When you can take the pebble from my lips, Grasshopper, I will have taught you well.
December 16, 2007 7:42 AM   Subscribe

How do you teach someone to be a better kisser? Can you?

Ok, so kissing is one of those things that I enjoy and that I've been told I'm really really good at (by guys who I felt like could win a gold medal for kissing if such a thing existed). The problem is that in my last two-year relationship the guy wasn't a very good kisser. He kind of had that fish-lips thing going on. And, while I loved him in many other ways, the lack of passion I felt when we locked lips ended up being one of several things on the side of ending the relationship. Now I'm just starting to date a new guy and... the first kiss didn't wow me. It was a lot of pecking, with the same move repeated over and over again, instead of relaxing and varying the intensity and shape of his mouth. So if you've ever had success with teaching someone to kiss differently I need to know how. (Without being all, "Stop! You're doing that wrong!") I really like this guy otherwise, but I also know what a big libido-killer boring or bad kissing can be over time. Help!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (19 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Don't worry about teaching anything. Just tell him what you want. Guys appreciate that.
posted by poppo at 7:48 AM on December 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ask "hey, can I suggest something?"
"Slow down a bit, and I'll show you how I like it. Slow, just enough tongue, dynamic, not so much pecking but just finding each other's mouths. Let me kiss you."
(kiss him) See if he gets the drift.
"Less repetitive, more back and forth, simple, relaxed, and playing off each other."
posted by disillusioned at 7:54 AM on December 16, 2007

I think the best way is for him to just slightly open his mouth, and YOU kiss HIM. With enough demonstration and modeling even the slowest student will be able to learn. SHOW, don't TELL.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:03 AM on December 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Hmmm...I've actually had to do this a couple times in my life. Poppo has a point; tell them what you want. Be specific and don't seem embarrassed by it because it will just make you both nervous. He'll probably have his ego deflated for a few seconds, but if kissing feels better after it, it can become advice well-received. That's why telling your partner what you want during sex works so well; they get instant positive feedback.

The worst is if you wait for a while and then tell them. I did that one time, and he felt really embarrassed, like I had lied to him. Learned from that one.

Although, unlike sex, I've found it's easier if you tell them what doesn't feel good, rather than what they should be doing, when it comes to advising kissing. I think it's because it's hard to figure out what you want from kissing. Maybe a lot of the enjoyment comes from the unexpected communication of it.

Your kiss is too wet, I can't breathe, it's too hard, it's too fast, etc. seemed to work better than being specific about what you want, from my experience.
posted by fan_of_all_things_small at 8:04 AM on December 16, 2007

In my experience, you really cannot teach someone how to be a better kisser. I've tried explicitly telling the other person what I like, as well as showing, without good result. It seems like a "you have it or you don't" thing. It really can be a deal-breaker, too, though it sounds shallow to say it.
posted by thebrokedown at 8:06 AM on December 16, 2007

I would agree with the first two responses that the most direct way towards your goal is to clearly verbally communicate what you want. Good communication is one of the cornerstones of a successful relationship.

On the other hand... my last gf and I were both pretty good kissers and we had alot of fun teaching each other "moves" without any talking, but that type of body-language communication might be difficult if your relationship with this guy is pretty new.

My advice would be that you have to "show by example" first .. and see if he gets the hint.

A few examples:

1.) Next time you two lean into a kiss... stop right before your lips touch and "hover" for a brief moment (so you can feel each others breath)----- builds up nice anticipation :P

2.) Dont forget to get your hands involved. That may mean just wrapped around each other.. it might mean a firm hand on the back of his/her neck, or on the back of the head.

3.) Has there been any frenching with the new guy ?... gentle biting of each others lips ?, sucking on each others tongues? biting earlobes ?..

If it was me wanting a better kiss.. those are some of the things I would try. (put yourself in a dominant stance, press him up againest a wall, put your hand behind his head, hover for a moment, maybe a peck or two, give him a look of hot desire and then go in for a nice big kiss. )

After all of that.. if he doesnt get the hint.. or continues to be a bad kisser.. then I'm not sure what to tell you ("you can lead (some) horses to water, but cant make them drink" )
posted by jmnugent at 8:11 AM on December 16, 2007

Send him an anonymous *tihi* email about this.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:13 AM on December 16, 2007

In my experience, you really cannot teach someone how to be a better kisser.

I'd refine that to 'not how to be a good kisser'. People either want to use direct feedback and work with it to improve the experience, or they don't. Within that subset are people that can pay enough attention/be physically aware of the fine detail and react to it.

I think you can always teach someone to improve their kissing, but that people are either 'good' or 'not so good' and on those two sliding scales. If you have someone who considers kissing to be a means to an end, then you're screwed (arf) if you can't change that mindset. The thinking that every element is as important as just the 'threading the needle' bit is fundamental. If you can't get that, you're never going to make progress. It is exactly the same as foreplay, and the mind is key. If you can't get the right sort of mind, you will get nowhere.

If you get the right sort of mind, then you will very likely make progress. If you can take over and show them, maybe even with just saying "I want to be in charge, just let me kiss you" then you may make progress. You'll potentially need to do this in a way that won't bruise egos - "You're kissing me WRONG!" will get you plastic fish lips faster than a fishmongers display. If you have tried this technique a few times, moved onto the gentle encouragement/react accordingly stage and are still making no progress, they may be just one of those people that doesn't care all that much about kissing.

There is every chance, however, that it's simply because no-one has showed them how much fun kissing actually is. If they've always had crap kissers (or ones that don't try) then they'll know no better.
posted by Brockles at 8:21 AM on December 16, 2007

The people advocating the direct approach are assuming the recipient is secure enough to handle it. For the insecure person, it will inevitably come off as criticism no matter how carefully it is phrased. In this case, you are stuck with the bad kissing.
posted by desjardins at 8:40 AM on December 16, 2007

You can be direct without hurting feelings by saying something like, "I really like it when you do x...", and then tell them what you like. After they do it to your liking, you can reiterate how good that felt. It's a sneaky way to make the other person think they did it on their own. It's always worked for me.
posted by missjamielynn at 9:05 AM on December 16, 2007

Get another girl and demonstrate. Talk him through everything you're/she's doing and how it's a turn on. I assure you that he will be paying rapt attention. I remember some videos of "how to kiss" making the internet rounds a bit ago.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 9:37 AM on December 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Boy, this one seems to be a hardy perennial. So leave us not forget the excellent advice of little porno noises as a force of positive reinforcement - though maybe not so much for kissing.
posted by mojohand at 9:48 AM on December 16, 2007

I think you need to focus on getting him to stop worrying and lose himself in the moment. The whole thing of just repeating the same stereotyped movement is what happens when a person is thinking instead of feeling. Whispering "Relax, your body knows what to do" into his ear is a whole lot nicer than saying he's a bad kisser and stands a better chance of producing the result you want. Being relaxed yourself will also help a lot.
posted by teleskiving at 10:05 AM on December 16, 2007

Sadly, I think you're fucked (or more likely not fucked). Any kisser worth his or her salt should be able to pick up on the physical cues you're giving when you kiss. During the flirty talk that comes with this territory, make sure you talk about kissing and what you like. Be straightforward and make it seem like foreplay, not a lesson. I say you're fucked because I don't think there's much to be done beyond that. I firmly believe it's one of those things you can do or you can't.
posted by Roman Graves at 10:12 AM on December 16, 2007

All the people saying this is impossible are wrong. I have successfully done this with past partners. A few things I did:

* Initiate a conversation about different kissing styles. "Isn't it interesting how many different kissing styles there are? I'm fascinated when I kiss someone new, because their style is always unique. My first boyfriend kissed like this, and that was kind of how I learned, but I've had others who kissed like this, and that was hot too. What have your experiences been?" I have found that a lot of people don't even think about styles of kissing, and have no awareness that they are kissing differently, but if you bring it up they have a chance to ponder the matter. When you're demonstrating kissing styles, as mentioned above, have him just sit still while you kiss him.

* Do some sensuality exercises. Tell him that you read about something on the internet where your partner holds still and you gently caress and nuzzle their face using nothing but your own face. Use your nose, cheeks, and chin to very gently explore their face. No lips are allowed to touch. After a while switch roles. This gets you thinking generally about how to be sensual and gentle.

* Do some mouth-exploration exercises. I started doing this just because I thought it was hot, but I think it's good for learning to kiss too. It's similar to the above. Your partner sits still with their mouth slightly open. You use your lips and tongue to slowly, sensually, and completely explore their mouth. Run your tongue over their teeth. Suck on their lips and their tongue. Slowly and gently. Then switch roles.

Afterwards, if you wish your partner had done some things differently, say "Mmmm, thanks. I love this stuff. It would be really hot if you did more of this" and demonstrate on them. And of course give lots of positive feedback.

I'd love to hear an update on how it goes if you are comfortable contacting an admin or sending one of us mefi mail!
posted by agropyron at 10:27 AM on December 16, 2007 [3 favorites]

I have found that in every single instance of wanting better kissing, sex, or other interpersonal reward, slowing down is always the answer. I'm not one who is prone to talk about these things, though.
posted by rhizome at 11:08 AM on December 16, 2007

When he does something right, tell him. If he gives you a good one, tell him it was the best kiss between you two. Some time when you are not making out, let the conversation wander, then explain what you really like in kissing. He will try to help, trust me.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:20 PM on December 16, 2007

I'm writing this over the real "tristeza's" mild objection, but she does tell me I'm a good kisser so...

I learned to kiss through kissing a girl whose mouth and mine were not a good fit (well, also she had killer-sharp braces). She was a precociously passionate little creature and I was put in the odd position (for a boy) of slowing *her* down.

The key is to start small.

If one concentrates on limiting the size and depth of the kiss and only progressively gets deeper, I think that the natural human inclination to imitate and the desire to kiss more deeply combine to help find that "fit" that's so important to kissing.

One also starts to concentrate more on the other person's mouth - giving and receiving - and less on oneself.

What the OP and kissing parter need to understand is that it's about finding *their* kiss as a couple - not a better or a worse kiss, but their own. Every person is different and the fun of kissing is finding a way to be that person's best kiss. Once you find that fit and a gentle, reliable way to get to it, you are in kissing paradise and all the world is yours.
posted by tristeza at 4:25 PM on December 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

It's different with different people. Everyone does it a different way.

It's really offensive to me when a girl asks me to kiss differently. I'm doing this because I like it this way. If you don't, then screw you, get out of here. It's like asking someone to change their religious habits. Which some people do, but I personally believe them (and the kissing changers) to be control freaks.

People do things in different ways. If you don't like it, find someone who does it the way you like it.
posted by kpmcguire at 12:07 PM on December 17, 2007

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