Pucker up, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.
New Year’s has come and gone and with it so has the traditional New Year’s kiss that is performed between two people right at the stroke of midnight. While I may be writing this too late for that event (I was having a little fun of my own playing beer pong with some friends) I don’t think I’m too late for Valentine’s Day and the amount of kissing that goes on then. If you’re experienced at kissing then reading this is probably a waste of time for you, but if not, here are a few little tips that I learned about the action that has meant everything from love to betrayal in many different settings.
Most times, a kiss can really come down to the 5 W’s: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. It’s important to know the answers to all of those questions. Who are you kissing? What are you doing (what is your technique like)? When are you going to kiss them? Where will you kiss them? Why are you kissing them?
1. Who are you kissing?
Let’s face it, kissing is an action that two people make, not an action to be done alone, unless you’re kissing someone in a dream while making out with your pillow. This means that out of all the questions that this article asks, who may be the most important, but that is debatable. Are you kissing your grandma or are you kissing your girlfriend/boyfriend? It will dictate all the other questions. It will dictate your technique, it will dictate when and where you kiss them, and it will dictate your reason to kiss them.
In all honesty, the best person to kiss is someone that you know (at least in my opinion). This is for one reason and one reason only in that if you kiss a stranger, you honestly don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. That person may get the wrong idea about the kiss, whereas someone you know will not get the wrong idea or if they do, you have a better chance at explaining yourself and receiving a second chance to be in that person’s good graces. A kiss with someone can create something beautiful, but it can also destroy something that is good already. Kissing a friend who has never been more than a friend in their eyes could easily ruin that friendship. Truly be careful whom you kiss.
2. What are you doing?
When it comes to technique, first timers usually don’t have much to go on. You’ve probably seen plenty of kisses in movies (which are completely rehearsed) and if you watch adult films there’s probably been plenty of kisses there as well (which is not what a kiss should always be). Kissing, like a lot of other things in your life, is a skill and only gets better with knowing what you’re doing and with some actual practice.
First things first, if you are using only your lips then you are doing it completely wrong, that is unless you’re kissing your grandma. A kiss is not only the lips, it’s an action done with the entire mouth. If you are acting in a romantic fashion, your mouth should be parted ever so slightly so that you can bring your mouths together. If you open too wide then you will end up giving your partner too sloppy a kiss and if it is not open enough you risk giving a kiss that isn’t meaningful.
Tongues can and should be used for a kiss. Full on make out sessions use lots of tongue where you’re exploring each other’s mouths. For a romantic gesture only use a little bit of tongue, perhaps maybe just the tip of your tongue. If you aren’t comfortable kissing just yet, you don’t have to use your tongue at all.
When you’re going in for the kiss try and mirror the other person or have them mirror you. If need be, use your hand to position their head correctly as you play with their hair. To make things really romantic close your eyes. Your hands can rest on the small of their back if they’re equal in height or shorter than you or around their neck if they’re taller.
Your technique will be key to new kisses and what a person remembers about them and they will get better as you continue to kiss your partner. There’s only one thing to remember about kissing which is to not get discouraged and keep in mind those things that you and your partner like. No one is going to have a perfect first kiss. In fact, most first kisses are just god-awful. But again, as you continue to kiss in your life, you will get much better.
3. When are you going to kiss someone?
As with most things in life, timing is everything, but not in the traditional sense this time. When you kiss someone, the action should not be planned. You should not say to yourself, “I will kiss her/him this Friday when I see them.” No. This time timing is more along the line of when does it feel right. Trying to plan a kiss will make the entire thing feel forced because you forced yourself to do it and most times because of that you will regret the kiss, especially if it’s your first.
The right time to kiss someone is similar to an emotion. As you go on a date did you feel like the two of you had an actual deep conversation? Did you hold hands or hug at all? Is he/she smiling a lot, laughing with you, etc? If these sorts of thing happen and you get to the door it should feel awkward to leave them for the night and not kiss him or her. In reality a kiss is felt, not made and there will never be a certain point in a relationship where you need to have kissed someone, just like there is never a point in a relationship where there is necessarily a need for sex.
4. Where are you going to kiss someone?
This question means two different things. In what setting will you kiss someone and where on this person will you kiss him or her? Place is just as important as the time and will have a similar meaning in that there is not necessarily a right setting to kiss someone so long as you both feel comfortable kissing each other. You can kiss in a park, at the movies, at home, at a party; in fact you can kiss just about anywhere. The question really becomes where is it not appropriate to kiss?
For me personally I am extremely serious about my work. My girlfriend and I both work for the same radio station and we have weekly meetings that establish what is happening in a given week. I don’t like to be kissed before meetings because it would interrupt my mindset. I’m also pretty self-conscious about kissing in public because of all of the other people around me, and if I do kiss in public it is most likely a very quick kiss using my lips rather than using my entire mouth.
It is up to the individual or the couple to decide where it is appropriate to kiss. Similarly it is up to the couple to decide where on the body you want to kiss. Most couples will not object to kissing on the lips. Most close friends will not object to kissing on the cheeks. In some cultures, kissing on the cheeks or the forehead is much more commonplace than we would think. There are some people, however, that will object to more sensitive parts of their body. Some people for example, even if you are in a relationship with that person, do not like being kissed on the neck or collarbone because of various reasons, even in the most intimate of settings. This is also something that you should talk to your girlfriend or boyfriend about to establish what is okay and what is not. Some will not want you to grope them while you kiss, especially in public settings.
The rule that my parents taught me, there is a time and place for everything, I have especially applied to kissing situations. Certain actions are meant for the bedroom, some are in public spaces, and some are completely off limits.
5. Why are you kissing someone?
Finally, we come into contact with the why. This question is just as important if not more important than whom and it is for the single reason that the ability to kiss is something that can be abused.
You most likely have many types of relationships in your life. You have romantic relationships, platonic ones, relationships with your family, relationships to co-workers, and all of these relationships can be strengthened or destroyed because of a kiss and the reasoning behind it. You kiss your significant other probably for the reason that you love them or like them enough to care about them. With friends, you may kiss them to say hello or goodbye. Sometimes you may kiss them to say thank you. There are so many reasons that one person can kiss another that it may boggle the mind when you receive an unexpected kiss.
That is exactly why you need to keep the reason in mind. If you kiss someone unexpectedly, that boggle may be good or bad. If you kiss someone, they must agree with your reason for kissing them or be comfortable with you kissing them. This is why it is not advisable to kiss strangers, co-workers, or people you are barely acquainted with. If you do choose to kiss someone who does not want to be kissed there are ramifications to consider from losing friendships or relationships to sexual harassment charges.
To avoid this it is best to ask the person who you are planning on kissing if it is okay for you to kiss them and to be prepared to explain why you would like to. The worst thing that they could say to you, if they truly care about the relationship you have to them is no and you should respect their reasons for not letting you kiss them. This doesn’t necessarily subtract anything from possible romantic partners and in fact they may want to kiss you more because you asked them if it was ok.
Kisses are meant to be wonderful things. They are a beautiful action to be taken between two people. When you kiss people though, be mindful of what a kiss can do. Be mindful of who you’re kissing, what you’re doing, when and where you do it, and why you are doing it, and always kiss with a loving and compassionate heart.