Admittedly it’s been a while since I went to a club with the sole purpose of making out with a stranger—but it’s not so long ago that I can't remember what it’s like to exchange saliva with a person before you’ve learnt their name.
Whilst my youth was spent in sticky clubs using my friends’ thumbs up or thumbs down to gauge in the most unsubtle way possible if the person clumsily grinding on me was hot enough to bang faces with, my adult life has been avoiding these places at all costs. So when I saw that Vancouver Art and Leisure was hosting a “makeout party" my initial reaction was to swiftly reject that Facebook invite and make some other plans. Then I saw a few friends click attending, and my curiosity perked up. Plus, it was Vancouver’s Pride weekend after all, so fuck it.
I was game to check it out, mainly for pure throwback purposes but also because Vancouver Art and Leisure is notorious in this city, especially in the queer party scene, for being a space where really anything goes. In each dark room you can expect much debauchery to have happened—and what you think is a pile of coats could just as easily be people banging—and who doesn't like happening upon surprise coitus in a closet?!
The party promised its intention was to “smash together babes face-first” so this got me thinking; surely by attending said party this means you’ve got to be at least a little versed in all things tongues, lips, teeth and mouths? So I approached the sweaty snogging strangers in VAL to find out their go-to face-sucking strategy, but, you know, some discretion is advised.
“I spell the alphabet with my tongue, bonus points if I can get past D.” —Rudi
“Soft parted lip, and then I gently introduce tongue; kinda like I’m chewing gum.” —Nadia
“Not too much lips, not too much teeth—you need to strike that perfect balance.” —Greg
“I hook my tongue against the back of their front teeth, and use it like a finger saying ‘come here’.” -Ross
“I start gentle with a tiny bit of tongue but I'm not really a tongue person.” —Anna
“I like holding their lips with my lips; bottom lip first and then the top one after that. Slow slow slow and very passionate.” —Franco
“I just go for it, think washing machine tongue.” —Jules
“I want my lips to be swimming with theirs, get the juices flowing.” —Samir
“Apparently I'm too tongue heavy, I’ve been told to use my lips more.” —Alex
“Eyes open and eye contact; its intense but it works.” —Monty
“I first go in with a gentle peck and a very much closed mouth and then see where they take it. If they don't respond I’ll go in again.” —Nicole
“I go all out on the firm open mouth, like I’m saying my vowels ‘Ayyy, eyeee, eee, ohhh, youuu.'” —Gregory
“I’m a face sucker, I all-out suck face.” —Grace
“Inviting and soft and then a little bit more firm.” —Troy
“Start soft and then you want to get to that passion moment, so you feel that out with your tongue. Just a little tongue at first and when you get some reciprocation you go in all the way. As far as your tongue will go.” —Kyle
“Lippy with a little bit of a tongue tease.” —Barb
“All about the tongue and biting the lower lip slowly and sensually. I bite that lower lip pretty much immediately.” —Omar
“I focus my attention on their bottom lip, I’ll just latch on with my teeth and pull it around a bit. I’ve made someone bleed before.” —Nessa
“I love long sloppy kissing and I don't hold back. I like sucking on their tongue.” —Craig
“I like teasing with my tongue along their bottom lip to show them what’s to come later.” —Elle
“I’m more about body contact, I like butt grabbing.” —Paulo
“I’m truly scared of a tongue, so I do like little bird kisses with my mouth closed. If I get tongued I’m outta there.” —Rachel
“A good, playful use of tongue but not sloppy.” —Juan
“I like it when they take initiative and like grab my back or grab my ass.” —Idris
“If I'm kissing a guy I go all out on the tongue, just roll it in there. With women, I’m more suggestive with the tongue.” —Brenton
“Grab the chest, caress their neck and follow their lead with the tongue.” —Hunter
“I like kissing just below their lips. I bite and lick just above the chin and people dig it.” —Fran
“I have hay fever right now so I can only do open mouth kissing for a really short amount of time otherwise I can’t breathe—it’s fine I’m making it work.” —Madison
This article originally appeared on VICE CA.