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5 Kisses You Need to Master

I don’t think couples kiss enough in marriage. I’ve written about this before: You’re Not Kissing Enough. But today I want to make sure your repertoire is sufficient to have a great kissing experience with your spouse.

Since it’s High Five Saturday, let’s talk about five different kisses you need to master for your marriage.

Blog post title + illustration of lips

1. The Peck

Chaste, quick, friendly — I’m not sure how you’d describe this one. But all couples need to be able to share a quick peck as a reminder of their connection. It’s the perfect choice for when you’re in a hurry to get to work, when you’re in a family friendly setting, or when you just ate fish and you know your husband hates the smell of fish so you’re trying to spare him. (Okay, that last scenario is autobiographical.)

Make sure your peck is just that: a nice pucker delivered without too much fanfare, but different from what you’d give your mother. Soften your lips a little at the meeting of your mouths and linger for a moment. Add a smile as you pull away to show that you like kissing your spouse — even with pecks.

2. The Soft Kiss

Closed, pliant lips touching and lingering … that’s the good stuff of a nice soft kiss. This is my personal favorite, because it’s a tender and teasing experience. A soft kiss can lead to more fun things, or simply remain a beautiful kiss in and of itself. It’s like the start of a series or a stand-alone — good either way.

Most important tip? Keep your lips flexible. Allow your mouths to mold together by making sure you’re not puckering or flattening your lips too much. Linger longer, a few seconds. You can also do a series of soft kisses to lead up to more passionate kissing.

3. The French Kiss

Ooh La La! Many consider the French kiss to be the pinnacle of puckering. You’re basically giving your mouths over to one another, open and interacting. Lips mashed up together, tongues tangling, hearts pounding. Yeah, this kiss is pretty passionate.

Let your tongue tease and explore, but remember it’s not on a digging mission. Don’t shove your tongue in so far that your spouse feels like a victim in Invasion of the Mouth Snatcher. You can take the lead, but share the experience, working your mouths together like a delicate dance.

4. That Favorite Spot

Some of the best kisses involve the mouth of one spouse and a place other than the mouth on their mate. What is your spouse’s favorite spot to be kissed? Where do your lips drive them wild?

For some, it’s the neck. For others, behind the ear. It could be along the shoulder, down the torso, or moving up the inner thigh. Somewhere on your beloved’s body is a place they would love to be kissed. Ask where that is, and go to it. Use the soft kiss and your tongue to tease and delight that special, sensitive spot.

5. The Text Kiss

Since I don’t want to leave you in an uptight frenzy (in case your spouse isn’t near enough to kiss), I figured I’d close with the text kiss.

When you’re away from each other, you can still send the sentiment of a kiss through a text message! In fact, you have several options:

  • Go with the old standby of XXX or XOXO (kisses or kisses & hugs).
  • Send an emoji with a kissing face. Like this: Kissing Face With Closed Eyes on Samsung Experience 8.5 (Galaxy Note 8)
  • Use a word that means kissing, such as mwah!
  • Take a picture of yourself puckered up and send it through text.
  • Download Bitmoji, make your avatar, and then use one of the kissing images. Here’s one of mine!

Avatar of me, with word "KISSES" and a lipsticked mouth underneath

That’s it! Five kisses you should become your spouse’s personal expert on.

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Also, I have a whole chapter on kissing with many more tips in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design, on sale only through Valentine’s Day. Make sure you get your copy!

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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

When His Kiss Tastes Bad

Another question from the grab bag of queries posed to me at in Q&A with J at HHH post. I wonder how many wives have a similar situation. Here’s the topic a commenter wanted me to address:

Difficulty finding zest to kiss my dh since he has habit of using tobacco (chew). When goes to kiss all i can see in my head is all that crap in his mouth, although he’d never attempt to do it with it in his mouth. Just seriously grosses me out. And I really like to kiss.

Premarriage, I dated one guy who dipped and one guy who smoked. While they didn’t do it right before we kissed, I agree that such habits don’t exactly scream, “Put your mouth on mine!” In fact, I’ve wondered where we even came up with such ideas. Who was the first person to stick a bunch of leaves in a piece of paper, roll it up, and light it inches from his mouth? Who first grabbed a wad of tobacco leaves and decided to shove it between his lip and teeth to gnaw on for a while?

Other substances in one’s mouth can make for a less-than-approachable set of lips — foods with pungent flavors, alcohol, or anything else you don’t like. While you might wish that your honey would stop using whatever is turning you off, don’t hold your breath. Especially when it comes to tobacco, it’s hard to quit. It can be done, and I would hope that your husband would make healthy choices for himself and for you, but it is a struggle and he may not quit. You still want to be able to smooch with your mate.

There seem to be two issues here — what’s actually going on with his mouth and how you think about it. What I mean is that it’s both your husband’s tobacco use and that you can’t stop thinking about and feeling disgusted by it.

You have a few options.

Talk to him. Tell your hubby that you love to kiss him and want to do so freely, but you are bothered by his chewing tobacco. Ask that he brush his teeth, use a mouthwash, chew a fresh-breath gum, or suck on a mint before you two kiss. You might even come up with a cute way to remind him in the moment. Let’s say he leans in for a smackeroo, and you ask, “Are you lickable?” or “Minty mouth or tobacco tongue?” Check in advance what ways he prefers you to use to remind him to freshen up a bit for your kisses.

Vary your kisses. If you think he’s been chewing (or smoking or whatever), keep your kisses closed-mouth or kiss other places on him. Then as soon as you know his mouth is fresh, move in for the make-out. Don’t be stingy with the kisses, but give these clues as to when you are more open to open-mouth kissing. He might notice the pattern, ask what’s going on, or you can even explain. Hopefully, he’ll understand that you do desire to put your mouth on his, but you feel more comfortable doing so when his mouth is clean.

Use a demonstration. This one totally depends on what sense of humor your husband has! Read him carefully and proceed cautiously. But if you want to demonstrate to him what your issue with the tobacco is, you might pick a substance that he hates and eat it in front of him. Then move in for a kiss and watch his reaction. If he flinches, then you can laugh and say something like, “What? You don’t want a garlic kiss?” If you two laugh about it, you can explain that you feel the same way about the tobacco. I could easily make this point in my house by devouring tuna-fish and going in for the kill; my hubby, meanwhile, knows better than to kiss me after eating peanut butter. Hopefully, your husband will understand your point and approach kissing accordingly. (My sweet man even warns me now: “I just ate peanut butter. Let me brush my teeth first.” I jump away from his lips like a wild hokey-pokey move and wait for the fresh mouth.)

Get over it. All that said, it won’t hurt you to kiss someone who has been chewing, smoking, drinking, eating onions, etc. You can retrain your mind to focus on the physical sensations of the kiss. It will take time to move your thoughts away from “gross” to “great.” But our brains are pretty powerful, and we can master our thought processes by practicing. If you want to try this, simply use this approach when you begin to kiss: Every time your mind turns to the yuck factor, refocus to think about how his tongue is touching yours, or the feel of his hand on your back, or the texture of his hair as you run your hand through. Get the idea? Over time, your mind will readjust, and you’ll be able to think about the kiss more than the tobacco that was there an hour ago.

Use masks. I’m joking. But I found this interesting picture:

Couple with surgical masks kissing

When your dear hubby does present himself all fresh and kissable, make it worth his while. In the meantime, if you want a little more about kissing generally, I did a series on the loveliness of lips locking: In Celebration of the Kiss; The Punctuation of a Kiss; and A Little Instruction for the Kiss.

Best wishes and happy smooching!

Must It Always Lead to Sex?

Male & female symbols intertwined

Photo credit: Microsoft Word Clip Art

We wives ask ourselves this very question at varied times.

After a long day when your shoulder muscles are tight, you ask your hubby to give you a quick massage. He starts rubbing your shoulders, your head falls forward as you “ooh” and “aah” at his firm but gentle touch, and stress begins to ebb from your body . . . until his hands move forward over your shoulders and begin to touch your breasts instead. Next thing you know, the relaxing massage for you has become a titillating experience for him and he’s ready and eager to get to the bedroom and massage other parts.

OR

As he comes home, you greet your husband at the door with a fond embrace and a soft-lipped kiss — either because you enjoy his presence or you’re thrilled to have reinforcements to handle the rambunctious spawn tearing up your house little by little. The peck was so nice that you extend the kissing with another, deeper, more passionate kiss. Happy to have had your Hollywood movie moment, you’re ready to get back to dinner preparations or lock yourself away in your bathroom in a hot bubbly tub. But he has read your cue as “She wants me” and suggests a sexual encounter.

I could give plenty of other examples, but these two will suffice. The point is that wives often feel that any show of affection is immediately interpreted by their husbands as a come-on or a sign of sexual readiness.

Husbands, take note of the two very important rules that follow.

Affection does not lead to sex. Not always. Most women enjoy affection for its own sake. Holding her hand or hugging your wife may make her feel secure not sensual. Kissing her evokes romantic, not necessarily sexual, feelings. We like to sit close, cuddle, stroke our lover’s skin, and get massages without the pressure of sexual performance automatically tied to the affection. Most women are more generous with touching and kissing when they feel that it can be enjoyed as its own separate pleasure.

Remember when you were dating? Unless your relationship began with a one-night stand (which I hope it did not, but I don’t exclude the possibility), you moved slowly from small touches to grander gestures of affection. Perhaps you recall the first time you held one another’s hand or your first kiss — including where you were, what you wore, or what music played in the background. You didn’t expect to “get lucky” the first time you touched.

Guess what? You won’t get lucky every time you touch just because you’re married now. While sex is a fabulous experience, you should also enjoy the small gestures of affection that create a romantic atmosphere, communicate tenderness and like for one another, and foster closeness and emotional security in the marriage.

Affection does lead to sex. Wait, this is the exact opposite. Yes and no. The paradox is that when husbands show affection without strings attached and when intimate gestures become routine and enjoyed for their own sake, it creates the environment in which sexual encounters are more likely to occur.

Foreplay for women is not merely the 10 to 15 minutes before intercourse; it’s what has happened in the last 24 to 72 hours. When a wife feels secure and loved for herself, when she can get a stress-reducing massage that lasts longer than three minutes and doesn’t involved a breast-squeeze, she feels connected to her husband and more willing engage sexually with him. Those minor touches and brushes of skin against skin, those tender kisses stolen in the kitchen or the utility room as you work together — they lay the groundwork for the wife to open up with her husband later in the bedroom.

Thus, affection does lead to sex. Just not always right away. It may take fifty minor acts of affection for the wife to equal the kind of sexual interest a husband might have after two seconds of “naked woman emerges from shower.” A wise husband will take time to demonstrate genuine desire for his wife — not simply for her body, but for her — with or without sex in that immediate moment.

I realize, of course, that there are exceptions — wives who want oodles of affection and still won’t put out a welcome sign no matter what. They likely have underlying issues which I and other marriage bloggers address in different posts.

But on the whole, courting your wife with affection for its own sake is a smart move, hubbies. You might also discover that you relish kissing her soft, pink lips and holding her curvy body close to yours, just because.

Greet one another with a kiss of love.”

1 Peter 5:14

A Little Instruction for the Kiss

Sleeping Beauty

Ah, the kiss!  That brilliant invention of our Creator that makes us check our breath, cock our heads, plant a big wet one, and hunger for one more.  Plenty of Christians writing about sex believe that the orgasm is proof that our Creator designed mating for pleasure.  While I agree, I would add that the kiss is an excellent ingredient as well.  Kisses are not required for reproduction.  So what is their point?

In my last two posts, I talked about how we need to focus on kissing and some different types of kissing.  Finally, here are a few tips for fantastic, fun-filled, fabulous, frisky, frenzied kissing.  (I got carried away with alliteration.)

Your breath.  It matters.  By the way, you are the last person to know whether you are experiencing a bout of halitosis.  It’s funny how we breathe onto our palms, sniff them, and expect that to tell us something.  Do you smell your own sweat when you’ve been excessively exercising?  Do your kids recognize when they have foot odor?  No.  Your breath will just smell like your breath to you, unless you make it smell minty or yummy.  Toothpaste, mints, mouthwash — these are our friends.  Use them.  Especially if you just ate something that has an intense taste or aroma.

Lips.  Loose lips sink ships and communicate, “I can’t be bothered to pucker.”  Tight lips indicate a controlling personality or anxiety.  Relax your lips, but shape them so that they can be easily kissed.

Tongue.  My worst kisser had a twelve-foot tongue.  Okay, maybe not.  But he used it like a boa constrictor invading my mouth.  If you’re not sure how to use your tongue in an open-mouthed kiss, think of the word “tease.”  Tease your spouse with your tongue.  When full passion arrives, you can twist your tongues together to your heart’s delight, but remember that it still shouldn’t fill their entire mouth.

Hands.  Where you place your hands is important.  Kissing without touching can feel impersonal.  And immediately grabbing bums or private parts when going in for the smooch is not romantic.  As your lips caress his/her lips, your hands should caress as well.  You may caress shoulders, arms, back, hair, and face.  You can also use your hands to draw your partner in or gently position them at a better angle.

Eyes.  Open or closed?  I’m not a stickler on this one.  But I know some people think it’s weird to be watched at such a close distance while being kissed, so they prefer closed.  For some people also, it helps them to concentrate on the sensation of the kiss if they block out visual stimuli.

Remember that kissing can be enjoyed for its own beauty or can lead to something else.  I wish I could do a quick survey and ask wives if they feel their husbands kiss them often enough without expecting further sexual activity.  My prediction would be that many wives would say no.

But if you doubt the wonderful gift of kissing from God, try it out for a while in your marriage.  Jim Burns of the Homeword radio show suggests that married couples take time to have a 15-second kiss every day.  That might have a glorious effect on many couples — just returning to the courtship of kissing.

My bet is that it would also result in more bedroom activity as well.

How do you incorporate kissing into your marriage?  Do you kiss as often as you would like?  What tips would you give someone to master a perfect kiss?

To conclude my kissing series, here’s one last poem that appeals greatly to both the writer and the lover in me:

May I print a kiss on your lips?” I said,
And she nodded her full permission:
So we went to press and I rather guess
We printed a full edition.

-Joseph Lilientha