I’ve had my fair share of kisses over the years. Some, I admit, were horrible, and included things like braces, corn-chip breath, and games of tonsil hockey. But there have been some pretty sweep-me-off-my-feet kisses too, like: kissing under a sky illuminated with fireworks, a grown-up game of spin-the-bottle (please land on green eyes — yes!), and scandalous kisses that never should have happened but felt so good. It’s no wonder, of course, that my girlfriends and I want more of the latter than the former. So listen up, guys, as these eight women kiss and tell…

Make sure she’s willing
“First off, does the date merit a kiss? Am I engaged in conversation with you? Am I smiling? If things seem like a go, a first kiss should be very soft. Please, no tongue! Just kiss my lips with yours. Nip at my bottom lip — just slightly tug it. Don’t be like my last first date, who licked my teeth and got my hair caught in his college ring (come to think of it — never wear a college ring on a date).”
— Alexis Derano, editorial assistant
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Brush up
“I think hygiene is key. Before you attempt to kiss me ask yourself: Does your breath smell like pepperoni pizza? I don’t care if we just dined in garlic heaven — a pack of gum or tin of Altoids cost around a buck. Both fit in your pocket. Please have fresh breath. I keep Tic-Tacs on me at all times (hint, hint)! If we go back to your place to cuddle and watch a DVD, there is nothing sexier than a guy that excuses himself to the bathroom and emerges smelling like Crest. I once kissed a guy that tasted like tuna fish. We did not go on another date.”
— Donna Tice, accessories buyer

Ration the love
“A little goes a long way, boys! A little lip, a little tongue, a little caressing of my cheekbone. For starters, give me a quick, sexy sweep. Then retreat — do not shove your tongue into my mouth. What I want now are your lips. I want long, solid smooches. Next, pull away and hold the back of my head in your palm. Look into my eyes. I’ll reciprocate — trust me.”
— Kristina Katsulous, account executive

Sneak a peck
“When just getting to know a guy, I like it when he goes in but doesn’t make it to my lips and rather dots my cheek and lip with a long, sweet, I-know-I-like-you peck. Then he pulls away and I likely blush, which is a good sign. On our next formal date, I expect full lip-on-lip contact.”
— Tina Jackson, student

Kiss me in the theater
“Take me to the movies and kiss me (just sweet pecks) at really touching moments, like when the main guy and gal realize they’re meant to be or the puppy gets saved from a burning building. It shows me you’re sensitive and totally tuned into my girly feelings. I’ll kiss you when your team scores a basket — promise.”
— Rachelle King, sales associate

Watch the hands
“Do not take my hands and put them in inappropriate places on your body while we are sharing a kiss. If I like you, my hands will be caressing your brow or tucked under your collar. And I love it if your hands are resting on my hips, holding the back of my head, sweeping my cheek with a soft, open palm, or holding my hands (personal favorite). It ruins a kiss if you take your hands and go rushing to different places. If I like you… we’ll get there.
— Willow Roberts, photographer

Sweep her off her feet — literally
“This is a little cheesy, but I love Hollywood kisses. Completely, over-the-top, theatrical kisses. Hold me, dip me, kiss me. It shows me you love to have fun (like me), and it’s so romantic. Hollywood kisses are also a great distraction from petty arguments, by the way.”
— Laura Gowzen, personal trainer

Just do it!
“My best advice is so simple: Go for it. If you get that urge, and I don’t seem that into it, who cares? Maybe I’m just zoned out for some reason, or maybe I am into you and you just aren’t picking up on my very subtle vibes. I’ve been sneak-attacked a lot with a kiss, and nine times out of ten, it turns me on!”
— Jaz Valte, publicist

Christine M. Coppa has written for Glamour, Boston Home & Garden, In Touch, etc. She has to stand on her tip-toes to kiss her boyfriend…but isn’t complaining.