The Greatest Bachelor Mystery, Explained: Why Is Arie Luyendyk Called "The Kissing Bandit?"

Unless you were a proud member of Bachelor Nation all the way back in 2012, you probably aren't too familiar with our new Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk, Jr. Luyendyk competed for Emily Maynard's heart during the eighth season of The Bachelorette. On last night's premiere of The Bachelor, many of the contestants seemed to be in on an inside joke that dates back to Luyendyk's tenure on The Bachelorette. Namely, why is he called the Kissing Bandit? Why did Annaliese wear a Zorro mask to honor the nickname?
Unfortunately, the nickname has nothing to do with an affection for Zorro (though that would be fun). For an answer, we'll have to look back to his relationship with Maynard. To put it briefly, Luyendyk's love language is almost definitely Physical Affection — guy loves to make out.
At every opportunity, Luyendyk would sneak kisses with Maynard. They kissed in alleyways. They kissed while slow dancing. Essentially, he set an example for all aspiring kissing experts and European lovahs. The Kissing Bandit even got rave reviews from other members of Bachelor Nation. In an interview with Elite Daily, former Bachelorette Ali Fedowtski recalled, "I remember watching him kiss Emily Maynard on her season and being like, 'Oh my god, that’s, like, the hottest kiss I’ve ever seen!'"
Luyendyk's kissing skills inspired legion gifs and and videos, the most famous of which is a fan-made instruction video on how to kiss like Luyendyk, set to R&B. The video highlights all of Luyendyk and Maynard's best kisses, and extrapolates kissing advice from Luyendyk's smooth moves.
But why settle for the fan account when you could have advice from the expert himself? On an appearance Entertainment Tonight, Luyendyk leaned into his reputation and provided the three ingredients for a perfect kiss. "Good breath. Timing. Kissing's all about timing. And you have to know that the other person wants to be kissed. Three basics," he said.
But Luyendyk is more than just a mouth, you guys! As his friend (and former Bachelor) Sean Lowe told Life & Style, "He wants to get away from being seen as just a dude who wants to make out.” Luyendyk's intentions were to change his ways, during the season premiere of The Bachelor. "That first night I told myself I'm not going to kiss anybody, you know, and then it happened," he told E! News.
As we saw last night, Luyendyk broke his promise to himself, and demonstrated his very specific set of skills twice during the premiere of The Bachelor. Luyendyk's first kiss of the evening came after his miniature car race with Brittany Taylor. Brittany gushed that his lips were akin to "clouds and pillows." And that was just a peck. The first kiss worthy of Luyendyk's Kissing Bandit nickname happened during his second one-on-one session with (budding villain?) Chelsea Roy.
Expect more and more (and more) kisses from Luyendyk. The preview for this season of The Bachelor features a montage of many of Luyendyk's notable kisses, including ones on jetskis and rooftops. From the preview reel, we know he'll kiss Chelsea, Crystall, Tia, Bekah, and others. Ali Fedowtski called it when she told Elite Daily, "I feel like there’s going to be a lot of really, really intense kissing on this season — which is going to be kind of hot but kind of gross, too."
So, there you have it: Arie Lyundyk, whose affinity for deep tongue kissing is "kind of hot but kind of gross, too."

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