How To Teach Your Partner To Kiss You Better

by Cathy Vandewater

How can one kiss badly? Let me count the ways. There are the pecks-only people, who don't seem to know what to do beyond rapid fire kisses dead in the center of your mouth, over and over, with sudden and awkward head tilt switches; the ones who go way too deep way too fast; the kissers that do weird, unpredictable (in a bad way) sh*t, like lick that thing under your tongue that attaches it to the bottom of your mouth. (This is a true story). But what do you do when someone is a bad kisser?

I have the slow-motion horror moment frozen in my brain: the image of a guy coming at me for a kiss with his mouth already wide open. The dude I'm thinking of had his tongue—hard and pointy—already sticking out out over his lower lip. I was in survival mode, so I wasn't even thinking of how repulsive and lizard-like he looked, I was just desperately trying to make the judgement call: "Do I kiss the upper lip? The lower lip? WHAT DO I GO FOR." In a flash of genius, I turned my face and faked a sneeze. The moment passed. I went home, and I never saw the guy again. Hi Kyle, hope you're well.

But even the less-terrible kissers can still leave a bit to be desired. Maybe they're a bit too fast and erratic for your taste, or maybe you'd like things deeper and more intense, but they're keeping it closed-mouth and tidy.

That happened while I was still technically a teenager, but I'm sorry to say the increasing age of the men I've dated has not seemed to have any positive relationship to their kissing skills. Or like, their amount common sense. (WHY WOULD YOU COME AT SOMEONE WITH YOUR TONGUE OUT, OH MY GOD.)

Whatever mouth situation is happening with your kisser, I recommend the following courses of action, or the four "Ys," for getting macked on your way:

1. "Yuck": Pull Back Immediately When Something Gross Or Undesired Happens

Put a stop to it immediately with distance. They're shoving their tongue down your throat? Pull back right away so their lips can only barely graze yours. Work back up to deeper kissing and if they do it again, pull back again. They'll get the hint (and probably without realizing you're actively training them).

2. "Yes": Make It Clear When You Like Something

Little moans (I'm sorry), or escalating the kiss (by running your fingers through their hair) is a way of giving positive feedback for what you like, and it's that subtle encouragement that gets you more of what you want.

Bonus: if you also consciously ignore stuff you hate, like that awkward tongue sucking thing, you'll increase the odds of that going away in favor of moves you're down with.

3. "You Didn't Mean To Do That, Right": Assuming They Did It By Accident And Laughing It Off

"Whoops" or "ouch" and a little giggle when they do something bizarre will help them save face while making it clear that that was definitely not good and shouldn't be repeated.

4. Your Way: Kiss As You'd Like To Be Kissed

This is where you show your stuff, but be prepared: you may need to physically hold your kissee in place to do demonstrate. Stroke their jaw (shh, this is actually to keep their face in position) and rest a hand on their chest or shoulder to maintain subtle yet total control of the pace and depth as you teach by example. If you want to be kissed softly, kiss softly. If you want more tongue, gradually open and relax your kisses until you can lick their lip—they'll get the hint. (If they don't, practice saying something direct in a sexy way, like "I want your tongue." No, I'm not kidding—you might really need to be that straight up).

Then, What Not To Do:

1. Fake It

Do not reward bad behavior with a positive reaction, unless you want them licking your face forever.

2. Be Mean

I know you're horrified, but put yourself in their shoes and think about how you'd like to be treated if you did something awful and gross because you didn't know any better. I promise you, this person is not kissing you embarrassingly badly because they're playing a cruel joke on you: that's just how they kiss and that's its own punishment. So be nice.

3. Gag, Shudder, Jump Up And Run Away, Etc.

Try and keep your composure. Again, you never have to see this person again if you don't want to after this, but try not to ruin their self-esteem or anything.

4. Forget To Be Open-Minded

Sometimes things that may not be your cup of tea can turn out to be interesting. As long as your gag reflex isn't being continuously tested, try to give your kisser's techniques an honest go. You never know what you might end up liking!

Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.

Images: teksomolika/Fotolia, Giphy