French Kissing Tips That’ll Totally Change the Way You Lock Lips
There are other terms for it — making out, snogging, locking lips, etc. — but “French kissing” is what the move is best known as.
It’s “passionate, deep, amorous kissing that involves lovers touching their tongues to each other’s lips and inside their mouths,” says behavior analyst Jaqueline Moreno. “What’s known as ‘French kissing’ actually came from British and American soldiers who came home after WWII and kissed their women and girlfriends in the amorous way they saw the French kiss their women.”
French kissing is one of the most underrated forms of affection. Ironically, it’s also one of the most important. French kiss a girl the right way, and it opens doors for a second date. It can even be the catalyst to take things a step further and head back to your place. If you commit a bunch of first-kiss mistakes and do it sloppy and wrong and well… you tried, right?
So in the name of more second dates, hookups and lovemaking everywhere, we’ve compiled a handy guide chock full of everything you need to know about French kissing — from must dos to things to stay away from, pitfalls you’ll need to navigate, and yes, how to use those lip skills to lead to more intimate acts. Even if you think you’ve mastered the art of french kissing, everyone could use a little refresher course every now and then, am I right? Here’s what the experts (and real women) want you to know about French kissing.
Everything to Know About French Kissing
1. Basic French Kissing Dos and Don’ts
So, you’re going to kiss a girl and use your tongue. Obviously, this opens up doors for a lot of potentially awkward situations. To keep things less slobbery and more streamlined, here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep top of mind.
Keep it passionate by including your body
Remember, the whole reason you’re French kissing and not regular kissing is because you want that added spark that ignites when two people put their mouths together this way. Fetish model and adult entertainer Luna says that making sure your body is involved rather than just letting your mouth do all the work will help build that intimacy. “The most important part is what you do with your hands,” she says. “You can touch, rub and feel the other person. Place a strong hand on the back of her head and passionate kiss like you mean it.”
Don’t forget about oral hygiene
If you’re going to be kissing this way, keep in mind that your partner is about to get very up close and personal with your mouth — so it’s to both of your benefits to make sure you do your due diligence in making sure that area is good to go. “Keep good oral health,” says Luna. “Men, it is appreciated if your facial stubble and beards are not razor sharp. No one likes a stubble rash.”
Introduce your tongue slowly
You don’t want to take her by surprise with your tongue. Instead, you want to slip it in there seamlessly so that it just becomes part of the motion of your mouths. “Don’t dive straight in for a French kiss,” Luna recommends. “Instead, kiss around the neck and the mouth. This will make you both feel more relaxed and sensual.” When you do go in for it, use your tongue sparingly. “Don’t feel you need to extend your whole tongue,” says Luna. “Instead, use the tip of your tongue to explore the other person’s tongue. Then, focus the kiss on the tongue. Remember, you are not licking their mouth but caressing their tongue.”
When you’re doing the tongue tango, it’s almost inevitable that things can get sloppy. But dating expert and co-host of The Date/able Podcast Yue Xu says there are a few ways to help prevent it. “If you feel like you are salivating too much, close your mouth,” she says. “Then slowly peck her cheek, her ears or her neck. This will give yourself a chance to regroup. Then, go back in.” Make sure you’re staying aware of the saliva situation — if it gets too far gone, you might need to discreetly wipe your face before going back at it. The key is to make sure you stop before you get to that point.
Keep your tongue engaged
Once you’ve successfully introduced your tongue into her mouth, make sure you keep things moving. “Actively engage your tongue,” says Xu. “Once it’s out, don’t let it stay there. Think of it as a dance of your tongues.” Make sure you’re not putting too much or too little force into the work you’re doing with your tongue, either. Ideally, you want to be matched where pressure is concerned. Usually the more delicate, the better.
Don’t hit her teeth
Nothing takes you out of the passionate kissing mood like colliding with your partner’s teeth. To prevent this, Xu says it’s important to be mindful of how much you’re opening your mouth. “Don’t open your mouth too wide,” she says. “She still wants to feel your lips. If you open too wide, she’ll only feel your tongue and your teeth. Think of it as pursing your lips; your lips are the gate to your tongue.”
What Real Women Say About French Kissing
“The best kind of French kiss is when it feels effortless,” says Lisa, 23. “Of course, you’re both doing work to make it feel that way. But a lot of my French kissing experience with someone new has felt like the guy just goes on autopilot — which you don’t want either. If you’re not really paying attention, that’s when the awkward stuff happens. Like, you drool on each other, or you hit into each other’s mouths too hard. I think being present in what you’re doing and not overthinking it are probably two big factors you want to keep in mind when you’re French kissing someone new.”
“I once made out with a guy who did everything way too dramatically,” says Andrea, 26. “He didn’t care at all about where I was at — it was like he was just the star of his own show trying to over exaggerate some cheesy makeout scene. You don’t want to be a super weak French kisser, but you most definitely do not want to do the opposite. He tried to get me to take things further, and I was so turned off that I said I was exhausted and had to call it a night. Which was not a lie — the whole thing was exhausting!”
“Please, please please don’t attack a girl with your tongue,” says Heather, 25. “It’s shocking to me how many guys get through life not knowing the right way to French kiss a girl. Yes, you want your tongue to be involved. But you don’t want the girl to feel like her mouth is under some kind of attack here. When in doubt, the slower the better. I personally like it when a guy does the tease with his tongue — where he’ll massage mine lightly with his and then back off, and then come back at it. It’s kind of like edging, but for your mouth.”
2. The Right Time to Start French Kissing
You’re on a first date with a girl you really like, and the two of you are definitely feeling each other. You decide that at the end of the night, you’re going to go in for a kiss. But, is it too soon to get your tongue involved? Should you wait until a few more dates in? Will she feel like you’re coming in too hard and fast if you do try and French kiss her?
When it comes to what the experts say, the jury is out on this one. But here are a few things to consider when you’re figuring out the right time to start French kissing someone new.
Right away (if you both want to)…
“You can go on a date and want to French kiss the other immediately,” says Luna. “It makes no difference as to when. French kissing is no longer seen as exclusively foreplay to sex, nor is it seen as overly provocative. Many people French kiss at the altar when they wed, and you see lovers embrace and kiss when leaving each other at a station, and a lot of kissing in bars and clubs. A first date would warrant a kiss if you feel you want to see the other person again. Second dates get stuck in.”
But don’t assume it’s automatically on the table
“Some people might be ready for French kissing from the first date, while some might take a slower approach and need some warming up before they start swapping spit,” says Moreno. “Nothing is ever fair game right away. Be respectful, mature and upfront about your preferences. If asking if it’s okay for you to ‘take your kissing to the next level’ makes you uncomfortable, consider whether you’re emotionally mature enough to handle a relationship in the first place.”
If you’re into each other, try it out
“The way two people kiss is also the way they communicate and bond,” says Xu. “If you’re hesitant to French kiss your partner, then that means there are some barriers in your relationship, or that you two aren’t connecting on the same level.”
What Real Women Say About When to French Kiss
“If I’m on a first date that’s going really well, I would be open to French kissing the guy,” says Amber, 24. “I think you need to feel the situation out, but I do think it’s obvious when you’re on a good first date. I wouldn’t want to start French kissing him immediately though, there should be some build up. I also think it depends on where you are kissing this person, and for how long. Sometimes a goodnight kiss can turn into a French kiss. But it can be awkward if one person is just trying to give a short, quick kiss good night — and the other is going all in for a makeout sesh.”
“I get really shy on first dates,” says Candace, 22. “I have French kissed someone on a first date, but most of the time I prefer to get to know the guy a little better before we start kissing that way. Plus, I think not French kissing until a few dates in adds to the build up, and that can make the kiss even hotter once we do it.”
“I think that French kissing is a big indicator of whether or not two people have chemistry,” says Dawn, 23, “So I like to try and make it happen on the first date in order to see whether or not we have that. You can kind of feel that vibe from the beginning of the date — but I’ve also had first dates that start off well and end with me not feeling it because the kiss was awful and we just weren’t connecting that way.”
3. Advantages and Drawbacks to French Kissing
As with just about anything in life, French kissing comes with its own set of pros and cons. Here are a few of the big advantages — and some drawbacks to keep in mind while you’re going at it.
It creates intimacy
“French kissing is so intimate that it’s practically a form of having sex with your clothes on,” says relationship expert Audrey Hope. “You are speaking from your heart with a kiss, and it is a language that says, ‘I am really connecting with you and I am here with only you.’”
But there are other ways to get the job done
“A French kiss is more passionate and you share something more than a simple kiss on the lips,” says Luna. “However, kissing the neck and the ears can be just as much of a turn on, and that type of kissing is softer and involves the lips.”
It can leave the girl you’re kissing with physical evidence of the act
“Men, be warned that ladies are not too keen on a stubble rash,” Luna says. “It can be sore and red and a dead giveaway for what you have been up to.” If you’re sporting a beard, you might want to look into using a beard conditioner in order to help prevent this. If you’re rocking stubble and planning on getting lucky later, it might be time for a fresh shave.
It’s more heightened than regular kissing
“French kissing activates more nerve endings than simple kissing, utilizing more muscles in our tongues, jaws and cheeks,” explains Moreno. “These all work to activate the sensory cortices of our brains, which release more dopamine and serotonin (pleasure and happiness neurotransmitters). This encourages pair bonding. Frenching done right biologically brings you and your partner closer.”
It can get a little gross, depending on what you’re into
“The point at which someone considers French kissing ‘gross’ is subjective,” says Moreno, “making communication between you and your partner all the more important. Excessive salivary activation? Possibly gross, unless that’s okay with your partner. Maybe they hate a dry mouth? It’s all about preference and communication.”
What Real Women Say About the Pros and Cons of French Kissing
“I think there are a few situations where you’d probably just want to regular kiss the girl you’re with vs. French kiss,” says Olivia, 26. “If you’re out in a very public place in the daylight, you should probably tone that PDA down. Same for if you’re out with your friends and definitely in front of her family. Other than that, let your Frenching freak flag fly.”
“Obviously the pros outweigh the cons,” says Alli, 27. “Who cares if you get a little sloppy? As long as you’re not doing it wrong and putting your mouth all over her face it’s all good. I’ve never heard of anyone dying from getting saliva on their face.”
4. Advanced French Kissing Techniques
You’ve mastered the basics, understand how to time it right, and are fully briefed on the advantages and drawbacks of French kissing. Ready to put a few pro moves into motion? Here are a few suggestions for next level lip locking.
“Try drinking ice cold water, then kissing,” says Luna. “The coldness of the mouth can be really nice, and if you include your lips and kiss other areas of the body as well it can be really pleasurable. In the same way you can use flavors by sucking on a sweet beforehand or during. Take note that chewing gum is not a sexy kissing aid, though.”
Switch up the setting
A simple change of scene can do a lot for your makeout session. “Change up the environment,” Moreno recommends. “Kiss in the rain, in the shower, pull your partner toward you during a romantic crescendo in a movie. If you’ve already cleared that you’re both okay with Frenching, then spontaneity and surprise smooches are always sweet.”
Get your hands involved
“Your hands are the co-stars to your tongue,” says Xu. “Whatever you’re communicating with your tongue, you should do the same with your hands and vice versa. If you’re going in for a deep tongue kiss, your hands should strongly wrap around her as you pull her in. If your tongue is going in for a teaser kiss, gently caress her waistline with your fingers.”
Use a sucking motion
“Caress the neck and suck the tongue,” says Luna. “It sounds strange but your tongue is the most sensitive part of the month and sucking it can be really hot.”
What Real Women Say About French Kissing Techniques
“Watch the scene from Fifty Shades of Grey where he uses an ice cube,” says Anna, 24. “You don’t have to watch the whole movie, but that scene is what I think of when I think about how a guy can take French kissing up a notch. I imagine it would also work just as well with something like a strawberry — but I feel like guys are more likely to have ice cubes handy.”
“I like it when a guy changes his pace from hot and heavy to almost painfully slow while he’s French kissing me,” says Alexandra, 25. “Going from fast to slow makes me want more of the harder, heavier stuff for sure.”
5. How French Kissing Can Lead to More
French kissing is pretty much a gateway drug into more sexual acts like dry humping, oral stimulation and yes, eventually going all the way. Going down each of these routes requires your partner’s consent in the matter. But there are a few maneuvers that will likely lead you to the rest of the bases to score yourself a home run.
Move your body the right way
“A more passionate kiss requires you to involve your body and hands,” says Luna. “To get in the right position to be touching tongues you need to be close, so use your whole body and don’t be afraid to get close and touch hips, chest and so on.”
Let it lead you to the next step naturally
“French kissing always stimulates the other senses of our bodies and turns on our sexual buttons,” says Hope. “That is why it is very difficult to just stay with this stage. French kissing is a part of foreplay if you do it right (meaning, using your body and hands in conjunction). It can build up the passion to either taking it to the next level, which is usually removal of clothing or heavy petting, or it can leave you both wanting more the next time!”
Use it as foreplay
“I think kissing is all part of foreplay,” says Luna. “Mixing French kissing with small sensuous kisses will ensure your partner gets really excited.”
What Real Women Say About French Kissing Before Sex
“I think most women would agree that French kissing usually progresses to something more,” says Lucy, 23. “But I think it’s more about where you are in your relationship with the person you’re French kissing than any sort of move that leads you there. Every couple is different, but usually once you’ve been out on a few dates and you’re alone together at one of your places, something more is bound to happen. It doesn’t always expressly mean that you two are going to bang if you’re making out alone together. I think it’s fine for the guy to feel out the situation — literally. But to also be respectful if she tells you she’s not ready for that step yet.”
“If she already knows you’re good with your mouth, she’s probably already thinking about where else on her body those talents could be of good use,” says Ashley, 24. “I really like it when a guy transitions from French kissing to kissing other parts of my body, going down it until he’s going down on me. A pit stop around my neck and my nipples are must-visit points of interest.”