Note: I am by no means a kissing expert. The information in this instructable is based upon experience and some simple research on the subject.
Let's get started with just a simple kiss.
Image credit: pedrosimoes7
Step 1: Pre Kiss
If you see one or a combination of these indicators, there is a good chance that your partner is thinking about kissing you.
- eyes become soft and heavy
- eye contact is made and sustained
- head turns slightly
- lips are licked or bitten
- your partner makes physical contact with you beyond what seems appropriate for normal conversation (e.g. he or she brushes your hand, touches you on the shoulder or leg, or fidgets with an accessory)
- easy conversation comes to a stop, but eye contact is not broken
- your partner smiles in conjunction with any of the above behaviors
- soften your gaze by relaxing the muscles around your eyes, somewhat like smiling but without engaging your mouth
- smile often, though
- make eye contact and allow it to linger for a few moments longer than you normally would
- find ways to subtly (but respectfully) touch your partner
If you've assessed the situation, and it seems probable that a kiss is imminent, the next things to think about are timing and approach. The key to nailing the pre kiss is matching your partner's speed and intensity. The kiss is the first opportunity to physically connect with your partner, and so you want to meet him or her halfway.
Here are some steps you could follow as you go in for the kiss. Keep in mind that the kiss you share with someone is as unique as your relationship with that person, so follow your instincts and use the following as a rough guideline.
1. Establish a physical connection by placing your hands on your partner's body. Placement depends on the dynamic between you, you can softly touch the face, the back of the neck or the shoulders. Be gentle with your touch if this is the first contact you are making. Stay away from "high risk" zones on your partners body, as you just want to indicate that you are interested in kissing them, not give them a full body search.
2. Establish and maintain eye contact from this point on. The eyes are often a clear indicator if someone wants to be kissed, or is thinking about kissing you. Try to look at your partner with a deep, yet soft gaze. Use your eyes to send them a message that shows how you feel for your partner, e.g., "I care for you, I am on fire when I look at you, I want to kiss you."
3. As you lean in, you may want to tilt your body and head to accommodate your partner's positioning. One partner will have to make room for the other, or both partners can just slightly tilt heads in opposite directions. Basically you are just trying to avoid a nose collision as you get closer, so just pick a side to turn to and don't give it too much thought.
4. Gauge how quickly your partner is leaning in and try to meet at the halfway point between you, so neither person is overextended. Over/under extension can make one person feel like they are not getting met and are either too aggressive, or not engaged enough.
If you have come this far with your partner chances are you are going to kiss, or you have misread the entire situation and they are just leaning in to look at something stuck in your teeth.
If the first is true, then read on because it's time to pucker up and get on with THE KISS.
Image credits: M@rg
Step 2: Practice the Kiss
Rest assured, THE KISS is coming, but here it is broken down first, step by step so that you know whats going on when you see it at full speed with a partner in the next step.
Here is a head on view of a kiss. I am just practicing here, so it might look a little funny, but once your partner is sitting across from you and your lips meet theirs, it's H, O, T hot.
1. You are in the pre kiss state described in step 1 - your head is tilted, there is lip activity, your eyes are in a soft deep gaze and maybe there is some light physical contact.
You could open or close your eyes, though if you're nervous, closed could help avoid the deer in headlights look of fear. I like to start with mine open and close them just before lip contact.
2. Either you or your partner has shown that they would like to kiss. Start putting the pieces from step 1 together. Lean in and meet your partner halfway. Begin to pucker the lips by bringing them together, pushing them out, and applying just a faint hint of suction on your closed mouth to bring the cheeks slightly in.
Now is a good time to lick your lips if they aren't already moist.
Keep leaning in, remembering to tilt your head until you make contact with your partner's lips.
Remember not to forget about hand placement! A gentle touch to the back of the neck, the shoulders or your partners head is all you need. This can also help in guiding someone into the kiss if they are lost or are having trouble meeting you.
3. Your lips come to a full pucker position. They are soft, but not floppy. They can be fully formed and firm, but certainly not hard. This is an ambiguous state for any solid to be in - but these are your lips were talking about here - they can handle it!
Make contact with your partners lips.
If this is your first kiss, you don't want to linger too long, but you also don't want to just peck them and retreat.
Count "one-one thousand, two-one thousand" in your head before relaxing the pucker in your lips and beginning to pull your head away. You can hold the kiss like this for longer, but after 5 seconds or so should start think about ending this kiss. If you would like to keep kissing after that you can always lean in again and follow up the first kiss with a second, third or fourth kiss.
Remember to breathe through the kiss. It's all right to hold your breath for a short kiss, but for longer ones you are going to have to breathe while you are kissing. Since your mouth is occupied, you are going to have to use your nose. Just breathe normally and continue on with the kiss.
To end the kiss begin to lighten the pressure your lips are applying to your partners' and relax your puckered lips. As your lips relax they will separate and a small amount of air will be sucked into your mouth. This will create the kissing noise, or "smack" that is identified with a kiss.
At this point contact with your partner's lips has ended and its time to start thinking about giving them a little space and time to reflect about what just happened.
4. Move your head back slowly and begin to relax the muscles around your mouth. You can keep your eyes closed for a bit as you revel in the kiss and slowly return to your normal un-extended position.
5. You are now in the post kiss phase and if it was a good kiss, words won't do the feeling justice. If you and your partner liked what just happened you can follow up with more, or just enjoy what the two of you shared. If it was a bad kiss, you can try to make changes and give the kiss another go. If things can't be salvaged at that particular moment, don't force it - take a break and talk about it with your partner and try again after a few minutes or another day.
Step 3: The Kiss
You can also touch your tongue to your partners lips ever so slightly. (This is not a French Kiss - just one method of placing the tongue towards the front of your mouth so you can just lightly brush your partner's lips upon contact.)
Photo credits: Mr.Thomas, DavidMartynHunt, shannonkringen, Scinern, See-ming Lee 李思明 SML, marquiscote
Step 4: Post Kiss
If you enjoyed the kiss show your partner that you liked it by smiling and/or holding their hand.
If you are going to kiss again keep things energized by maintaining physical contact with your partner even though you have pulled your lips away. For multiple kisses its ok to do the same thing over and over, but it's better to change things up a little bit. Here are some variables to think about modifying:
- angle of approach
- speed of kiss
- length of kiss
- kiss firmness/intensity
- lip positioning (The first kiss is often a dead on approach, but offsetting one set of lips either up, or down can lead to a nice interlocking kiss where one partner's lips are nestled within the "lip valley" of the other partner's lips.)
- hand placement
- body placement
Image credits: English106
Step 5: How NOT to Kiss
So remember, don't:
- try to suck the face off of your partner. Kissing is exciting, and there can certainly be an urge to latch on and suck, but try to resist, as it will probably upset your partner.
- force your tongue onto the scene. The right time to use your tongue while kissing will present itself after a few kisses, a few minutes or a few days. Forcing it too early or being aggressive with your tongue before you or your partner is ready is not a good idea.
- kiss your partner with a mouth full of saliva. Remember to swallow excess spit before locking lips with your partner. While this is more of a problem with French kissing, if the saliva were to somehow find its way out of your mouth during a regular kiss, it could be problematic.
- kiss with bad breath or fuzzy teeth. Practice good oral hygiene before kissing and take a second to think about whether or not your lips and mouth are a nice environment to kiss. It's true that kissing someone who has eaten onions or garlic can be pungent - so watch out for kisses after meals, but often if both partners have had the same thing to eat neither of them will mind very much.
- miss your partner's face or misalign and hit noses. It's not the end of the world if this happens, but a simple turn of the head or glance to make sure you are properly aligned can help you avoid this potentially embarrassing situation.
- don't run into trouble with braces. Locking braces, cutting your partner, or just clashing metal is a real danger when you or your partner have braces. Kiss gently when you have braces and take special care not to link your braces onto theirs. Kissing with braces is most definitely possible and having them shouldn't keep you from being a great kisser.
Image credits: David, Bergin, Emmett and Elliott, DaPuglet, sabrina's stash