Since its invention, Google has become the top resource that people turn to when they want to know how to do something. And, of all the thousands and thousands of questions that are asked most often, second on the list (first being “how to tie a tie”, of all things) is “how to kiss,” because really, how does one kiss? Or at least kiss well? Is there actually a good or bad way to kiss? Well, it probably depends on who you ask.
“A good kisser has the ability to create a mental bubble around the two people,” dating and relationship expert, and founder of LUMA, April Davis, tells Bustle. “When kissing, it should feel as if the two of you are focused on each other and the rest of the world blurs around you.”
In other words, a good kiss gets you completely lost, you’re unsure what end is up, your knees go weak, your whole body goes limp, and every concern you had before you locked lips is gone. In my experience, a good kiss is on par with a great glass of Côtes du Rhône or a $1 slice of pizza at 4 a.m. — it’s simply heaven on Earth.
But while I may think my definition of a good kiss totally nails it, here’s what makes a good kiss according to experts.
1Treating It Like An Art
Science is about precise measurements and exact numbers and figures. If one thing is off, then the whole experiment goes to crap. In art, there are no mistakes, you’re sort of winging it until you found what feels good, looks good, and what’s going to evoke an emotion — ideally, a positive emotion.
“Kissing is an art, not a science, and everyone likes something different,” sex and relationship expert, Psalm Isadora, tells Bustle. “There are over 30 types of kisses described in the Kama Sutra… the most important thing in kissing is paying attention to your partner’s body language and arousal.”
2Being Willing To Compromise
When it comes to success, of any kind, it involves compromise. Whether it’s creating a successful company or a successful kiss, you need to compromise at some point and meet in the middle. This means giving and taking, in order to properly sync.
“One way to sync your kissing with a partner is to mirror how they kiss,” Sex Therapist Stefani Threadgill tells Bustle. “If they kiss softly, you kiss softly.”
3Being Open To Different Techniques
A good kiss takes two people bringing their A-game to the party. From there, it’s about combining your best moves and, for the love of all things holy, not being overzealous with the damn tongue. “The best way to kiss someone is a combination of soft, natural lips with a little tongue,” psychologist Nikki Martinez tells Bustle.
Isadora also suggests a bit of sucking and biting, too, but gently. You don’t want to leave your partner with a big, fat hickey on their lower lip. “Sucking the upper or lower lip is very arousing… biting can vary from light nibbles to harder love bites — you have to pay attention to whether your partner likes biting and if they like light or harder bites,” says Isadora.
4Being Aware Of Your Partner’s Body Language
If you’re totally in the zone, kissing away, thinking you’re having the best makeout session of your life, but are completely oblivious to the fact that your partner isn’t feeling the same way then what you have is a bad kiss. In order to make a good kiss, you need to be aware of what your partner is trying to tell you without words.
“If the person you’re kissing kind of pulls away, or tries to tilt their head to adjust to how you’re kissing them,” Antonia Hall, MA. a psychologist, relationship expert, and author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life, tells Bustle, then that’s a pretty obvious sign that they’re trying to tell you they’re not enjoying themselves as much as you are. On the other hand, if your partner is moaning and pulling you closer, then you know that what you’re delivering is the good stuff.
5Being Absolutely Present
When it comes to all matters of the flesh, being present is key. If in order to be a good lay means being present from beginning to end, then the same goes for kissing. You can’t get into a kiss with your brain someplace else or with expectation of it leading to more, and have it be a genuinely good kiss.
“What makes a makeout session great is the willingness to be present in the moment without an agenda for getting to a particular destination,” sex and intimacy coach, Zoë Kors, tells Bustle. “Kissing is a destination in and of itself. When we view kissing as a necessary prelude to sex, we are missing the beauty and the value of an exquisite way to connect with lover and cultivate intimacy.”
6Branching Out From The Lips
While kissing on the lips is a great place to start, don’t forget that the lips are’t the only erogenous zone on the body.
7Treating Kissing Like A Dance
Not only is kissing an art, but it’s a dance, too. In fact, a great kiss is similar to the tango — taking turns leading, dipping, and spinning about until you’re overcome with passion and desire. It’s so hot, you can feel the fire.
“Kissing is like a dance,” Kors says. “Start by allowing your partner to take the lead. See where they take you. Follow, allow, receive. When you see an opportunity, take control, kiss them back, twirl them around, and dip them. Then lay back and create a space for them to step into again and lead. If you approach a makeoout session this way, it establishes a rhythm which can last for hours.”
8Giving Your Partner Positive Feedback
Even though a good kiss shouldn’t have to involve spoken communication, providing vocal feedback can really heighten the moment. If you and your partner are in the midst of a fantastic kiss, say it. Tell them exactly what they’re doing that makes the kiss so great.
“If they do something you like, when kissing, let them know… Be specific, be effusive, and be happy,” New York–based relationship expert and author April Masini, tells Bustle. “Tell someone you love when they do x, y, and z — and watch them repeat that behavior. People like praise and rewards and if you’re giving it out, they’re going to try and please you — in this case, in the kissing department!”
9Not Taking It Too Seriously
As with most things in life, if you take kissing too seriously, you can ruin the mood. Sometimes a hot makeout session involves an accidental bite, knocking your partner’s tooth with your tooth, or maybe even a hiccup. In order to keep your kiss good, laughing these things off is key.
“You’re both engaging on a physical level, and being truly comfortable is what will turn you and your partner on,” Davis says. And nothing makes an awkward moment more awkward than being awkward.
Finding yourself in the midst of a good kiss isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely an essential experience we should all have at least once — although all the time would be ideal, of course.