Learning the art of kissing well

A kiss is just a kiss, or is it?

TAMPA, Fl. - There are kisses to remember, such as Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh in “Gone With The Wind,”  or Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr ‘s kissing scene in “From Here to Eternity.”

And then there are the  other kind, like the "awkward politician" kiss (Al and Tipper Gore locking lips at the 2000 Democratic Convention), or more recently, the sloppy, slurpy Super Bowl Kiss between the  nerd, Jesse Heiman, and Super Model Bar Refaeli.  Can’t you still hear that kiss? Yikes.

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It begs the question, do we really know how to kiss? 

Chuck and Jo-Ann Bird are clinical  sexologists  who offer sex and relationship counseling and therapy in the Bay area. Nicknamed “The Love Birds” by clients and associates,  they know a thing or two about smooching, as they’ve been smooching each other for seventeen years.  Both agree kissing is fundamental.

“Kissing releases a chemical called oxytocin, also it release endorphins, makes you happier,” said Chuck.

“It’s a dance between two people,” said Jo-Ann. “ It really is, a lot of non-verbal communication, a lot of expressing of emotions, there’s a lot wrapped up in that.”

While kissing is subjective, there are a few rules to live – or kiss- by.  First, you really can have too much of a good thing, like saliva.

“Not good if you feel like you’re drowning because you’re kissing your partner. That’s probably a bad thing, wouldn’t you say?” said Jo-Ann.

“Right,” said Chuck. “Or too much tongue. If you’re trying to jam your tongue down their throat, that’s not a good thing either.”

The Love Birds say take it slow, and try not to come across as too eager, or overly confident.  And do they need to say it? Make sure you’re clean and your breath is fresh! Mints in the pocket are never a bad idea. 

The Birds also say to watch your date’s body language. If her arms are folded and she’s moving away from you, that’s not a good sign she’s ready to pucker up.  Also, don’t stare at your partner while you’re kissing them, as this can be, well, creepy.

Good techniques to use?  If you have a comfort level with the person,  use your hands, but use them wisely.  Jo-Ann, using her husband as a "demo date," shows how you can touch the back of the neck, or possibly lightly along the sides of the head, but not touching too much of the face.

A good take away from “The Love Birds?” Kiss with intention. Have an emotion you want to convey to your partner, like tenderness, or passion when you go to kiss them. And by all means, practice.

You can learn more about the "Love BIrds" by going to www.ChuckandJoannBird.com.

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