Tag Archives: affection

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.


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