Kissing someone you’re really into is euphoric. But, it’s not always like the movies make it out to be, let’s be honest. While it’s nearly impossible to describe what a kiss feels like when the chemistry is right, kissing can be kind of stressful when you’re not sure what you’re doing. Even if you’ve had a lot of kissing practice before, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on your moves and hone your skills. So, for kissing newbies and long-time kissing lovers, here are some tips to help you make locking lips that much better.
- Freshen up a little beforehand. This is perhaps the most important tip you can have when it comes to planning for the perfect kiss. While some kisses happen rather spontaneously, you often have an idea when kissing is imminent. If you’re hanging out with someone you want to kiss or going to a party where people tend to make out, make yourself a little more appealing and smoochable. Get some chapstick or lip blam of some kind. And, of course, don’t forget the mints.
- Consent makes a huge difference. This is, without a doubt, the most important of all the tips you’ll ever hear on how to kiss. Consent is definitely mandatory, and that’s the key thing to remember. But, it’s also pretty sexy. Of course, you want to make sure the other person wants to kiss you, too, before you move in. Then, while kissing, you can make the experience better for them if you check in. This doesn’t mean you have to talk or ask a question before making any movement, but a casual “how is this?” or “do you like that?” will increase the tension and help you kiss them just how they like.
- Start slowly and build intensity. If you’re kissing someone for the very first time, it’s best to start slowly. This doesn’t mean you have to be timid and shy, but you can start by simply touching lips and then gradually build the pressure. As the kiss builds, then you can start opening your mouth more and see how they react as you move to deepen the kiss. The tension-building is a part of the fun.
- Attune yourself to your partner. Some general guidelines on kissing are pretty helpful, but the truth is that everyone is different. Some people prefer more intense and passionate kisses, while others like things to be more drawn out and sizzling. Some partners will want you to use a lot of tongue while others aren’t as into that. One of the best ways to be an excellent kisser is to pay attention to your partner. How do they react both verbally and physically? Learning to read these cues is crucial.
- Don’t forget about your hands. Many people who have never been kissed have one question: what should you do with your hands? If you’re nervous, it can seem awkward to even have hands. They are there, and you don’t want them to just hang by your sides, but what to do? It’s best to try not to overthink it but try to do what feels natural. You can place a hand on their waist and one on their cheek. Or try curling an arm around their shoulder or putting a hand in their hair. There’s no one correct answer.
More tips on how to have the most amazing kiss possible
- Go easy on the tongue at first. With a first kiss, shoving your tongue around someone’s face or lips isn’t going to earn you points. It’s best to just press the tip of your tongue to their lips softly. If they are interested, they can part their lips in invitation. If not, pull back. Too much tongue, especially if it’s too aggressive, can be too much at first. “Try to just slowly and intimately explore using your tongue, your lips, all parts of your mouth,” advises licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist, Dr. Shannon Chavez.
- Vary up the speed. While a small kiss will end quickly, if the kiss gets more into makeout territory, you’ll need to explore a bit more. You don’t want to just stay in the same place with the same intensity. Instead, try varying things up. You can kiss a bit harder, press against them more, and then ease back again. Kissing is a dance you do together, so you should play off each other’s energies.
- Remember the rest of their body. As you are kissing and it’s lasting longer, it’s often super sexy to move your lips away from their mouth to kiss a little around their jaw or neck. As with everything, you’ll want to see how the other person reacts, and this could be a good time to ask what they like. You can also try moving your hands to touch the small of their back or cup around their neck. Great kissers remember that kissing is a full-body experience. The best tips on how to kiss should always include the rest of their body.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you haven’t kissed many people before or any at all, it’s natural to feel a bit unsure. There is an element of practice when it comes to kissing. Some people find it more natural than others, and you may just need to get the hang of it. And, even for people who have kissed a lot, it can feel strange and new with each person. So, don’t worry too much about perfection. Going with the flow will take pressure off both of you.
- Enjoy the kiss for what it is. Instead of worrying about figuring out the best tips on how to kiss, just live in the moment and let yourself go. After all, it should be a pleasurable experience, not one you’re overthinking every second. “So many people overlook kissing, especially once they’ve moved on to other ‘bases,'” Vanessa Marin, a licensed sex psychotherapist, tells Bustle. “But kissing is a ridiculous amount of fun and is fully deserving of your attention and effort.”