Remember your first kiss? Not the pecks on the cheek from Aunt Iris who wore too much of her favourite perfume from Paris, but the first proper French kiss. There was a risky, risqué and special something about it. Too many people - and couples - forget the charm of good old necking, even if it doesn’t lead anywhere.
As a single, delivering a memorable goodnight kiss to a date can help get you more dates - and more. But many couples lapse into a routine where kisses to say hello and goodbye are perfunctory and impersonal. They tend to reserve the real saliva-slavered lip-locks to lovemaking. Wrong.
Done properly, kissing is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. It can create - or help revive - sparks in a relationship. Leaving the kids with the babysitter while you grab a movie and a curry can be changed to something erotic and charged by some earnest, teenager-type snogging in the car park.
Males, in particular, tend to regard kissing as an entree to be rushed through on the way to the main course. Foolish. There's a good reason many sex workers refuse to kiss their clients as part of the deal: it’s just too personal. Take the opportunity to kiss your partner or date for granted at your peril.
So, here's a quick refresher course:
Every good turn deserves one
The way your partner kisses you is probably the way they like to be kissed. Try following their lead, rather than heading for their tonsils. Does she use her tongue like a bayonet, rigid and immobile? If so, and if you don’t like it, try doing what you do like, rather than telling her she kisses like a Roto-Rooter, which could spoil the mood a bit.
Get a grip
Hold her face in both hands and kiss long and deeply, but not too hard. If you tend to go at her mouth like a you're a dentist doing root canal work, visualise the thousands of nerve endings on every square millimetre of her tongue and lips. You need to apply very little pressure to make an impression. Cupping her face in your hands will feel good, but so will a palm placed lightly on the back of the neck, your fingers in her hair, on her hip, or on her ribs below her breast. Gently squeezing or pulling her towards you in this way gets your close.
Don't just “suck face”
As we said, visualise all those nerve endings awaiting your attention. Try running your tongue across her lips, sucking them or her tongue, or nibbling very softly on them with your teeth. There should be enough saliva to go around so that your lips can slide over each other’s in a sexy, intensely metaphoric way. It’s a world removed from Aunt Iris’s platonic pecks and your date she'll be acutely aware of that.
Take your time
Kiss as though you have all the time in the world, even if the airport PA system is calling for you by name. With these long kisses, focus on getting your tongue deep into her mouth (without making her gag), and drawing hers into yours. Remember that your tongue has a smooth side and a rough one, a handy contrast when you’re looking for applause from her nerve endings.
Kiss her ears, eyelids and neck, all areas that can deliver shivery sensations if tended properly. If she doesn't like it, change immediately.
Finally, a variety of wannabe Don Juan mistakes to avoid:
The Mummy: locked in rigor mortis ad infinitum, the angle of your head, or the posture of your jaw remain rigid. Keep it fluid and sapient, O King.
The Tonsillectomy: sticking your tongue too far down her throat. Take your cue from her. Explore the tip and sides of her tongue, rather than her gullet.
(William Smook, Health24, updated April 2011)
Any questions? Ask our sexologist