There are regular kisses and there are passionate kisses. Whether you need to throw in some extra pizazz on your normal make out sessions, or if you're just trying to show your partner they make you extra hot and heavy, here are eight tips on how to passionately kiss.
Stay in the moment.
Dr. Laura Berman, sex and relationship therapist and brand ambassador for Forta, says it's the thoughts and intentions behind the kiss that make it passionate. Being fully present and not rushing onto the next act or stage of the kiss lets your partner know how attracted you are to them. Erica Rose, a kissing coach, notes everyone knows what it's like to be too wrapped up in their own mind to enjoy what's happening, but honing in on that focus is crucial. "Don't be thinking about other things while kissing...for a kiss to be really passionate, you have to really be in the moment."
It's not just about the lips.
Yes, your lips are doing most of the work, but there's no better way to show how hot you are for one another like adding some touching into the mix. Get Hollywood with it and touch your partner's face—Rose suggests lightly touching their chin or ears. Dr. Sadie Allison, founder of sex toy boutique Ticklekitty.com and author of Tickle His Pickle, agrees. "The more you can make it a 'full-body' kiss, the more passion you both feel."
Keep things loose.
"The tongue is an incredibly strong muscle, so the more you flex and tighten it, the more rigid and hard it will feel for your partner," says Anne Hodder, ACS, a sex and relationships educator based in Los Angeles. "Rigidity doesn't really flow with passion," so remember to keep your tongue soft and relaxed. Hodder suggests thinking of your tongue as an enhancement instead of the main event (your lips).
Eye contact is your friend.
Berman says that looking into your partner's eyes in the moments leading up to the kiss can also help convey passion. After all, there's no doubt that you really want to be in the moment like eye contact.
Test the waters with tongue.
Seriously, kisses can be passionate without tongue! Since tongue preference can vary from person-to-person, the best way to determine what your partner is into is simply by asking. "Adding tongue should be a slow, natural progression," says Allison. Remember to pay attention to your partner's body language and follow along to match their pace. If they seem to pant harder and pull you in closer, don't stop. If they pull back a bit, you might want to slow down.
Build energy slowly.
Allison says to use the pauses between each kiss to your advantage. "The moments between each kiss are key to conveying passion," she says. You can experiment with lingering your lips close to theirs, looking deeply into their eyes, increasing the pressure and intensity of each kiss, and building up. This is also a good chance to use your hands as things get hotter. You can start from light grazes with your fingers to rubbing your partner's thighs as things progress.
Hodder suggests thinking of any books, movies, or TV shows that have kissing scenes that speak to you. "Pay attention to the elements that connect with you the most," she says. Whether it's the way they make eye contact, the closeness of their bodies, the way their heads tilt, whatever, find out what turns you on about it and channel it the next time you're kissing your partner.
The best practice is by doing it.
While the best way to get better at passionate kissing is through experimenting with another consenting adult, there are alternatives. "I’ve had clients who have used the backs of their hands (teenager style!) to practice," says Hodder. And there's nothing embarrassing about solo practice. "The more familiar you can get with how you communicate passion via your mouth, lips and tongue, the more confident and comfortable you will feel—and confidence and comfort (and consent) are essential for a passionate kissing session with another person!"
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.