If you’ve ever felt a little nervous leaning in for that first kiss or have ever had a really terrible smooch, you might be wondering what vibe your own lip-locking skills are giving off. Too wet? Too aggressive? Too timid? Leaving anything … anything at all to be desired?
We tapped Shan Boodram, an intimacy educator who marries sexology and psychology in order to teach others how to be more confident and competent in the bedroom and beyond, to give us any hot tips she has on the perfect kiss. Here’s how to ensure sparks fly:
“What makes a great kiss is consent, intent, creativity, and flexibility,” Shan starts. Ya got all that? Who’s taking notes? That may seem like a lot to think about at once, but these are baseline qualities that anyone who is engaging in intimacy of any kind with another should have on lock.
“Consent is the most important ingredient, because no matter how good of a kisser you are, if the other person isn’t all in, it’s all bad.”
“Establishing mutual intent for the kiss allows for both people to lean into it without wondering what the kiss means or what it will or won’t lead to. When there’s no established intent, a kiss can easily lead to a power struggle that ends awkwardly for everyone, so it’s not a bad idea to ensure you are on the same page before swapping saliva!”
“Flexibility is key, because a good kiss requires you to be dominant in one moment and submissive in the other. Unlike a dance, the most seamless and enjoyable kisses happen when both parties take turns taking their cue from the other. And this is where the next step comes in!”
“If you take the leader/follower concept to heart, you don’t have to worry about a wrong choice ruining the kiss—try new things and if it doesn’t land, move on to something else. Lip pecks, licks, sucks, and bites could be on the menu, as well as tongue turns, flicks, and quick licks. And of course, creativity doesn’t end there! Your hands, your body, your eyes, and your voice are all key role players.”
So next time you’ve made it —consensually and intentionally— to first base, revel in it and take your time.
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