Sensual couple French kissing

How to French kiss: The basics and beyond

You’ve likely seen it in movies or experienced it in real life – whatever the scenario, it can’t be denied that French kissing is one of the most thrilling aspects of a relationship, particularly in the early stages. 

French kissing – which we Brits know and love – is a sexy and sensual way to connect with someone, and can even work as an act of foreplay.

Whether it’s your first time or 100th, knowing the art of how to French kiss can work wonders for your romantic encounters.

Interested? Get ready to pucker up with our everything-you-need-to-know guide to French kissing.

What is a French kiss?

A French kiss (also referred to as “snogging”, “deep kiss”, “tongue kiss” or “making out”) is a passionate and open-mouthed kiss where both partners use their extended tongue to stimulate each other’s mouth.

French kissing is considered more sexually arousing than a smooch (a kiss without the tongue), as the lips, tongue and other areas of the mouth are sensitive erogenous zones that incite sexual arousal and pleasure. 

This form of sexual kiss is best left when in private, as evident in a 2019 YouGov Omnibus survey, which revealed that just 15% of Brits are comfortable with people French kissing in public.


Two women French kissing

How to French kiss like a pro

Like anything you want to do right without fear of embarrassment, French kissing can be nerve-racking.

When tongue kissing, you can be overwhelmed with various thoughts at once, such as which way to tilt your head, what to do with your tongue, where to put your hands, and so on. Knowing how to French kiss well vs knowing how to French kiss amazingly, is key. 

Below is our practical step-by-step guide on how to French kiss, including how to French kiss someone for the first time to help build up your confidence and put your mind at ease.


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Making a move

Before locking lips, there are a few things you should consider to ensure you’re prepared for the big moment and avoid any embarrassing mishaps.

  • Keep your lips well-moisturisedA soft and moist mouth makes kissing much more pleasurable. Before French kissing, ensure your lips are not chapped or dry so your partner isn’t distracted or feels uncomfortable with the condition of your mouth. If you want to achieve smoother lips before kissing, try using a chapstick, drinking water to stay hydrated, or subtly licking your lips. To be extra prepared before your next meetup, purchase a lip scrub and use it beforehand to remove dead skin
  • Freshen your breath – When French kissing, having fresh breath is ideal, especially as your mouth will be open. You can do this by practising good dental hygiene, such as brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth out with water beforehand. Alternatively, consider carrying breath mints or mint-flavoured gum so you can chew/eat this beforehand to give your breath a nice smell. Avoid eating foods that leave an unpleasant aftertaste or residue in your mouth (e.g., onion, garlic, coffee, milk and corn), especially on a dinner date
  • Just relax – Although this may be difficult, before attempting a French kiss, it’s important to try and relax and calm your nerves. Otherwise, your body may tense up, making the experience awkward and less enjoyable. Take a deep breath, relax your body, and above all, trust yourself
  • Find the perfect moment – For things to run smoothly, you need to know when and how to initiate a French kiss appropriately. A great time is when there is built-up sexual tension and growing intimacy, such as flirting. You both should be in a similar mindset. A few things to consider are:
    • Having complete privacy – You don’t want any distractions to ruin the moment or feel put off at the thought of people watching you
    • Your partner dropping hints – You should assess the other person’s body language. If they are locking eyes with you, constantly looking at your lips and trying to sit super-close to you, these are indications that they might be ready for a kiss
    • Waiting until the end of the date – After you’ve had a fun time together, the end of a date is the perfect time for a kiss. It also doesn’t make you appear too eager or forward, as you’ve patiently waited until the end of the night for a kiss. Bear in mind, that if it’s the first date, some people may not feel ready just yet
    • Being upfront with your partner – Don’t be afraid to ask the person if you can kiss them. Not only is it polite, but you’ll definitely know if they’re interested instead of making assumptions and things potentially getting awkward from there

Woman applying moisturising chapstick on lips to prepare for French kissing


  • Make eye contact – Gazing deeply into someone else’s eye can be quite romantic, and slowly moving your gaze back and forth between their lips and eyes can also make your intentions of wanting to kiss them very clear.
  • Break the touch barrier – If you want to be extra sure that it’s the right time for a kiss, try breaking the touch barrier first or give a sign of affection to break the ice a little more. This can involve holding hands, placing your hand on their knee, or sitting next to each other while touching legs. Their response will let you know whether you should take the next step. You can also try this approach as your moving in for a kiss
  • Move in for the kiss – When moving in for the kiss, do it at a steady pace to give your partner the chance to consent, prevent you from accidentally bumping heads, and build anticipation. Move your body towards them until your heads are a few inches apart before touching lips
  • Tilt your head – When you feel it’s time to start exchanging tongues, tilt your head to one side. If your kissing partner is up for it, they are likely to lean their head in the opposite direction, as this is a major signal for French kissing. In this position, your faces fit right in with less chance of bumping noses or teeth. If this happens, just adjust your head in a more comfortable position and continue
  • Close your eyes – Truth be told: it’s kind of instinctual to close your eyes when French kissing, but it can help you stay relaxed too. As you can’t see much of the other person’s face while kissing, if you want to know if they are enjoying it, you can tell by their body language and gestures. Although, closing one’s eyes while kissing is usually an indication that they’re having a good time

Two men French kissing with their eyes closed

How to French kiss

Once you’ve given your partner the signs that you’re ready for intimacy and they are reciprocated, it’s time to actually start kissing. Discover ways to lead up to and learn how to move your tongue when French kissing

  • Brushing lips – Lightly brushing your lips over your partner’s while smooching can build more anticipation and excitement for a French kiss. It also lets your partner know that you want more. Keep your movements slow to help build up tension before making out
  • Smooch first – At the beginning, try some tongueless kissing first. Taking it easy and giving some time to get aroused is much more sensual and easy-going than thrust your tongue into the person’s mouth. You can use your mouth to give your partner hints that you’re ready to spice things up a bit, such as opening your mouth more widely, sweeping your tongue over their lips, or locking their top or lower lip in between yours. From there, the speed and intensity can change 
  • Explore with your tongue – Firstly, you must relax to avoid a rigid tongue and keep your lips loose during the kiss. Slowly slide your tongue into your partner’s mouth, either above or below their tongue, and move it around. You can make swirling motions in their mouth and lightly touch the tip of the person’s tongue with your own. Do this while retreating back, and in between smooching, encouraging them to take the next move. Remember to keep it light and shallow, and avoid putting your tongue deep down in their throat until the pressure becomes more intense. A kiss is an exchange, and your tongues need to be in tune, so make sure your partner’s tongue is reciprocating yours
  • Take time to breathe – If you’re both really enjoying the kiss, it may go on for longer than expected. But don’t forget to breathe. Once you get into a rhythm, you should be able to find a smooth breathing pattern without interrupting your lip-locking session. Take small breaths through your nose, take a short break if you need to while smiling, touching foreheads, and making eye contact to keep the romantic connection, or you can try breathing through your mouth if you feel comfortable

Intimate couple on bed about to French kiss

Advanced French kissing 

If you want to know how to French kiss REALLY good, these tricks will have your partner coming back for more.

  • Switch it up – Once you’ve established a nice flowing rhythm, make the kiss even sexier by adding variety. Here’s what you can change:
    • Speed – Vary the pace of your kiss to make it more thrilling. You can start off slow and then go a little faster before slowing down again
    • Depth – If you’re feeling super comfortable, deepen your kiss for extra passion. Keep your speed under control while adding a playful touch by returning to more shallow kisses
    • Pressure – Soft kisses are sexy, but so are hard kisses. To do this, be a bit more forceful with your tongue and lip action while keeping a steady motion. Sometimes, a hard kiss can signal that you want to take things further, so make sure you’re both comfortable before becoming more vigorous
    • Tongue – While you glide your tongues together, you can try and rub the backs or front of your partner’s teeth with your tongue to create a tickling sensation
    • Teeth – Lip-biting while gently kissing is sexy. Now and again, catch your partner’s bottom lip with your teeth, especially if you want to hint that you want to have sex with them
  • Use sensual touch – While you should remain respectful, especially during the first kiss, it might be awkward to keep your hands hanging by your sides. Touching your partner can make the French kiss extra sensual and romantic. You can start off with caressing their face, hair, shoulder or back, placing your hands on their hips or waist, or wrapping your arms around them in an embrace


Dominant man holding woman's neck before French Kissing


  • Read your partner’s body language – People enjoy different aspects of kissing and there is no right way to kiss. In other words, just because an ex-partner may like you chewing their lip, it doesn’t mean someone else will. In order to adapt a kissing style you both enjoy, you need to pay attention to their body language and cues to ensure that your partner is comfortable in the way you are kissing them. For example, if you hear them moan or they start to kiss you more intensely, you’re doing something right, whereas if they pull away you might need to take things easy
  • Practice makes perfect – The more you French kiss, the better you’ll get at it. Also, the more you kiss a specific person, the more comfortable you will become and develop a unique style that suits both of you. Many first kisses don’t go as planned the first time and can be quite awkward. If this happens, keep going until you achieve the perfect flow or have a laugh about it
  • Talk about it – If you enjoy the way your partner is kissing you, let them know. Likewise, if you don’t like something, break it to them gently while complimenting them at the same time. When it comes to kissing, like any sexual activity, open and honest communication can lead to a more satisfying sex life

How long should a French kiss last?

A French kiss can last as long as you and your kissing partner want it to. 

If you’re both relishing the moment, you might want it to go on for as long as possible. 

According to DW, an average kiss lasts up to 12 seconds. While this isn’t specific to French kissing per say, having a short French kiss can be just as pleasurable as a long one.

Just remember that whenever you feel uncomfortable or have just had enough, you can stop kissing at any time.

Where did French kissing originate?

While it makes sense to assume that French kissing originated in France, it’s not quite the case.

Many references to open-mouth kissing or kissing with tongues have been reported in numerous ancient texts, including the famous Kama Sutra

In fact, the association with the French appears to be a more modern phenomenon, as it’s widely accepted that American and British soldiers in France during World War 1 coined the term after witnessing the way French women kissed. 

Author Sheril Kirshenbaum also explains in her book, The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us, that “French kiss” became a part of the English language close to 1923. 

Herself and many others agree that these servicemen helped popularise this oral affection to their compatriots after returning home, and since then became more common.

As the nickname for Paris “City of Love” suggests, others believe that the term originated from the French having a reputation for adventurous and lustful sexual practices. 

It might surprise you that the French do not refer to kissing with tongues as French kissing, and have only invented an official term for this act since 2013 when the word ‘galocher’ appeared in the Petit Robert dictionary.


Couple about to kiss in front of Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Can you get an STD/STI from French kissing?

Although the risk of contracting an STI from kissing is fairly low, it is still possible.

Most STIs are passed through genital fluids or sexual contacts, such as from oral sex or intercourse. 

But there are some that can spread through kissing or other contacts with oral fluids or sores.

STIs you can get from kissing include:

  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • Herpes
  • Syphilis
  • HPV

STIs you can NOT get from kissing are:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhoea 
  • Hepatitis
  • HIV
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Trichomoniasis

How to prevent STDs/STIs from kissing

The best way to protect yourself or your partner from getting an STI from kissing is to have an open conversation about it.

We understand that this can be quite tricky, as it’s unlikely that you’ll be discussing each other’s full sexual history before kissing them.

However, below are some tips on how to lower your risk of an STI through kissing:

  • Avoid kissing someone with a cold sore – Although it’s possible to get an STI through kissing without someone showing signs of an STI, it’s most likely to occur if the person has a sore or oral ulcer. If you can’t see one, it’s also okay to ask them if they have one before kissing, and if they do, wait until it passes
  • Set your expectations – If you want you and your partner to get a sexual health check-up before engaging in any sexual activity, let them know. It’s your body and you have full control over how you want to engage in intimacy
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions –  As you probably already know, kissing tends to happen spontaneously. However, if you’re uncomfortable going straight into a kiss, it’s okay to discuss and share your sexual health beforehand to protect yourself. Just be direct, open and honest – after all, prevention is better than cure
  • Consider a monogamous relationship – If you’re worried about STIs, then perhaps practising monogamy or refraining from open relationships is the best route to take. Being monogamous with one partner who doesn’t have STIs means less chance of being exposed to STIs

Woman's face with cold sore or herpes on lips


If you discover later that your kissing partner has an STI, try not to panic. 

It’s quite common for people to be unaware that STIs can be transmitted through kissing, as the risk is very low.

Also, some people are unaware they have an STI until years later due to a lack of symptoms, so don’t assume they have kept it a secret from you.

If you believe you have contracted an STI through kissing, see your doctor.

Enjoy a French kiss today

When it’s time to French kiss, remember to just relax and enjoy the moment. 

There is no better kiss than one that is fun, romantic and given with complete dedication.

To calm your nerves, accept that French kissing may not be spectacular the first time around with a new partner, but part of the fun is getting better at, and learning what works for one another, together.

Looking for someone to enjoy this erotic act with? Book an escort that provides the service of French kissing today.

Do you have any other tips for giving a sexy French kiss? Tell us in the comments.


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