outside-of-the-box a person and their actions and behaviors are, the more I'm able to see them for who they are. Matt kissing with his eyes open is definitely a Matt-ism. For me anyway, it isn't all that groundbreaking, it's just unusual to see someone else doing it on national television.

Not to get X-rated here, but when you're hooking up with someone and make eye-contact, there's an electric energy. A sense of togetherness. A deeper bond, which in turn brings you to a deeper level of intimacy. So why should playing tonsil hockey (don't @ me, I'm Canadian!) be any different? I think we need to throw the bachelor a bone (ha!).

Call me a freak, but I'm here for the open-eye kiss. Not exclusively. Not always. Not for a whole goddamn make out sesh, but for a few seconds — or more, if you're past the dating phase and that's what you both feel in the mood for — as a way to deepen the intimacy.

I find kissing with your eyes open sexy. I find it becoming. I find it very Joey Tribbiani, "Hey, how you doin'" energy, and I'm not in the least mad about it.