A romantic kiss is one of the most anticipated and exciting experiences of life, and Mother Nature made it that way.
According to a Scientific American article, lips are "densely populated with sensory neurons," and "when we kiss, these neurons, along with those in the tongue and mouth, rocket messages to the brain and body, setting off delightful sensations, intense emotions and delicious physical reactions."
In some cultures, kissing is such an important aspect of courtship that it can determine whether or not two lovers will stay together.
A survey conducted by evolutionary psychologist Gordon G. Gallup, Jr. and his colleagues "found that 59 percent of 58 men and 66 percent of 122 women admitted there had been times when they were attracted to someone only to find that their interest evaporated after their first kiss."
The failed first kiss "ended the romantic relationship then and there – a kiss of death for that couple."
If you find yourself out of romantic luck because your lip love sucks, consider these five factors to be a better kisser in this episode of The Infographics Show, "How to Kiss."
5. Presentation counts.
There are some things you can do to make yourself more kissable even before you actually do the deed.
According to experts, you kiss will be better received if your breath doesn't stink and your teeth look clean and well cared for.
Use breath spray or eat a mint if you have to.
Besides bad breath, dry, wrinkly lips are another big romantic turnoff.
One kissing article advises that "a little chapstick never hurt anybody either."
If you are a man, be aware that facial hair may discourage a woman from kissing you.
A Self Magazine article cites a Gillette survey that "two out of three women avoided kissing a guy when he had facial hair."
This is because a woman can develop rashes from rubbing her face against a man's beard or mustache while kissing him.
Facial creams can help soothe some of the irritation, but the best solution for "beard burn" and "stache rash" as the article calls it is for the man to shave.
After doing all of this primping and preening, the next factor you should consider is reading the kissing receptivity of the other person.
4. Dare to kiss?
It almost goes without saying that a wanted kiss is a well-received one.
How can you tell if someone is open to being kissed?
Much has been written about the various nonverbal "kiss me" signs displayed by men and women.
Some of these signs include prolonged eye contact, flirting, and "glances at your lips" according to one source.
A Huffington Post article goes one step further by listing tricks women can use to get a guy to kiss them!
They include the "'come hither' smile" with the added instruction "Do not start batting your eyes like windshield wipers" and the "'I'm so cold'" trick that "should prompt him to either wrap his arms around you or offer you his jacket, if he's wearing one."
If you're not very good at deciphering nonverbal signals, should you ask permission to kiss someone?
One article favors asking permission because it "shows respect" and "makes the other person feel comfortable."
Asking permission seems like a good idea in light of the increased concern about sexual harassment and sexual assault in recent years, but there seems to be more evidence that asking is perceived as a "big turnoff" and "awkward" according to one dating consultant.
An informal online survey conducted by social scientist Dr. Duana Welch on her Love Science relationship blog supports this point of view.
It reveals that the "majority of people wanted not to be asked even for that first kiss."
Here is a breakdown of the results from the "May I Kiss You? / Would You Want Me To Ask First?" Survey:
64% of women and 65% of men said no—read my body language, just go with the moment, don't ruin it, etc.
Another 20% of the men and 18% of the women said maybe or it depends.
And 15% of the men and 18% of the women said yes.
3. Slower is better.
While you and your kissing partner may be all amped up with excitement and nervousness, resist the urge to rush through the steps leading to the kiss.
Kissing involves some coordination of movement between two people, and that is better done at a slower pace.
Both of you have to move in closer and lean in to kiss.
Then you have to tilt your heads in order to avoid bumping your foreheads and noses together, which may happen anyway.
Most people also close their eyes when they kiss because, as one Cosmopolitan article puts it, "staring at the other person's closed eyes throughout is bloody creepy."
There is also a psychological reason for doing this.
A study conducted by psychologists Polly Dalton and Sandra Murphy reveals that humans are easily distracted by visual stimuli, so "we need to close our eyes when we kiss so that we can actually enjoy how it feels physically."
One article about kissing like a pro recommends that the first kiss should be a gentle one and take the time to enjoy it!
If things go well, it won't be the last one.
A kissing expert named Andréa Demirjian notes that "Kissing should be enjoyed and savored" and "those first moments should be more of a hint of what's to come."
2. Take it easy on the tongue action if you are a man kissing a woman.
According to one article offering science-based advice about kissing, "research has found that the number one complaint about bad kissing from women is too much tongue."
Besides the problem of obvious size differences, women have smaller mouths than men, there are also tongue maneuvers that are considered more yucky than sexy.
It is best to avoid using the tongue "like a hockey stick (stiff and hard) or a dog (sloppy and wet)" according to a Cosmopolitan article.
In contrast, men seem to want the opposite of what women want when it comes to kissing preferences, which leads us to our final factor to consider to become a better kisser.
1. Men "prefer wetter kisses with more tongue" according to a science-based kissing article.
Wired Magazine provides a possible biological explanation for this.
A biological anthropologist named Helen Fisher states that "There's evidence that saliva has testosterone in it," and she speculates that through wetter kisses men are "unconsciously trying to transfer testosterone to trigger the sex drive in women."
With this in mind, perhaps some women will be more open to those wet kisses too.
To summarize, much of the communication between two people who are thinking about kissing each other is unspoken and instinctual.
Even though you may be excited and nervous about kissing someone, don't rush the moment.
Getting in sync with the other person will make you not only a better kisser but possibly a better lover too if your first kiss is good enough.
Do you have any advice about how to be a better kisser?
Let us know in the comments!
Also, be sure to check out our other video called "What Would Happen If You Never Left The Shower?"
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