Only a French person could come up with such a topic. As it happens, on Friday night I was out at All Bar One with Alison, her new man Hughel or Huwel (not sure how to spell his name, Ali told me but I was too drunk by the end of the evening to remember), her sister Nikki and boyfriend Kerri, their little sister Sarah and Alex.
Anyway, I arrive and kiss my friends on the cheeks, two kisses, one on each cheek for balance.
The etiquette is this:
In my home town we kiss three times (In the name of the Son, the Father and the Holy Ghost), in Paris and Brittanny, people kiss only once and in the South of France where people take more time for the best things in life, we kiss four times. Although nowadays, most people kiss just once or twice for convenience.
Later Alex arrives and I land a soft quick kiss on his lips, that's what lovers do, that's what shows the difference between a friend and a lover.
When Huwel arrived he kissed Alison on the cheek!!!??? I was puzzled. I thought that maybe I got things wrong and they were not an item yet, but few minutes later he had his arm around her waist and his hand on her lap. Now that is all wrong, a man cannot put his hands on a woman's erogenous zones if he is not at the stage of placing his lips on hers. Apparently in England it is okay to kiss your lover on the cheek. I guess it makes sense in a country where kissing is not normal. My friends kiss me because I kiss them, because it's my culture, and let's face it, it's not the worst thing in the world to experience.
I was glad that my lesson was observed and they made up for it plenty and without any begging. I'm so proud of them. Now, French kissing on the other hand is reserved for lovers in private. It is of bad taste to show tongues and saliva to an audience, hence the outburst of 'get a room' when people have to witness a French kiss.
To summarize the etiquette for kissing:
Cheeks is for friends, one to four kiss is acceptable.
Lips is for lovers and children below the age of 5 if they are blood related.
Tongue is for lovers in private.