How to be a good kisser

During the fireworks on Fourth of July, under the mistletoe at the Christmas party, or on the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve—you never know when your next kiss might be.  So just a heads up to all you oblivious, chronic holiday misers: Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. This Valentine’s Day, do not be caught off-guard. “You may need a lot of practice to be a good kisser,” said Amber Lewey, a 2010 graduate. “Knowing what you are getting yourself into is probably best.”

That long-awaited kiss from your secret crush may be just around the corner.  Yes, be very, very excited. The kiss may range from a quick friendly peck to a drawn-out passionate encounter.  It could be a first kiss or a last kiss; either way, both parties will want to make the moment memorable.  But, do you have what it takes? Do your lips start to quiver in fear just thinking of that scandalous action?

Be not afraid readers; here are the four main steps to ace that perfect smooch.

Step 1:  The Preparation

In case you didn’t know, kissing involves your lips.  Your lips must be presented as yearning to be kissed—think clean, soft, and well conditioned.  Chapstick can be helpful, if not vital.  A pleasant flavor of lip gloss may also add to the kiss.

Another very important factor when getting ready for that perfect kiss is dental hygiene and breath.  “If I’m going on a date, I’ll make sure that I don’t order something really potent to eat,” said senior Caitlin Richmond. “And I make sure to brush my teeth before I leave.”

Let’s be honest: if you have remnants of yesterday’s French dip still lingering in your teeth, people will be running away in fear.  If your breath reeks of garlic, your date will have a very hard time holding a conversation with you, let alone locking lips.

So brush, floss, brush again, rinse, chew some gum, or invest in some mints –  preferably all of the above.  The condition, smell, and taste of your mouth are things you will be sharing with your fellow smoocher, so let’s make it a tasty experience please.

Step 2:  Reading the Moment

Close body language, lots of eye contact, and casual flirting should be good indicators if whether the moment is right or not.  Learn how to read the moment before the kiss to make sure you both are feeling the same thing.

Unfortunately, your date may not share the same positive, warm vibes.  “I don’t think he got the point,” Lewey said. “I was moving away as he was moving in.  It was as if he was backing me into a corner to attack my face. He was not reading my very clear not-interested signals.”

The moment needs to be right as you go in for the kiss.  “Read their body language and the mood.  If they seem interested great, if not -- don’t push it,” said senior Will Bratton.

Both Lewey and Bratton agreed that it’s best to tease a little bit.  Any built up tension will only make the kiss more passionate and enjoyable.

Step 3:  THE KISS

There are good kissers… and then there are bad kissers. If you find yourself in the latter category, you may find your kissing experience cut short.  “It was like kissing a cat,” Bratton said. “She just kept lapping my face.  That one didn’t last too long.”

Do not be this person.  Do not kiss like a lapping cat, a constantly pecking bird, or a slobbering dog.  Kiss like a human being.  Exercise creative sensuality while also maintaining control.

Being prepared both physically and mentally for the kiss is not enough.  The execution of the smooch is very important.  Find the balance between exciting and exhilarating while still being respectful and socially acceptable.  “I felt like my whole face was wet,” Lewey said. “He slobbered literally everywhere.  I had to wipe it off with both hands. It was not okay!”

Eyes do not necessarily have to be closed during the kiss, but definitely not open the full length of the kiss.  Take a peek every once and while; but do not be the creepy opened-eyed starrer the whole time.

Your head should not be completely still and constantly to one side.  Have some movement and variety as you engage with the person.  Tongue movement should also have some range, but still maintain some control.  Lips must not be too hard, but not overly soft so that they hold no form, said both Lewey and Bratton.

“During my first kiss, he bit my lips!” said freshman Sammie Santos, “It hurt! But I kept kissing him. He just got over excited I think.”  Let yourself get into the moment but carefully.  Add your own style to the kiss and make it yours.  Be sure, however, to always return to the basic kissing motion as to not completely scare your date.

“During the kiss its so important to find your rhythm, “ said Lewey.  “Feed off the other person and have fun!”

Step 4:  The Aftermath

That crazy, passionate kiss you daydreamed about during every other Core 250 lecture has just concluded, awkward pause, now what?

“Afterwards it really will be different for each couple,” Lewey said.  “It is all about reading the moment.”

Maybe continue to enjoy a movie and some cuddling, a little more smooching, or quickly and uncomfortably part ways, but still embrace the moment.  “I usually make a quick retreat after the initial kiss if the moment isn’t quite right,” said senior Kayla Hughes.

So welcome Valentine’s Day with fresh, minty clean breathe, an open, creative mind, and receptive lips - you are now on your way to becoming a world-class snogger.

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