7 Surprising Things That Make A Kiss Good, According To Science

by Kristine Fellizar
BDG Media, Inc.

A bad kiss can have a way of killing your attraction to someone in an instant. A really good kiss can help you to take your relationship to the next level. But what actually makes for a "good kiss"?

According to Kevon Owen, M.S., LPC, clinical psychotherapist and relationship counselor, there three elements that make up a good kiss: attraction, comfort, and connection. Attraction involves the basics like taking care of your oral health, comfort involves practicing until you get it right, and connection is all about recognizing the signals you and your partner are giving off. "You can have an OK kiss with any one or two of them," he says. "But when all three are present, that's a good kiss."

Kissing is important at any stage of a relationship because it's an expression of your interest and attraction, he says. In fact, studies have found that women use kissing as a way to weed out bad matches and bond with good ones.

There are many different factors that go into a good kiss. For instance, having good breath and being in the right moment can definitely help. But here are some surprising things that make up a "good" kiss, according to experts and research.


Tilting Your Head To The Right

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A 2017 study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that a majority of people tilt their head to the right when they go in for a kiss. In fact, you may not even realize you're doing it because it just happens naturally. As the team of psychologists and neuroscientists found, humans are hardwired to lean towards the right. But if you're the type to lean towards the left, there's nothing to worry about as long as you do the initiating. According to the study, recipients have a natural tendency to match their kissing partner’s head tilt in order to make it more comfortable. When participants were told to mirror their partner’s head tilt direction, it didn't go over as well. They reported that kissing this way made it more uncomfortable.


Closing Your Eyes

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Closing your eyes while kissing is pretty common, and as a 2016 study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance found, there’s a really good reason why most people do it. According to researchers, you’re less likely to experience all the sensations associated with kissing when you keep your eyes open. That’s because our brains have difficulty processing visual and touch-related stimuli at the same time. When you engage in demanding visual tasks, it can reduce your sensitivity to physical sensations. It's hard to truly enjoy a kiss when your eyes are focusing on other things. Closing your eyes can help you stay in the moment and fully focused on the kiss.


Making It Last For About 10 Seconds

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A 2017 survey conducted by Match found that the "ideal" first kiss doesn't last very long. In fact, the survey of over 3,000 men and women found that the ideal kiss should last only 10 seconds long.


Avoiding The Use Of Too Much Tongue

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A 2015 survey of over 10,000 people by Coffee Meets Bagel found what really makes for a good kiss around the world. People from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States said that a perfect kiss is "deep, but without tongue."


Having Certain Compatible Genes

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This has less to do with physical traits and more to do with things you can't really control. A 2013 Oxford University study found that kissing helps us to find the right partner. Women in particular tend to rate kissing as more important in partner selection than men. That’s because kissing allows us to subconsciously asses potential partners. Even if you aren’t aware, you can pick up biological cues on compatibility, genetic fitness, and general health through someone’s kiss. If it’s not a good match, your body may reject your kissing partner so you feel less attracted to them.


Making Eye Contact Beforehand

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Closing your eyes during a kiss may be the way to go. But making eye contact beforehand can take things to the next level. "Before you kiss your partner, look them in the eyes," Irina Baechle, LCSW, relationship therapist and dating coach, tells Bustle. "There's nothing more intimate and vulnerable than eye contact between two people. Don't take it for granted."



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Sometimes your kissing styles may not sync up, but that's OK. "Practice makes perfect," Owen says. "So, even if it takes a bit of practice, be willing to do what it takes to become great. Think of this as fun exposure therapy."

Everyone has their idea of what makes for a good kiss. These are just some surprising things that can take your kisses to the next level.