Good Guy, Bad Kisser
June 7, 2010 3:38 AM   Subscribe

[KissingFilter]: I met a guy who is interesting, funny, warm, etc. I like him. Problem? He really just does not know how to kiss. What do I do?

Super great guy, I love hanging out with him. Unfortunately, when he kisses me, he leaves his mouth fairly wide open and COMPLETELY unmoving, except for his tongue, which moves just a TINY bit side-to-side. I've tried to demonstrate how things could be, but I just don't think he's getting it. And, while I really do not have any preconceived notions about the "right" kind of kiss (I've had the pleasure of many different flavors and, yum!) -- this is just not cutting it.

[What's also interesting/puzzling to me is that he's the one, so far, who's initiated the kissing ("I've been wanting to kiss you all night!") -- but I'm having a hard time understanding how this sub-par kissing is enjoyable for him whatsoever...]

I know "talk to him" is the ultimate solution but we're still getting to know one another and I don't want to hurt his feelings or cause him to back off.

posted by hapax_legomenon to Human Relations (17 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Why not try kissing him the way he does? Not in a passive aggressive way - so you can appreciate it from his point of view. Also, he may in a subtle way passively be riding on your effort, so if you back off a little he may take up some of the slack. Good luck.
posted by ultrabuff at 4:10 AM on June 7, 2010

Talking to him is probably going to be the only solution. How else is he going to know that this is a problem for you? If you've tried hinting, and that isn't working, then you need to step it up a gear.

The other option is to not say anything, and put up with it. And be unhappy with the way he kisses. For the sake of saying "please could you kiss me like this", you could be stuck in this situation for a looong time.
posted by Solomon at 4:38 AM on June 7, 2010

A formerly useless kisser writes: better to tell him. Lead by example, and practice makes perfect ...
posted by scruss at 4:50 AM on June 7, 2010 [3 favorites]

Would he be amenable to a playful "let me show you how to kiss *my* way"? And you could make a kind of kissing game out of it, trying out different styles and let him know which style you prefer.
posted by Omnomnom at 4:50 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Just tell him that you like peach cobbler, and that he kisses like peach cobbler, but there's other tasty things you like too, like soft-serve (demonstrate: caressing lips) and rhubarb tart (nibbly kisses) and sweet tarts (quick pecks) and double caramel sundae (big sloppy kisses with lots of tongue everywhere) and all day suckers (the kiss that keeps on going and going and going) and that, hey -- kissing is like the best dessert ever but you don't want to have the same one every time, right? And then smooch him some more.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:17 AM on June 7, 2010 [22 favorites]

You have to 1) get him to notice how he's kissing and, 2) teach him a better way.

You don't want to humiliate him, but you probably need to be more clear about your needs. (Probably clearer than you think is strictly polite, by the sounds of your question.)

I recommend that *you* initiate small, pecking kisses on his cheek or neck and move toward his mouth.

The benefits are that he has time to catch on to what you're doing before you reach his lips, and also, when you kiss his lips in the same way, it will seem logical.

If you two are kissing on the lips and he gets all open-mouthed on you, just pull back and plant those small, soft kisses on his face - or even his wide-open lips!!! There's very little chance that he will keep his mouth gaping open while you're dishing out delicate smooches.

The good thing is that he's getting the feedback during a make-out session, so I'm sure his ego can take it.

The important thing is to keep things slow and build up to the deep kisses, so he learns the other way(s).
posted by cranberrymonger at 6:18 AM on June 7, 2010

Practice makes perfect?
posted by chunking express at 6:36 AM on June 7, 2010

Oh god, the wide open lips. I hate that! Feels like drowning in a big slobbery empty cavernous void.

Last time I encountered it, we were having lots of fun otherwise, so I just started giggling and told the guy with great fondness in my voice that my mouth just wasn't big enough to keep up, and asked him to please open his less so as to accommodate my smaller mouth. He laughed with me, and improved.
posted by Eshkol at 7:25 AM on June 7, 2010

Train him like you would an animal. Your kisses are reinforcement for correct behavior. When he opens his mouth too much, you move away, maybe nuzzle his neck for a moment, then go back and let him have another chance. Reward successive approximations of a correct kiss. Mouth a little more closed? Fantastic, you get a kiss! Less tounge, more lip? More kisses! Goes back to the bad kisses? Pull away again.

You're not doing anything mean or manipulative when you pull away from his bad kisses, you're just giving him a clear 'no' signal. Applied consistently, I think this might even be more effective than trying to hash out what the 'right' kiss is with him verbally, because the feedback is instant. You just have to apply it every time the same way, or else his kissing behavior will just end up all over the map.
posted by slow graffiti at 7:49 AM on June 7, 2010

I like playing the 'you hold still and let me kiss you' game. Then you can act out on him a style of kissing you enjoy. This gives him a chance to really feel the different things that are happening, AKA it's not just tongue or just lips, but a lot of things working in conjunction.

When it's his turn to kiss you while you hold still, give him gentle advice that still sounds enthusiastic/interested. "Mmm... move your lips more,"... "I like it when you bite my lip," et cetera.

It's always a bit easier if you frame it as 'here's what I like' as opposed to 'here's what you're doing wrong.'
posted by rachaelfaith at 7:51 AM on June 7, 2010

Try lots of pecky-kissing (which is a lot nicer than some people realise). Kiss him with your mouth only partly open, or closed entirely. Put up with a bit of bad kissing until you feel like you can talk about it. And then practice, practice, practice.

Definitely keep the guy -- bad kissers can be trained, bad boyfriends stay bad.

(I married the worst kisser I ever kissed; apparently I was pretty awful too. We both improved.)
posted by jb at 8:11 AM on June 7, 2010

In order to not offend or scare him away, always present this as a mutual compatibility challenge, no some sort of shortcoming on his part.

"We need to practice kissing more."
"Hmmmm... what about this? Do you like THIS?"
"Oh, oh, now try that for me!"

Make it a cooperative effort, and you'll get better results and save his feelings.
posted by rokusan at 8:35 AM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

What's also interesting/puzzling to me is that he's the one, so far, who's initiated the kissing

Anecdata: all of the worst kissers I've encountered were also among the most incredibly enthusiastic kissers. I think some people are really into the idea of kissing purely because of what it signifies -- to them the act itself is literally equivalent to romantic/sexy feelings. The actual physical sensations of kissing seem completely secondary to them -- which is exactly the problem, because for most(?) people, those physical sensations are the most important part, the reason for kissing in the first place.
posted by hermitosis at 10:02 AM on June 7, 2010 [8 favorites]

Oh god, the wide open lips. I hate that! Feels like drowning in a big slobbery empty cavernous void.

I had a girlfriend like this -- fantastic in every way, but a terrible kisser. Whenever she did it, I'd just reach up, caress her cheek, and gently nudge her chin upward. At first, she tilted her head back and I'd kiss her neck and chin a bit, then come back up to her lips (which were by then closed) -- and when she opened her mouth again I'd do it again.

She quickly stopped opening her mouth right away, and so we'd kiss longer. She picked it up because she was, in all ways, sensitive and attentive and a wonderful partner. So give this approach a try -- don't FORCE his mouth close, of course, just a gentle nudge to get his head up -- and see if he responds. After all, you do want to be with a sensitive and attentive partner. If it doesn't take, though, then just follow the advice above.
posted by davejay at 10:35 AM on June 7, 2010

Also, what hermitosis said.
posted by davejay at 10:36 AM on June 7, 2010

Thanks, everyone, I really appreciate your responses.

And now for your (anyone who's still reading this thread) viewing pleasure:
posted by hapax_legomenon at 2:07 PM on June 7, 2010

I agree with hermitosis that the worst kissers seem to be the most enthusiastic... I disagree with the reasoning for that. For example, I care more about the feelings involved than the physical sensation of kissing, it's just that when the sensation is repulsive that overrides everything. And the terrible kissers just seemed to have no idea what they're doing, it didn't seem to be a feelings v. sensation thing.
posted by Nattie at 6:43 AM on June 8, 2010

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