Written by Eric Barker via How to Be a Good Kisser – 10 Tips From Scientific Research | TIME.
Psychologist John Bohannon from Butler University has found that most of us can recall up to 90 percent of the details of a first romantic kiss. In his study of five hundred people, most remembered this experience more vividly than their first sexual encounter.
Social scientists Joanna Brewis and Stephen Linstead report that prostitutes often won’t kiss because it requires a “genuine desire and love for the other person.”
Men who kissed their wives before leaving for work lived, on average, five years longer, earning 20 to 30 percent more than peers who left without a peck good-bye. The researchers also reported that not kissing one’s wife before leaving in the morning increased the possibility of a car accident by 50 percent.
Psychologists do not believe it’s the kiss itself that accounts for the difference but rather that kissers were likely to begin the day with a positive attitude, leading to a healthier lifestyle.
A good deal of the scientific literature speculates that kissing may have evolved to help us choose a suitable partner, or to realize when a match is a bad idea… The exchange of olfactory, tactile, and postural information might trigger unconscious mechanisms that guide us in deciding whether we should continue, and a kiss might even tell us about a potential partner’s level of commitment and genetic compatibility.
They also rated the breath and taste of a man’s kiss as highly significant in determining whether to keep on kissing him in the moment or the future. Women were far more interested in healthy-looking teeth, and reported valuing the experience of kissing much more than men did— before, during, and after a sexual encounter.
It’s important to note that whether or not your intentions are romantic, to kiss another person on the cheek or elsewhere— or to sniff him or her—it’s necessary to move into that individual’s “personal space.” To get this close, there must be some level of trust or expectation.
It’s an intimate enough gesture that a flinch can tell you she’s not interested – while a more pleasant response could be a green light. Either way it provides the information necessary without making things too awkward for either party.
Advice for Women
For The Art of Kissing William Cane asked men what their biggest complaints and desires were regarding kissing.
Ladies, want to make guys think you’re a great kisser? Here are my takeaways from the research:
- Open your mouth more. Research shows men prefer “wetter kisses with more tongue action.”
- Initiate more.
- Be more aggressive with your tongue and take an active part in the kiss.
You could probably sum them all up by saying: Stop holding back!
Advice For Men
Here are my takeaways from the findings in The Art of Kissing:
- Don’t jam your tongue down her throat. This was women’s most frequent complaint. You’re kissing her, not trying to implant an alien embryo in her stomach.
- Keep your ears attuned to her breathing. Bluntly,make sure you’re allowing her to breathe. Women tend to enjoy kissing more when they’re not being suffocated.
- “Listen” to the way she’s kissing. Match her tempo. Reply to her tongue action with similar tongue action. Leading and being aggressive can be good but being oblivious is bad.
Also, aligning with the research on hygiene, take care of your teeth, use mouthwash and carry mints. The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us: No matter how attractive someone may be, poor hygiene can kill the moment before it even begins. This is particularly true for men. As preceding chapters have described, women depend heavily on taste and smell and pay close attention to teeth when evaluating a partner.
- “53% of women prefer (to kiss) a clean-shaven man.”
- “Women’s favorite spot to be kissed, other than the mouth, is the neck.Ninety-six percent of women reported that they like neck kisses, while only about 10% of men do.”
- “Women also complain that men don’t do enough variations in kissing, that they’re too machine-like or repetitive. Women would like a number of different kisses: the neck, the ears, “liposuction,” which is moving from the upper lip to the lower lip…be creative.”
And It’s Not All About Technique
You can be a great kisser but behave in a way that makes sure no one ever wants to kiss you. Circumstances can hamper things as well.
The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us addresses a number of these factors. I’ll paraphrase and add to them here:
- Looking good matters, so look good. Yeah, it’s obvious but if you’re the guy wearing black socks with sandals and a fanny pack, take note. (More on the scientific approach to being sexier here and here.)
- Set the stage. Getting to know one another eases awkwardness and lays the groundwork for a hormonal profile conducive to intimacy. Love researcher Arthur Aron has a list of questions shown to make people bond almost instantly.
- Context matters. If you want it to go well, pick the right time, not some sloppy smothering outside the bar. I’ve posted before about the things that help in this area; dim lights, wearing red, sharing secrets and a touch of excitement can all be a good lead-in.
- Get to know your partner’s likes and dislikes.Kissing isn’t an Olympic sport judged by an objective 1-10 score. A big part of it is personal preference. Get to know your partner and you will become a better kisser in their eyes as the relationship progresses.
Now go practice some “science.”
Curated from time.com