Whether you’re on your first date with a new parter or you’ve been together for years, there’s nothing like kissing someone you’re really, really into. And of course, you want to make sure that your partner enjoys kissing you as much as you love kissing them. So, what makes a good kisser? There’s no textbook definition, because different people like different things — one person might love ear kisses, while another might hate them. In fact, the only thing that might make you a bad kisser is if you expect everyone you kiss to like exactly the same things, instead of paying attention to each person’s preferences.
“Great kissing is part knowledge, part attitude, and part skill,” Eric Marlowe Garrison, an AASECT-certified clinical sexologist and author, previously told Refinery29. “There is also no universal definition of a great kiss, so learning how to kiss well is a game of show and tell.”
That said, there are some general tips we can share for inspiration — feel free to modify based on what you and your partner enjoy.
How to start a kiss
After you’ve received enthusiastic consent and you go to kiss someone, lean in slowly. Instead of immediately jamming your tongue down your partner’s throat, start with a kiss on the lips. If they pull back or freeze, stop. And if you’re not sure if they’d like you to kiss them, you can always ask.
How to be a good French kisser
Once you’ve started kissing, add some tongue. Begin by gently touching your tongue to your partner’s. “The tongue is a very strong muscle – it should only be served with finesse,” Andréa Demirjian, kissing expert and author of KISSING: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About One of Life’s Sweetest Pleasures, previously told Refinery29. “Keep it supple and gentle.”
Though it’s not a universal rule, OKCupid data shows that 90% of men and 88% of women prefer long, slow kisses, while 8% of men and 11% of women prefer little, sweet kisses. So a long, slow, French kiss is a good bet.
How to be good at neck kisses
Once your make-out session is in full swing, add in some neck kisses. Smooch your partner’s neck softly for a few seconds — unless you’d like to leave a hickey, that is. (Hickeys can be fun, but check with your partner to see if they’d like one, first.)
How to be good at ear kisses
Along with neck kisses, some people love ear kisses. Try lightly kissing or even licking your partner’s earlobe. You can also try using your teeth. Some people love a light bite on their neck, ear, or lower lip.
How to be good at making out
Sticking with one type of kiss can get boring, so vary it up by moving between French kisses, shorter kisses, and neck kisses. Don’t keep your hands by your sides! Wrap them around your partner, touch their arms, back, or face, or head for one of their erogenous zones.
How to be good at forehead kisses
When incorporated at the right time, this move can be super-intimate and dreamy. The key here is eye contact. Look into your partner’s eyes, then pull back and land a soft, lingering (but still brief) smooch on their forehead. You can round it out with more eye contact if it feels right.
Remember, different people like different things
Maybe your ex loved it when you bit their lower lip, but your new partner wants you to keep your teeth away from their skin, thanks. They’re both right — and the only way you’ll know what a good kiss means to your partner is to kiss them a lot and find out what they’re into. And hey, that’s the fun part.
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