Whether it's your first kiss with someone new or your lifetime partner, kissing usually leaves an impression -- one that lingers long after your lips have locked.
Kissing often plays an important role in relationships. "It fosters romantic compatibility," says Michael Christian, author of The Art of Kissing (published under the pen name William Cane). "The more that people kiss, the more they're able to communicate on a romantic level."
Kirkland Desmond, a software engineer in Tampa, Fla., vividly recalls his first kiss with his wife a decade ago. They were sitting on the couch in her dad's living room and as he leaned over to kiss her, he lost his balance and fell off the couch, pulling her down with him.
"I was so nervous because she was completely out of my league," he says. "So our first kiss happened while we were laughing and 10 years and three beautiful children later, we're still laughing and kissing every chance we get."
If your first kiss -- or any of the many that follow -- isn't what you're hoping for, talk about it. Many couples hesitate to talk about kissing out of embarrassment, Christian says.
Don't be shy about telling your partner what you like or asking what your partner prefers, he says. Just don't do it while you're kissing, so your partner doesn't take it as a rebuke.
Men's and Women's Kissing Mistakes
Most of us have clear preferences -- turn-ons and pet peeves -- when it comes to kissing styles.
Christian says men's biggest mistake is that they're too aggressive with their tongues. And men claim that women don't open their mouths wide enough.
For both sexes, the No. 1 kissing complaint is lack of variety, Christian says. He recommends kissing the different parts of your partner's face and paying special attention to the ears and neck. He suggests biting softly on the lower lip and nibbling gently on the earlobe.