Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kissing Styles: Washing Machine, Lizard, Face Sucker ...

Written By Lindsay K.  and Lauren K. of Love Kudos

Tongue wrestling, sucking face, frenching, snogging, necking, pecking, playing tonsil hockey, giving someone a big smacker are all descriptions for the common behavior: kissing.

According to a popular TV commercial, the average person will spend 20,000 minutes in their lifetime kissing. Therefore, you want to make sure you are the best you can be at this common display of affection. A first kiss can determine whether or not he or she gets another date, so it is essential that you have a lot of tricks up your sleeve in the kissing domain and can be a chameleon with your kissing style.

Romantic Love has three components—romance, attachment, and sexual arousal—and kissing activates all three, says Helen Fisher, author of Why Him? Why Her? Both men and women also kiss to assess genetic compatibility. That's why kissing someone new can create sparks—or cause a budding romance to wither on the branch.   Last year, the magazine, Psychology Today, explored gender distinctions with kissing and found that men and women have different kissing styles overall.
  • Men are more likely than women to initiate wet, open-mouthed, saliva-exchanging tongue kissing—since their senses of taste and smell are less acute, they need bigger, sloppier samples to gather enough information to assess compatibility.
  • Women prefer demure, closed-mouth kisses—since their senses of taste and smell are acute, they don't need a lot to assess compatibility. 
  • Women prefer men with medium-size lips: thick enough to convey compassion and friendliness, but not so large as to appear feminine.
  • 66 percent of women and 59 percent of men have experienced a first kiss with a new person that instantly killed the attraction.
    As they say on "How to deal with a bad kisser?" on Wiki How, kissing is a very important part of a relationship and, unfortunately, the inability to deliver a passionate kiss (or worse, the ability to deliver a disgusting kiss) can be a deal breaker, no matter how great the person is otherwise. 

    Before we delve into kissing style distinctions, we want to bring up some case studies when kissing chemistry was just not there.


     #1 Richard* and Lindsay had been dating for a few weeks and she had confided to her friends that although they were getting along on an intellectual level, the chemistry was lacking in the kissing arena. She nicknamed him the Washing Machine kisser, because he moved his tongue in her mouth in a repetitive circular pattern. However, it was Richard that beat Lindsay to the punch about it. On the 4th date he said to her, "You kiss like a like a lizard.  We have very different kissing styles."

    Not exactly the words you want to hear on a date from the person you are kissing.  This was news to Lindsay as she had always received positive compliments on her kissing capabilities!  Lindsay thought to herself, "I can't believe the 'Washing Machine kisser' is insulting my kissing abilities.  I just didn't understand what I was supposed to be doing when he's on spin cycle."

    Mr. Washing Machine never got another date. Turns out, kissing style was not the only major difference they had in the end.

    #2 Lauren says sometimes it is not only a lacking of kissing chemistry, but an equipment disconnect. She reports, "We were sitting down after dinner and we engaged in a first kiss that should have been perfect. Minty breath was good for both parties and we appeared to like each other. However, his thin lips and large teeth created a bumping teeth rhythm that was too hard to bare longer than three minutes in my lifetime. I discriminate and need someone with juicy lips. NEXT ..."

    KISSING RATIO? (90/10  or 60/40)
    Lauren disagrees slightly with the kissing theory from the movie, Hitch, that it should be a 90/10 kissing ratio for the first kiss, with the man initiating 90% of the kiss and the female (or female-like role in a gay relationship) meeting the male 10% of the way. I think it is preferred if the male initiates the first kiss, but a woman can sense the signs and a 60/40 split is perfectly acceptable. Right guys? Some men I know would be more than pleased if the woman initiated the first kiss, which would take a lot of the guessing if she was interested in him out of the equation at the end of the date.

    Here are some descriptions of less favorable kissing styles. If any of these descriptions sounds a little too close to home, perhaps you better do some kissing rehab.


    The Washing Machine:  the tongue slowly or quickly goes in a repetitive circle.  Why it doesn't work?  Maybe once or twice, but the spin cycle should remain in the laundry room.

    The Lizard: the tongue quickly goes in and out.  Why it doesn't work?  You are kissing, not licking a lollipop.

    The Face Sucker:  the mouth is open too wide and causes a feeling that their sucking your entire face. Why it doesn't work? The person draws blood with each kiss and the other person can't breath out of their mouth at all.

    The Sloppy Joe:  Excess saliva during a kiss. Why it doesn't work? The slobber seeps out of their mouth and it can look like they are drooling.
    Ashtray Kiss: Kissing a person who smokes cigarettes and hasn't chewed gum to refresh the breath. It is obvious why it doesn't work. Most people like the taste of fresh breath, not tobacco.

    The Pecker Kiss: The kissing session starts with pecks on the lips. Like a bird pecking on a tree.  Why it doesn't work?   The first kiss should be slow to start, not pulling back and forth.  For the first couple of kisses it might be ok, but not for long-term making out. Men actually like tongue with their kissing a lot.

    Preferred Kissing Styles:

    Passionate, intense, great build up ... these are all descriptors associated with great first kisses.

    The old fashioned "French Kiss": Surprisingly the French call this the "English Kiss."  Why it works?  When done correctly, some call this "The Soul Kiss"  because the life and soul are thought to pass through the mouth's breath in the exchange across tongues.

    The Electric Kiss:  Shuffle across the carpet until you've neared your partner in a sufficiently charged state. Lean slowly toward, so that your lips are the first body parts to touch. Sparks will fly in the dark.

    The Teaser Kiss: Seduce your mate into thinking your going in for a full-blown kiss, but pull back and gently brush your lips across theirs, kiss their neck, and then eventually go in for the full kiss on the mouth and slowly ease your tongue into the kiss.

    So, sometimes you may really be into someone, but their kissing style or technique may not be ideal and needs some rehab., offers some details on "How to Deal with a bad Kisser."  Here are the highlights:


    1. Make up a reason to get away. Say you're feeling tired, or you have to go with your friends. You can always say, "Yuck," but you probably don't want to offend and embarrass someone.  Pull away from the kiss and look the person in the eyes, and say something like, "This is how I like a kiss." Then kiss that person as you would want to be kissed. You may offend the person, and that's why you need a little more patience if you're already in a relationship with someone you care about, but if you want a quick tip that will either work or get rid of someone, that's it. 

    2. Figure out what it is that you don't like. Before you can encourage good kissing, you need to figure out what makes a kiss good for you. This can be difficult, because we generally like different kinds of kisses at different times. If you do end up having to talk to him or her about it, you don't want to just say, "you're a bad kisser." You want to offer constructive input
    • Is the person really a bad kisser, or are you just used to something else? Especially when people get out of long-term relationships and start anew, they may miss the way their ex kissed them. Just because somebody doesn't kiss you exactly like your old flame did, however, doesn't mean that he or she isn't good at kissing. Keep an open mind and, as long as you're not disgusted, give it a little time. You may come to like the way your new partner kisses.

    3. Set a good example. Try to kiss the person like you want to be kissed. Kissing is an interactive experience, and each partner needs to follow the others lead at some time. When it's your turn to lead, make it count.  

    4. Give your partner signals. When your partner kisses you in a way that you really don't like, don't be afraid to pull away. Use body language, and hope he or she gets the hint. Even more importantly, when your partner does something you like, let him or her know. Moan softly, hold them closer, melt in his or her arms--send out signals that he or she is getting it right. Most bad kissers aren't bad all the time, so you should have opportunities to reward them for a job well done. Keep reinforcing what you like and discouraging what you don't, and your bad kisser may become a good kisser without you ever having to say a word about it.

    5. Tell the person what you like.  Try telling him or her that you love it when he or she kisses you like they really want you. Just telling the person what you like will reinforce that idea in his or her head. If that doesn't work, encourage experimentation. Ask your partner if they would like to "try something different" but really show them how you like to be kissed. If you see a great kiss in a movie, for example, mention that you'd really like to try kissing like that. Be as specific as you feel you need to be.

    6.Have a talk. Communication is essential to any relationship, so don't be afraid to tell the person how you feel. Be tactful about it, though, and compliment your partner on what he or she does right. Don't make blanket statements. Instead, address specific issues so that your partner will know you're not just being mean and so he or she can actually work on improving.

    7. If nothing else works, you're left with two choices: lower your standards or break up with the bad kisser. If the person is wonderful in all other respects, and if kissing just isn't that important to you, just live with it. If, however, you really need a good kisser, you have to end the relationship. If you really try to communicate your needs early in the relationship, but the person still doesn't adapt, they probably won't be responsive to your needs in other areas either, and they won't likely make a good long-term partner for you anyway. It's hard to break up with someone, but remember that you'll be better off and, hopefully, that person will also finally take the hint and become a better partner for someone in the future.

    * - Names have been changed to protect the anonymity of the parties involved in the case studies.

    Next blog will be sharing "your best first kiss" stories
    What age were you, what were the circumstances, what happened post the kiss?

      Write in your kissing story to Love Kudos.

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