As with driving, cooking, and cage fighting, kissing is a skill that requires practice. Most women like to think they’ve come a long way since locking braces with their high-school sweetheart. And they have! But still, there’s plenty more they could learn. Follow along with some tales of woe, and some tales of whoa, and take notes on the dos and don’ts of kissing a man.

For the women’s viewpoint on amazing kissing techniques, read “How I want to be kissed”.

Lean to the right
“Lean to the right. I thought that was common knowledge, but I’ve been with at least three girls who went left when we went in for a kiss. It was adorably awkward, I guess, but I would’ve much rather avoided the conspicuous bruise that showed up on my forehead. I had to explain that it wasn’t a hickey, but a battle wound caused by make-out misdirection. To any woman who reads this, remember, go right.”
—Sam, cameraman
View Singles on
Take charge
“Don’t be afraid to take the lead. I was at a bar on New Year’s Eve and, when the ball dropped, some of my female friends and I exchanged quick smooches. Then I locked eyes with a cute friend of a friend, who I’d never really met before. The mood took over, and we started to kiss. Next thing I knew, my back was against the bar and we were deeply making out. Her kissing style wasn’t overly aggressive, just firm, confident, and sexy. She took charge, and I was powerless to resist.” —Steve, writer

Close your eyes
“I had one girlfriend who, for some reason, always kept her eyes open when we kissed. I’d get this strange feeling that I was being watched while we made out, only to open my eyes briefly to find her staring back at me. Not only was it disconcerting as hell, but it made me self-conscious. Was she picking apart my moves? Did I make some kind of funny face I wasn’t aware of? I’d be completely thrown for the rest of the night.”
—Jon, editor

Get your hands in on the action
“Run them through my hair, or, if you really want to get me going, stroke my neck. Yeah, it’s a bit effeminate of me, but it makes me feel as if she’s enjoying it so much that she can’t control herself. Just lip-to-lip contact is the missionary position of making out.”
—Timothy, writer

Pause before you pucker
“A well-timed pause can really add to a passionate kiss. I love it when a girl leans in but doesn’t lock lips right away. She’ll go right to the point where we’re about to close our eyes, and then smirk or giggle or do something that lets me know she wants to savor the moment. And so do I.”
—Chris, certified financial planner

Chuck the gum
“Is it really too much to ask that you not chew gum when we kiss? It’s funny in the movies when a girl kisses a guy and he magically ends up with her gum in his mouth, but real life is a different story. I’m all for a little tongue-on-tongue action but, please, ditch the Trident before we get there.”
—Chandler, club promoter

No brushstrokes
“I went on a semi-blind date and the conversation was natural, we both laughed a lot, and I think we both knew the date was going to end with a first kiss. Unfortunately, her technique can best be described as ‘lip painting.’ She literally painted my lips with her tongue, in a circular motion. I recoiled as politely as I could, and retreated to some pecks. Then I escaped in a cab and never called her back.”
—John, radio host

Matt Christensen has written for Maxim and WWE Magazine. His first kiss sucked. At least, that’s what the girl told him.