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How to Be a Good Kisser: The Secrets of Seductive Smooching

Need some help in the mouth movement department? We’ll teach you how to be a good kisser so you can secure a place in your partner’s headspace
Editorial team
April 22, 2024
May 21, 2024
min. read
Table of Contents

When you think about the concept of first contact, what springs to mind? Aliens? Your mom … or whoever else is at the top of your favorite contacts list?

What about kissing?

Kissing is often one of your first physical connections with a potential romantic partner (or one-time hookup). It shows you how your body responds to his. Even if you’re in an established relationship, quality kissing is vital for a healthy love and sex life.

But how is anyone supposed to get good at kissing? For many people, making out is a skill they must develop, especially if they’ve been out of the dating game for a while. Otherwise, they’re left wondering why they didn’t get a text back after a date where they felt a connection. And although that’s not you (of course not!), you’ll never have to worry about it if you already know how to be a good kisser.

Do loose lips sink relationships?

So you want to learn how to kiss better. But what’s the endgame here? What does kissing do for relationships, even established long-term ones?

Kissing is a proven way to determine if you and a partner are compatible. A good kiss can cause our brains to produce more happy chemicals like dopamine. This dopamine hit from our suitor makes them unforgettable, irresistible, and — of course — oh-so-bone-able. 

Love and sex are integral to many relationships. It only makes sense that you’re much more likely to keep the magic alive if you’re a good kisser. But what goes into a makeout session that will make him weak in the knees?

20 tips to help you master essential mouth maneuvers

Ready to learn how to move your lips and tongue in ways that would make an anteater jealous? Pucker up, buttercup, because we’re laying 20 wet ones on you that you can pocket for your next date.

1. Consent before canoodling

Mentioning consent feels redundant to some, but it’s way too important to ignore. If the subject of your affection does not feel like kissing you, there’s no kissing to be had, and none of these other tips matter. End of.

Assessing his enthusiasm doesn’t have to be a transactional moment. Add some allure by saying something seductive, like “I can’t stop thinking about kissing you right now.” His response will tell you everything you need to know about how you should proceed.

2. Don’t go in with bad breath

Okay, with consent established, let’s talk about that mouth of yours that just scarfed down three birria tacos from a questionable food truck down the street. It’s no fun to smooch with someone who’s overly judgemental about your breath’s freshness — nobody’s perfect, after all. But if you smell like an actual garlic press, it’s time to break out the mints.

3. Timing is everything

Being a good kisser involves knowing when to take the hint and kiss him already. This is particularly important in a newer relationship. You’re far more likely to have an electrifying first kiss if the mood is just right. The window of opportunity for a smooch isn’t always open, even if you’ve known each other for years.

4. Pacing is also kind of everything

Now that you’re kissing (go you!), guess what? You’re gonna treat it a lot like sex. And no, that doesn’t mean go as fast as you can and call him an Uber when you’re done. It means varying the pace and intensity to keep the spice spicy. Try different types of kisses and find what works for you, but don’t overdo it. Like sex, switching it up every five seconds is more annoying than arousing.

5. Keep your hands where they can feel ’em

You don’t need to keep your hands in a specific spot; just know that they’ve got to go somewhere. Your partner might get a different idea of your intentions depending on where they land.

Keep your hands on the upper back to tell him you’re going for a more intimate kiss. Or place your hands on the small of his back to signal passion. On the ass? Well, that’s pretty clear, too. It’s also something you should feel out beforehand — metaphorically, that is.

6. This is not a staring contest

Close your eyes and count to 10 before continuing to read.  

Did you see that? That nothingness inside your eyes? That’s what you should see when you’re kissing. It’s not the end of the world if you take a quick peek now and again. But for the love of all that is holy, do not keep those peepers peeled, or you’ll lose your partner to a fake phone call from his friend about how her cat lost its job, and he will have to leave immediately.

7. Respond to your partner’s cues

It takes two to tango, and you only happen to be one of them. Use your partner’s body language to direct or redirect the kiss. Up the ante if they’re getting more passionate. Slow down if they want to savor the sensual moment.

Everyone’s different, so these cues aren’t universal. You’ll have to learn your partner’s unique kissing style if you want to stay in sync.

8. Stay out of your head

Your partner can tell if you aren’t putting your all into a kiss or if your mind is drifting elsewhere. Set aside that time you ralphed in front of the entire fourth grade or whatever and focus on being a good kisser. Be present in the moment and find the confidence to go for it.

9. Practice 

Very few people are natural-born good kissers. Almost everyone has had a moment where someone in their life says, “Hey, watch the teeth.”

Fortunately, practice makes perfect. You can learn a lot if you ask for feedback and talk about it with your partner. Just don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ll keep getting better throughout life!


10. Drinks might be in order

If you’re struggling to release your inhibitions and there’s no rain or Natasha Beddingfield on the radar, then maybe a glass of wine can help.

Take this advice with a caveat, though. A gentle buzz can help you feel loose and make you a better kisser. Becoming a belligerent drunk off a bottle and some shots has never made anyone a good kisser, let alone a good date. (Not to mention, you might end up having trouble later in the evening.) Don’t let your nerves order at the bar for you.

11. Let yourself linger

It’s OK to linger in the gentle moments for a second or two. In fact, pulling your partner close and holding the kiss can transform even the quickest pecks from meh to positively electric. It shows him you’re enjoying this moment and don’t want it to end. Hot, right? 

12. Tongue is not always welcome

Not everyone wants to experience firsthand how you can tie a knot in a cherry stem. It’s context-dependent, and introducing a tongue when it’s uncalled for will automatically get you written off as a bad kisser.

13. Even if the tongue is welcome, it can wait

Maybe he wants a side of tongue with his kiss. That’s neat, but it doesn’t mean you unleash your secret tongue jujitsu, the French wench, the moment you lock lips with your partner. Kissing with tongue is sexy, but so is variation. An overbearing and immediate tongue plunge is often seen as novice behavior. Besides, if you start at 10, where are you supposed to go from there?

14. The song starts with “my neck” for a reason

A kiss on the lips is often the literal amuse-bouche to other potential sexy stuff. If that’s where the heat is headed, it might be time to migrate down to your partner’s neck and see how it tastes. Note: Some people are ticklish here and might not enjoy it. But those who do? Oh, they’ll let you know one way or the other.

15. Tender, not crispy

We’re not talking about chicken sandwiches here. Carry lip balm and apply it liberally to stave off chapped lips. This is especially important in colder climates. No one is trying to make out with a cheese grater.

16. Using teeth is high-risk, high-reward

Biting can be extremely sexual. But be warned: Not everyone will want this, especially not right out the gate. The goal is to connect with your partner, not to let him know you’re still hungry after the small portions at the oyster bar.

17. Give and receive feedback (kindly)

Feedback is essential for growth, and that goes both directions. Be gracious and kind when giving and receiving feedback. Talking about your kissing and sexual techniques requires vulnerability, and being abrasive about it will immediately kill any chance of a productive conversation.

18. Who’s flying the plane?

Are you the one leading, or is he? This may change throughout the kiss, but it’s vital to acknowledge the dominant party and react accordingly. You should also know when it’s your cue to step up or back down so you can do so in a way that feels natural.

19. Tell your partner what you like

We’ll always advocate for transparent, open communication with your romantic partner. There’s nothing wrong with saying that you love biting, hate tongue, and feel ticklish around your neck. Your partner will thank you for not having to discover this himself.

20. Encourage the full-body kiss

There are so many opportunities to add a fun spin to your kiss. Gently grab the back of his head, caress his face, or lean into him to give the kiss some intensity. There are countless tactics you can employ, provided you do so artfully.

You can count on us to kiss and tell

Nothing beats a makeout sesh. That’s why no one should go without learning the proper kissing technique. Everyone has a different idea of how much tongue, lips, and saliva should be involved, but nailing that balance leads to a passionate kiss and — who knows? — maybe a rough romp in the sack or even a walk down the aisle.

Need some practice? Find a partner with lips and a tongue and conduct some good old-fashioned field research! Download the Grindr app now and get started.

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