Ever since our hormones started to kick in, kissing has been at the top of our minds. We progressed from thinking about kissing the opposite sex as a way to pass cooties to viewing kisses as an incredibly romantic union between two people.
Movies played a role in this, too, with Hollywood sprinkling in their own movie magic to make kisses seem even more special. From the kiss that woke up Sleeping Beauty to Noah and Allie’s incredible rainy kiss in The Notebook, movies have always set the bar high for what a kiss should look like.
Luckily, kisses are just as wonderful as our teenage self thought they would be — and they’re even better when shared with a partner you love. As we grow up, we develop our own style of kissing, and we learn from others about how to become a better kisser.
We pick up new tricks and tips. We learn what types of kisses are appropriate for what stage in the relationship. Also, we can decipher which kisses are best for the bedroom and which are an okay form of PDA. We become quasi-experts on the matter of smooching.
Types of Kisses and What They Mean
Something that I recently learned that blew me away about kisses was that there are more than a dozen different types of kisses, and they all mean different things. Some of the kiss types, such as a kiss on the back of the hand or the cheek, indicate platonic or romantic love depending on the context. But other kiss types were not so commonplace. A lizard kiss, for example, is similar to a French kiss but definitely not for everyone. This kiss involves your tongue quickly darting in and out of your partner’s mouth like a lizard. Sounds intriguing, though, doesn’t it?
These more than a dozen kisses can also be broken up into different categories: Romantic, sweet, steamy, unexpected, and adventurous. A classic romantic kiss is a single-lip kiss, where you focus on your partner’s top lip while they kiss your bottom lip or vice versa. You could also try a licking kiss by tracing the outline of your partner’s lips with your tongue.
A sweet kiss could be a peck on the nose that shows your adoration for your partner. You could switch things up and try an angel kiss by kissing your partner’s closed eyelids. Sweet kisses are great for public settings or if you or your partner aren’t big fans of PDA.
A French kiss is the classic steamy kiss, but there are plenty of other ways you can show your partner your desire. Because of the sensitivity of the earlobe area, kissing their earlobe can easily communicate your attraction to your partner. You can also incorporate a love bite or hickey into your technique, but you should make sure that your partner is okay with having a mark on their neck before you plant a love bite.
As for unexpected kisses, these are fun ones to surprise your partner with. Try out a nibbling kiss (planted anywhere on your partner) or a butterfly kiss where you bring your face very close to your partner and let your lashes flutter against their cheek. This is an intimate and loving type of kiss that’s sure to make your partner swoon.
An adventurous kiss is one that you probably won’t try out all the time but can really spice things up. The ice cube kiss is a great one to try out by letting an ice cube dissolve in your mouth and then kissing your partner. The icy temperature of your mouth mixed with theirs will create a fun sensation you both will enjoy.
The Science-Backed Benefits of a Smooch
Kissing is a great way to build your bond with your partner and keep the spark alive within a long term relationship. But kissing also has real science-backed health benefits. Next time you have a headache, consider kissing your partner instead. Science has shown that kissing helps to lower blood pressure, which in turn can help reduce the pain of a headache.
A kiss can also reduce anxiety by increasing oxytocin in the body and reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels. Kisses also help your oral health by increasing saliva production, which can help prevent tooth decay and cavities and save you some money on your dental bills.
And forget about those boring facial exercises. Kissing tightens and tones the muscles in your face, creating a leaner face. Plus, working out your facial muscles increases collagen production, which is a great way to create a healthy and youthful glow.
If those weren’t good enough reasons to set aside a little time for a makeout session, kissing might also burn calories. While it’s not as effective as a ride on your Peloton, kissing can burn anywhere between 2-26 calories per minute, depending on the intensity.
As you can see, kisses are so much more than just two sets of lips meeting. We don’t give them nearly enough credit for all of the wonderful health benefits they offer. Locking lips makes us happier, less stressed, and less anxious. Who doesn’t want a little of that?
How to Step Up Your Kissing Game?
With so many types of kisses to choose from, I challenge you to incorporate a few new types of kisses into your kissing routine. Your partner will no doubt be surprised and impressed with your new technique, and it’s a fun (and free!) way to show them just how much you adore them.
If you need a little inspiration, this infographic is a great primer for how to step up your kissing game — just in time for the day of love! From mixing up your kissing style to reaping the health benefits of a kiss, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a master-level kisser in no time.
- Infographic: Types of kisses + what they mean around the world - March 13, 2021