Am I really a good kisser?
July 24, 2009 9:20 PM   Subscribe

Almost every woman I've kissed has told me that I'm a “good kisser.” I've spoken to a couple of male friends about this and they've been told similar by the women they've been involved with, which makes me suspicious. How seriously should I take it when she tells me I'm a good kisser? Is this just something that people say to people they’re interested in regardless of accuracy?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (30 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Well, you're not likely to be told that you are a "bad kisser", so it's either "good kisser" or nothing. No one remembers the nothing.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:24 PM on July 24, 2009 [3 favorites]

Hey, let me share my personal humiliation. When I was a freshman in high school, I had a girl tell me I kissed like a dog. Then as a sophomore in college, my eventual wife told me I was a terrible kisser, and that she needed to train me. So, yes, it's possible to be told you aren't a good kisser.

(To set the record straight, I've also had girls tell me I was a good kisser, so I suspect it's a matter of taste...)
posted by jdroth at 9:28 PM on July 24, 2009

It's date-speak for "I like kissing you."
posted by DarlingBri at 9:29 PM on July 24, 2009 [22 favorites]

Depends. Did you ask them if you were a good kisser? If I were asked by a guy, I'd probably either tell them they're good (if they're decent enough) or wheedle out of the question somehow if they're terrible.

If however, they all bring this up of their own accord, you're probably a pretty good kisser.
posted by stray at 9:30 PM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

I disagree with the above. Most women have had experiences with very bad kissers (tongue down the throat/trying to literally eat your face/slobber-fests), if I can extrapolate the experiences of myself and my friends onto the whole of our gender, and that makes the good kissers stand out in comparison. I know that makes me for one quite relieved when I kiss decent guys and I will gladly inform them of the fact.

Course, some of it is probably nonsense flattery, too. But if you're getting it fairly consistently, I'd imagine you're one of those guys with a good kissing style and I'd be glad of it. Good kissers are memorable. Hell, I could probably rank ex-boyfriends on kissing skills, if it came down to it. (Unfortunately, good boyfriends are not always good kissers, and vice versa.)

So yeah, I'd say it's probably part flattery and part truth, the ratio of which depends on the individual girl. Don't sweat it too much.
posted by internet!Hannah at 9:35 PM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Well, on the one hand, it sounds like the well-meaning kind of thing some women could choose to say to a guy. But there are so many bad, bad kissers out there that this seems to be a pointless and frustrating lie to even start telling. Honestly, I'd sooner fake an orgasm than tell a bad kisser that he's a good kisser.

There's no need to be mean to a bad kisser. I can see saying something like, "I really like kissing you." And if they're otherwise nice and fun and good company in bed, that statement would be quite true, because even if the kissing is bad, being with them is good. But once you get to know someone well, this is one of those things you really should gently try to improve.

Some bad kissers can become good kissers, with a little affection, clear communication and gentle coaching, and some are just hopeless. I tried for twenty years to make my ex a better kisser, but completely failed. (Luckily for me, I now get to kiss someone who really knows what he's doing.)

In short: if the girls you date keep saying that you're a good kisser, then you probably are a good kisser (for them, at least). If they shut up about the topic after a while, well, maybe you're not a good fit, or maybe you should make it clear that you're open to trying something different.
posted by rosebuddy at 9:37 PM on July 24, 2009

Well I wouldn't go out and get a medal made, but I think that you can take the comment at face value; these women enjoy kissing you.

I can't speak for all women, but I think most of us have dated one or two seemingly normal nice enough guys who were just horrifyingly bad kissers. Examples of this bizarre behavior included biting your lip so you looked or felt like you'd just been in a fight; thinking that french kissing involved sucking on your tongue so hard that it felt like you were attached to a the suction end of a hoover; or slobbering all over you like an over enthusiastic St. Bernard. I have to say that this happened when I was young and with the wisdom and experience of age, I know think that they were probably just inexperienced. If you and/or the women that you've been dating are youngish, they may have these experiences fresh in their minds and even if you are just a normal, everyday run of the mill kisser, to them you are a "good kisser" because you are not doing any of these things. Or maybe you truly are a better than average kisser! Yay you!
posted by kaybdc at 9:45 PM on July 24, 2009

Well, you're not likely to be told that you are a "bad kisser"

Not in those words, at least. I'd try to retrain a bad kisser or dump him and move on to better make outs. If your partner seems eager to kiss you you're probably doing all right.

This is reminding me of that episode of Sex and the City in which Charlotte dates someone who is a horrible kisser and keeps licking her face like a dog during necking sessions. I'm pretty sure Kristen Davis had no need to act disgusted during that scene. Yuck! Better her than me!
posted by orange swan at 9:48 PM on July 24, 2009

Funny, I just had this conversation with someone a couple of hours ago. No one is going to tell you that you're a bad kisser, no. But I recently learned (the hard way) that being "a good kisser" isn't a given, like say, "you have pretty eyes" is, which was the assumption I've always made.

Yes, some people are terrible kissers. I kissed a terrible kisser recently. I would never tell him that unless he asked me directly, though. If he did? Well then I would say "You don't know what the hell you are doing. How on earth did you get to that age and you haven't managed to realize you are the worst? Kissing your weirdly puckered mouth is like kissing a terrified butthole. Where on earth did you come from?"

I would never tell someone they are a good kisser if I didn't think so. That would be reinforcing the terrible kissing! If someone kisses in a way I approve of, I continue to kiss them, I like to believe this gets the message across. I think saying it is a bit redundant because you are in fact, still kissing them. And would be interrupting the GREAT kissing to TELL them they are great - that's a bit too meta. I might say something else, though, to make some complimentary conversation. Perhaps, "hey, you've got a sweet ass."

I will also add this all came up because my friend don't me a TOTALLY squicky story about kissing a guy on a date recently, who she wasn't so into, who then moaned several times after a few consecutive kisses, "MMMM you're such a GOOD kisser. MMMMM." Ugh. Don't do that.
posted by SassHat at 10:05 PM on July 24, 2009 [16 favorites]

I agree with the above. I would never compliment someone on their kissing if they were a bad kisser. I'd stick it out for a couple of dates if I reaaaaly liked them and thought it might just be first-kiss nerves, but I once kissed a guy who was so very very bad at it that I just vanished like the wind and never returned his phone calls. (This was rude, but seemed less rude than telling him that I never wanted his mouth anywhere near mine again.)

I *have* dated so-so kissers for a while, though, but I can't remember ever complimenting them specifically on their kissing. Basically, if I mention it (and say "You're a good kisser" NOT "I like kissing you") I mean it.
posted by MsMolly at 10:28 PM on July 24, 2009

I honestly do not believe in good or bad kissing technique. I believe in kissing chemistry.

To wit:
Someone I'm not that into kissing biting my lip: awkward and hurty.
Someone I'm really into kissing, in the midst of a really intense makeout, biting my lip: hot and hurts so good

When you're in the flow of good kiss chemistry, you just know what to do. To tell the truth, I can imagine someone with whom I've got great chemistry licking my face like in that SATC episode and me being into. Just saying. Stranger things have happened. Just saying. I heard Dan Savage on a podcast once talking about how he loved the taste of his boyfriend's saliva. Sometimes you just got it like that and nothing can go wrong.

I think this goes both ways. When I'm into it, I feel like a "good kisser" and am pretty sure I can read the same on the person I'm kissing, and have heard as much. When I'm phoning it in, I know I'm probably pretty boring to kiss.

Unfortunately, kissing chemistry does not always correlate with other kinds of chemistry (sexual or otherwise) or even infatuation. Some people you like to kiss and some people don't. It can be disappointing when an otherwise fantastic partner is lousy for one to make kiss with. I think it probably have something to do with pheromones or whatever. That's not to say you can't work through this...

Maybe you've had the good fortune of kissing only (mostly) women with whom you have good chemistry. Very cool...
posted by lalalana at 10:55 PM on July 24, 2009 [6 favorites]

This means that girls like kissing you. The fact that this question is here means you are overthinking this. Stop that!!!
posted by Turkey Glue at 11:07 PM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

i only tell guys they are good kissers if they are actually good kissers. average kissers i say nothing to; if i'm going to be kissing them more often they will eventually learn what i like and get better at it. bad kissing is a total dealbreaker—if they haven't figured out what makes bad kissing bad by the time they're past their mid-20s, my experience is that they haven't figured out what to do in the sack or how to behave afterwards either.
posted by lia at 11:57 PM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Like others have said, if the kissing is just "meh," I'll say nothing. So if a chick says you're a good kisser, she probably means it.

If I'm attracted to someone in every aspect except the kissing, I'll wait until the relationship has moved along a bit, and then gently try to teach the guy what I like, which is very different than saying, "You suck at kissing."
posted by Evangeline at 12:49 AM on July 25, 2009

i would not tell someone he was a good kisser unless he was a great kisser.
posted by violetk at 12:55 AM on July 25, 2009

I think it's interesting that you're suspicious of what the girls you kiss are saying, and not what your friends are.
posted by Jairus at 2:13 AM on July 25, 2009

Kissing your weirdly puckered mouth is like kissing a terrified butthole.

SassHat, you have rendered me osculatorially impotent.

Also, anyone is a good kisser when kissing someone who likes being kissed that way. I suspect there's an identifiable "good kisser" profile that satisfies most kissee's criteria, but there are enough outliers matching up that a small sample generates a surprising number of seemingly competent kissers.

I once kissed a girl who was such a bad, if enthusiastic, kisser that her tongue went up my nostril. She had to peel me off the ceiling.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:44 AM on July 25, 2009

they're telling you that they dig you -- either that, or they read on cosmopolitan that it helps men gain confidence.
posted by 3mendo at 3:03 AM on July 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

Here's how you tell: if the girl keeps wanting to kiss you, you're doing fine.
posted by nax at 5:15 AM on July 25, 2009

Appreciate it and believe her sincerity, but don't take it _seriously_ at all; else one day you might feel "wasted" on someone who does not (in your opinion) kiss well. Get me? She's serious about it but don't take it seriously. Because it doesn't matter.
posted by rahnefan at 6:33 AM on July 25, 2009

I honestly do not believe in good or bad kissing technique. I believe in kissing chemistry.

Exactly. It means that the two of you kiss well together, not necessarily extrapolateable to other kissees, though if you hear it a lot, you may have decent generic kissing ability. I'm with the other folks, I would never tell peopel they were a good kisser unless they were really pretty good. And by "good kisser" I mean "good at kissing me and receiving kisses by me"
posted by jessamyn at 6:44 AM on July 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

If a man is a good kisser, I have no problems telling him. If he's a bad kisser, it's much more difficult (and not at all made better when he asks me, "Am I a good kisser?"). If she says it without provocation, then take it. But there is usually still room for improvement!
posted by honeybee413 at 7:30 AM on July 25, 2009

I think there are objectively bad kissing techniques (drool, chin-licking, tooth-bumping, that weird pursed-lip squibbling that reminds me of quahogs) and there is also "kissing chemistry".
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:12 AM on July 25, 2009

It's like when they lean over during supper and quietly say "every woman in this restaurant is looking at you".

It's a sign of insecurity. So take it with a grain of salt.
posted by Zambrano at 8:14 AM on July 25, 2009

I have always thought of kissing like dancing... everyone has their own style, and it's all about interacting with the other person.

That sensitivity is what makes a good kisser - that, and chemistry, absolutely.

Bad kissing experiences mostly include the person doing things with their tongue/lips that I really wasn't following. Like someone talking really loud but not hearing anything you say.

The good kissing experiences include a lot of push and pull, feeling like my partner is paying a lot of attention to what I'm doing, and us taking turns leading and following - kind of like dancing, or a great conversation.

Chemistry makes the difference when first kisses are clumsy and awkward, but yummy enough to keep practicing and then things start falling into place.

Or, (my worst kiss experience) the chemistry was SO bad, that try as I might (I really tried) I couldn't get rid of that gross feeling, in spite of the fact that he was an ok kisser.

Good kissers with chemistry are the BEST!!!
posted by Locochona at 9:02 AM on July 25, 2009

It's a sign of insecurity. So take it with a grain of salt.

Wait, telling someone they're a good kisser is a sign of insecurity? I thought it was a compliment. It's not like "wow, you're a really great painter, I wish I could do that!" I think the difference is that when someone is kissing you, you're involved. When you're looking at something someone else has done, you're a (perhaps envious?) observer.

I agree with DarlingBri, in Alisonland, it means "I like kissing you." It could be straight up great kissing skills, attraction + decent kissing, attraction + alcohol, great kissing + being in the mood to make out, whatever. Either way, say "oh, you haven't even seen the half of it" or "you too!" and keep going.

The funny thing is, no one really teaches you how to kiss (well, not officially anyway), so my definition of a great makeout could be someone else's mediocre kiss.
posted by AlisonM at 12:06 PM on July 25, 2009

lalalana: I honestly do not believe in good or bad kissing technique.

Two words: Cow Boy.

Live in my dorm my freshman year. Was very good looking. Also very nice. And a serial hookup for the girls in my dorm. And we all called him Cow Boy because... well, kissing him was more like having your face licked than anything else.

There are, indeed, bad kissers.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:39 PM on July 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

You got a compliment. Accept it graciously.
posted by theora55 at 6:30 PM on July 25, 2009

I've generally been told I'm a good kisser and I take it to mean, as DarlingBri said, "I like kissing you."
posted by crossoverman at 3:03 AM on July 26, 2009

To me, a good kisser simply means you didn't painfully suck on my tongue or cram your tongue down my throat.
posted by Juliet Banana at 8:28 AM on July 27, 2009

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