“Could we kiss the next time we see each other?”
I was ecstatic when I read this text my seventh grade crush sent me, but quickly became nervous when I realized I had never kissed anyone before. So I flipped through all of my Seventeen Magazine issues and watched a few instructional videos on YouTube to attempt to become the world’s best kisser overnight. Even with all of the training and preparation I had put myself through, it was still quite the awkward moment, as most first kisses often are.
Even for adults, kissing can be nerve-wracking at times regardless of how much experience we might have. Below are some tips on how to be a better kisser for rookies and veterans alike.
DON’T: Kiss anybody you don’t want to.
One of the most important things about kissing someone is that they have to be a person you actually want to kiss. If you’re only doing it because you feel pressured or you feel like you should, it’s not going to be enjoyable for either party. Remember that you don’t owe anybody any sort of affection.
DO: Have confidence.
Having confidence in yourself and what you do can be one of the sexiest things in the world. If you’re convinced the other person likes you enough to lock lips, be the first one to go for it! Make eye contact for a couple seconds, flash a quick smile and slowly lean in, but don’t forget to close your eyes!
DON’T: Be too aggressive.
Using too much force might be a major turn off for your partner, especially if that’s not something they’re into (and if it is, all the more power to you), so until you know their preferences, keep it on the down-low.
DO: Take it easy.
It never hurts to start out slow and gentle. Taking your time with a kiss can actually help stimulate the one million nerve endings in the lips, which in turn releases more of that feel-good chemical in you and your partner's brain.
DON’T: Get caught with bad hygiene.
This is the best way to ensure you don’t get to kiss that special someone. There’s nothing worse than getting into the moment then to have your partner suddenly avoid every advance you make because of bad breath. If you smoke cigarettes, marijuana or vape, ask your partner as a courtesy if they’re OK with the smells and tastes of those substances, and if not, ask them what they would prefer. It’ll show you value their decisions.
DO: Freshen up.
Take care of your teeth, chew some gum or eat a mint and use chapstick to prevent your lips from getting too dry. Kissing will be much more pleasant if you do, simple as that.
DON’T: Use too much tongue.
Slobbery and wide-open-mouth kisses are not particularly popular when your partner has to stop every few minutes to wipe their mouth dry. Part your lips slightly or not at all instead of unhinging your jaw. A little bit of tongue goes a long way, so again, take it easy; slow and steady wins the race.
DO: Use those hands.
There are plenty of places to rest your hands besides letting them hang awkwardly at your side. Try the hips, waist, shoulders, chest or neck. Without getting too personal — unless you and your partner have communicated otherwise — allow your hands to wander a bit. Many people enjoy light, gentle scratches up and down their back or having the back of their head massaged.
DON’T: Stay in one position for too long.
As exciting kissing can get, it can become boring or tedious if you play the same routine over and over again.
DO: Switch it up.
There are so many types of kisses and ways to sweeten it up. Remember that kissing isn’t limited to just the lips. Make a trail of kisses along their jawline or cheek, nibble at their earlobe (but don’t bite hard), kiss along their collarbones to their shoulders and if you decide to kiss their neck, do not suck on it like a fish.
It’s completely normal and OK to be nervous and your partner may be feeling the same way, so don’t be afraid to tell one another the things you enjoy and the things you don’t. Communication is key to having a good time!