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What Is a French Kiss?
A French kiss (also called a tongue kiss, a deep kiss, or making out) is a kiss in which one or both partners use their tongues to stimulate each other’s mouths for mutual sexual pleasure. French kisses can be more stimulating than kisses without the tongue since the lips, tongue, and other parts of the mouth are powerful erogenous zones that contribute to sexual arousal. The term French kiss originated in America and Britain in the early 1900s, when it was believed that French culture was more open to adventurous sexual practices.
How to French Kiss
Here’s how to perform a basic French kiss:
- Choose a comfortable setting. Since French kissing usually takes a little longer than a standard peck on the lips, you’ll want to be in a place where both you and your kissing partner feel comfortable and relaxed. A bedroom or private area is a great place to start a make-out session. Set the mood by lighting a few candles or playing romantic music.
- Face your partner. Face your partner so that your eyes are on the same level, and make eye contact to show you feel connected to them. If it’s your first-time French kissing and you want to send a few signals that you’re in the mood, try briefly glancing at your partner’s lips and then back up to their eyes. If they return the flirty glance, smile, or start to lean in, they may be interested, too.
- Lean in and tilt your head. Once you know that your partner is interested, lean in to press your lips to your partner’s, tilting your head, so your noses don’t bump together. You may both accidentally tilt in the same direction at first; if this happens, simply redirect your head so that you’re tilting in opposite directions.
- Begin with your lips. While it may be tempting to start with a French kiss, building up to a deeper kiss can be incredibly sensual for both parties. Begin with a few closed-mouth, tongueless kisses. Press your lips to your partner’s, alternating between light brushes of your lips and more powerful kisses, then closed- and open-mouthed kisses. While you can leave your hands at your sides, adding a gentle caress can be enjoyable for the other party. With your partner’s consent, gently place your hands on their waist, back, or face as you kiss.
- Initiate a French kiss. After a few tongueless kisses, begin lightly brushing your tongue along your partner’s lips. This move is a non-verbal way of asking permission to take the kiss further—if your partner extends their tongue in response, they are ready to begin French kissing. However, if your partner doesn’t extend their tongue, they may not be comfortable just yet, and you should continue with your tongueless kisses. If you receive the green light to deepen the kiss, part your lips and gently use your tongue to stimulate your partner’s lips and tongue. Run your tongue along their lips or slide your tongue along theirs. Take it slowly and gently, allowing the intensity to build as you match your partner’s energy and movements. If your partner likes hugging during kisses, use your hands to hold them close.
- Finish. French kissing can be an enjoyable activity all on its own, without it progressing to anything further. If you and your partner don’t want to move on to more intimate activities, simply French kiss until you both feel satisfied. However, French kissing can also be a powerful part of foreplay. If you and your partner want to transition to sexual intercourse, you can move your hands to begin stimulating your partner’s body (especially the glutes, chest, or genitals).
6 French Kissing Techniques
French kissing can be so much more than a simple open-mouthed kiss. Here are a few techniques you can try with your partner to take your French kissing to the next level:
- Use your hands. While French kissing, use your hands to hold your partner and make them feel desired. Caress their lower back, upper back, chest, or neck with varying pressure levels to stimulate these erogenous zones. If you know your partner is comfortable, you can also caress their glutes (or breasts, if your partner has them). It’s important when using your hands that you pay attention to your partner’s comfort levels—especially if you’re on an early date or in a new relationship. Ask permission or check in with your partner before touching sensitive parts of their body.
- Vary the pressure. Using the same kissing technique throughout a single French kissing session can leave you or your partner feeling uninspired or bored. To keep things fresh and exciting, try to vary the pressure of your French kisses—for instance, alternate between tracing your tongue along your partner’s lips and pressing hard against your partner while exploring more of their mouth with your tongue. By varying the pressure of your kisses, you’ll demonstrate different intensities of your desire—kiss them purposefully, and you’ll send powerful signals of desire; kiss them lightly and leave them wanting more.
- Introduce your teeth. If you and your partner are comfortable, introducing gentle nibbling into French kissing can be a great way to increase the intensity. Take your partner’s upper or lower lip in your mouth and press lightly with your teeth. The difference in sensation—from the softness of your lips and tongue to the hard surface of your teeth—can draw even more pleasurable attention to the kiss.
- Swirl your tongues. For a higher-contact French kiss, use the tip of your tongue and swirl it in circles around your partner’s tongue. Since the tip of the tongue contains many nerve endings, this motion can be incredibly stimulating.
- Use suction. To raise the intensity, use your lips to create a gentle suction during the kiss. Take your partner’s bottom lip, upper lip, or tongue in your mouth and suck lightly. Suction can increase blood flow to the area and elevate pleasure, but be gentle—sucking or tugging too hard can cause unwanted pain.
- Move away from their lips. French kissing doesn’t have to center the mouth—taking brief breaks from your partner’s mouth can increase their desire and stimulate other erogenous zones. During the French kiss, let your mouth wander away from your partner’s lips, kissing down their jawline, along their cheeks, or against their ear for added pleasure.
4 Tips for French Kissing
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Whether it’s your first kiss or your hundredth, here are some extra tips to help elevate your French kissing:
- Make sure your breath is fresh. Bad breath can serve as a distraction when French kissing. Avoid pungent foods like onions and garlic before you kiss, which contain sulfuric chemicals that cause halitosis. Brush your teeth or use a breath mint for extra freshness.
- Take care of your lips. French kissing feels best on smooth, healthy lips. Take care of your lips by drinking water to stay hydrated and using chapstick, which will keep your lip skin fresh and healthy.
- Take your time. French kissing is a slow-sensual activity that shouldn’t be rushed. While kissing, slow down and take your time to enjoy the moment before rushing on to other sexual activities.
- Have fun together. If you take yourself too seriously when trying to French kiss, you may start feeling stressed, anxious, or insecure. Instead, relax and remember that French kissing is all about pleasure and intimacy—have fun with your partner and be willing to laugh if something doesn’t work out.