You're probably always hearing that you could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do your hear the nitty-gritty of how you can actually better understand your deepest desires and most embarrassing questions, such as how to kiss someone well? Bustle asked Vanessa Marin, a licensed sex psychotherapist, to help us out with the details.
The truth is, even if you're already pretty great at it, there's probably something more you can learn about making out. And the fact you're interested in expanding your horizons is a great place to start. "So many people overlook kissing, especially once they’ve moved on to other 'bases,'" Marin says. "But kissing is a ridiculous amount of fun, and is fully deserving of your attention and effort."
Not only that, but it plays a key role in building relationships. As Marin says, it's "super important to intimacy, foreplay, and attraction in general." With that in mind, here are eight steps to up your kissing game, since we could all use a kissing refresher!
Take Your Time
Arguably the best tip I could give you is to go slow and ease your way into every kiss. If you’re feeling anxious about your kissing abilities, that anxiety is likely spurring you into rushing your way through it. But no one likes kissing someone who is hyperactive and all over the place.
The best kisses are the ones that are relaxed and sensual! So if you feel yourself pecking away, remember to go nice and slow until you feel yourself start to settle down and get into the groove.
Use The Right Amount Of Pressure
One of the most basic ways that people mess up kissing is by going to extremes with the amount of pressure they use. Some people are way too forceful with their kisses, and wind up bumping teeth, pushing their partner backwards, or coming off as aggressive. Other people are shy and timid, and their kisses end up feeling lifeless.
Think about handshakes: it feels strange when someone squeezes your hand way too tightly, and kinda creepy when you get a limp handshake. You have to use some pressure but not too much, and land somewhere in the middle.
I know this will sound silly, but you can practice finding the right amount of pressure by using the back of your hand, just like you did back in middle school! Try pressing your lips loosely against your hand, then pressing them forcefully. From there, try to find a middle-of-the-road level of firmness that feels just right.
That'll cover your basic kiss. But it can also help to keep in mind that any good makeout session includes various types of kissing. There very well be a moment when you go for a light touch, like when you first start kissing, and then press in harder as things heat up. It's all about reading the moment.
Use Your Tongue Wisely
Another common characteristic of "bad "kissing is using way too much tongue. When you first start kissing someone, keep the tongue out of it until things start to get more intense. Again, focus more on all the different ways you can kiss with just your lips — keeping your mouth closed, opening it slightly, intertwining your lips with your partners’, pouting your lips, and so on.
When it comes time to add some tongue, be gentle. Your tongue is an incredibly strong muscle, so you need to be careful not to go overboard. Try just gently touching your tongue to your partner’s at first. Imagine that your tongues are softly caressing each other. Don’t jab at your partner with your tongue, and don’t put too much of your tongue into their mouth. Just gentle caresses.
If you feel unsure about how to use your tongue, try practicing on the back of your hand again. Give your hand a firm jab with your tongue, just so you can see how strong your tongue is. Then play around with different ways of moving your tongue across your skin. I know it will feel silly to “practice” on your hand, but it really is an easy way to get a sense of how things feel!
Get Your Whole Body Involved
The best kisses involve your entire bodies, not just your lips! Wrap your arms around your partner, or stroke their arms, shoulders, and back with your hands. Press your body up against theirs. Hold their face in your hands, or run your hands through their hair. You can also take little breaks from their lips to kiss their neck or ears. Use your body to create some variety.
Be A Tease
Teasing your partner between kisses is a ton of fun! You can do so by breaking away from the kiss and looking your partner in the eye, with a sly smile on your face. It's also sexy to pull your lips away and gently stroke their lower lip with your thumb.
And while it sounds weird, breathing is also another component of kissing. Keep your slightly-open mouth close to theirs and breathe in and out together, or breathe in through your nose. And finally, try brushing your lips against your partner's without actually kissing them.
Adapt Your Technique
You can work on kissing techniques all you want, but the reality is that each person you kiss is going to have a different kissing style. When you’re kissing someone, pay attention to what your partner is doing and what they seem to respond to best.
Are they moving their tongue very slowly? Do they let out a little moan each time you bite their lower lip? Use these cues to cater your kissing to them, and try to adapt. If you’re unsure of what your partner likes, say to them, “kiss me how you like to be kissed,” then follow their lead. That way, you’ll learn exactly what they like.
Don’t Judge Yourself
Even though I’ve tried to give you lots of techniques to experiment with, I want to encourage you not to think about technique too much as you’re kissing. Try to get out of your head and stop analyzing what you’re doing in the moment — just feel what's happening.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that you’re not going to have great kissing chemistry with everyone you meet. Sometimes it’s just going to feel “off” or awkward. That doesn’t make you a bad kisser, it just means you haven’t found the right kissing partner!
Find What Feels Good To You
Above all else, try to focus on finding the kissing styles and techniques that you enjoy the most. Remember, kissing is supposed to be fun! Follow what feels good, pay attention to the signals your partner is sending you, and chances are, you can't be doing it "wrong"!
Vanessa Marin, licensed sex psychotherapist