An Illustrated Guide to Becoming a Better Kisser
Is there anything more embarrassing than being thought of as a bad kisser?
Hearing that you don’t know how to kiss can be a crushing blow to your self-esteem, ruining what you thought was a perfect, romantic moment. Experience or not, being told you’re a bad kisser implies that every kiss you’ve planted on someone in the past, rather than exciting for the other person, might actually have been somewhat unpleasant.
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But how, if it’s even possible, does one become “good“ at kissing? What are the best kissing positions to try, and the best kissing techniques to master?
AskMen spoke to a few experts in order to unravel the mysteries of what makes a good kisser. As it turns out, there’s a focus on knowledge — knowing what to try, when to try it and how to talk about it.
How Body Language and Positioning Can Improve a Kiss
If you’re a rookie when it comes to kissing, you might not have thought much about what to do with any part of you except your lips. Sure, your lips are the focal point of a kiss, but they’re far from the only body part to consider.
The way you hold, use and place the rest of your body can have a massive impact on how the kiss feels, how enjoyable it is for all parties involved, as well as whether it will transition into something more than just kissing.
“You can convey your desires, mood, intentions and personality via body language,” says Jessica O’Reilly, Ph.D., host of the @SexWithDrJess podcast. “For example, if you pull your partner close and look them in the eye with intensity, you can let them know just how badly you want them without uttering a word.”
On the other hand, your body language and kissing techniques can also convey a less intense, more chaste approach if that’s what you want to put across.
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“If you start by planting gently kisses across their skin while looking at them out of the corner of your eye, they might pick up on your playful mood,” points out O’Reilly.
Your approach to a kiss can convey all kinds of different sentiments, and once you know that, you’re well on your way to becoming a better, more confident kisser.
“The beautiful thing about kissing is that you fully want to connect and engage with your partner,” says sex educator Kenneth Play. “Your body language can communicate that engagement! You can exert confidence, closeness, holding space, playfulness, and so much more by how you hold yourself during the kiss. You can actually share a lot of your personality with a kiss.”
How to Amp Up Your Kissing Game
What Is the Best Position for Kissing?
Now that you know how much kissing can be impacted by your body language, you might be wondering what the best kissing position is.
For starters, it’s important to recognize that there’s not necessarily any one best position for kissing. Each kiss will be good or bad to the people engaging in it based on their subjective experiences. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any good options that are generally pleasant to most people — if these positions don’t work for you or the person you’re kissing, there’s nothing wrong with that.
That being said, one of the most classic kissing positions looks something like the above with two people facing each other, their faces close, using their hands to hold onto each other.
“Can you use your hands to caress their cheeks or press your body firmly against theirs?” suggests O’Reilly. “Can you play with their hair or place your hand on the small of their back? Consider multiple points of contact, and change things up so that your kissing routine doesn’t become predictable.”
For Play, on top of using your hands, a great approach is to make use of the surrounding environment — in this case, a wall.
“Be close to each other so you can engage in touching, teasing or petting as you kiss,” he says. “If you’re both kinky, for instance, using your position to press your lover against the wall demonstrates dominance in a subtle way during the kiss, making them feel vulnerable even as you contrast that with a gentle kiss.”
If there aren’t any walls around, or you’re simply in the mood, one great option is to pick your partner up off the ground entirely. In this situation, O’Reilly says you can “have them wrap their legs around your waist” for stability, depending on how strong you are and how much your partner weighs, of course.
Regardless of which position you’re trying, the best kissing position will be one where you’re conscious of the vibe the person you’re kissing is giving off.
“Follow your partner’s lead,” says O’Reilly. “If they lean into you, consider leaning into them. If they pull back and kiss you gently, try doing the same.”
If Your Heights Don’t Match Up While Kissing
One important factor when it comes to kissing is how tall you both are.
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Kisses are easiest when your heights come close to matching up, but sometimes, one person will be taller than the other. However, that doesn’t mean making out will ultimately lead to some uncomfortable neck strain. Kissing lying down on your sides means you can align your heights quite easily. And if you don’t have a bed? Go for a seated kiss when you or your partner sits on something that helps adjust your heights to match.
“Prop her up on a ledge (think cute kitchen counter kisses),” suggests Play. “Or dip her a little, like you’re dancing, to bring her lower. Again, you want to ultimately be comfortable so you can focus on the kiss, so think of subtle changes.”
What Is the Best Technique for Kissing?
If you’re at the stage of a relationship where kissing is all you’re doing, knowing different kissing techniques can help to keep things from getting too repetitive.
As with kissing positions, there’s no one technique that will thrill every single person, so try different ones to see what your partner responds to.
Probably the most famous and well-known kissing technique is using your tongue as part of the kiss, softly slipping it inside your partner’s mouth as they do the same. This is known as “French kissing” or “deep kissing.”
While many people don’t feel comfortable kissing with tongue when they’re still getting used to kissing someone else on the lips, others want to jump in and start French kissing more or less immediately. Hopefully, you and your partner will be on the same page, but if you’re not, forcing someone to engage in a form of kissing they don’t want to is a violation of consent.
As Play notes, a good thing to keep in mind is figuring out a good angle to kiss at.
“If your noses aren’t ‘compatible,’ learn the right tilt to keep you both comfortable, sexy and not nose-bumping,” he says. Alternatively, you can also switch back and forth between kissing them from one side of their nose and the other every so often to keep things fresh.
Another good technique, according to Play, is one outlined in the 2005 Will Smith classic, “Hitch.” As he puts it, “get really close, 90 percent there, almost lips touching, and then pull back a bit, building that desire for your lips to finally meet.”
Kissing Techniques to Avoid
While kissing done right can be an incredible experience, kissing done wrong can be deeply unpleasant. Probably the worst thing you can do as a kisser is force a kiss on someone who doesn’t want one.
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However, even if the other person does want you to kiss them, it can still make for an unpleasant experience if you approach it the wrong way with the wrong techniques.
For starters, O’Reilly thinks it’s important to make kissing a priority in your relationship even once you’ve become sexually active.
“Don’t relegate kissing to so-called foreplay,” she says. “Kiss for the sake of pleasure itself sometimes. Some research suggests that men tend to kiss out as a means to an end, [and] women view kissing as a barometer with which to gauge their lover’s commitment and monitor their relationship status.”
That being said, one thing to be conscious of is the possibility of getting too intense when trying out French kissing techniques.
“Don’t shove your tongue down your lover’s throat unless they’ve indicated that they like deep kissing,” notes O’Reilly. “Instead, start slow and shallow. Run your tongue gently around their inner lips. Slide it around cupid’s arrow on the outside (the upper line of the lip), or slip it under the upper lip against their frenulum (the tiny notch of skin right in the centre above the teeth).”
Play also believes too much tongue (and saliva) too soon could be detrimental to your kissing game.
“Don’t get super slobbery or too intense with the tongue right off the bat,” he says. “Wait until that’s something clearly indicated that they want, or until the kisses are really hot and heavy. Read their kissing body language — not everyone is into kissing, and some people want to devour your soul through your lips. Know your audience, and act accordingly.”
With all this information, however, you’ll be well on your way to being the kind of person your kissing partner does want to French for the next hour — and possibly even longer.
All illustrations by Carlee Ranger.
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