How to go in for the first kiss

First kisses can be the make-or-break moment for a budding romance.

If you both feel the connection, you’ll feel all the nice gooey feelings that flood your body after a long, deep kiss. 

If you don’t feel anything, or it actively feels wrong, well then you know you may be incompatible (or someone needs to work on their technique). 

Either way, there’s nothing to lose.

Regardless, going in for the first kiss can be terrifying. Unless you are a confident, assertive person – or are fuelled by liquid courage – you may be paralysed by fear. 

Your head might spiral with questions like: What if they reject me? What if they don’t but I miss them somehow? Or do it wrong? Or our teeth glass? Do I have bad breath? 

With all this swirling around your mind, it’s practically impossible to focus on making the most of the moment. 

Fear not, it doesn’t have to be so scary. We spoke to two sex experts for tips on how to go in for the first kiss without making a fool of yourself. 

How do you know if this moment is right? 

Some sex and love coaches talk about ‘creating’ a moment. This TikToker, for example, shares her tip for men who want to know how to kiss a woman on a first date. 

She recommends using something she calls the ‘triangular tension tip’. 

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To do this, you draw (with your eyes) an upside-down triangle on her face. Starting with her left eye and pausing there before moving to the right eye then down to the lips then back to her eyes – spending a second or two at each point. 

After that, you lean in. 

‘This is all you got to do to create the tension,’ she says.

In terms of when to do it, it can be any point from the mid to the end of the date – but you don’t have to wait until the end if you are ‘both comfortable enough and have gotten the chance to know each other.’

Gigi Engle, ACS, certified sex educator at 3Fun and author of All The F*cking Mistakes: a guide to sex, love, and life counters that there is no real way to create a ‘moment’ for kissing because we all experience different dates and social contexts. 

A better way to approach it is to do a ‘vibe check’, Gigi says.

She adds: ‘See if the other person is responding to things like hand-holding, or flirtatious touching of the shoulder, and seems to be connecting with your personality and sense of humor.’

Mood is also key.

She adds: ‘If you’re going to kiss someone, wait until it “feels” right. And then ask them if it would be OK with them.

‘I’d suggest going for a first kiss when you’re out for a walk after a coffee, dinner, or cocktail date. That way you’re not leaning across a table or making a “public scene,” which some people aren’t comfortable with – the more intimate you can make a moment feel, the better.’

Check your breath 

Kissing someone with bad breath is one of the biggest turn-offs, especially when it’s the first time.

It takes you out of the moment and makes it hard to enjoy. 

So, before you go in all guns blazing, check your oral hygiene is up to scratch.

‘Consider your breath, body odour and the smell of your skin – if they are all fresh and clean it helps enormously and check your breathing – you don’t want to sound like a slathering, panting Rottweiler relishing a bone,’ says Carole Ann Rice, a love coach from Real Coaching Co. 

A kiss can convey love, lust, tenderness, kindness and is an intimate way of sharing feelings, she adds. 

She continues: ‘When we kiss all pleasure senses are opened, we feel a rush of oxytocin and it can be a great sensual opening for foreplay for men and women. 

‘However, a kiss can be a turn off if it is timid, clumsy, hesitant and cold – be tender, consider the other and literally keep it clean – when it comes to oral hygiene.’

Less is more 

When going in for the kiss, take is slow and steady. Sure, you want to kiss them with passion – not like you are reluctantly giving your aunt a peck on the cheek – but nobody wants full tongue from the get go. 

Think hungry but tender, not starved and crazy. Consider the other person, rather than ‘getting the job done’. 

Carole adds: ‘You want to give them a delightful soft sensory experience not drown them with saliva, choke with your tongue or give their teeth a deep clean.’

Make the move 

Women who date men are socialised to wait for men to make the move. This can mean women end up being passive, afraid to make the first move and hoping their date picks up on their mind games instead. 

It doesn’t have to be that way. Regardless of your gender, or who you are on a date with, you have ever right to make that first move, Gigi says. 

She continues: ‘It’s not your job to wait for someone to kiss you.’

‘If someone thinks you’re too much or too bold for kissing them first, they probably did you a huge favor because do you want to go on another date with someone whose pride could be so easily wounded?’

Consent is sexy 

In films, TV and most of pop culture, going in for the kiss is often a wordless affair. They lean in because there’s sexual tension in the air: lots of eye contact, standing close together, being alone, with music swelling in the background…

Consent doesn’t factor in any of these romantic scenes. When you first go in for a kiss with someone, you want to make sure it is consensual and wanted.

Verbalising this consent doesn’t need to be awkward or weird, Gigi says, because it isn’t. 

It can actually be a major turn-on, as it shows intention, desire and builds anticipation for what is going to happen. 

So, how to actually do this in practice? Gigi says: ‘A great way to ask for consent is to ask. Simply say, “I’d really like to kiss you right now. Would that be alright?” or you can say “You’re really cool. Would it be OK if I kissed you?” 

‘It’s actually pretty sexy – and a lot better than going for it and having someone turn their cheek or pull away.’

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