International Kissing Day 2022: 11 Kissing Techniques to Mark The Occasion

Wednesday July 6 marks International Kissing Day, when you give your nearest and dearest some lip-based affection.

International Kissing Day started back in the U.K. two decades ago, though different countries and people celebrate kissing at various times throughout the year, for example on St. Valentine's Day.

Eric Marlowe Garrison, a certified sex counsellor and sex coach based in Richmond, Virginia, told Newsweek: "Kissing can be out of affection, respect, romance, sexual interest, custom, chivalry, submission, and even intimidation/bad intent (e.g., the 'Kiss of Death' depicted in books, television and films)."

"For these reasons, any body part can be kissed or air-kissed once or multiple times. I love that the Ancient Romans had three different words for a kiss, depending where and why it was done (basium, osculum, and savium)," Garrison adds.

Here are 11 techniques to mark International Kissing Day 2022:

French Kiss

French kissers on the street
Stock photo a couple kissing on the street. French kissing is the most famous type of kiss. Getty

The classic, the simple kissing between two tongues. But Garrison says that this is not always the preferred choice.

"Many consider open mouth kissing to be extremely intimate, so much so that some commercial sex laborers will not engage in it; it also can be awkward when we see it done by non-romantic partners, e.g, Hollywood siblings, parents and their children, and even as a recurring gag on SNL[Saturday Night Live]," Garrison said.

"It has been around long before we called it the French Kiss (maybe "Vedic Kiss" Might be more appropriate). And our limited knowledge of other cultures has even diminished the "Eskimo kiss" (or kunik in Inuit) down to a simple nose rub," he added.

Hand Kiss

Often, in more formal settings when someone is acknowledging royalty or someone else of high order, you see one person kiss the hand of another. A good example of this is people lining up to kiss the ring on the pope's hand.

Kiss on the Cheek

It could be a peck on the cheek that leaves you wanting more, or it could be an obligation kiss to your aunt each time you see her.

In some countries, such as Italy, it is routine to kiss people on the cheek when saying hello. Purely platonic, nothing sexy about that.

Kiss on cheek
A stock photo of someone kissing another person on the cheek. Those sorts of kisses are often purely platonic. Getty

Air Kiss

The kiss you give to a lover, friend or relative when not immediately next to them, often with your hand moving in the direction of the kiss. It seems to have become more popular during the pandemic.

The Soft-Lipped Kiss

Dr. Jessica O'Reilly, sexologist (Phd) and host of the Sex With Dr. Jess podcast, said: "Some people believe that the world is divided into two types of kissers: soft-lipped and firm-lipped. But the reality is that our sexual style varies according to our mood just as our appetite changes from day to day.

"If your lover seeks romance and often needs help relaxing to get in the mood, slide your lips gently against theirs with only feather-light contact. Take your time and gently pucker their lower lip between yours allowing your gentle breathing to slow their breath rate and send their body into a state of deep relaxation."

Lip Lining

Another technique for a romantic kiss is lip lining, when you trace you tongue around the curves of your partner's lips, paying extra attention to the thin skin in the corners where the upper and lower lips meet.

"If their lips remain closed, sensually slide your tongue from one side to the other just inside the crease of their lips," O'Reilly says.

Sweet Spot

Sensitive connective tissue also exists just inside the lips. To stimulate it, slide your tongue inside and twirl it purposefully around the shallow space between your partner's lips and teeth.

Basic Tongue Twirl

Tilt your head slightly to the side as you press lips with your lover, and suck gently as you twirl your tongue inside their mouth.

Resting Tongues

Often when you kiss, your brain gets a hit of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that gives you a pleasurable feeling. Press your lips passionately into your partner's resting your tongue inside their mouth without moving.

"Breathe deeply through your nose as your pupils dilate and the blood rushes to the surface of your skin," O'Reilly said.

Top Shelf Kiss

O'Reilly suggests that the Top Shelf Kiss can go along way.

"Swipe your tongue along the roof of your lover's mouth, as this area is sensitive and often neglected," she said.


As you kiss passionately and deeply, one of you holds the other's cheeks, as your face is a sensitive part of the body.

Take turns being the holder and the held—allowing your partner to lead gives you a chance to learn about their preferences.

Touching Kiss

While kissing your amour, gently sweep your tongue across their lips while holding their hand.

"This is a very loving kiss when you are feeling very connected and close," said Andréa Demirjian, author and founder of "the Kissing Expert" website.

Turned Kiss

Clasp your lover's hand in one of yours. With the other hand, gently take their chin, and turn it towards you for a kiss.

These are just a handful of many kissing techniques, says Dr. Claudia Six, clinical sexologist & relationship coach, who authored the book Erotic Integrity: How to be True to Yourself Sexually.

"I'm tempted to say that there are as many kissing techniques as there are people, because everyone kisses in their own way," she told Newsweek. "And just like sex, which sometimes follows kissing, what makes it good is not the doing of it, but the being of it. It's not what the body parts are doing, it's how you show up for the kiss."

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