As You Desire: Let’s Talk About … Kissing

Do you remember your first romantic kiss?

I do.  I can still taste it.  I can tell you what I was wearing, what the occasion was, and of course who delivered that kiss to me.  I can remember the details of that moment in time as if they occurred five minutes ago.  Kisses are powerful and create moments to be remembered.  This can be both a good and a bad thing; all depends on the quality of the kiss.  Why is kissing important?  What does it relay?  If your significant other doesn’t kiss you the way you desire, how do you tell him or her?

First some science: You will learn I do like a bit of science added to the mix of mystery and play.  There are actually people who study the science of kissing.  Really.  They are called philematologists. The debate is whether or not kissing is learned or instinctual.  Based on the fact that 90% of the human race kisses, I’d have to go with instinctual and say the 10% non-kissing persons learn NOT to kiss.  Animals kiss.  Babies want to kiss.  What do you think?

Among these scientists it’s widely accepted that we kiss to sniff out a quality mate (which takes me back to my column about flirting via the Internet … can’t sniff them out online).  When our faces are close, our pheromones whisper to each other – and the exchange of biological information is passed back and forth.  The science goes into how we actually prefer the scent of a mate with certain immune system proteins different from our own so our offspring will have stronger immunities.  And we thought it was so much sexier; like great lips!

Most of us will still go with the fact that it just feels good.  The lips are loaded with sensitive nerve endings similar to those of the other erogenous zones or tissues of the human body.  So a kiss is not simply a kiss … it’s a way to provide and receive pleasure, plus much more!

Here are ways to make a kiss memorable:

Working up to the kiss. How do we find our way in for that first kiss?  Identifying the signals (remember that body language accounts for more than half the information you are receiving) indicating a kiss is going to be welcomed is tricky business.  Subtle clues are conveyed by how close a person is willing to get (into your space);  They might lean their upper body toward you during your conversation; Frequent touching of your arm or hand while chatting, a lot of very direct eye contact, or turning whole body towards you even if you are sitting side by side.

Some less subtle clues might be licking the lips, talking about kissing or intimacy, leaning the face closer and closer to your face, or you might even catch them checking their breath.  What clues do you give or look for?

Let’s talk about what might not be remembered with fondness. (Remember, this is written from a woman’s perspective.  I would love to hear your list, men!)

THE ATTACK KISS:  If you go in like you are on a mission, it’s going to be startling and underwhelming.  They do this in the movies for affect.  In real life it doesn’t really work.

HARD AND FAST:  Smashing your face into the face of another is neither sexy nor fun.  Sometimes it just hurts.  You have to remember that beneath those pretty soft lips reside TEETH … and it hurts to smash the lips into them.  When our heads are up against something (like a bed or wall) and you press really hard into our faces with yours, it really doesn’t feel good to either side of our heads.

WET AND SLOPPY:  It sounds good to use a lot of tongue and slobber, but REALLY?  We don’t really enjoy having our tonsils inspected by a tongue, nor do we appreciate the flood of saliva pouring into our mouths.

TIGHT LIPPED:  There are kisses for your mom, your daughter, your friends and your lover; they are all VERY different.  WE know the difference.  Please know it too.

BITING:  I know the vampire movies are popular now, but lip biting that is anything more than very tender can result in bodily harm.  I am not here to judge those of you who might be into that, but please make it clear if you are so the other person is informed before they experience your technique.

Now what you have been waiting for: What makes that kiss memorable and delicious?

SLOW AND SEXY:  Occasionally a movie gets it right.  They bring the pairing together, slowly building anticipation and sexual energy.  Their faces nearly touch.  They can breathe each other’s breath as they gaze into each other’s eyes.  Maybe she licks her lips seductively … Parting them softly … they come close, then draw away, close, away … then their lips touch.  Electric and VERY sensual.  They taste each other and you can see the sparks flying!  Come back now … THAT IS A KISS!

PASSIONATE:  In the throws of a great sexually charged event, deep, luscious, passionate kissing pushes us over the top.  It’s probably not going to have the same affect if you lay this on us in the middle of the grocery store or during a meal.  You have to build up to and know when this one comes into play.  This one might make others uncomfortable if done in public.  PDAs are a sensitive subject and we will uncover more about that another time.

LOVING:  I have a three-second rule. (We get to make those up, you know.) Any kiss from my husband for ME needs to last at least three seconds. Otherwise it’s easy to mistake it for the kiss to be used for a friend or relative.  I have other people who kiss me this way and it’s nice from THEM.  When you are saying hello or good bye, good night, or just want to pause and let your lover know you appreciate them: Stop, look them in the eye, and let your lips touch tenderly in a soft and slightly lingering fashion (hence the three-second rule).  It doesn’t take long, yet it feels unrushed and special.  In fact, it can simply take your breath away.  I don’t know about you, but I enjoy having my breath taken away!

MAKE-OUT SESSIONS:  When we were teens we could kiss until our faces hurt and the skin was rubbed off.  Remember those red, raw faces, ladies?  Oh my.  What happens to those great make-out sessions?  Is it possible once we sniff out our partner we don’t need to kiss like that anymore?  A great date night idea is to take the time to reignite the kiss.  If you and your partner have been a little distant and need to reconnect, take an evening and go park the car someplace secluded and spend an hour just kissing.  Breathing each other’s breath (taking the time to brush your teeth is always a good idea), being close, experimenting with a variety of kissing techniques; remember the butterfly kiss?  Try this: trade off doing the kissing.  One of you give and the other receives.  This way you can really feel what it’s like to be kissed. It’s all about taking the time to explore each other; and occasionally that entails going back to the beginning and relearning how to please and be pleased.

Here is what Michael wrote in about kissing; “First off, kissing is most important, if you can’t kiss, well, relationship is over. A kiss defines who you are. Kisses: sloppy, wet, sensual, soft, rough, all tongue, lip biter. Or like me … I like all of the above … except sloppy and wet. If a woman just holds her mouth open and sticks her tongue out and wiggles it. I can’t kiss her. That’s sloppy to me. I love soft and sensual.”

Kissing is always a display of affection, plus a sensual act when shared between lovers. It’s also cultural.  As cultures around our earth continue to blend, it will be interesting to see what we end up adopting as a global culture.  Until then, we need to stay sensitive and open to the needs and customs of others.  Public kissing is illegal in some countries (Dubai is one).  Although PDA’s are legal in the USA, many people are still uncomfortable with any display of affection in a public place.  Where are your lines?  What makes you uncomfortable?  I’d love to hear from you.  Please email your responses, questions or ideas for future columns directly to me at

Please join me in two weeks as we will be going BEYOND FLIRTING … Find out how to keep the fires burning!

Intimately Yours,


Nancy Sutton Pierce RN, Health Educator is the Founding director of Nancy Sutton’s House of Yoga and Radio Talk Show Host on The Conscious Living Show LIVE every Saturday 11a-12noon on KCNR 1460am You can reach Nancy at with your comment or questions.

As You Desire is proudly sponsored by Body Logic MD; helping both men and women restore their libido and vitality through hormone therapy, fitness and nutrition counseling.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of

Dr. Nancy Sutton Pierce
Dr. Nancy Sutton Pierce’s eclectic background places her expertise in a league of its own. The compilation of her career as an RN, health educator, intimacy author, radio talk show host, and yoga therapist all fuel her passion as an International speaker and clinical sexologist. Earning her Doctorate degree in human sexuality has broadened her reach around the globe teaching Conscious Living Sexuality™. When not traveling the globe inspiring others, Dr. Nancy enjoys her home life with the love of her life for more than 30 years. They’ve raised three children and now bask in what she refers to as “the dessert of parenting” -- being grandparents. Website. Contact Dr. Nancy
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12 Responses

  1. Avatar linda bott says:

    wow just talked about this on the airmon KCNR.. kissing is so great and you really covered it!!

  2. Avatar Awakened Goddess says:

    This is great!
    I just got back from Burningman…

    And they do whole workshops designed around the art and joy of kissing!
    Wouldn't that be great if we had one here in Redding……;)

    Kissing the universe…

  3. Avatar Erin Friedman says:

    Yay for kissing! Bonus points: It annoys our kids. 😉

  4. Avatar Angie Tatro says:

    People underestimate the love one receives from a heart felt kiss. When my teenage sons or husband are on the computer I give them a loving kiss on the top of the head and run my hands down the back of their hair. No words need to be exchanged, just sending my love to them when they are connected to technology.

    • Avatar Angela says:

      Thanks Angie – For noting that ALL affectionate kisses are important, not just the Lover to Lover traditional kind….I do much the same with my loved ones with pecks and pats, smooches and strokes…

  5. Avatar linda bott says:

    wow just talked about this on the airmon KCNR.. kissing is so great and you really covered it!!

  6. Avatar Scott and Bozena says:

    Wonderful insight into kissing, Nancy! Thanks. Bozena and I have always kissed longer than 3 seconds. In fact, we shared a very nice 10-sec kiss at Caribou Coffee yesterday…and nobody seemed to mind. This might explain why we're celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary next month 🙂

    By the way, I ran across this explanation of kissing:

    Why Do We Kiss?

    Since there's no reproductive value in kissing, it makes you wonder why kissing evolved.

    The purpose of kissing is actually to show trust, since you're exposing the most vulnerable part of your body – your lips and your tongue to another person.

    Kissing feels so good, because your lips have the highest number of nerve endings of any body part, besides your genitals.

  7. Avatar Lin Moss says:

    Well my friend once again a great article. I love that you covered the science of kissing. Keep up the great information. Even though some may not like it. They will have to think about it. Bravo!!

  8. Avatar Budd Hodges says:

    Wow, yes the spark of a kiss! "Kisses sweeter Than Wine."

    "Give Me A kiss To Build a Dream On and my imagination will finally do the rest"

    However, You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh. The world will always welcome lovers,"As time goes by."

    Love one another, it's contagious !

  9. Avatar gamerjohn says:

    Ahh my first real kiss. I had a class with her brother and met her when we studied at their house. Somehow I got the nerve to ask her out since my friend told me she had just broken up with her boy friend. As our first date was winding down, I had stopped at my house for a second to show her my new stereo. She looked at the different records I had and noticed I had several by the group Kiss.

    She asked if I liked Kiss, so I swooped down and gave her the best kiss I could manage. She grabbed the back of my neck and taught me how to do it better. She got home later than planned that night.

    Then during the summer we broke up while watching the Price is Right which was a new show in the 1970's. I couldn't watch Bob barker for years.

  10. Avatar Angela says:

    NOT my FIRST kiss by any means, but I remember one boyfriend who taught me that ELECTRIC wasn't just a Hollywood concept – I'll never forget the ACTUAL physical, electric CHARGE I felt that night kissing as we were coming home to the apartment…what a trip that such things exist…with only body chemistry at their root!

  11. Avatar GingerSnap says:

    Oh yeah . . . kissing!! Love it!! My boyfriend and I spend hours kissing. It's such a passionate way to share with each other.

    Love your column, by the way!!