Pucker up: Beth Cook shows you how to be a better kisser

If you're a licker, a frog, a turtle—even just a virgin—you're going to find this advice useful. Even if you think you're a primo kisser, you probably should make sure.


Published Feb 24, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 8:54 pm CDT

Beth Cook is a dating coach and wingwoman who throws private dating events for San Francisco’s most awesome and unattached. She also writes and draws about her own dating experiences and would love to hear from you. Want advice? Have advice? Send her an email.

Each Tuesday, I guiltily visit ABC.com to watch the latest episode of The Bachelor. Let me explain:

1) It makes me feel proud to have not (yet) turned into a desperate, catty young woman keen on public humiliation, and 2) this season’s star is Ben, a winemaker from Sonoma. Wine and men are two of my favorite things—and he’s got both going for him.

Yes, I watch this fairytale romance with great anticipation, despite the fact that I know Ben and his future fiancé will sever ties within months of the season ending. (It turns out that agreeing to marry someone after just eight weeks of dating on a game show isn’t always—or ever—the best idea).

One thing has been getting in the way of this fantasy romance, however. I realized during episode two that there is something wrong with this cute, naïve, grape-crushing chap: He’s a bad kisser! Terrible. He doles out short, loud, un-sexy minimal-tongue smooches left and right.

Sadly, I know exactly how these girls feel (minus the wearing adult-size prom dresses part); I’ve had my fair share of bad-to-the-bone kisses from guys who are way old enough to know better.

Think you just might need a little kissing instruction—or know someone who does? Have a look at the following (or feel free to anonymously send this column to someone who might need it.)

The Worst Kiss Ever. Leave it to TLC to come up with another fascinating (and terrifying) show about freaks of nature: virgins. See a virgin couple kissing for the first time on their wedding day. Both of them engage in rapid fish mouth (kissing with no tongue, just opening and closing your mouth on the other person’s mouth). It looks like they’re attempting to eat each other’s faces off sans teeth. Thank god we don’t get to see the sex part.

Are you doing “The Turtle” or acting like a “Face Rapist”? The gals on The Corner of Haight & Hyde (in San Francisco) break down several types of awful kisses. Here’s the deal kids: kissing is a process. No need to go from zero to sixty in one smooch. Lean in and give a couple of soft kisses with no tongue and then slowly, gently introduce tongue and increase and decrease passion (strength and speed) over time. Save her from your juvenile tongue thrusts.

* How do you give a girl a kiss she’ll never forget? Here is detailed advice from a straightforward backwards cap-wearing bro. This dude is pretty right on, reminding us that kissing is a full-body exercise. Touch her face. Lean your body close to hers. Rub her back. Make her feel like this is just the beginning of something great. Don’t be frog-like—leaning in and giving a short smooch with one tongue touch, then pulling away, and then leaning in again—over and over. Yeah. That’s what Bachelor Ben does.

The scary “Art of Kissing” is a  hilarious and slightly creepy excerpt from a dated PG-rated documentary about kissing. Given that kissing has been around for a very long time, there are still some pretty worthwhile tips here. Even if you have perfected the art of kissing, it’s still worth a watch for the laughs. And who knows? You might inadvertently pick up a point or two.

Photo by Sarah Korf

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*First Published: Feb 24, 2012, 3:41 pm CST