Dear Alice,

My boyfriend kisses with his eyes open. I've heard you are not supposed to trust people who kiss with their eyes open. I naturally kiss with my eyes closed (except to peek occasionally to see if his eyes are open). What's up with kissing with your eyes open?! What does that mean?

Dear Reader,

First, there are no hard-and-fast rules in tonsil hockey! Extra visual input might be distracting for some people, so closed-eyed kissing can help to amplify the touch and taste sensations that give smooching its mass appeal. But kissing is as much skill as it is art, and there could be a number of different reasons why your boyfriend prefers to keep his eyes open. Maybe it means that he wants to see whom he's kissing. Or, it could be that he's doubly turned on when his visual sense is getting some stimulation, too. Whatever the case, now that you’ve noticed that the two of you have different kissing styles, it’s a great opportunity to have a conversation about it. Openly communicating your preferences or experimenting with some changes to your romantic routine could be rewarding for both of you.

While pop culture often paints the perfect kiss with eyes closed and birds chirping, there’s certainly more than one way to kiss — perhaps there’s even something a little alluring about trying things differently. For example, why not try it with your eyes open the next time the two of you are together? The really close eye contact might be strange at first, but there's also the potential for an even more intimate experience. At the very least, it could give you some insight into what makes your partner tick — maybe you’ll be surprised to find you’re into it, too!

Now, if your boyfriend is watching television or keeping an eye on the clock when orally engaged, he may not be giving you his undivided attention. That kind of behavior might raise your eyebrows about his less-than-ideal displays of respect and intimacy in your relationship; it may even raise concerns about trustworthiness. If you’re finding that this is too often the case, using your tongues for talking about it might help to ease your angst.

All that is to say: despite what you've heard, there are no technical kissing rules. How you kiss, where or what you kiss, and whether your eyes are open or closed is all about what feels best for you. You could even make out while knitting sweaters if that’s what gets you going — what’s key is that you both feel that your physical and emotional needs are being met while you're at it.

Alice!

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