We've just entered December, the weather is cold, for some it's the start of the party season leading up to the Christmas holiday. A popular festive decoration is Mistletoe, under which we traditionally shared a kiss. Mistletoe is an amazing plant, highly revered by the Druids and seen as sacred, is also a contemporary, potent herbal medicine (read about Mistletoe as medicine), and was also included in Pagan orgies of the past. However, the subject is kissing, and that's what I'm reflecting on, and why a kiss is not just a kiss.
Kissing is a human expression which other animals don't engage in, with occasional exception from our close primate relatives like chimps and bonobos. Kissing is a language of intimacy and communication the meaning and effect of which depends on the relationship and context. We kiss our children, our relatives, and our lover in different ways and with variety of intent. On the continent it's a usual social greeting to kiss once on each cheek, including people you've just met. Sometimes people in the UK adopt this way and it can be quite confusing, one kiss, two, or simply a hug?!
Kissing is generally a way we express some kind of intimacy and closeness. An affectionate kiss of care to our children, a peck on the cheek to our friend, and when it comes to our lover? There is a whole universe of kisses available to explore! It's to that mode I wish to shed some possible enlightenment and inspiration.
Types of kisses
The nearly kiss.... Nearly but not quite can be fun, sexy and exciting! Move towards your lover with presence and intention to kiss, perhaps engaging with eye contact. You might brush your face near theirs, or gently touch; the mouth and face are very sensitive! Intention and presence is everything. How playful and exhilarating can a "nearly kiss" be?
Peck on the...? It could be the cheek, the mouth, and move to the whole face and the neck. Repeated gentle kisses can feel fun, caring and enlivening. Taken to the canvas of the whole body these simple peck-style kisses, repeated, tender and slow, can feel amazing to receive, like an act of devotion leading towards ecstasy!
Explorative, full-throttle kissing... Perhaps start slowly and work up to this! Then let your tongue explore. The tongue needs to be relaxed. A relaxed tongue will not only feel more enjoyable to the receiver, but the giver will be able to sense more through their own tongue if it's relaxed. There is much to explore in this style of kiss; the lips and teeth as well as mouth and tongue! How many ways to meet a tongue? Have you tried sucking your partners tongue? Change of speed and intensity. Experiment!
You're an animal... The lips are underrated; you can lick and bite your lovers lips as well as kiss them! Maybe start with a gentle lick or nibble and notice the response and feedback! There can be something quite primal and mammalian about this. Licking your lovers teeth is another option; have you tried it? Let your mind and preconceived ideas of kissing go, and taste this instinctual style of kissing! It can be loads of fun and very passionate too.
Kiss of life...is the name I'm giving to this Tantric style kiss. Mouths are together and open, tongues are not engaged; time out to relax! When I breathe out my lover breathes in, and when I breathe in my lover breathes out, so we share breath. This can feel incredibly intimate, perception of time can slow down and take you into a transcendental, or spiritual experience of unity with your beloved!
The lips contain more nerves than any other part of the body though the hands and genitals come close! Did you know that when you share saliva from kissing you're exchanging chemicals such as sex hormones and neurotransmitters; oxytocin (love, bonding), serotonin (feel good) and dopamine (reward, mood). Stress hormones such as Cortisol lower through kissing, and adrenaline and noradrenaline are released which bring alertness and motivation. Kissing may well bring a boost to our immune system too through the exchange of bacteria. Yum.
Kissing is not only fun, it can be a potent aspect of foreplay into sexuality. It is also a way to check out a potential lover. Let's face it if a kiss is not really flowing, you may choose to not go any further!
Kissing is also a way to stay bonded with your partner. Some couples I've worked with have told me they don't kiss so often anymore. This can be a sign of avoiding intimacy; emotional or physical. Returning to the joy of kissing can improve intimacy, communication and bonding in a couple relationship.
Tips for kissing
- Slow down... particularly if it's a first kiss with a partner. Give yourself time to feel and the other person time to respond. Slow kisses can be incredibly erotic and delicious.
- Relax the tongue... This is so important! A stiff and tense tongue can be very off-putting! The tongue is basically a muscle, and like all muscle it can be tight and tense or relaxed and "open". If you're not sure, pretend you're licking an ice cream and notice how relaxed your tongue can be (this is also a great tip for oral sex but I digress..!)
- Get curious and explore... We all develop habits and patterns which make life's tasks easier, but hopefully kissing never comes under this bracket, so perhaps try a new way of kissing. You don't know till you try!
- Breathe... Yes, don't forget this. It really does improve most of our human experience when we have more oxygen circulating in us! It can also be intimate and arousing to hear your lover's breath.
- Sound... The English can be quite uptight about allowing sounds of pleasure. These sounds are a beautiful gift to yourself and your lover. Sounds of pleasure can communicate appreciation and are beneficial biochemically to both partners, not to mention intimacy and turn-on!
- Presence... A combination of relaxation and awareness of the present moment? Presence makes the difference between being utterly engaged with something with our whole being, and something else, less than this! Which option do you want for yourself and from your lover?
I do hope this blog post has inspired you on the topic of kissing and why a kiss is not just a kiss. Perhaps it offers a new perspective: kissing for health-care and relaxation?! Or kissing as a meditation for spiritual fulfillment? Whether you want to explore kissing with a friend, check out a potential mate, or reestablish lost intimacy with your partner... Whatever your flavour I hope you feel encouraged into this wonderful human activity! Right, now, where's that Mistletoe...?!