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In which Lindsey shares one guide on how to kiss along with a cross-cultural perspective of how it is certainly not the only way.

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My first kissing lesson was in middle school:

Take your hand like this, bring it to your lips.... now it's all wet.

My second lesson was: it's important to keep your kissing style, not to change for someone else's preferences...  unless that person is gnawing and slurping rather than kissing.

This is my guide to maintaining your signature style without so much sucking. Yes, that can be taken literally.


Philematologists: people who study kissing asked over 1000 people about kissing experiences, and the majority said that even though attraction HAD been there, if the kissing was bad then nuh-uh, deal breaker. 

Sometimes this is because it didn't feel right - you know, the intuitive sense people have. It could also be that smell or taste was off-putting, too much or too little moisture, too much or too little tongue, teeth, pressure, movement.

That's a lot to consider. Let's just start with oral hygiene.

Approximately 90% of cultures smooch. Others like the Mehinaku of the Amazon Rainforest and the Tonga of Africa liken it to eating each others saliva and dirt. Unhealthy and disgusting. Fair.

We are swapping 1000 bacteria in a dry kiss and 80 million in a wet one. 

Some of this is healthy biodiversity, but then there's plaque: film and acids that build up and harm the the teeth and gums. Brush your teeth, floss, rinse, suck on a favorite mouth freshener, chew on some dogwood if you need to. Kissing itself is a teeth cleanser, but there's a baseline hygiene to accomplish before you lock lips.

Next: flirt. Instructions here and in the description.

The flirting is going to be useful in building anticipation and gauging interest. To be confident though? Ask: May I kiss you? It's SO worth it because A: you're not assaulting anyone and, B: you don't need any other reasons. 

The best kisses are reciprocal; so, as I describe the rest of my suggestions for better kissing, note that you are your partner are taking turns with these moves.

Move 1: Consider your surroundings - like probably not next to the trash or with an intrusive audience. Move somewhere that's warm, intimate, and clean if possible.

Move 2: With your hands, show the person where you are. You may reach out tenderly, just barely caressing, or steadily, like a dance lead. You're saying "It's okay to close your eyes. I've got you."  Mmmm, and touching: like stroking, holding, massaging, grabbing, pulling, kneading, clawing and thrusting can improve the kiss because more of the body is experiencing it. There are over 30 muscles involved in just the mouth part of making out. That's about 7 minutes of THIS kiss to burn the 22 calories of this one. Add the rest of your body and you've got a workout. 

Move 3: move your chest forward slightly to show that you're about to land on their mouth but make sure you give them enough room so that they can see whether or not you're leaning to the left or right. you can also use your hand to guide which direction to lean. the majority of kissers lean right, but either way works - even upside down if you want to "Spiderman" it. 

Move 4: Come closer, as if to breathe the person in. You can actually inhale at about here - Close to the other person's nose, to literally take some of their breath away, or smell them. the Balinese of Indonesia bring their faces together to smell. Eskimo words for "kiss" are actually "smell." Many cultures prefer nose-face contact to mouth-mouth contact, including Blackfeet of North America, Maori of New Zealand, and Polynesians. Wherever you decide to put your mouth, your next move is a conversation. In the words of storm cloud over "you listen with your mouth (or nose) to your partner and respond to them accordingly." If you're both doing this it can be pretty epic.

For a couple seconds then, just forget how stupid you look. If you put your feelings into the kiss then they will understand that. But if you constantly think about the shape of your upper lip and how wet your tongue is, they won't get what you're trying to communicate. The idea is that kissing is a form of communicating: passion, love, respect gratitude. We used to kiss to emphasize a sworn oath, like "let me kiss this mortgage." What you don't want to do is YELL your kiss at someone.

To paraphrase the blog "hey let's talk about sex": There's a time and a place for the "I want you so bad that I'm going to attack" kiss, but the sudden onslaught of forceful, somewhat uncomfortable amounts of pressure, trying to push your face through mine shouldn't be your opening and only move. Tell a story. Have an arc. I love the idea of kissing as a conversation - swapping stories, just flirting it up in the mouth where it starts off with an introduction, then a climax and a resolution. That winding down is important. many times it's marked by slower and shorter kisses until eventually there's a thank you kind of peck.

Now maybe your lips are all tingly.

This is just one manner of learning to kiss. Honor your personality and seek out methods that work best for you. If you're a tactile learner: ask a friend to practice with you, or use the inside of your elbow. If you're a visual learner: there's a kiss on "New Girl" that *Whoo* it's the hottest! Or there are lots of top 10 kiss videos out there. Ultimately, you're going to want to stay curious.

The next video will answer your kissing questions. Stay curious about that!