Everyone has a different kissing style. And I've always assumed that if you come across someone whose kissing style is not your own, you have two choices: get used to their kisses, or find a different partner. But what if there's a third option? What if we all have the option, on a daily basis, to revamp the way we issue kisses? What if we all stopped and reevaluated how to kiss?
"Kissing is an art, not a science, and everyone likes something different," sex and relationship expert Psalm Isadora tells Bustle. The star of Playboy TV’s reality show Cougar Club and founder of global sex coaching program Urban Kama Sutra, Isadora looks to the Kama Sutra for answers when it comes to kissing. "There are over 30 types of kisses described in the Kama Sutra, so give yourself permission to explore your erotic side," she says. "The most important thing in kissing is paying attention to your partner's body language and arousal."
In addition to Isadora, I asked three other sex and love professionals for their take on best kiss practices, and they all said the same thing: Pay attention. Your partner (and your own body) will tell you what to do next.
"Kissing can extend foreplay, or create a deeper connection during sex," Isadora says. "A great kiss on a date can take it to the next level or be a deal breaker." Here are five tips from four experts on the best way to kiss, including a short step-by-step guide.
1. Read The Signals
"Make sure your partner wants the kiss," Tina Tessina, psychotherapist and author of Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences, tells Bustle. "Don’t force it on the other person. Take your time, get snuggled up, and make sure you both feel comfortable. Move in close, and see if your partner moves toward you or away. "
All systems go? "Be gentle," she says. "A light touch of dry lips should get a response from your partner. Kissing, if both of you want it, will progress naturally."
2. Don't Ruin The Moment By Saying This
Read the signals without spelling things out. Nonverbal communication is key here, psychologist Nikki Martinez tells Bustle. "Do not ruin the moment by stopping and saying, 'Can I kiss you?' Nothing ruins a romantic moment more than this."
That said, sometimes such a question can be posited in a flirty manner, which can be kind of fun. "You will know and be told if the kiss is not warranted," Martinez says. "People want it to be natural, sensual, and often unexpected." True.
3. Be Tender
OK, so you're snuggled up and clear that your partner wants to be kissed. Now what? "The best way to kiss someone is a combination of soft, natural lips with a little tongue," says Martinez, "holding on to the person — usually the hand holding the opposite side of the face than the side with the angle they are kissing on."
4. A Quick Step-By-Step Guide
Soft, natural kisses with a little tongue sounds good, but if you're in need of some real guidelines, Isadora shares her foolproof guide to kissing, inspired by the Kama Sutra:
1. Vary your kissing pressure from teasing and barely touching to firm kisses.
2. Want to give next-level kisses? "Sucking the upper or lower lip is very arousing," Isadora says. But beware! "Hickeys come from strong sucking that leaves bruising on the neck."
3. Use your teeth. "Biting can vary from light nibbles to harder love bites — you have to pay attention to whether your partner likes biting and if they like light or harder bites," says Isadora.
4. Don't forget to make it a head-to-toe deal. "Using your hands to caress your partners body makes kissing a full bodied experience," says Isadora. "You can also try pulling your partners hair and massaging their scalp to heighten sensation."
5. Butterfly kisses are the best. "Butterfly kisses are showering your partner with light, fast kisses on their lips, eyes, neck or over their whole body to tease them and show affection," she says. I've always thought of butterfly kisses as tiny caresses with your eyelashes against your partner's skin. Either way works!
6. Get the whole body involved. "Kiss the whole body. Don't forget that the whole body is erotic, and you can try kissing, sucking, biting and licking their whole body, especially erogenous zones." Isadora says.
7. Try a blindfold. Awaken your partner's senses and get a little kinky by blindfolding them. "The sensory depravation means they will have heightened taste, touch and smell, and the role play can be a big turn-on too," she says.
5. Close Your Eyes
"Close your eyes, for goodness sake!" Martinez says. But it doesn't have to be that way: Plenty of people like to keep their eyes open, and that's OK too — like everything else, just feel out what works best for you and your partner.
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