There are many (many!) different kinds of kisses, some estimate as many as 155. Here’s how a single kiss can make your world dissolve into a state of bliss.
—See the author’s TEDx Talk on Creating Extraordinary Intimacy in a Shut Down World—
Apparently, according to some osculatory pundits, there are as many as 155 different kinds of kisses. That’s a lot of kisses to remember, not to mention do well (lest you be remembered in the way you’d prefer not to be). I’ve personally found that when it comes to kissing, it’s really not about quantity, variety or even length of time—all of which can be thrilling in their own right. It is that ineffably exquisite exchange that happens between two people when their lips touch in a way that, if done just right, can transport them both to entirely new worlds—every… single… time.
You Are the Kissing Expert
When it comes to kissing each other on the lips, ultimately you and your partner are (or will eventually become) the “experts.” Just as there are no two snowflakes that are alike, I suspect that the way couples kiss and the experience they have are unique as they are. The key is learning from each other how to do it in a way the enhances your mutual bliss rather than ascribe to someone else’s idea of the “perfect kiss.” So with this in mind, I’ll share some of my personal insights into this most intimate form of human communication and take from it what you will.
A Kiss for Every Reason
Instead of pondering how many different types of kisses there are, I prefer to think of all the different reasons for kissing. Here’s a partial list of those lip-locking intentions I’ve compiled for some of life’s major (or not) moments between two people:
- The First Kiss – the intent of this one is pretty clear. If this is your first kiss ever with anyone, it’s like “What’s this all about and is it really as good as everyone says it is. And, am I going to do it right or come off as a duffus who will never be able to get past first base?” Just for the record, I was a slow learner, but that first one gave me plenty of encouragement to keep trying. Even as an experienced kisser attempting that first luscious contact with someone new, it is a potentially awkward moment that could be the beginning of something wonderful or its quick death. No pressure there.
- The Passionate Kiss – this one is the clear expression of lust between two very horny people and can be done in nearly an infinite variety of ways. These kisses (more like face-sucking) tend to be intense to both enhance and respond to each partner’s growing arousal. Most often experienced in the bedroom (or any other semi-convenient / private location) or in bars after about the third beer.
- The “I’m here for you” Kiss – this is the one where intimate partners express tender care and empathy for each other, often in times of uncertainty, doubt or pain. It is the kiss of support and “I have your back.” that helps further bind the love between two people.
- The Peck – this barely qualifies as a kiss in my book and is included here only because it is so prevalent in our culture. Essentially, this is the “Aloha” of kisses, used for both a quick greeting and farewell to your partner. It occurs most often when either one or both parties are in a hurry or distracted from being fully present for the other. Or, in worst case, used as an obligatorily false expression of “I still love you.” with a “sort-of” subtext thrown in for good measure.
- The “World Ceases to Exist” Kiss – now we’re talking. My partner and I have been together for over three years and kissing every imaginable way is one of our favorite pastimes. Yet it was only in the last six months or so that we discovered this exquisite way of kissing that transports both of us into a whole new reality. Every time it’s as if we were high on some very fine mind-altering drugs. Which in effect we are, given how this particular kiss, for us, seems to release a flood of mood enhancing neurochemicals. And how we go about it is simplicity itself.
Speaking strictly from the male perspective, the first thing I do is become very present for my partner and look deeply into her eyes—essentially kissing her first with my eyes and Soul. Then I gently take hold of her head and tilt it slowly to one side as I ever-so-lightly brush my lips against hers, while softly stroking her cheek with my thumb. As we continue to do this, time seems to stop and all awareness of our surroundings or daily troubles just disappears.
This is the kiss that brings us as close to “Unity” as we’ve experienced. It works for us every time and is shared here, not as “the” way to do it, but rather as an invitation to discover your own form of the “World Ceases to Exist” kiss for yourselves. For what it is worth, my partner and I now avoid the “Peck” and use this kiss as our default “Aloha” every time we greet or say goodbye to each other. That’s in addition to all the other occasions in which we choose to use it to melt fully into each other for no other reason than we simply want to.
The Reasons Humans Kiss
I’m a firm believer that most intimate behavior has a survival of the species imperative behind it somewhere. Here’s what a recent article on the subject “Why Do People Kiss?” has to say which seems to support my contention:
“Today, the most widely accepted theory of kissing is that humans do it because it helps us sniff out a quality mate. When our faces are close together, our pheromones “talk” — exchanging biological information about whether or not two people will make strong offspring. Women, for example, subconsciously prefer the scent of men whose genes for certain immune system proteins are different from their own. This kind of match could yield offspring with stronger immune systems, and better chances for survival.”
My partner couldn’t agree more, because she will tell you that the first thing that attracted her to me was my scent, not my cologne, my biological scent. I know this because she sniffs a lot when we make love. And, for what it’s worth, my pheromones were not nearly as good at “listening” as her pheromones where. I was too busy being distracted by her other attractive qualities to initially notice them. Typical male.
And here is one last thing to consider. In his bestselling book She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman, author Ian Kerner, Ph.D. shares how it has been shown there are direct nerve connections between parts of a woman’s upper lip and her clitoris. Enough said. (And take a guess as to which kiss mentioned above is most likely to enhance that particular anatomical connection.)
Painting Your Love with a Kiss
Consider the act of kissing your significant other as a work of art, imperfect yet always in refinement. You both will likely get much more out of this most personal form of human connection in doing so. And if you haven’t quite discovered your mutual “World ceases to exist” kiss yet, keep at it. If you stay fully present for each other while “practicing”, I assure you it will reveal itself eventually.
This article was originally published with the Good Men Project; republished with the author’s full (and kindest) permission.