by Jocelyn Saurini
We've all known them. I can definitely say I've known them many times. Whether it was a date, a boyfriend or girlfriend, or your husband, wife or life partner, I'm sure you've known one, too.
We've all known a bad kisser.
You may be having flashbacks of chapped lips, endless drool and a non-stop effort to engulf your entire head into the bad kisser's mouth. Maybe right now you're moving closer to the screen in admission that you're not a very good kisser yourself. Fear not! Whether it's you or your lover, I've got the info on how to be a better kisser.
A Note on Lip Care
There is absolutely no excuse for having rough lips. High-quality lip balm is just a couple of dollars at the local drugstore. Always remember that rough lips do not feel good and your sweetheart deserves better. If your lover has uncared-for lips, there's nothing wrong with buying them some lip balm and telling them you'd like to soften up their lips for a kissing marathon. Just make sure you deliver! You should even put lip balm on right before a kiss for the softest lips possible.
The Anatomy of a Kiss
While a kiss should be one fluid action, it's not easy to give advice without breaking a kiss down into various parts. A kiss includes the lips and tongue, eyes, rhythm and caressing. We're going to talk about all the elements, so you'll be a kissing expert.
Just remember, it's important to enjoy the kiss for the sake of the kiss and not for the possibility of things that may come after. Kissing is one of the most passionate and intimate acts we can share with a lover. Treat a kiss as its own special and unique event.
Kissing with your Eyes
Unless your partner has voiced a preference, it shouldn't matter whether your eyes are open or shut during the actual kiss. However, making deep eye contact during the approach to a kiss and afterwards will create a more intimate bond with your partner.
Before and after kissing your partner, you should always look him or her deeply in the eyes. It tells your partner that you're attracted to him or her. It also shows a level of trust that you are able to maintain such an intimate moment.
Homework Assignment: The next time you kiss your lover, before starting the actual kiss, hold his or her face in your hands and maintain eye contact for 20-30 seconds before beginning the kiss.
Kissing with your Mouth
It's the most obvious component of a kiss, and the element where most people are either unsure or unaware. We'll try to simplify here by breaking this down even further and talking about some specific areas.
Teeth: Occasionally your teeth will connect with your partner's teeth during a kiss. Unless you're in frantic mode, this should not cause damage. I actually don't know a single person who's ever chipped a tooth while kissing. However, if this is a frequent problem with you or your partner, try slowing down your kisses for a while until you get used to doing it without clashing dental fixtures.
Homework Assignment: On another note, using your teeth to administer tiny little grabs and bites on your lover's lips is a great way to change the tempo during kissing. Try it next time!
Lips: A good kiss, of course, comes from somebody who knows how to work the lips. The key here is finding a middle ground. Your lips shouldn't be so tense that it's a battle for your partner to even get them to move, but they also shouldn't be so loose that it's like having mouth-to-mouth contact with a cartoon character. You should feel some pressure between your lips and your partner's lips, but it shouldn't be a literal "lip lock" controlled by you. Nor should your lips just be flying everywhere. Firm, consistent pressure with a yielding softness is perfect.
Homework Assignment: If you were hoping to get through this article without hearing me say, "Practice on your hand," then I'm sorry! If you remove the image of awkward teenagers using this technique in movies from the eighties, you'll find that the best way to find the right pressure for your lips is to practice on yourself. That way, you'll be able to more or less tell what your lover is feeling with each movement you make.
Tongue: What's the trick to good tongue movement during a kiss? Variety. Trying to ram your tongue as far down your partner's throat as possible is not the desired technique. Start by using your tongue to gently lick your partner's lips. Then slowly move it into his or her mouth. Caress your lover's tongue and inner mouth slowly with your tongue and then move to gentle flicking motions. The tongue is a powerful muscle with lots of possibilities, and you should explore them all. Remember, the tongue can do more than one thing. Show your lover you know a whole range of erotic tongue movements.
Homework Assignment: Practice controlling your tongue's movement by rolling it back and forth and up and down several times a day. The more control you have over your tongue, the more erotic tricks you'll be able to do with it in your lover's mouth.
Saliva: A kiss should include some saliva, both yours and your partner's. Think how uncomfortable it would be to have a completely dry kiss. However, when it gets to the point where somebody has to use their hand to wipe the spit away from their chin, it's gone too far. How do you control this? The answer, as non-sexy as it may sound, is by swallowing. The key is to do this without interrupting the flow of the kiss, and the easiest way to do that is to swallow after you breathe. Generally when you're kissing somebody, you probably don't even notice that you're periodically breathing, but you are. Everytime you take a longer breath in, try to swallow immediately following the breath.
Homework Assignment: Sorry, but the only way to master this is to make it second nature. Take a few minutes out during your normal day to pay attention to breathing in and then swallowing before breathing out (breathe in, swallow, breathe out) until it becomes natural.
Head: There should be some moving of the head during a kiss. Just remember to let the head move naturally and slowly. If you're thinking about it, you're thinking too much. If your partner's head doesn't move at all or quite like you want it to try running your fingers through their hair. While massaging your partner's scalp with your fingers you can also control their head movements.
Feeling the Rhythm of a Kiss
Imagine how boring it would be if roller coasters only went downhill. There would be no anticipation or excitement going up the hill beforehand, and there wouldn't be any time to enjoy the butterflies still in your stomach afterwards.
Kisses are the same way. Going in at rapid speed and staying there is eventually going to get boring (at least to most people). Kisses can have many rhythms, including fast and passionate, slow and long, light and tender and quick and teasing. For many people, kissing their partner follows a set pattern: Slow and romantic in the beginning and then a buildup to a fast and passionate tempo.
That's certainly a great way to increase the intensity of a kiss, but explore changing the rhythm and speed of your kissing as you go along. Move from more passionate kisses back to lighter, more playful ones. Then build the passion again. If your lover never knows what to expect next, he or she will always be surprised and excited.
Homework Assignment: The next time you are kissing your lover, make a conscious effort to try all four rhythms noted above in different orders. See which one your partner responds to best.
Touching and Caressing
Remember back in junior high giving or receiving your first kiss and leaving your arms and hands firmly locked around your partner's neck? Once you've moved beyond that, you owe it to your lover to use those hands for other things while you're kissing. No, I don't necessarily mean very naughty things. Try putting your hands behind your partner's neck and massaging or tickling the back of his or her neck. Caress your lover's face with your fingertips while you're kissing. Run your hands up and down your lover's arms, or just gently stroke the hollow behind the earlobe. Including gentle or passionate touching while kissing heightens the experience and makes your partner feel even more desired.
Homework Assignment: Caress your lover before the two of you even begin to kiss and get a sense of the feeling of your hands moving over your partner's body. This will make touching even more natural to you when you start to kiss.
Advanced Kissing Tricks
Once you've mastered the above techniques, you may want to expand on your repertoire a bit. You can do this by moving your kisses to other parts of the body or by trying some famous kissing techniques.
Almost any part of the body is fair game for planting kisses. If you know the erogenous zones that make your lover particularly hot, start there. Gentle kisses on the eyelids and fingers are extremely erotic but often overlooked. The abdomen, buttocks and inner thighs are also popular spots, but it's really up to you to explore. All the same ways to make kisses on the mouth fantastic also apply to kissing other parts of the body, as well. Just think of the possibilities!
Then, there are the specialty kisses -- kisses you plant on your lover to start out a particularly entertaining evening. While I encourage you to get creative and come up with your own specialty kisses, here are a few popular ones to get you started:
Shocker Kiss: During the kiss, gently but suddenly suck the air in from your partner's mouth for a quick and sexy change-up.
Lemon Drop Kiss: Suck on a lemon (or lime) before kissing to give your lover a tangy experience.
Icy Kiss: Put some ice cream, Popsicle or ice in your mouth right before you kiss your sweetie to literally give him or her chills.
Upside Down Kiss: Think about the scene from Spiderman where Spiderman and Mary Jane kiss while he's hanging upside-down. Find a way to line up your bodies so your mouths align in a different arrangement than they usually do and then explore from there.
Now Go Out and Kiss!
I've done what I can! I've armed you with the tips and tricks to be a really good kisser or to use to teach your partner to be a great kisser. (In fact, you could even just email your lover this page if you think he or she needs some hints.) Just always keep in mind that kissing is about figuring out what your partner likes. Be aware of how your mate responds to what you're doing and make note of what works best for you. Be natural, don't think about it too much and let your desire be your guide.
Now stop reading and get kissing!