You’re Not Kissing Enough

Not too long ago, I had an interesting conversation with a few other wives. The topic of discussion was What Happened to Kissing?!

The general consensus was that once men got married and knew that kissing could lead to really good stuff (yay, sex!), they seemed to want to skip smooching and aim for their real target from the get-go. And these ladies were, understandably, disappointed.

Now I’m not here to bash men. Plenty of guys enjoy kissing too. And this was hardly a statistical sample of wives from which I could draw firm conclusions about marriages in general. But I’d be willing to bet my cat — who likes me least among everyone in the family, but I digress — that most marriages could use a lot more kissing.

You're Not Kissing EnoughKissing is one of the romantic activities that too often falls by the wayside in the busyness of our lives and the settling in of our marriages.

Why should you be kissing more?

Health Benefits. Practically speaking, there are health benefits to kissing. Among the perks are lowered blood pressure, easing of cramps or headache pain, facial muscle toning, and cavity-fighting. And contrary to the opinion some might have out there, kissing actually boosts your immune system by introducing your mate’s “germs” to you in small, manageable doses that build up your ability to fight off illness later.

Body Chemicals. Kissing also releases several body chemicals that increase sexual desire and bond you to your beloved. Dopamine triggers the reward system in our brain; endorphins give us a joyful buzz; phenylethylamine has an aphrodisiac effect; adrenaline energizes you; and oxytocin makes you feel more attached to your kiss-mate. In addition, men transfer some testosterone to their wives when they swap saliva which helps to fuel her sex drive. And if that isn’t enough, we also release pheromones, which are attraction chemicals that we, more or less, “sniff out” with each other. All those body effects gives us happy feelings about the experience, our partner, and the potential for sex later.

Intimacy-building. Beyond the biology, kissing builds relationship. The experience of kissing requires us to be face-to-face, even eye-to-eye, which is a very intimate posture. Up close, we’re also engaging our olfactory senses, and smell is the sense most tied to memory. Indeed, a research study showed that people had better recall of their first kiss than their first sexual intercourse. And it’s a personal expression of yourself that has so many variations. Putting your lips together is a lot like a dance, with you having to adjust to one another’s moves to make things work smoothly. It forces you to move in rhythm with your partner.

Love expression. Song of Songs begins with this verse: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is more delightful than wine.” This biblical wife links the experience of kissing with knowing how delightful her husband’s love is. This theme is strongly represented in our literature, entertainment, and culture as well. Just think about the amazing kisses from novels you’ve read or movies you’ve seen or even weddings you’ve attended, and how you walked away thinking, “Wow, they’re really into each other.” Or think back to one of your favorite kisses with your husband and how that made you feel. Did you get the tingles? Feel warmth spread through your body? Experience a swell of love in your heart?

Do the genders differ?

Let me return quickly to my original conversation with those wives, who were wishing their husbands would get the memo and bring back some passionate kissing to their marriage. While I didn’t have a statistical sample, one research study indicated that men really do view kissing differently from women. On the whole, of course.

“Males tended to kiss as a means to an end — to gain sexual favors or to reconcile. In contrast, females kiss to establish and monitor the status of their relationship, and to assess and periodically update the level of commitment on the part of a partner” (University at Albany, A Kiss is Still a Kiss — or is it?).

If you’re a guy reading this post, let me break it down for you the way men often like things said — no hints, no frills, to the point. If you want your wife to feel confident of your love, secure in your marriage, and stirred up sexually, you’d better get to kissing her. And kissing her the way she likes to be kissed. None of that slurp-up-her-lips stuff. Y’all know what I’m talking about: Woo her with your mouth. I believe completely in your ability to sweep your lady off her feet with some sexy, sexy kissing. And will it lead to sex? You might get lucky right then and there. But you might not; rather, you might slowly nurture the romance and excitement in your marriage in ways that will pay dividends in your relationship and in your bedroom in the future. Besides, you might find out that kissing for the sake of kissing is pretty awesome after all.

What’s stopping you from kissing more?

Once you understand the benefits, what more do you need to start kissing again in your marriage? I think you need three things:

Commitment. Prioritize kissing in your marriage. Make it a habit for a while, even a goal. Like you could say, “We’re going to kiss for several seconds every day when we get home.” After a little while, you probably won’t need to think about it. You’ll just enjoy it enough to do it automatically.

Time. We often feel so in a hurry that we don’t take time for little things like kissing. It seems like an optional activity, so it doesn’t happen as much as it once did. But what if you devoted just five minutes a day to kissing? Could you find five minutes? Make time.

Communication. Some of you aren’t even sure you want to kiss more. Because if kissing is like a dance, your husband is constantly stepping all over your feet, so to speak. Basically, the kissing isn’t that terrific. Here’s where you both need to speak up and talk about what makes a great kiss. Be positive about asking for changes in what he’s been doing, but offer what really curls your toes. Tutor each other, practice often, become experts.

Now what do you think? Are you kissing enough in your marriage?

Sources: CNN – 8 health benefits of kissing; Web MD – What’s So Great About Kissing?Men’s Fitness – Kissing Helps Boost Your Immune System; Sparkly Science – The science behind kissing: 10 things that happen when we kiss; Daily Mail – You’re more likely to remember your first kiss than losing your virginity

30 thoughts on “You’re Not Kissing Enough

  1. Anonymous

    Interesting topic J. For our marriage, the opposite is often true. When I start kissing her that is lasting more than 5 seconds, she pushes me away. She is afraid that lots of kissing could led to sex. In our sex-starved marriage, sex is NOT a priority for her.

    I still kiss her daily and sometimes she does allow a longer kiss. However, I have noticed that she rarely initiates kissing…

    Reply
  2. a. nony

    I JUST had this conversation with my husband! For him, it’s not that he doesn’t want to make out unless it leads to sex in some kind of “what’s the point?” way, it’s that he doesn’t want to seem like a tease? Like he doesn’t want to get me going (which is pretty easy, honestly) if we’re not going to get there. But man, making out is so fun!

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      I get what you’re saying! It makes a girl wonder if those kisses before marriage were just foreplay in his mind. I don’t think so, but… 😉

      Reply
  3. Austin Reason

    I’ll say I might be an exception to the rule/stereotype. we kiss all the time. we kiss hello when one of us gets home. we kiss EVERY TIME we say goodbye. and yeah, we’ll make out a little with no agenda in mind. i think it’s important in marriage, and fun! 😉

    Reply
  4. Lee

    I can’t get a hug from my wife more than maybe 1 every 4 to 7 mouths!
    Just imagine where that would put us in the sex category 🙁

    Reply
  5. depthsofthesea

    I have celiac and multiple food allergies. To kiss my husband, he has to at the very least brush and floss thoroughly. And that doesn’t even get rid of everything. We miss kissing. Its just that most of the time, its dangerous. Of course, he could just eat what’s safe for me but to wish that on anyone else isn’t loving. I want him to be able to eat nuts, and bread, and drink milk, and other things. I do miss kissing spontaneously though.

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  6. M

    My wife gets turned on when we really kiss (as opposed to quick pecks), and making out tends to lead to sex. But she also has a lot of health issues and we have four kids, so kissing gets lumped in with the other “foreplay” behaviors that we end up saving for when we actually have time and she isn’t in pain/has energy for sex.

    It kind of results in a “feast or famine” approach that I’m not really happy about (I would love to passionately kiss my wife more) but is really the only major blemish on what is otherwise a fairly healthy sex life.

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  7. B

    A couple years ago, my husband had some dental problems, didn’t really want to go to the dentist, and was kind of embarrassed to talk about it. So he just stopped kissing me. He’d kiss me if I begged, but that, along with his lower sex drive, just made me feel more and more worthless. I assumed if he couldn’t even kiss me, he must not love me at all, and I was convinced he was not attracted to me AT ALL. It was just one more thing to add to my feelings of being repulsive to my husband. Once I convinced him to go to the dentist, things got a lot better in the kissing department. If he had just told me, it could have avoided a lot of hurt feelings. Men, please TALK to your wife. I have suffered so much hurt from my husband not telling me things, and me having to “fill in the blanks.” I don’t always fill them in correctly.

    Reply
    1. a. nony

      I’ve addressed this specifically with my husband as well — I will rush to assume that I’ve done something wrong, when 99 times out of 100 the problem is in his own head. I USUALLY fill in the blanks incorrectly. And so does he! It’s a journey to assume the best about each other (“love believes all things, hopes all things”) and speak out in spite of our own embarrassment or shame — shame particularly has no place in a Christian marriage.

      Reply
  8. Rachel

    Thank you for this post! It’s encouraging… Yet a bit daunting. Because I WANT to kiss my husband more, but it seems like for him, any time we kiss more than the customary hello/goodbye peck, he thinks it’s on! I remember our dating/engagement days and we liked nothing more than to kiss each other… Now we never kiss unless we are horizontal and planning to have sex 🙁 That saddens me.
    Maybe I will just have to bite the bullet and try kissing him longer, more often, and if it leads to sex, that’s good, but honestly for me if it doesn’t I am more than happy!

    Reply
    1. a. nony

      Well, I know this is a crazy idea… how about talking to him about it? Say, hey honey, I’d really love it if we kissed more outside the bedroom. It makes me feel really loved and cherished. Can we aim for making out a couple times a week with no expectation that it’s going to necessarily lead to sex?

      Those conversations are hard but they have been so necessary for our marriage so far.

      Reply
  9. MJ

    My heart was excited as l read the headline of today’s post, but as l read it,it broke my heart. I am a 45, married man of 21 years. My wife never let’s me kiss her on the lips, only a peck on the cheek or forehead. I have very good hygiene and keep clean. I talked to her about 3 weeks ago again about the lack of intimacy and why she won’t kiss me. She says she will try better,but after its still the same thing.This has gone on for 10 years. I am really missing the intimacy and the kissing from my wife. I am really struggling with several temptations that l know is not good or helpful, but would lead to some hurtfulness in time. Such as porn, masterbation, even finding a “friend ” on the side for an affair. I am really struggling with the rejection over the years. I love her and have not yield to the temptations yet but it worries me that I am even considering it. I know the bible says that heart is deceitfully wicked and who can know it (kjv), but the desire for some intimacy is very powerful. I guess every man in my situation is in faced with the same tempation I am faced. Last night as we was in bed, she was on her phone as l tried to talk. I finally turned over and thought on this and so l will ask…Would we have the problems in marriage with porn, masterbation, affairs if we just had a healthy marriage bed?? So, if we reject our spouses over and over will or could that lead to affairs, porn, ect and sexual sins?
    I bought your new book, when I mentioned it to her( hoping /thinking she might read it,) she was very upset that l bought it behind her back and said we don’t need another sex book. I am so flustered and hurt, l love her with all my heart. I just miss my wife. Just pray for me! Thank you and God Bless!!

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Some healthy marriage beds still have struggles, often based on prior baggage that’s yet to be cleared out completely. And rejecting your spouse over and over increases the risk of your spouse pursuing other false forms of intimacy, but it doesn’t excuse any sinful choice they make — we are responsible for ourselves.

      What caught me, though, was the true heartbreak you express. Try to talk to her away from the bedroom, or ask questions about how she sees your marriage overall. Maybe there’s an area where she doesn’t feel connected to you that you could work on, and then you could talk about how you want to feel more connected to her. It also sounds to me like y’all could use some quality Christian counseling. Saying a prayer.

      Reply
    2. Trey

      MJ,
      Brother, I commend you in your efforts to obey God’s word and resist sin. It is a shame you find yourself in this situation but do not give up hope and do not give in to your temptations. God promises us that he will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. (1 Cor. 10:13) Keep quoting that verse to yourself over and over when the temptations are strong.
      Also, do not give up hope as God has given us instruction in His word on how we should handle this issue but first you need to clearly understand what this issue is. The issue in your marriage that is causing you so much heartache and pain is SIN. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that if your wife is not satisfying ALL of your sexual needs that she is in SIN. She is sinning against God and against you. (Matthew 19:5, 1 Cor. 7:4-5, Proverbs 5:19). There are many other verses but those are enough.
      The Bible also gives us clear instruction on what to do when we find another Christian in sin. (Matthew 18:15-17). You need to confront your wife with her sin. If she is a Christian and the Holy Spirit resides within her, He will use your obedience to God’s Word and work on convicting her. Now, there are a lot of moving parts to doing this right. First you need to make sure you remove any log that might be in your eye so you can see clearly to help your wife with the speck that is in her eye. It would take way to long of a post to really go thru everything here so I am going to give you a link to an article that goes through it thoroughly. [J – I removed the link to a website that asserts “God’s mission for woman is to serve the needs of her husband, bear and care for his children and care for the domestic needs of his home.” I consider this erroneous and potentially dangerous teaching. If I believed that, I’d have to shut my blog down. See my comments policy.]
      There are many other resources on the web that might help both you and your wife to deal with this issue. One is http://forgivenwife.com/
      I suspect that if your wife is not submitting to you in the bedroom that she is probably not submitting to you in the rest of your marriage either and God has plenty to say about that also but that is another post for another day.
      Stay strong brother, draw strength from the Lord, obey His word and follow His instruction for living this life. It is your only hope and pathway to success. God has appointed YOU as the head and leader of your wife and your family. He has called your wife to be submissive to you in everything, just as unto the Lord. Be the leader that God has called you to be!

      Reply
      1. J Post author

        Look, I believe in submission, but I disagree with you in the characterization that everything seems to rest on the wife “to be submissive to you in everything.” There are a lot of moving parts in a sexual intimacy struggle, and it’s simplistic to point the finger at what you believe are proper gender roles. A more helpful approach would be to ask why she is avoiding sex, and then figure that out.

        For instance, let’s take a situation where a wife was sexually abused in childhood and now struggles to see physical intimacy as a good thing. Would you suggest she just submit to whatever the husband wants in the bedroom without dealing with the underlying issue? That could greatly injure her heart and her ability to someday enjoy the blessings God intended for her to have in the marriage bed.

        Yes, men should lead! And yes, I’m on board with submission in marriage. But let’s not forget that our first calling is to treat one another with 1 Corinthians love and 1 Philippians 2 humility. Every scripture about submitting to and serving other Christians should apply to the Christian brother and sister to whom we’re married. Many blessings!

        Reply
  10. IntimacySeeker

    I would trade quantity for quality. I prefer no kissing to poorly-executed kissing. There is an art to it.

    Reply
  11. Holyterror

    Canker sores frequently make deep kissing quite painful in our marriage. But we generally play through the pain!

    Reply
    1. Nathann

      I have often had trouble with canker sores and tried lots of remedies. The best solution has been to get a toothpaste without sodium lauryl sulfate. It’s harsh on the mouth. I have doing that for a year and have seen significant improvement.

      Reply
  12. Lynn

    I never kissed anyone consensually until my husband and I were, basically, agreed to become engaged, and frankly, I didn’t like kissing at first and hoped I wouldn’t have to do too much of it. But, like other marital activities, it grew on me… We kiss a lot! I come home from work and sit in his lap for a few minutes; I think this surprised him at first and then amused him, but he understands that I am drawing strength from him after a long day.

    Reply
  13. Pingback: You’re Not Kissing Enough — Hot, Holy & Humorous – The Fragrance of Marriage!

  14. B

    I try to kiss my wife every day, but after 2 seconds she stops and pulls away. I read about how much ladies supposedly love to be kissed and crave more kissing from their husbands, but in almost 20 years that has not been my experience. I’d be thrilled if, like the previous poster, my wife would sit on my lap and kiss me……but that’s too “uncomfortable” for her….what can I do?

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Does she think that kissing automatically leads to sex? That’s one reason I’ve heard for some women turning away — because they assume if he’s kissing her he wants sex, and she doesn’t have time or doesn’t feel good or whatever. Honestly, I’d ask. See if she’ll explain her hesitation, and then you can deal with the underlying issue.

      Reply
  15. B

    I have asked why and she won’t tell me. She basically is fine without much physical touch. Whenever we hold hands its because I take hers, rarely ( I’ll resist the temptation to say “never”) the other way around. I put my arm around her in church or other places when we are seated together, but she has probably done that less than 5 times in our marriage–actually only 2x come to mind. Whenever I try to approach the subject the conversation falls flat. “I don’t know why” or “I just don’t think about it” is the extent of her answer. She likes to lean up against me while watching a movie or TV, but if I try to use the commercial break for some kissing, forget it, within a few seconds she is staring at the TV…..If I lay my head on her lap, she keeps her arms folded against her chest. If she were to ever put her head on my lap I’d be stroking her hair, forehead, face, neck, etc.
    Does she fear kissing is only to seduce her? If she would tell me then I’d know. Maybe I’m a loser when it comes to asking quetions. How would you ladies prefer to be asked the same question again, so that you feel compelled to answer it honestly? Or, how can I ask questions to help her figure it out if she really has no idea? To be honest, I have stopped asking since the dead silence in return is painful and frustrating.

    For all the other low drive wives out there, is my wife just like you in these regards?

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Was she affectionate during dating? (See, this is where it gets hard to have a conversation through a comments section of a blog.) Also, I’d just explain how much it means to you. Ask her to think about it.

      Reply
  16. B

    She was somewhat affectionate during dating, but always afraid that too much physical interaction “might lead to going too far.” (Which we never did.) Last night we took a walk and I purposely stopped at a bench by the lake near our house to address the subject. I told her I was somewhat frustrated (mostly with me) and through a longer conversation asked her “Does kissing make you think it is only for the purpose of leading to sex?” Her answer was, “I don’t know, maybe.” So did I put words in her mouth or are we getting somewhere? Hopefully the latter.
    (By the way, we both grew up in very strict, but good, solid, Christian homes where sex wasn’t talked about, and I really think that is a limiting factor here.) Thanks for listening and replying.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Well done! That sounds like a good opening. The best things you can do to foster conversation are to show your interest and demonstrate that you’re a safe place for her to reveal her thoughts and feelings. Most of the time, that’s not one conversation, but several to get to a break-through point. Blessings!

      Reply

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