Anybody who’s ever had a mind-blowing kiss knows how important it is in a relationship, especially when it comes to setting the mood for intimacy. And if you don’t know what we’re talking about, prepare to learn a thing or two about what makes a good kiss.

How important is kissing? 

In The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us by Sheril Kirshenbaum, she refers to a study that found that 59% of men and 66% of women have ended relationships just because their partner was a bad kisser. That’s how important kissing is. In fact, according to psychologist John Bohannon, we remember our first kiss better than our first sexual encounter! 

Some researchers are arguing that kissing is actually more intimate than having sex—as seen in Pretty Woman. Remember how Julia Roberts’ character had that rule about not kissing her clients? Well, social scientists report that that’s actually a common rule for many prostitutes, because kissing “requires a genuine desire and love for another person.” By avoiding kissing, prostitutes are able to do their job without risking emotional attachment.

That attachment can even improve lives (personally and professionally), as proven by a ten-year study in Germany involving husbands and wives. The study found that “men who kissed their wives before leaving for work lived five years longer and earned 20% to 30% more than their peers.”

So how do you know if someone wants to kiss you? 
It’s all about studying your partner’s space and reactions. As Kirshenbaum notes, kissing someone on the cheek can help determine if someone is romantically interested in you. Because kissing requires stepping into someone’s personal space, not going for the mouth right away can build trust. If that sounds too intrusive, guys can try adjusting a woman’s hair. Though this gesture requires you to move into her personal space as well, if she flinches, it’ll be a clearer indicator that you probably shouldn’t try and kiss her.

What do men and women expect when it comes to kissing?
Apparently, men are less picky about kissing. They care more about “facial and bodily attractiveness.” Women, however, see kissing as an opportunity to “assess a potential mate or to initiate, maintain, and monitor a long-term relationship.” We also notice dental hygiene more, especially healthy-looking teeth. In an interview with William Cane, “53 percent of women prefer kissing a clean-shaven man.”   

How can men and women be better at kissing? 
Cane asked men and women about what makes a good kiss, and what they want the other side to know in order to become a better kisser:

Men want women to not hold back and open their mouths more! They also appreciate it when women initiate more, which is understandable because men shouldn’t have to do all the work. Aggressiveness can be sexy, ladies.

But women want men to know that there’s a right way to be aggressive, and jamming your tongue in her throat is not one of them. Women also want men to take note of a woman’s breathing—to put it simply, don't suffocate her. And of course, as previously mentioned, men are advised to take good care of their chompers.  

Source: TIME

This article originally appeared on

Minor edits have been made by the editors.


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