• Kissing (Neck or Above)

Kissing on or above the neck, with the lips, eyelashes (butterfly kisses) or even the tip of the nose (a greeting in some cultures), can convey many meanings, from romantic intentions to sex to friendship to parental love. Kissing below the neck or other body parts would often be more sexual. For information about other types of sexual lip and tongue contact, click here for the Oral Sex Topic on SexEd.net.

Kissing conveys different meanings depending on each culture. In the West, there is division among some people about whether parents should kiss their children on their lips because lip kissing is considered by some as only a sexual act.1

According to an online anthropology magazine: “At least 90 percent of today’s cultures have kissing of one type or another, but the majority of it is parents kissing their children. Far less is known about patterns of who kisses romantically and who does not, and why.”2

There are many names to describe the different types of friendly, loving or romantic kisses, from the friendly double cheek kiss of many around the world to a peck on the lips to the tongue twisting French kiss.

The sourced articles below should provide more information on kissing, from the variety of kisses to different techniques.

  1. What Kissing Really Means In A Long-Term Relationship (And Why You Shouldn’t Ever Stop)

    “What kissing does in a relationship is as simple as it is crucial: It connects you. Here’s how. …
    [1.] It makes you take a minute out. …
    [2.] It reminds you of your partner’s body. …
    [3.] It becomes an important ritual. …
    [4.] When you stop kissing, you remove something essential from your relationship. …”

    Rebecca Jane Stokes, Blogger, yourtango.com, 9/26/2018

  2. Can You Get Glutened By Kissing Someone?

    “If you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, you can get ‘glutened’ by kissing someone who has been eating, drinking, applying, or chewing something that contains gluten. The severity of your reaction to gluten—a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye—will determine how diligent you need to be when interacting with others.
    This doesn’t just apply to romantic partners, either. A quick peck on the cheek may expose you to makeup or foundation containing gluten as well.”

    Nancy Lapid, verywellhealth.com, 8/27/2018

  3. What To Know About Philemaphobia Or The Fear Of Kissing

    “Philemaphobia, or philematophobia, the fear of kissing, is common among young and inexperienced kissers who are afraid of doing something wrong. In these cases, the fear is generally mild to moderate and dissipates quickly as the person gains experience. Sometimes, however, philemaphobia is more severe and can occur at any age. This fear is particularly problematic because it can affect one’s ability to form romantic relationships or social interactions. Phobics who have a fear of kissing may also have a fear of sexual intercourse.”

    Lisa Fritscher, verywellmind.com, 7/18/2018

  4. 16 Reasons To Smooch: How Kissing Benefits Your Health

    “Turns out that kissing — even your family and friends — has loads of mental and physical benefits that make getting your smooch on totally worth it. Here’s what the science says. …
    [1.] It boosts your ‘happy hormones’ …
    [2.] Which helps you bond with the other person …
    [3.] And has a tangible impact on your self-esteem …
    [4.] It also relieves stress …
    [5.] And reduces anxiety …
    [6.] It dilates your blood vessels, which helps reduce your blood pressure …
    [7.] This can also help relieve cramps …
    [8.] And soothe headaches …
    [9.] It can boost your immune system …
    [10.] And reduce allergic response …
    [11.] It’s tied to improvements in total cholesterol …
    [12.] It even helps prevent cavities by increasing saliva production …
    [13.] It’s a solid barometer for physical compatibility with a romantic partner …
    [14.] And kissing a romantic partner boosts your sex drive …
    [15.] The more you kiss, the more you tighten and tone your facial muscles …
    [16.] It even burns calories …”

    Adrienne Santos-Longhurst, Medically Reviewed by Janet Brito, PhD, LCSW, CST, healthline.com, 7/10/2018

  5. Everything You Need To Know To Become An Expert Kisser

    “We asked Andréa Demirjian, author of KISSING – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About One of Life’s Sweetest Pleasures, about what everyone needs to know about smashing your lips together. …
    [1.] The First Kiss Doesn’t Need to Be Fancy …
    [2.] While Kissing Preferences Are Different for Everyone, There Are Some General ‘Dos’ …
    [3.] And Some Very Important ‘Don’ts’ …
    [4.] Have Fun Experimenting With Rhythm …
    [5.] Spread the Love …”

    Frank Kobola, cosmopolitan.com, 6/29/2018

  6. We Share 80 Million Bacteria When We Kiss Each Other — Here’s Why We Enjoy It Anyway

    “Dr Sarah Johns, an expert in human reproduction and evolutionary psychology at the University of Kent, told The Independent that as well as being an emotion-driven act, kissing helps us pick our most compatible partner.”

    Lindsay Dodgson, businessinsider.com, 6/22/2018

  7. 12 Kissing Facts: Study Reveals What Men & Women Want From a Kiss

    “If you’re not sure if you’re smooching the right way or falling short, let this guide on everything you need to know about women kissing and kissing women to sweep the next gal off her feet: …
    [1.] How to Tell If She Wants a Kiss …
    [2.] Gauging the Graze …
    [3.] Hug It Out …
    [4.] Enthusiasm Matters …
    [5.] Asking for Action …
    [6.] Timing the Tenderness …
    [7.] How Not to Kiss Her …
    [8.] A Sloppy Kiss is a Bad Kiss …
    [9.] You Suffocate the Other Person …
    [10.] The Staring Complaint …
    [11.] The Location of the Kiss is Wrong …
    [12.] The Kiss is too Small or too Big …”

    Dr. Galen Buckwalter, eharmony.com, 5/22/2018

  8. Is Kissing Sex Or Love? Who Doesn’t Kiss?

    “These studies point in the same direction: kissing is less about sex and more about emotional connections and intimacy. Girls kissing each other we can accept, regardless of their sexual orientation. For gay boys, sex comes first, emotional connection comes later—whether this is changing is unknown. Now, there is evidence that straight boys are moving in the female direction — kissing for nonsexual but emotional reasons. When boys move in a female direction, it is nearly always a positive omen.”

    Ritch C Savin-Williams, PhD, psychologytoday.com, 5/17/2018

  9. 20 Different Ways To Kiss

    “Try one or try them all: Whatever you and your sweetie enjoy and feel comfortable with is a great kiss. …
    [1.] The French Kiss …
    [2.] The Butterfly Kiss …
    [3.] The Single-Lip Kiss …
    [4.] The Spider-Man Kiss …
    [5.] The Earlobe Kiss …
    [6.] The Lip Gloss Kiss …
    [7.] The Eskimo Kiss …
    [8.] The Cheek Kiss …
    [9.] The Hickey …
    [10.] The Secret-Message Kiss …
    [11.] The Vampire Kiss …
    [12.] The Wet Kiss …
    [13.] The Lizard Kiss …
    [14.] The Air Kiss …
    [15.] The Biting Kiss …
    [16.] The Angel Kiss …
    [17.] The Neck Kiss …
    [18.] The Jawline Kiss …
    [19.] The Breath Kiss …
    [20.] The Love Kiss …”

    Holly Ashworth, liveabout.com, 4/1/2018

  10. The Psychology Of The First Kiss

    “To sum up, as the years go by, the memories of that first kiss are likely to fade, but the memories of your most recent one can help foster your present relationship fulfillment.”

    Susan Krauss Whitbourne, PhD, psychologytoday.com, 3/27/2018

  11. The 10 Different Kinds Of Gay Kissers

    “Here’s some of our favorite types of kissers! …
    [1.] The first-timer …
    [2.] The tongue kisser …
    [3.] The sloppy kisser …
    [4.] The one-and-done kisser …
    [5.] And the one-trick kisser …
    [6.] The drunk kisser …
    [7.] The shy kisser …
    [8.] The aggressive kisser …
    [9.] The flatterer …
    [10.] The pro kisser …”

    Ana Valens, pride.com, 2/5/2018

  12. How To Kiss…Well

    “I am not saying all kisses are great, nor that all kissers know what they are doing. But these guidelines will help. With time comes mastery, and its many rewards. …
    [1.] Be sure you have lips. Use them. …
    [2.] Touch, don’t grab. …
    [3.] Don’t steal kisses. Ask for them. …
    [4.] Be solid. …”

    Tom Chiarella, esquire.com, 1/9/2018

  13. 13 Ways To Be A Better Kisser

    “As cliché as it sounds, a kiss can feel like a Michael Bay-level explosion, or it can make you feel absolutely zilch, zero, nothing. There’s more nuance to a simple kiss than just an equation of lips and tongues, and there are easy ways to set the pace even if you’re not exactly the most experienced kisser. Below, a handy guide on how to take the reigns on a make-out session like you’re a seasoned pro. …
    [1.] Freshen Up …
    [2.] Time the Moment Right …
    [3.] Work Your Eyes …
    [4.] Stay in the Moment …
    [5.] Take Your Time …
    [6.] Pack Some Balm …
    [7.] Mind Your Tongue …
    [8.] Pay Attention to Surroundings …
    [9.] Be Spontaneous
    [10.] Follow Each Other’s Lead …
    [11.] Make it a Full Body Experience …
    [12.] Learn Your Erogenous Zones …
    [13.] Give Each Other Positive Feedback …”

    The Editors, marieclaire.com, 10/25/2017

  14. What Kissing On The First Date Means, According To An Expert

    “So, I reached out to bestselling author and relationship expert Susan Winter to help me try to crack the first kiss code. It turns out you can actually learn a lot about your date and their intentions from that first smooch — if you know what to look for. So pucker up, girlfriend, because we’ve got some detective work to do. …
    [1.] Does A Kiss On The First Date Actually Mean Anything Anymore? …
    [2.] If The Kiss Was Good, Does It Mean The Date Went Well? …
    [3.] What Do Different Kinds Of Kisses Mean? …”

    Rachel Shatto, elitedaily.com, 10/16/2017

  15. Three Brief: Is It Ok To Kiss Your Child On The Lips?

    “Social etiquette expert Liz Brewer says she thinks that, while kissing a son or daughter on the lips is an ‘unusual practice,’ it should still be a parent’s choice as to whether they consider it appropriate or not.”

    Three Brief, bbc.co.uk, 12/14/2016

  16. The Half Of The World That Doesn’t Make Out

    “To go by today’s popular Western culture you would think the romantic kiss is a pleasurable human universal. Many people, including evolutionary and social psychologists, have suggested as much. It seems a natural conclusion: Even chimpanzees and bonobos kiss—including with open mouths and tongues. But clearly not everyone kisses. In fact, in our recent study, published in July 2015, less than half of the cultures we sampled engage in the romantic kiss.”

    William Jankowiak, Shelly Volsche, and Justin R. Garcia, sapiens.org, 2/10/2016

  17. Ask Smithsonian: Why Do We Kiss?

    “But the reason for kissing is still mostly a mystery, even to scientists who have spent decades studying the behavior. It’s not possible to say which is the overriding factor: that people kiss because of a psychological attraction, or because of a subconscious urge to mate with the chosen kiss-ee. Most likely, it’s a combination of the two. ‘You can’t have psychology without a biological brain,’ says Rafael Wlodarski, who has devoted much of his career to philematology — the science of kissing.”

    Alicia Ault, smithsonianmag.com, 2/8/2016

————

Footnotes

1. bbc.co.uk, 12/14/2016

2. sapiens.org, 2/10/2016