- A lot of things can go wrong when it comes to kissing.
- Bad breath can sabotage a good kiss.
- Getting intense too quickly could cause you to be labeled a bad kisser.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
A kiss is a classic sign of affection. But for as simple as this gesture is, there is a lot that can go wrong when you’re kissing someone.
Moreover, being kissed by a bad kisser can kill attraction in its tracks. In fact, a 2007 study of over 200 people in The Journal of Evolutionary Psychology asked: “Have you ever found yourself attracted to someone, only to discover after kissing them for the first time that you were no longer interested?” It found that over 60% of people have had this experience.
Here are some common traits of bad kissers and how you can avoid them, according to the experts.
You’re not paying attention to how your partner wants to be kissed
Kissing is a two-way street. It should be enjoyable for you and also for your partner. But if you’re not paying attention to their movements and style, then the kiss likely won’t be enjoyable for anyone.
“Kissing is almost like dancing with your lips,” social and personality psychologist, Jeremy Nicholson, PhD, told WebMD. “You need to read your partner and figure out what style of kiss they’re interested in.”
You get too intense too quickly
For the most part, you should start slow with kissing. If you’re launching yourself at your partner, expecting an intense make-out session right away, you’re probably going to be labeled a bad kisser, said sex expert Antonia Hall.
Make sure you lead with your lips and keep the tongue action to a minimum, at least at first.
“It’s important to connect lips with just the right amount of pressure and limit saliva exchange. It’s a bad sign when the person you’re kissing puts their hand to their mouth to wipe away saliva or soothe their sore lips after kissing you,” added Hall.
You have bad breath
Check in with yourself and make sure that your breath smells great and your lips aren’t chapped before a date, Hall told INSIDER. This may seem like a no-brainer, but NationalToday.com found that bad breath was the biggest sign of a bad kisser, according to the 1,000 Americans they surveyed. When in doubt, you may want to pop a mint.
You’re tilting your head the opposite way that your partner is
Research has suggested that most people tilt their heads to the right when kissing, though this can also change depending on the lean of the person who initiates the kiss (left-handed people may be more likely to lean left).
In fact, in one study, participants found that when they tilted their head the opposite way of their partner, they were uncomfortable. When in doubt, follow your partner’s lead and lean the same way they do.
You’re not communicating
Like most things, if, you really want to know the truth, ask. It’s alright to ask your partner for some kissing feedback, especially if you frame it as wanting to make them feel as good as you possibly can.
“Instead of guessing, it shows the strength and level of trust that exists in a relationship when we can check in with each other about what does and doesn’t feel good,” said Dana McNeil, a marriage and family therapist based out of San Diego, California.
Asking your partner to show you how they liked to be kissed and asking them to give feedback on what they enjoy that you have been doing or what they would like to have you do more can be invaluable.