Guys, how bad was, like, all of the kissing on The Bachelorette this season? OK, so I only watched the finale, but still, I was appalled by the weird inside-of-bottom-lip-to-chin action hot Peter gave Rachel. Also, why was Bryan licking the roof of her mouth? (Eric and his beard are perfect, and I'm just going to believe his kisses were too since she booted him too early for me to see them.)
Isn't it weird that we smush our mouths together when we like each other? A quality first kiss is key to my being attracted to you. When you know how to kiss so well that I can't stop thinking about it the next day, I feel equal parts high and like a high schooler.
Now that I have criticized the stars of reality TV, I realize that I have no idea what I look like when I'm kissing. Maybe a good kiss is in the actual doing rather than what you look like when you are lip-to-lip. Here are 11 tricks to make a first kiss so amazing, your date will do anything for a second.
1. Be Polite
Don't bombard your date with mouth-to-mouth as they go to take a sip of their martini (unless they are choking on an olive pit). As with all elements of a first date, manners are queen when it comes to kissing. Asking, "Can I kiss you?" is sweet. Default to your date: If they lean in, go for it. If they do a weird head dodge, better luck next time.
2. Take Initiative
My friend recently gave her number to a guy who later told her he had a girlfriend, but that she should "keep being forward because it's a good thing." While the advice was unsolicited and mansplainy, it's good to remember that the first move is anyone's to make.
Imagine if you were always making the first move and someone finally turned the tables on you... steamy, amiright? I've never initiated a first kiss, and I'm 28. Considering all the headlines about North Korea, I think I'll try it on my next date.
3. Just Say No To Tongue
OK fine, not completely, but how overrated is French kissing? Obviously you need a little tongue action to keep a kiss from becoming two pieces of sandpaper rubbing on each other, but don't insert your slimy pink thing into someone's mouth without some discretion. (This goes for all slimy pink things.) No one really wants a "wet one" laid on them.
Licking of faces is also highly discouraged. That's what puppies are for.
4. Put Your Back Into It
No, not your literal bum, but yes, do like Sheryl Sandberg says and "lean in." It's OK to press your bod into your date's halfway through a first kiss. Don't grope each other yet, but a little hint of what it's like to be closer in the nether regions can turn up the heat during your mini make-out.
5. Commitment Is Key
Your relationship does not need to be committed yet, but if you lean in for a kiss, don't chicken out as you see your date's eyebrows careening towards yours. A kiss is no time to get in your head, so try your hardest to think back to all that mindfulness your learned from the Headspace app and hang in there.
6. Be Gentle
You are not a Rottweiler pup or a 2-year-old child, so this should go without saying: No biting! A first kiss is not the time to get creative and try new and aggressive things. Don't try to weld your faces together by grabbing the back of your date's neck hard. Don't suction their tongue with your lips. Be chill. Pretend you just took a hit of a vape if you need to, whatever.
Just be gentle with your kisses.
7. Don't Be A Robot
Kissing is rhythmic. It also takes two people to do. You cannot "plan" your kissing moves (even though you now have some excellent tips from this article), so just be a human. Go with the flow and let your intuition guide you. Unless, of course, that intuition tells you to lick face. (See #3.)
8. Put A Time Limit On It
Do like Rose did at the end of Titanic and let go when the time is right. The kiss has to end at some point, because your Lyft is probably arriving soon, and because it will leave your date wanting more. Pull away slowly and then be on your way. Sexy times will happen soon, don't worry.
9. Close Your Eyes
Because, duh. You are not a creep. Also because closing your eyes will help take you out of your head and allow you to lose yourself in the smooching. You'll be paying attention to the actual sensations and responses your partner is giving you rather than worrying about that valet smiling a little too much at you and your date.
10. Hands Are For Touching
Again, groping the bum is not necessary during a first kiss. No matter how much you want to do it, maybe wait. However, running your fingers up and down your date's arms or touching their hips lightly is hot, hot, hot. Do that.
11. Go With The Flow
I once had a date who was sitting across a booth table from me who gave me eyes, scooted out of his side of the booth, came to my side, and then leaned it for our first kiss. I immediately pulled away because it was such a weird move, but it was also effing adorable. I was also being a first date prude. We giggled about it and admitted that it had been a while since we'd been on a first date. We talked about the awkwardness of our first kiss for dates to come. I should have just giggled more, and leaned in because I ended up kissing him later that night anyways.
If you usually don't kiss on a first date, but it feels so right — as it did to me that night — just lean on into it. Kissing is magical and lovely and if you simply get into it, you'll leave your date wanting more.
The best kisses come when there's an emotional connection happening between you and your date as well, so don't worry too much about making the physical action of the smooch perfect. After all, Rachel did pick Bryan on The Bachelorette, and those kisses were tongue-heavy AF. Wishing you many bisous!