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How to be a better kisser | Life and style


Kissing can be a way to confirm your attraction to someone, but don’t ever feel obliged to kiss someone. If you do want to do it, check they are giving you inviting eye contact or leaning in. If not, respect their intimate space and consider whether you have read the situation wrongly.

Bad breath can be a turn-off, so good oral hygiene is a given. Some people complain about those who stick their tongues in too soon. This could be seen as a kissing “don’t”, but there are no rules when it comes to style; it’s horses for courses and more about exploring and reading the signs.

Couples often complain that they don’t kiss any more. People are busy; sometimes there’s a fear that a kiss has to lead to sex, but it doesn’t. Think about what you want to convey in a kiss. “I want to invite my partner in, I want some connection, I want some of the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin.” Or, “I’m looking at you and appreciating you and want to show you that.” Consider what you might be saying to your partner by not kissing them.

I advocate investing in a 20-second kiss. It might feel clunky at first, but it can re-establish the connection, almost revisit that first date. Kissing is extremely sensual. There’s taste, touch, smell. Try opening your eyes for a moment, too. Again, it may feel awkward at first, but afterwards people often say: “Actually, it was really nice. I’ve missed this.”

Lorraine McGinlay is a sex and relationship therapist and a trustee for the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists.

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