How to kiss

Dear Alice,

Thank you for the useful information about a kiss to say goodnight. Could you please also provide some information about what I need to be careful of while I'm kissing her? (I guess that it's not just pushing my mouth to hers?!) Please help.

Inexperienced twenty-three-year-old guy

Dear Inexperienced twenty-three-year-old guy,

Learning to kiss is a bit like learning how to ride a bike. You are scared to try, but it looks like so much fun on TV! Eventually, the fear subsides and you give it a try. What a thrill that first ride is, and then... down you go! That's okay, you had fun, so you know you'll try again. Kissing isn't too much different. The best thing is, just like riding a bicycle, once you learn, you'll never forget. Also remember each kiss will be different, depending on who you are kissing and how you feel about the person.

You are absolutely right, you don't want to "just push" your mouth to hers. It's probably easiest to begin with a peck on the cheek. Just pucker up, tilt your head a little to the side, gently plant your lips on the person's cheek, and follow through with the puckering motion. This might give you the confidence to try kissing on the lips. It's the same basic movement of your lips, only now the other person's lips are involved in the action, too, which may make it a little easier. A few things to bear in mind when going for the big kiss: do not open your mouth until your lips have reached the kissee's lips, avoid bumping teeth, and make sure there's no food in your mouth (as if...!).

Then there's the "French kiss," which involves your and the other person's tongue. Approach your French kiss gently, with no quick and sudden movements of your tongue. Avoid what some call "the frog" (sticking your tongue all the way out inside the kissee's mouth). Your tongue will most likely be met by the other person's, and both of you can go from there, figuring out what is pleasurable.

If you want to practice before trying a kiss on a person, try it out on your arm or your hand (by making a pair of lips with your thumb and index finger) to see how it feels, or practice with a pillow. Pay close attention to the face-sucking scenes in movies or TV shows (any soap opera will suffice).

You'll never know what it's like until you try it. When the opportunity presents itself, pucker up and go for it! You may be surprised at how easy and fun kissing can be.

Last updated Jul 10, 2015
Originally published May 10, 1996

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