I'll give you three guesses as to what prompted me to think about this topic.
I love the feeling (excitement, tension, and awkwardness combined) in the air before the first kiss. Usually I know it's coming. On my third date with B.E. I knew he wanted to kiss me. It was after all our third date, and we were having fun. Because I'm mean like that, I subtly thwarted each of his efforts by turning my head, starting a new conversation, or the like. Of course, I finally quit, but it was fun to mess with him.
But my most recent first kiss wasn't exciting at all, and even though I wasn't really looking forward to it (I was tired and not incredibly interested), I went along with it in hopes that the kiss might make me like him more. And although he was techically a good kisser, it didn't.
If I were a guy, I think I'd have to go on at least four dates and see a lot of enthusiasm before I'd muster the courage to kiss someone. Unless drinking is involved in which case I'd try on the first date. But I don't think I'd be the guy that would ask first--that just kind of ruins the moment, but I guess that's better than kissing someone who doesn't want to be kissed. A head turn would be so embarassing.
One of my friends, lets call her Grace, has been dating a guy since last spring. And they still haven't kissed. Yes, I know that seems crazy (they really aren't), but there's something that is slightly appealing about that to me. Imagine a relationship in which you're not totally overcome with thoughts of what you want to do with each other physically but instead talking and really getting to know each other. I guess I call that friendship. Hmm. Well anyway, it's been fun to watch their very intentional relationship and the gradual steps that they've taken in getting to know each other. For example, hand holding was a big deal to them. I think that's kind of cool, and it's refreshing in comparison to everything not being a big deal in our culture. It's like reclaiming excitement. I hate the lack of passion my generation seems to have when it comes to sex. Anyway I could write several posts on that topic--maybe another day.