Kissing: The Hot Love Habit That Makes You Both Happier
We challenged five women to just kiss more. The results?
Making over his smooch style
Twenty-five percent of women in our poll said they've successfully made over a guy's kissing style. That was welcome news for Zora,* 35. "My fiancé kisses like a junior high kid," she said when we first spoke to her. "It's lots of aggressive tongue-swirling, and I'm always wet around my mouth afterward blech." Sheril Kirshenbaum, author of the upcoming book The Science of Kissing, says that might be chalked up to man kissing versus woman kissing: "Research suggests that men may have an unconscious tendency to swap lots of spit because they transfer testosterone (which raises libido over time) to their mate through their saliva." An interesting explanation, but it obviously wasn't working for Zora. So to gently redirect her fiancé's style, Cane suggested this fix: "Ask him to stand still and not kiss you back for one full minute while you kiss him the way you want to be kissed." When Zora did, she couldn't believe how quickly things improved. "I planted a slow, dry one with minimal tongue on him. Then I asked him to try to do the same back to me and, A-plus! He knows I adore him, so luckily his feelings weren't hurt and he hasn't returned to his old ways."
All kissing (no sex!) for a week
Kissing had become a novelty for Audrey, 43, and her husband. "We're affectionate but rarely kiss, even when we have sex," she said. Bad move, Kirshenbaum says: "Whether a couple has been together for four months or 40 years, kissing promotes feelings of intimacy and security." Did more kissing but no ba-da-bing make Audrey and her husband feel even closer? "On the first day we kissed big time, and it was hard not to jump in the sack, but surprisingly there was only one slip-up the whole week our eighth anniversary came four days after I started the experiment, and I fell off the wagon. The sex was amazing, and it was hard to go back to abstinence after that. But doing this reminded us how much we love kissing, and the payoff was hot."
A very public display of affection
"My husband always wants to make out in public on the subway, in line at the market. What are we, teenagers?" says Sunny, 34. "It feels wrong to have people witnessing an intimate moment." Cane's advice: "The shared adrenaline rush that comes from an unexpected kiss can make a couple feel more bonded. Why not try it?" Sunny psyched herself up and did just that after a dinner date one night. "We stopped on a bench in Central Park and, surrounded by tons of people, I turned my properness meter off and open-mouth kissed him. I enjoyed it and realize now how many opportunities to be affectionate with him I'd been missing. I did, however, have to clarify my boundaries. After our little make-out session, he admitted that he'd almost grabbed my boob! Kissing, yes; groping, no."