During my adolescence, around the time of my first intimate encounter, I remember someone telling me that you can tell how passionate people are by how they kiss. It was one of those snippets of information that I stored away in my brain but never thought much about.
However, over the past few decades, I’ve done my own personal research and have found this to be completely true. For example, I encountered lovers who never really liked kissing. They would give me a peck hello and goodbye, but refrained from intimate kissing either during foreplay or lovemaking. On reflection, I must say that those lovers who satisfied me the most were those who’d truly mastered the art of kissing, as it was an act that stimulated arousal in both partners. I believe that if you’ve mastered this art, then you give your partner the message that you’re truly interested, which is a real turn-on.
Often my instincts are confirmed through documented research. A recent special edition of Scientific American Mind focused on some kissing studies. Researchers found that a kiss locks two people together, in that there’s a profound exchange of scents tastes, textures, secrets, and emotions. “A kiss triggers a cascade of neural messages and chemicals that transmit tactile sensations, sexual excitement, feelings of closeness, motivation, and even euphoria,” said writer Chip Walter.
In the same article, Walter said that zoologist Desmond Morris speculated that kissing might have evolved from the time when primate mothers chewed food for their young and then gave them the food mouth to mouth. This is an interesting form of evolution that eventually led to a deeper passion among humans. Later we learned that certain pheromones are released through kissing. Oxytocin has been called the “hormone of love” because it plays a role in social bonding and reproduction in both sexes. It’s typically released into the bloodstream when women are stimulated during intimacy and childbirth. It has also been found to be released during kissing.
Some studies have suggested that the extent to which partners enjoy kissing one another might be a sign of compatibility. A report published by Valerie Reiss on the website upwave.com back in 2014 reported eight health benefits of kissing, which included a reduction in blood pressure, fewer headaches, cavity-fighting properties, an increase in happy hormones, calorie-burning effects, enhanced self-esteem, the ability to give you a face-lift by shaping up the neck and jawline (a real stretch), and most important, a barometer of sexual compatibility of potential partners.
Knowing how to kiss is often intuitive, but some people might need lessons. Years ago I read an article about how to French kiss, and the tips I learned have served me well:
Do a gentle lip kiss.
Put your tongue into the mouth of the other person.
Flick your tongues together.
Rotate your tongues in a circular motion.
In cat-and-mouse style, take turns chasing one another in the other person’s mouth.
Suck on your lover’s tongue or gently bite it as a form of enticement.
Like any sort of intimacy, kissing involves a certain amount of creativity, and preferences are highly individualized.
Creativity is also something that can be implemented when writing about kisses. In her anthology Intimate Kisses, sex therapist Wendy Maltz accumulated 120 poems celebrating kissing as part of the sexual experiences. This wonderful collection is divided up in sections, including anticipation & desire, self-awareness & discovery, admiration & appreciation, union & ecstasy, and, afterglow & remembrance. These poems are fun to read by yourself, and also as part of the sexual act, as are some of the poems in my own collection, called Lust. Here is one of my poems from that work:
The way you look at me,
love me, hold me and kiss me
wants me to pour endless words
into empty pages from here until eternity.
Being wisped away by your passions
and make me yearn
to count the stars
between here and there
and walk the highest of mountains
and swim the widest of oceans
all in response
to that very special moment
when your eyes link with mine
in the deepest night on the quietest
and longest day of the year
that we will spend together
in one another’s arms.
In my writing classes, I suggest that participants write about their first kiss. Undoubtedly, everyone seems to recall this event. I certainly remember mine. I was about 13 years old, and both my boyfriend and I wore braces, and yes, they linked in an embarrassing way so that we had to wiggle out of our predicament. It was a moment to remember, and certainly one to write about for the rest of my life!
Oxford University Press. (2013). “Kissing helps us find the right partner—and keep them.” October 11.
Raab, D. (2014). Lust. Word Tech Communications: Cincinnati, OH.
Reiss, V. (2014). “8 health benefits of kissing.” Upwave.com.
Walter, C. (2016). When passion takes a grip, a kiss locks two humans together in an exchange of scents, tastes, textures, secrets and emotions.” Scientific American Mind. Vol 25., No. 1