You can practice all you want, but it takes two to tango – as they say. Each kiss is made up of the two people and energies that are coming together for it. All you can do is bring a general knowledge of how to move, and what not to do, and then the chemistry takes over.
And I should say that this dance metaphor is meant to apply to more prolonged kisses, usually the intense kind – what we’d call “making out.” It’s hard to mess up a quick pecking kiss, unless you have poor depth perception and accidentally head-butt them. But it’s very easy to sour longer kisses.
Related: Kissing Adds Years to Your Life
Common Kissing Faux Pas
To achieve mastery in anything, it always helps to know what rookie mistakes to avoid, and the major reasons behind them.
Each one of these stems from a lack of presence and awareness for the other person. These problems can only happen when you’re not calibrating to the other person. So long as you’re paying attention to them, you should be able to steer clear of these issues.
In any style of kissing, here are some of the mistakes people frequently make to ruin the moment:
1. Unreciprocated tongue assault.
Perhaps the most common is someone throwing out an excessive amount of probing tongue action when the other person is clearly not reciprocating or wanting it. We’ll cover how to use a tasteful tongue in a moment.
2. Making it too wet.
Somehow, finding a way to drool around the other person’s mouth, or into their mouth. If someone has to use their sleeve to mop up their chin, it’s likely that something has gone wrong (of course unless you’re both into some kinky spit play).
3. Making it too sloppy.
Passionate kissing may be wild, but it should still be fairly focused and intentional. When someone uses loose lips, too wide a mouth, or a lot of erratic movement, it can feel like making out with a squirming alien sea monster.
4. No variety.
On the dance floor, if you predictably took the exact same steps, the same way, round and round, without ever mixing it up, you’d make for a boring dance partner. The same goes for kissing. If you do it in the exact same style, with the same intensity, the excitement wears off after about 10 seconds.
5. Going handsfree.
If you’re too preoccupied with what’s happening with your lips, you might overlook what’s going on with your hands. Besides the rushed on-the-way-out-the-door “See you for dinner, Honey” peck, any truly great kiss has some supporting hand contact to round it out.
Just before we jump into the various types of kisses, and common pro tips, we need to talk about when to go for a kiss, and recognizing someone is open to it.
How To Know When They Want To Kiss
For most people, this is probably the biggest pressure point of the entire conversation, so I’ll spend a little more time here. Because part of being a good kisser is being a talented and calibrated initiator.
Not being able to tell when it’s the right time to kiss can cause a ton of anxiety. Just know that it’s a skill you develop in time, and a big part of getting better at it comes with realizing it’s actually not that big of a deal.
Yes, the right kiss can be an incredibly powerful moment. But the way some people frame it in their minds causes unnecessary stress. They’re on the lookout for the “perfect” moment; where it has to look like a movie, or come with just the right line, or feel just the right way.
The secret is to simply take advantage of good opportunities, rather than one perfect moment. And there are tons of good opportunities. Stressing about needing it to be perfect is what creates paralysis, causing you to miss perfectly good windows of opportunity.
This stress also causes you to miss the subtle subconscious signals we send to each other to create those windows. And they’re easy to pick up, so long as you’re relaxed enough to pay attention.