I have recently found myself in a position where someone I am attracted to has tried to kiss me. The only problem I really have with this— their braces.
I quickly brushed them off before they could get close enough and managed to change the subject. I could tell it upset them though, and I felt bad. They didn’t bring it up again, but in the future I wish I could somehow communicate my reasoning for this.
The reason for refusal wasn’t because I don’t find romantic interest or have a boundary issue. It’s because braces really kill the mood for me. I’ve had them before when I was younger and know how grimy they can get. This event happened after we had eaten something too and I knew their braces weren’t exactly going to be clean.
Beyond that though, I’m worried I might accidentally cut my tongue or lips if it leads toward that direction; this is the long term concern.
I certainly don’t want to tell them they’re gross after a meal and that they’ll hurt me. I want to somehow communicate with them that it concerns me too much and I’m currently uncomfortable with kissing.
The issue is they can’t really change the fact they have braces. It can take years to finally get them off and that could affect the development of the physical side of the relationship. This is something I’m willing to compromise; I’m not sure about them though.
I really, in the future, don’t want to hurt their feelings, strain the development of the relationship, or find myself having to give in when I don’t desire.
How can I avoid being kissed by my ‘crush’ and communicate my reasoning with them, all the while avoiding any negative responses?
Edit: I have since added that my reasoning goes beyond just hygiene. I’m a pretty playful kisser and I’m especially worried I might cut my tongue or lips accidentally within the moment. I know they’d feel awful if they accidentally hurt me, so this is something else to consider.