In 1911, a stick of gum came with this handy guide to kissing a girl. It offers some useful tips there, such as “do not tell her your intentions” and “look dreamily into her eyes.” There was an expected response from her too, though the authors hedged their bets with “probably,” in “she will probably drop her eyes and blush when you say that.” They are allowing at least the possibility that she wouldn’t—and the outside chance she’d say, “Move along buster, I have a train to catch.”
The method suggested there is in line with our idea of a young fellow pitching woo at a Gibson Girl. It reflects the gender politics of the day, with the man in charge and a warning about the kind of gal who doesn’t use antiseptic gum. (Although the marketers obviously expected women to buy the product, they don’t seem to have offered a distaff version of this guide.)
Here's the full transcript of the ad:
Do You Know How to Kiss a Girl? Then learn!
- Stand facing her.
- Do not tell her your intentions.
- Do not ask permission to kiss her.
- Look dreamily into her eyes.
- You may hold her right hand in your right hand, if you wish.
- It is well to sigh a couple of times about this stage of the game.
- Whisper softly that her rosebud lips remind you of cupid's bow.
- She will probably drop her eyes and blush when you say that.
- Place the fingers of your left hand under her chin and tilt back her head slightly.
- Draw her gently towards you.
- Do not hurry.
- Gaze deeply at the love-lights which slumber in her eyes.
- Sigh once more.
- Incline your head towards hers until your lips — BUT WAIT! Do not kiss her until you know that she uses Listerated Pepsin Gum, the only antiseptic gum in the world, the only chewing gum that makes it safe to kiss.
- If she is a Listerated Pepsin Gum girl, kiss her.