Kissing and being kissed is such a subjective experience and expression of our individuality that it’s useless to try and develop a list of universal kissing dos and don’ts. Indeed, if you’re looking for tips on how to kiss, keep in mind that kissing means different things in different cultures. So the kiss that works for one person may not work for another, even with identical technique. Learning how to kiss, or how to be a better kisser, is as much about learning to read your partner as it is about learning the right things to do with your lips. With that in mind, here are some basic tips on how to kiss.
Time Required: Kissing, particularly at first, shouldn't be rushed. Learning how to kiss is slow seduction.
- Kissing Is Touching
One of the powerful things about kissing is the closeness of the physical contact. Kissing is a very intimate form of touching. And just as you might be inclined to start with hand holding before you grab your partner’s ass, your first kisses should be intentional but introductory, expressive of the desire you feel without being insensitive to the response of the receiver. And because kissing is a kind of touch, before you kiss, try out safer touches. Hold hands, lean your body on your partner, put your hands on his shoulders and see what that feels like and how he responds.
Practice kissing on your own. Not only is this a great thing to do to remove your ego and make yourself laugh, kissing yourself can, unexpectedly, feel very good. Try kissing different spots on your hand (in between your knuckles, in the crook between your thumb and forefinger), your arm and wrist, your knees. Notice how the different kinds of skin feel on your lips. Practice light pecks and long pressure kisses. Practice kissing with lips closed and open. When you think you’re ready for it, see what happens when you introduce a little tongue. Even if you think it’s silly, try it.
- Engage Your Other Senses
Use your other senses both to indicate your intentions and also to make contact with your partner. You can lower your gaze from his eyes to his lips or touch his face and lips with your hand. If you need to ask him to move so you can get a good look at his face and lips, do it. If you’re worried about how to make that first move, these are all ways of letting him know without saying “I want to kiss you now.” Although, for the record, coming right out and saying it can also be exciting, and in many cases, a bold move the reaps rewards.
- Two Smell Tests
This may seem like obvious, but make sure your breath is fresh and clean before going in for a kiss. Sometimes less obvious is avoiding too much perfume or cologne. Forget TV commercial fantasy land, overwhelming scents from cosmetic products can be a major turn off. If you don’t know enough about the person you’re kissing to know what he likes and doesn’t like, aim for a neutral smell, being no smell at all.
- Lean In, and Pause
The anticipation of that first kiss can be intense, and that tension can be a big sex drive booster. So instead of rushing in to get it over with, lean in slowly, and before your lips touch the first time, pause to take in the sensations. With your face so close to your partner's, you can smell him, feel your cheek brush up against his, listen to the sound of both of you breathing. Pausing for a split second gives you both a chance to absorb the sexual energy. It’s also a bit of playful teasing that can be a welcome reminder of the fun that kissing can be.
- Start Slow and Small
Keep your lips closed and moist but not wet, and start with just a small kiss or peck. You can start on the cheek or on the lips, but the important thing is to start small and slow. Purse your lips, but try not to keep them too tight (here’s where all that practice comes in handy!) At first, starting with a series of small kisses to let both of you feel each other’s pacing, likes, and dislikes out, is a good idea. Long kisses where your lips stay connected may be something you both like, or not, so starting with a 20-second lip lock might not go over.
- One Lip, Two Lip
Another way to start small is to start by kissing just his upper or lower lip. Then you can move from kissing the upper to the lower lip, and move side to side on his lips. Notice how the feel of the lips in the middle of the lips is different than the parts near the sides of the mouth. Everyone has his own hot spots, so moving around is a good way of learning what your partner likes and where he likes it.
- Body Language
When you’re kissing, there may not be a lot of talk. So if you want to know what’s working for your partner you need to pay attention to all their non-verbal communication. As you try different pressures and areas of kissing, listen for the kinds of noises he's making, and how his breathing may change as you move, for example, from a gentle peck to a longer, deeper kiss. Watch what he does with his body and his hands in response to your kisses. If he's grabbing you closer, chances are he likes what you’re doing. If he seems unaroused, move on to somewhere or something else.
- Enter the Tongue
On the one hand, you can wait and leave it to him to make the first tongue move. But if you both do that, you may be waiting for something you want for a while. Here’s one tip to reduce the chances of an unwelcoming tongue entrance: As you’re kissing begin kissing with a slightly open mouth. Don’t move your tongue anywhere, but instead of pursed lips keep your lips just barely open. If your partner responds in kind chances are he's open to a meeting of mouths and tongues.
- Another Tongue Trick
If you’re unsure of when tongues in mouths is fine, you can start by using your tongue when kissing other parts of your partner’s body. Gently kiss your partner’s arm or neck or shoulder, and with your lips against his skin, let your tongue briefly touch their skin. Don’t go for a lick, and avoid a flicking of the tongue. Instead, the tongue adds just a bit of extra warmth and moisture to a kiss. See how your partner responds to your tongue in this context and it may tell you something about if, how and when he wants your tongue in his mouth.
- Moist, Not Too Wet
A classic complaint about bad kissers is that they are too wet. When in doubt (meaning before you know), you want to keep your kisses moist but never wet. If you’re prone to excessive saliva, you can either pay attention or let your partner know. Keeping your lips gently pursed (not puckered) is another way of reducing the transfer of wetness. Also work slowly up to major open-mouthed kisses, and avoid licking altogether unless you know they want it.
- Rubbing, Nibbling, Biting
You can also use your lips to touch your partner’s lips and face without a specific kiss. The feel of your lips gently rubbing or passing against each other can be exquisite. Many people like the sensation of a partner nuzzling, nibbling, and even gently biting on his lips and tongue. But this is definitely not something you want to do right away. Our tolerance and desire for pressure and intense sensations changes as we get more aroused. So build up to more intense kissing, unless you’re both on the same we’ve-only-got-five-minutes page.
- Do Unto Others
Many of us aren’t comfortable talking about how and where we like to be kissed. One way you can get around this is by doing to your partner what you’d like him to do to you. So if you’ve got a partner who is constantly nibbling at your ears, it may be that he really wants you to reciprocate. Of course, it might be that he saw it in a movie, or he just thinks you’ll like it. But noticing how your partner is kissing you is one way to get ideas about how you might want to kiss them. Asking is always a good way to find this out too!
- Kissing Don’ts
In truth, there are no kissing absolutes. Anything that I might say you shouldn’t do, is something that thousands of people out there love having done to them. But in the context of early kissing, here are a few general things to avoid at first. No sucking, no blowing, no sudden tongue movements, and no swapping spit unless invited. Remember that your partner may really like this stuff, but most of us need a little build up before the big show.