Ask Emily: Tips For French Kissing

Woman licking her lip
Hi Dr. Emily,

How do I get back into making out with tongue and all? My ex didn’t like it and we were together for 3 years, so now, that muscle memory is gone. I feel very awkward when my current partner and I kiss, as I can never bring myself to open my mouth. Too nervous that I will mess up or that I’m bad at it. I know this isn’t sex question, but making out was always a great lead up to oral and then sex.


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Dear Steven,

Can I just tell you how much I love your question? It’s wonderful. Kissing is an art! And, I totally agree with you, that a quality makeout sesh IS the best lead up to oral sex or penetrative sex. 

So let’s give you some tips. Here’s how to practice tongue kissing – “French kissing,” if you will – so  you can make out to your heart’s content.

1. Start slow

Don’t worry about tongue off the bat. Simply slow down the kiss itself, and as you’re parting your lips between each kiss, linger just a beat.

2. Add some pressure

Still not worrying about tongue just yet, press your lips a tiny bit more onto theirs. How does that feel? Are you getting a positive response? If so, proceed to step #3.

3. Breathe and touch

Integrate this kissing with your breath – we tend to breathe faster when we’re aroused, which is totally OK. But by breathing deeply, you stay relaxed, and attune to your partner’s breath as well (which is probably registering arousal by now). Add to the moment by using your hands: on the small of your partner’s back, on their hips, ooorrr anyplace else the both of you like.

4. Gently add the tongue

Now that things are getting a lil more spicy, try lingering in a kiss with your mouth slightly parted, and extending your tongue into your partner’s mouth. Note: avoid a fast, darting tongue, as well as a dead, sleepy tongue. We’re going for something in the middle! Slow in, slow out.

5. Add a nibble

Kissing isn’t all about lips and tongue – it can involve teeth, too. Up-level your makeout with a small, lusty nibble to their lip, and see how they react. 

6. Experiment

Just like sex itself, kissing benefits from changes in pattern, style, technique. So staying attuned to your partner, try out some different tongue tweaks: keeping it in their mouth longer or shorter, extending it deeply or more shallow, allowing your tongue to explore or not.  

7. Watch for drool

Slobbery kisses = not hot kisses. Sometimes, this happens when we forget and leave our mouths in an open position too long. To cut down on drool, be mindful that even though you’re making out, you’re still punctuating each kiss with a slight pucker.

8. Use eye contact

Because it’s super hot. There’s nothing like making out with your partner, looking at each other, and enjoying a cute, brief grin together while the kiss is happening.

9. Breath easy 

Last thing: you’ll feel more confident about making out if you’ve got really nice breath. So brush your teeth, pop a breath mint, rinse with mouthwash – whatever you’ve got handy to ensure a fabulous, fresh-tasting mouth.

Alright, Steven: thanks again for your question! I hope these tips help your kissing adventures. Have fun, make out a ton, and let me know how it goes!