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15 Signs You're A Bad Kisser

Becoming good at all things intimate is an ongoing lesson that begins when you are young and never ends. When you're a kid, you learn the benefits of a gentle touch, caressing, hugging, holding, snuggling, light kisses on the forehead – all the basics of nurturing and showing affection.

As puberty intervenes and your hormones start raging, awareness begins and the need to expand your horizons heightens. Girls practice kissing pillows and boys try to figure out how to subtly put their arm around you in a darkened movie theater. The inevitable follows, usually awkwardly, but the kiss is (or should be!) the most important first step.

Kissing is widely considered the most intimate part of lovemaking. Ever hear how call-girls will do just about anything for their customers – except kissing? That's because the rest of the intimacy is considered less personal than kissing, which is reserved for personal, cherished partners where love is actually involved.

Because the kiss is generally the first step in physical romantic coupling, it's imperative that you master the skill early on. While it seems fair the act would fall into the 'natural instinct' category, it sadly does not, so you have to learn by trial and error. Since no one is likely to give you a review of your kissing skills, here are some signs you may need to hone your skills if you ever expect to get past first base.

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15 Biting Remarks

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There are few aspects of passionate kissing that are more sensual than gentle nibbles on the lips, but this is an art that is perfected over time. Don't treat your partner's lips like they're an ear of fresh corn or a big chunk of fresh watermelon or they'll end up bruised and possibly bleeding; lips are more fragile than they look! When you're alone, practice biting your own lips to learn how sensitive they are and determine which techniques are fun and which ones are just irritating. Biting tongues and other super sensitive parts of the mouth's cavity like inner cheeks can be quite risky and is definitely not for beginners, not to mention you may scare away your sweetie with overzealous flesh-chomping. Slow but steady is the best way to incorporate biting into your kissing ritual and don't forget to take clues from your partner's responses to your bites.

14 Tongue Action

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Remember that the tongue is a strong muscle that can be intimidating if you don't control it. Be gentle; you're not a mother cat vigorously cleaning her kittens. Think of your tongue as a massage tool and use it gently and not too invasively; you're not extracting a tooth. If you have a small, thin tongue, it's much easier to gently manipulate around your partner's mouth but if your tongue is large, thick or heavy, it can easily be overwhelming and even make your mate gasp for air. Although many lovers think the harder and more aggressively they use their tongue, the more excited their partner will become, the result is actually the opposite. Too much tongue can make your date feel like they're smothering or, at the very least, being muscled into submission. Try a little tenderness. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the positive results.

13 Halitosis

With all the new and innovative breath enhancers and freshening chewing gums on the market today, there's no excuse these days for anyone to suffer from bad breath. But halitosis caused by unhealthy teeth and gums or gastronomical problems is hard to mask with OTC remedies made for freshening breath recently marred by strongly flavored foods like garlic and onions. Check with your dentist and doctor if you suffer from nasty breath, loose teeth or bleeding gums and floss, floss, floss. When you choose a breath freshener or gum, pick a flavor that will likely be the least offensive to your partner. Stick with a lightly flavored spearmint or peppermint. Avoid mints you can smell from across the room as well as sugary sweet ones such as cherry, strawberry, banana, and tropical fruit blends. Don't lose sight of the fact you're trying to make your breath smell fresh and appealing, not offer a dessert course.

12 Bizarre Sounds

A low, subtle coo during kissing can be a hot, as can slightly increased breathing caused by a racing heart and healthy libido. But guttural sounds and squeals may not only ruin the tenderness of the moment, it might scare off your companion. If you're a particularly loud kisser, try toning it down midstream or take a little break when you hear yourself growling or hissing, take a deep breath, and reapproach with measured breathing. If your stomach starts making embarrassing sounds due to digestive issues or lack of eating, excuse yourself and quickly chew an antacid tablet to silence it. Don't drink liquids as they typically compound the issue and increase the growling sounds. To avoid this problem, be sure and eat a light snack before you embark on your next kissing session. Be sure to avoid foods that are harder to digest like raw vegetables, beans and fresh sauces and dips.

11 Pecking Kills Passion

At the end of a date, especially a first date, the kiss is arguably the most anticipated and gut-wrenching moment of the night. No one's sure if that kiss is wanted, dreaded or expected from either party. The perfect first kiss should be respectful and teasing, making both people wanting more and looking forward to a second date. But it should never be a peck like you give a distant aunt or platonic friend. A soft, full mouth kiss with the lips just barely parted is perfect as it shows sincere interest and offers the opportunity for a little tongue action if both parties feel a spark of passion on the initial mouth contact. If you're unsure about a full mouth kiss, plant a sensuous and lingering kiss on the cheek or forehead. That doesn't mean a full mouth kiss won't follow but it buys you both a little time to weigh your options.

10 Lip Service

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'Come hither' lips make the first to the last kiss more appealing and heighten anticipation. You can't fix lips as your suitor rings the doorbell; they require daily maintenance to keep them soft, sexy and supple. Go easy on the lipstick and gloss 'cause no guy wants to look like he's been punched in the mouth after kissing you. And forget puckering up like you're preparing to whistle. A relaxed, sensuous pair of lips will never let you down. In between encounters, keep your lips healthy with a coat of petroleum jelly like Vaseline before you go to bed each night. If you're going to be exposed to extreme heat or cold, use the same product on your lips to prevent chapping and cracking…and you won't need to use a chap-relief stick when you go back inside, which can often do more harm than good. Reapply the petroleum jelly to lips after eating or drinking.

9 Rhythm and Cues

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Just like dancing, successful kissing requires a tempo, a well choreographed give and take between the two participants. It works best when you keep a balance between you leading, then him, then meeting in the middle where you pause, enjoy the moment, take a breath…and then start the cycle over again. If he pulls away when you're up to bat, you may be guilty of one of the other faux pas of kissing…and when you resist his assertive approach, he should realize he's not on the right track and back off a bit to regroup. Like dancing with a new partner for the first time, it often takes a little while for you two to get in sync but practicing is one of the best parts. And like dancing, as your self-confidence grows you can start to improvise and incorporate some fancy surprise moves into your kisses that are sure to impress your partner.

8 Mouth Moves

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Minimal mouth movements add to the quality of your kiss. Your jaws should remain limber but not move up and down like you're chomping on a mouthful of potato chips or breaking down a big wad of bubble gum. You should breathe through your nose as much as possible, something you can practice alone. If you have allergies or a cold, postpone kissing until you're well so you don't wheeze and breathe so heavily you scare your mate away, although he may not want to risk catching your cold and politely blow out until your symptoms subside. In many scenarios, heavy breathing can be sexy but not during the initial kissing phase of the dance of love. Ideally, the only sounds you'll hear while kissing is the illusion of your favorite love song playing in your head like a scene out of your favorite rom-com.

7 Eyes Wide Shut

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Closed eyes during kissing is not just an old-fashioned tradition, it also intensifies the intensity of the moment. Maybe it lets you escape into your own private world to savor the intensity of the moment, perhaps it calms your nerves and lets you focus, or closed eyes may simply ensure you don't scare your partner silly when they open their eyes and see you staring at them at such close proximity. Not peeking also guarantees you'll never see your mate's face contort in ways that could not only ruin the moment but scar the relationship forever. Closing your eyes also lets you fantasize, so you can be kissing your favorite movie star, athlete famous singer or even your last boyfriend instead of the guy you're with. Don't be embarrassed; guys do it too. But never risk sharing your fantasy with your partner; that's just mean.

6 Controlling Saliva

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You simply must control your saliva flow during kissing. Your date may be sweet as pie and cute as a speckled pup, inducing over salivation, but drooling is for babies (and many sleeping adults) and lacks any iota of appeal. Ideally both mouths should be moist, supple and inviting but free of drops and dribbles that conjure up images of leaky faucets and errant garden hoses. If either of you has to wipe away spit when you take a break, someone's getting way too wet and wild, possibly both of you. Oddly enough, taking a sip of water and regaining your composure typically solves the problem of over salivation. If the problem persists, make a concerted effort to swallow hard before you start kissing to present a mouth that's pleasantly damp but not overflowing. You don't have to remind your partner to do the same; he should get a clue from your example.

5 Pillow Talk

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Kissing is no time for multi-tasking or distractions. After all, you're setting the stage for more intimacy, which typically starts with a soft kiss, blossoms into more passionate ones, and evolves from there psychologically, physically and emotionally. The more concentration you put into the initial act, the better. Until you've become regular, steady partners, don't try to talk while kissing. You've probably seen it successfully executed in movies but in real life, mixing the two is usually disastrous and counterproductive. And don't just turn off your cell phone, put it in another room so you're not even tempted to divert your attention from the lovely task at hand. It's not just good manners; it will make your mate feel special that he's the only person on your mind as you hold him in your arms. Nothing's a better aphrodisiac than knowing you're the center of attention.

4 Teeth Bumping

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Those pearly whites might have been one of the first features that attracted your partner to you but when it comes time for kissing, teeth just get in the way, especially if one or both of you have large teeth or, god forbid, braces. Not only do teeth get in the ways of tongues and lip nibbling, the sound of enamel clacking together in your mouth can be quite unnerving. The sound seems louder because it reverberates in your ears and you hear not just your teeth but your partner's as well. There's no way to avoid bumping teeth, especially during the first kiss, but as you become accustomed to the territory and how your kissing styles integrate, teeth collisions can be minimized, although not ever eliminated. Learn to laugh it off if it becomes an occasional distraction. Sharing the humor of human frailty can bring you closer and strengthen your bond.

3 Too Much

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The origin of this odd kissing practice is unknown. Perhaps the interest in toe sucking made people think sucking would enhance all aspects of lovemaking but most people find it gross and distracting when it's incorporated into kissing. No matter what you saw in a movie or read in a book, sucking on teeth, tongues or lips when kissing is not a turn on for most people. In fact, it may conjure up images of zombies, which is a turn-off when your aim is to wax romantic. However, rumor has it that some people become stimulated when they watch people lick lollipops or ice cream cones, so if you're a true fan of sucking, check out those alternatives to add a little spice to your love life. If nothing else, you'll enjoy a sweet treat that will boost your energy with a sugar rush.

2 Body Language

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When you're standing at your front door or duck into a dark alley to share a kiss, your mouth isn't the only part of your body that should be primed for action. Every part of your body should be ready for the moment and your body language gives signals to your mate that you're not only ready to be kissed but looking forward to with the excitement of a child on Christmas morning. Don't slouch; stand up straight. Look your partner in the eye and flash a welcoming smile of approval. Don't cross your arms. That's a red flag in body language that implies you aren't open to anything, including kissing, hugging or even talking. Refrain from embracing before the kiss begins. Let it flow naturally after you're sure the kiss is going well and slowly wrap your arms around your mate as the kiss intensifies.

1 Beyond the Mouth

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After first base (first kiss) has been successfully navigated, things usually proceed to further stages of intimacy. The journey may continue on the same night as the first kiss or it may take a few more dates before you're comfortable enough to let things escalate but whenever it feels right to move on, more kissing will take place and not just on the mouth. Soft kisses on the neck, ears, back and face are tremendous turn-ons for many people. Lesser known erogenous zones at the small of the back, on the soft crease inside your arm where your elbow bends, and that tender spot behind your knees also respond exceptionally well to gentle kisses. The same rules apply to body kissing as with mouth kissing: no slobbering, no hard biting, no weird noises, no dry lips, and no excessive talking…unless it's naughty and suggestive.

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