What does this bad kiss mean?
September 15, 2018 8:21 PM   Subscribe

Is a bad kiss indicitive of poor chemistry or can things be changed? Anecdotes?

I had a nice first date (met online) with a man who seems kind, smart, interesting, and is good-looking. We have a lot in common. However, i didn't like our kiss at the end of the night. It was partly because there was too much tongue on his part, partly because i didn't feel a "zing". He seems really keen on seeing me again. I also like him. But the kissing.

Any tips? Stories or improving on kissing with a partner? How to improve it? When to throw in the towel?

posted by bearette to Human Relations (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
*"stories ON improving kissing with a partner"*
posted by bearette at 8:22 PM on September 15, 2018

I don't think you should throw in the towel after a bad kiss, though maybe the lack of zing is a problem!

I can't believe I'm saying this but...my husband is not a great kisser and he never has been. I've never brought it up! The amount of zing we have makes up for this, though.

I can confirm you can have a good relationship even when your kissing styles don't match.
posted by thereader at 8:29 PM on September 15, 2018 [15 favorites]

Not feeling the "zing" is the bigger issue because that's probably reflective of other bad vibes you subconsciously picked up or just generally not feeling it. My experience is that when you are REALLY into someone a bad kiss is virtually impossible.

That said, if you really are just a kiss connoisseur, I will also say that, in my experience, kissing capability is not particularly associated with sexing capability. All else being equal, I might see how the latter balances out before making any rash decisions.
posted by 256 at 8:37 PM on September 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

I say give it another spin. Too much tongue (which may have been due to nervousness on his part) would've chased off any zing.

Next time take the lead, and pull back and re-direct if the same problem occurs. Forget the bad first kiss; it's going to be more important that he can accept some instruction as to what you like.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:46 PM on September 15, 2018 [11 favorites]

The zing is the issue. The kissing isn't. See if the zing arrives after you see him again.
posted by quince at 9:17 PM on September 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

What if he’s a so-so kisser but great in bed and a kind generous supportive funny and loving partner who is also hot?

You get to pick your own deal breakers, but I’d lean toward giving him another chance, and see if you can’t find some common ground on kissing techniques and preferences, while you work on seeing if the other (potentially) good stuff makes dealing with this worth it for you.
posted by SaltySalticid at 9:29 PM on September 15, 2018 [3 favorites]

Personally, anyone I found to be a not so great to bad kisser I realized I didn’t have great chemistry or attraction to. The zing is key! I remember when one of my relationships was going downhill, all of a sudden it felt like I found my partner to be a bad kisser when I previously enjoyed it all. My current partner may have been too tongue-y in the beginning, but I really felt a spark that I didn’t care. Eventually, we learned from each other styles and got more in sync.

I think you should hang out again (if you want) to see if that zing appears.
posted by buttonedup at 10:36 PM on September 15, 2018 [5 favorites]

As far as the technical part is concerned, say "I really liked [aspect A and B] of your kissing. The tongue was a little too much though."
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:47 PM on September 15, 2018

I don't think I'd write somebody off after a bad first-rate kiss. Unless it was just horribly disgusting and made me feel all icky to even think about it, but it doesn't sound to me like that's the case here (although maybe it is and I'm just not getting it, in which case nevermind).

I also would totally not be offended if my date told me, "I like a little less tongue in a kiss."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:46 PM on September 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

How much patience do you have for teaching/coaching? I have none, so yeah, the only thing that works for me is throwing in the towel. Kissing not to my taste grosses me out so much my skin crawls.

If you're just "meh" or bored and you feel like hanging in there, fine. But don't think you "owe" some dude a chance because he's keen when you're not.

Women are socially pressured way more than men to go along and "try to make it work." If you're asking for advice on chemistry you don't feel? You're already too unsteady on your feet here.
posted by liminal_shadows at 11:51 PM on September 15, 2018 [6 favorites]

Date someone else! Why on earth women are socialized to make every person we date a fixer up project, I will never know.
posted by yueliang at 12:07 AM on September 16, 2018 [21 favorites]

i have not written off men for being terrible kissers and regretted it later on as they never, ever got better or took any kind of extremely gentle suggestions on how to be even slightly less like a dead halibut thrust urgently into my mouth only to lay there wet and flaccid and horrible and gag-inducing
posted by poffin boffin at 12:09 AM on September 16, 2018 [14 favorites]

I feel like, of all the things that could be wrong with a potential partner, poor kissing technique is one of the easiest to fix. Literally nobody is out there teaching men how to kiss. There's no way to really know how our kisses feel on the receiving end unless someone tells us, and also kissing preferences vary from person to person. Yet it's pretty easy for any guy with even a scrap of empathy to listen to things like "less tongue" and adjust accordingly. Hell, it could actually be really fun and sexy, getting one's kissing technique dialed in just right. Being a bad kisser does not make a man a "fixer upper," this is like a three-minute fix to something that probably nobody has ever tried to coach him on before. I mean, if not a partner, who was supposed to teach him? His mom?

Anyway, a bad kiss means nothing except that this guy defaults to using too much tongue. Easily corrected, if he's a person that you would want to date to begin with. (If he resists being taught how you like to be kissed, that's a great early sign that he doesn't really care about you and maybe you should think twice about dating him.) The bigger issue is the apparent lack of chemistry, but personally if you like him overall I'd give it another date or two. Chemistry isn't always instantaneous, give it a chance to appear. Don't force yourself if you're just not feeling it, but if after a first date I liked someone but wasn't necessarily feeling totally twitterpated, I'd probably still give them a second date and maybe a third before I just said "Nah" and moved on completely.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:15 AM on September 16, 2018 [15 favorites]

Many, many years ago there was a woman I liked. We went out a few times, I tried to kiss her once and she told me she was confused. A couple of dates later, she kissed me (yay! right?) and, even though I liked her a lot, nothing. No excitement, no zing, at all. I got the feeling it was the same for her.
We went out a few more times, kissing never really got better, and we sort of drifted apart.
So, I feel that either you have zing or you don't.
posted by signal at 5:03 AM on September 16, 2018

I don’t think it means you have bad chemistry.

My first boyfriend was an aggressive kisser (with tongue) so until college that was all I knew.

Then I began dating a guy who was a college senior when I was a college freshman. I was being tongue-aggressive (the only way I knew how at the time, and to be honest, hadn’t realized yet that I didn’t enjoy it) and in the most sexy way possible, he just kind of leaned in to me, gave me the bedroom eyes, and with an encouraging smile, said, “Wait. Slow. More lips. Like this.” And then showed me.

It was a very sexy way of communicating, “Hey, that’s not how I enjoy kissing. Can we try this and see if we both like it?” I wasn’t embarrassed or hurt. I realized that I enjoyed a different style of kiss, and became a better kisser (and non-verbal communicater) in the process. YMMV depending on how this guy responds to being gently redirected, but that may tell you more about your chemistry potential than anything else.
posted by nightrecordings at 6:24 AM on September 16, 2018 [12 favorites]

Prior to dating my girlfriend, I had a stretch of no kissing (sadface) so I was really nervous when called back up to duty. And the first kiss was nice but not great. It took a bit for us to learn our preferences and now kissing is really great!

People you really like can be hard to find so I wouldn't throw in the towel before at least giving it another chance. Maybe he didn't like your technique either? A good opportunity to communicate early on and how he reacts will tell you lots about future potential.
posted by Twicketface at 6:50 AM on September 16, 2018

Did you feel the "Zing" before the kiss happened? Did you even want to kiss him yet?

From my experience, when a kiss with a new person comes too soon, it doesn't really matter if he has good or bad technique - the chemistry is not there yet. I would try a couple more dates, and kisses, because the guy seemed nice, and we already kisses once, so kind of "have to" (sad), but such would never amount to anything. Eventually my internal resistance to kissing him would win and we'd go our separate ways.

On the other hand, when the chemistry is there, it was fun and sexy to try and guide him to better kissing, or both of us to try and get into more alignment and even get to liking each other's styles. Unless he was a horrendous kisser or completely inflexible.

So maybe hold off with kissing until the time that you really want to kiss him? If that time never comes during the first few dates, that's your answer too.
posted by LakeDream at 7:21 AM on September 16, 2018

it is wayyyy easier on the ego to have someone request that you do something they like than to have them request you stop doing something they don't like. and that's just a regular person ego, no specialty male ego-mythology considered, even. so if you felt nothing good you could maybe give it another try (except why would you?) but if you felt something bad, jesus, no, don't keep going back for more.

some people/saints get off on being schoolteachers. you don't have to. nobody has to.
posted by queenofbithynia at 10:24 AM on September 16, 2018

I was madly in love with a man for many years who, when we first kissed, grossed me the heck out. I had no attraction for a month, then it totally switched to intense, major attraction.

Things do change.
posted by MountainDaisy at 11:25 AM on September 16, 2018

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