The data is in, and the research is clear—kissing counts. Philematologists (those lucky enough to have the title of kissing experts, which probably gets them a lot of play at parties) are exploring the link between kissing and relationships. Their theory is that our instinct for kissing arises from our desire to hook-up with quality mates, increase arousal, and keep relationships intact. So in essence, our lips are like a pair of highly sophisticated sensory devices. Since kissing can either make or break a relationship, think about how important that first kiss of the new year is. Set the tone for a sexy 2017 with a look at how to make that kiss more memorable.

Where does the kiss come from?

kissingThe origin of kissing remains a mystery. There is some speculation that the making out we enjoy today may have evolved from mother’s “kiss feeding” babies. A 1500 B.C. Sanskrit text talks about how kissing progressed from spitting food to rubbing noses together. This theory may have inspired an entire chapter on the modes of kissing in the Kama Sutra.

But not every culture is so keen on smooching. Kissing is apparently an unknown act among the Somalians, the Lepcha of Sikkim, and the Sirono of Bolivia. The Thongi of South Africa saw people kissing and said, “Look at them—they’re eating each other’s saliva and dirt.”

Why kissing is so important?

KissingThe researchers at Oxford may have unlocked a vital clue on how kissing works in mate selection. They suggest it has something to do with the biological cues transmitted through our lips. The taste, sound, and smell we experience can instantly determine if someone has the chops for being the ideal mate.

Paying attention to that first-base assessment becomes critical when deciding whether or not to steal home. If your kissing style is sloppy, forceful, or your breath smells like a dirty diaper, then getting a chance at second helping probably isn’t going to happen.

You only get one first kiss

KissingLearning how to kiss like a pro (imagine that sport on ESPN!) just might find you that special mate. It can also help maintain your bond over time. The frequency in your make out session could increase the quality of your relationship. But mastering the art of the kiss requires more than just a pucker and a peck. It’s about exploring a prelude to the kiss with suggestive wordplay, gentle nudges, or alluring eye contact.

Fortunately for us amateur kissers, we don’t need unique skill as a make out artists. We just have to engage and respond to the basic instinct of connecting. Luckily, the entire body is there to assist. When making the final lip approach, your heart rate increases, creating a rise in oxygen levels. This, in turn, kicks all of your little hormone helpers into overdrive. Crossing the threshold and getting that first kiss connected is easier when the laws of attraction deprive the brain of all logic. It’s no wonder that kissing has inspired such unforgettable works of art, literature, poetry, and music.

Confetti Kissing

Now who can ever forget a New Year’s Eve kissing? Before donning a glitzy outfit and planning out your resolutions, you may want to line up someone special for the stroke on midnight. The tradition of kissing someone at goes way back to Roman Times. According to folklore, the first person you encounter in the new year sets the tone for the rest of the year, and that kiss is meant to strengthen ties for the future. So, use New Year’s Eve as an excuse to pull someone close and lock lips. This life-affirming pleasure only comes around one time a year. Make it count and kiss someone with everything you’ve got!

Creating Your Masterpiece

Kissing is a lot like music. It has a frequency and requires some improvisation. Your kissing style can be anything you want it to be—graceful, classical, timeless or just hard-core lust driven. It’s your masterpiece, and how it’s expressed is up to you.

For instance, when wanting to work it like an erotic jazz artist, the seductive closed mouth kiss will draw your lover closer and leave them wanting more. This kiss requires soft, pulsating timing. Begin by pressing your lips against each other’s for a couple of seconds before pulling away and starting again. Closed mouth kissing conveys interest and willingness to move further.

If heavy metal is more your style, work the French kiss like a rock-n-roll god by sweeping your tongue along the inside of your partner’s lower lip. Try to move slowly and lightly at first, increasing speed and pressure only if your partner seems to respond. Slide the tip of your tongue inside your partner’s mouth and gently move it against the tip of his or her tongue. Use light, darting motions and keep your tongue moving. Try deeper and harder strokes if your partner seems responsive. It will send a clear message of raw sexual attraction and intense connection.

Great moments of ecstasy can be achieved with the thrill of the chase. For many of us, kissing is more than just a sign of affection. It can trigger intense arousal. Plus, it’s an incredible tool for enhancing foreplay. Other than our genitalia, no other body part teases and tempts like the lips and tongue. Because kissing is not confined to just the mouth, you can show your lover what’s in store for them later by taking your lips and tongue on an oral expedition. Adding some flavored oils can ensure a tasty journey.

KissingKissing tells a story. It’s an event so memorable it can spark new heights of passion and desire. No matter the type of artful expression you choose, the lips tell just part of the story. Sexy whispered words or strategically placed hand strokes, and a few playful nibbles can make kissing an event. But it’s putting your heart into a smooch that truly makes it a masterpiece.

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