How to be a better kisser?

By Emen8, updated 2 years ago in Sex and dating / Dating and relationships

two men with eyes closed about to kiss each other upside down

We all love kissing.

When it’s good, it’s intimate and sexy and it can be a big part of the connection you feel with a guy. It’s also pretty good for you. Kissing (and other affectionate behaviour) is associated with reduced stress levels, improved mood and possibly even relieving allergy and inflammation symptoms.

But what makes it good? The answer is different for everyone, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep him coming back for more with these easy ways to improve your kissing prowess — and a few warning signs that you may have some serious work to do!


You’re not going to do your best kissing with chapped, cracked lips. Keep your pout soft and juicy with lip balm and/or moisturiser.

Stay fresh

Unless you’re slaying vampires, avoid garlicky and spicy foods before kissing anyone. Boozing and smoking can also give you a sour mouth, which is nobody’s favourite.

two guys hold each others necks-in-tender-embrace

Eyes open or closed?

There’s no right answer to this question, and you should do what comes naturally.

BUT — no tea, no shade — eyes closed is the safer option. If you keep your eyes open during a kiss, it can be very intense for the other guy, who has you staring into his soul the whole time. Try it in a mirror and you’ll see what we mean. Very. Intense.

Closing your eyes also lets you give your full attention to all the other sensory delights of kissing.

It’s not just about his mouth

There are loads of erogenous zones you can stimulate during a kiss, many of them above the waist. Try kissing or licking his throat and the sensitive skin across his collarbone. Use your hands to stroke his chest or his hair. Touching or cupping his face adds a bit of romance. Nibbling a guy’s earlobes can be incredibly sexy, but be careful not to breathe too hard into his ears to avoid the wind-on-a-microphone effect.

It’s good to suck a bit

There’s nothing hotter than a strong kiss that draws you into each other. But too much suction can be uncomfortable and even painful, especially on his lips. Go easy and try to match the strength of his kiss — when you get it right, you’ll get that incredible, mutual melting sensation.

And this should go without saying, but once you’ve graduated high school, it’s no longer acceptable to give someone a hickey (unless they ask for it).

young boyfriends share a sweet kiss

Use all the different parts of your mouth…

Did you know your lips are actually 100-200 times more sensitive than your fingertips? Part of the reason kissing feels so good is that it engages all the touch and pleasure receptors in your mouth, which send messages to your brain to release feel-good hormones.

Learn to vary your technique so you’re giving him lots of stimulation across all those nerves, and he’ll be purring in your arms. Mix up firm, pucker-style kisses with open-mouth kissing that lets him feel the soft inside surface of your lips. Brush your lips lightly over his so he can feel your breath. Use gentle swipes of your tongue between deeper kisses. The more variety you can bring, the better.

…but be careful with the teeth

Playful biting can be sexy but it shouldn’t be hard enough to hurt (unless he’s into that) and you need to be very, very careful biting anywhere around the mouth — it’s delicate tissue.

The rest of the time, keep those gnashers to yourself. If you’re kissing deeply, knocking teeth is jarring and unpleasant in every way, so always lead with the lips.

Most importantly – pay attention to his reactions

The only real way to be a bad kisser is to ignore your partner. He’ll be giving you lots of clues about what he is and isn’t enjoying, so pay attention to his responses.

There are a few clear indicators that you need to adjust your approach.

  • He wipes his face

You’re opening your mouth too wide, too soon. A certain amount of saliva is part of any kiss, but if it’s on the outside of his face, it means your mouth is open a lot wider than his. Try to match his level of intensity.

  • He keeps ending or ‘resetting’ the kiss

If there’s a certain point where he pulls away every time, he probably doesn’t like what you’re doing. Is it too much tongue? Is he ticklish on that part of his neck? Whatever it is, take it out of your repertoire, or wait for him to initiate it.

  • He makes any mention of breath, mints, mouthwash or related oral hygiene topics

You probably have bad breath. If he’s dropping hints about it, there’s a reason. Easy fix — go brush your teeth or get some mints.

two guys with stubble about to kiss

The health bit

At Emen8, we’ve been around the block a few times. We might not have learned much from kissing a few frogs in the hope for a Prince… but we do know a thing or two about heavy petting (and more).

Something we’re often asked about is the risk of picking anything up from kissing — or using your mouth for something more adventurous.

What we can tell you is while HIV doesn’t spread through kissing, other things can. That’s not to say you need to get tested after a peck on the cheek from Auntie Val! But if you’re locking lips with a lover or three, it’s worth going for regular sexual health check-ups. Use our interactive map to find your nearest testing service. And save those kisses for another day if you’re feeling unwell.