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The “Being” of a “Good” Kisser

There is so much in a kiss: pleasure, intimacy, and connection. The mouth is built to receive and express. The lips, the door way of the mouth, are lined with a high number of nerves, where babies first receive nurturing and also explore their worlds. It is no wonder that kissing is the principal way of expressing romantic desire. In the kiss, two bodies will regulate with the breath, pulse, heat, and fluid of the other. Two people can tune harmoniously to one another through this seemingly simple act. What I often find is that people fear kissing because it won’t be “good.” I liken it to dancing, painting, singing, or playing; often, people fear and give up doing pleasurable activities, because they focus on the PERFORMANCE and lose sight of how it FELT good to JUST DO it. Many people are barely ENJOYING kissing! So many times, both people repeat what they learn as teenagers. Kissing has become both people performing two different songs they learned as children, and it is a disaster! Worse yet, rarely do people slow the process down to the point where they can actually move between giving and receiving love and pleasure.

So many factors lead to “bad” kissing in our culture. Bad kissing is a result of sexual shame, body shame, performance anxiety, and the strong cultural notion that there is a RIGHT way to do it. Moreover, many people feel shame about receiving pleasure or enjoying a sexual act that may look carnal, lead to messy floods, and animalistic sounds. We are taught to get enough sexual enjoyment to be happy, but not too much to become a dirty, worthless slut.

How many times have we heard such shaming phrases about kissing that made us recoil in dread, horror, and fearful worry we had done the same?!

fb1“He was such a sloppy kisser, I had to wipe my mouth!” “She ran her tongue on my teeth!” “She stared at me the whole time!” “He nearly gagged me with his tongue!”

The sad part of these stories is the missed opportunities for a new couple to ASK for what may feel good and give feedback. For example:

“I would like that softer with your lips lightly pressed on mine.” “I would like you to gently brush the inside of my lips.” “I would like to close my eyes and focus on how it feels for me. “ I  liked it when the tip of your tongue touches mine.”

To do this, you will need to work through the awkwardness of all the shameful feelings that come up when you ask to get sexually pleasured. Yay, no more mind-reading! Whew!

We can ask for different stuff while kissing?! Yes! And if you say it in a sexy way, it won’t interrupt the flow! Actually, talking is the other hot thing to do with your lips during a make-out session.

Try to ask for what you want and be specific. I want this part to touch that part in this way.

You always have the right to say, “Stop!” and “No.” But I find affirmative phrase help: “I want to pause and breathe.” “Hold that thought and let me take this in for a few seconds.” “I want to go slower and really enjoy every bit of this.”

Now onto the kissing!

Did you know there are twelve places to be kissed on your lips?

Well, if you divided your mouth into thirds (left corner, middle, right corner) and divide that by two lips: six spots to be kissed! This also includes the inside of the lips; that makes 12! WOW! So much more variety!

You can also do at least three varieties of kisses:

Pressing, The traditional kiss!

You can press your lips to theirs. Do this to the outer 6 parts. You can also experiment with each third of your mouth.


Use your lips to brush all the parts of their mouth on the outside.


You can nibble lips with your lips folded over your teeth, you can graze their lips with your teeth. You can bite with gentle pressure. Any more than that, get verbal consent, because you may bruise or draw blood!


The tongue can graze all the inner areas of the lips; all 12 zones. The tongue can also caress the other persons tongue as well.


Now you can consider there are at least 5 levels of intensity. First level is no contact and just the HEAT of your breath and lips tantalizes. Second, gentle “fairy” kisses that are barely detectable. Third, just the softest touch. Forth, a moderate touch. Fifth, strong pressure. After that may mean bruising etc. Be careful! Share your pressure scale with one another. I want that FIVE! OH yeah…! Now some two…. OH WOW! (Cue, pleasurable moaning).


Now you know touch, know there is a pace that you can go. You can be still. Stillness, is great! Just breathe and take it in the feeling of touch. Then the sloth mode, then turtle… all the way up to a nice pace… well you get the idea!


There is a rhythm to kissing. Like eating, you take your time with each yummy morsel. If you switch too quickly between bites, you may miss the individual yummy flavor. If you linger too long, your brain stops registering the pleasure of it. So go with a flow and PAUSE for feedback.

Your Homework:

Find a consensual partner you like. Go over this article and discuss what sounds good without getting too attached with things going a certain way. Be curious and don’t worry about everyone getting turned on. Agree that it is ok that it will get a little messy, and if kissing get HOT, the sounds of pleasure are just bonus points!

Each person gets to receive. The receiver gives loving and positive feedback without trying to control the process. “I want/ I like it when…” Moreover, the receiver just feels and takes in the mouth massage!

The giver tries to tune into the receiver. Notice if the person leans in or pulls away. Do they make moans? Does their breath deep and slow? Or is it shallow and halted? Follow their flow, and notice their experience without needing to control it.

Then switch roles 4 times for 4 minutes each. At the end give feedback like this:

My favorite thing was_______________

What I really notice was______________

What I want more of is_______________

These techniques hopefully are avenues to being able to go back to being curious and follow the pleasure rather than focus on the performance. Moreover, this practice gives you tools to break out of shame and really communicate and connect with your partner. Eventually, you will be able to notice so much more richness in you kissing if you practice this weekly.

Being a “good” kisser is not about what you “do” with your lips, tongue, and mouth. Being a “good” kisser is deepening your ability to give and receive while staying in tune with one another. Moreover, it is about willingness to be vulnerable and communicate your desire and fulfillment.

Abby Volk

Abby Volk

Abby Volk is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has a private practice in San Francisco. She is also a certified yoga teacher. She works with traditional talk therapy when working with those healing from trauma and relationship wounds. She helps people identify their limiting patterns and helps people to increasing trust in their intuition. She uses EMDR and body-based techniques to help people find connection in relationships, and she supports authentic expression in communication.

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