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Once, a boy asked if he could kiss my stomach. I laughed but made sure he knew I found it charming. Of course, I said.

Once, a girl didn't ask but just started in on me with little kisses, then bigger ones. That was good too.

I have never been expert at knowing what's right when. But I know absolutely when something is not.

If nobody asks permission, things can get complicated. But there is a difference between "that kiss should perhaps not have happened, but it's no big deal" and "get the hell away, wetmouth." Anyone who is paying attention will know which is more likely to come his way, in the event of a verdict of   "no more kissing from you, please."

You wanted good stories; here is my best one. A boy I spent a lot of time with. We learned each other's middle names long before my breasts got personally involved. He bought me a smoothie and we sat outside on the brick wall behind the parking lot, watching the sun vaporize. We had known each other forever by now and had a nice repertoire of   "when we..." stories to tell other people.

If it is a kind and warm shoulder you are leaning against, any cold brick wall is the best place to sit. It was the correct shoulder for me at the time. We were calm; we knew there would be kissing, and breasts, and we knew they would happen in their own time. We kicked our feet against the wall, and talked some more. If we kissed then, or groped each other like kids keeping an eye out for grownups and trying not to stretch out my shirt, well, it doesn't matter. It all happened when it was supposed to, and neither of us had to ask.