10 Subtle Signs You’re A Terrible Kisser

No one wants to be a terrible kisser, but sometimes it’s not as intuitive as you think it should be. There are plenty of different kissing styles that are still pretty great, but there are just as many that no one ever wants to experience. If you’re worried you’re not very good at locking lips, here are a few signs you might be right, along with some advice on how you might fix it.

  1. You avoid kissing during sex. Kissing is a fundamental part of sex for most couples, but if you find yourself deliberately moving your head out of the way when your partner tries to kiss you, or vice versa, something is probably off. The surest sign that either you or your partner is a bad kisser is when one of you is actively avoiding it.
  2. You have bad breath. No one wants to speak face-to-face with someone with bad breath, let alone make out with them. Bad breath is nothing to be ashamed of and certainly isn’t a reason for you to stop kissing altogether. There are many things that may be responsible for your problem, but most of them are easily solvable with a handy supply of breath mints or some teeth brushing.
  3. You’re not sure how to tilt your head. If you’re questioning which way to tilt your head, you’re overthinking it. Kissing should be instinctive, like laughing when someone says something funny. It’s a reaction you have to another person, not a clinical procedure with bullet-point instructions. For the record, you should probably be tilting your head in the same direction as your partner, but hey, as long as you’re not thinking about it, you’re probably doing just fine.
  4. You go straight to tongues. Passion is sexy, but there’s a lot to be said for subtlety too. Think of kissing the way you approach getting to know someone. You can’t just walk up to a stranger and tell them your parents are divorced and you want to know the meaning of life. You have to ask for their name first and exchange some small talk to see what they’re all about. Let the chemistry of your kiss unfold the way the chemistry of a new friendship would–naturally and without force.
  5. You never use your tongue. Closed-mouth kissing is as devastating as saying “thank you” when someone says “I love you.” If you’re avoiding using your tongue because you’re not sure how it works, just try opening your mouth a little and see where it takes you. Kissing is a collaboration between you and your partner, and things will happen between you that you can’t anticipate if you don’t try.
  6. You leave your arms at your sides. Awkward arms are a dead giveaway that you’re not a great kisser. The good news is that there aren’t that many options. You can put your hands on the other person’s hips, wrap your arms around their neck, cradle the back of their head in your hand, or do whatever makes you feel more deeply engaged in the kiss. As long as you’re not making your partner uncomfortable, you’re probably doing it right.
  7. You drown your lips in lip gloss. The whole reason you’re kissing someone in the first place is that you want to get closer to them. And while you might think that glossy lips will make you even more kissable, no one wants to get a mouthful of cherry-flavored lip balm when all they want is to taste you. Lipstick and lip gloss are great in moderation, but keep yourself in check. Too much might be making you a less than optimal kisser.
  8. You keep bumping teeth with your partner. If you think bumping teeth is a perfectly normal part of kissing, think again. This issue might be caused by over-excitement, but it’s usually a sign that your physical communication is off. Try slowing down a little and focusing on your lips for a few seconds to recalibrate. As you become more engrossed in the movement of the kiss, it will all come more naturally to you.
  9. You get nervous when you can tell the other person is moving in. You need be more than ready to kiss when your partner makes their move. You need to be so ready that you think you might actually die if they don’t kiss you right this second. If you’re feeling nervous, chances are you’re just not ready to kiss that person yet. And that’s okay. Anxiety is a helpful instinct, and it only makes you a terrible kisser if you ignore that instinct. Listen to your intuition don’t kiss the person if it’s making you uncomfortable.
  10. It doesn’t turn you on. Not all kisses have to be a prelude to sex, but if you’re making out, it should at the very least be making you think about sex. Kissing shouldn’t feel like an obligation or a handshake. It should set you on fire, or, at the very least, light a spark. If this isn’t sounding like your experience, Try engaging more of your body—use your hands and your arms and try to be aware of how your partner is moving. If you’re kissing someone you’re truly attracted to, this will turn you on.
Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Surrey and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Law. She’s been writing professional since 2015 and, in addition to her work for Bolde, she’s also written for Ranker and Mashed. She's published articles on topics ranging from travel, higher education, women's lifestyle, law, food, celebrities, and more.