The 29 Types of Kisses and What They Mean
From a forehead kiss to a kiss on the cheek, different types of kisses have very different meanings.
Research has shown that there are a dozen types of kisses, like having romantic, friendly, or affectionate meanings.
Beyond communicating different emotions, kissing offers many important health benefits like lowering blood pressure and boosting happy hormones.
Here are 29 types of kisses and how you can introduce them into your kissing repertoire or skip to our infographic with everything you need to know about kissing.
- Single-lip kiss
- Lean-in kiss
- Prolonged kiss
- Licking kiss
- The palm of the hand kiss
- French kiss
- Breath kiss
- Love bite/hickey
- Vampire kiss
- Earlobe kiss
- Wet kiss
- Butterfly kiss
- Jawline kiss
- Neck peck
- Body kisses
- Wrist kiss
- Nibble kiss
- Back-of-the-neck kiss
- Forehead kiss
- Angel kiss
- Cheek kiss
- Nose kiss
- Hand kiss
- Blowing a kiss
- Nose peck
- Spiderman kiss
- Lizard kiss
- Ice cube kiss
Think of romantic kisses as the kind you see in romantic comedies. These kisses are filled with love and emotion for your partner and communicate how smitten you are with them.
1. Single-lip Kiss
The single-lip kiss is a great one for beginners. This kiss involves kissing your partner’s bottom lip while they kiss your top lip, or vice-versa. This type of kiss is a playful tease.
2. Lean-in Kiss
A lean-in kiss is a type you might give on your way out the door in the morning, while your hands are full of your keys and purse. Your bodies won’t be close during this kiss and your neck will be doing most of the leaning in. This is a sweet type of kiss great for hellos and goodbyes with your partner.
3. Prolonged Kiss
A prolonged kiss is a deeply romantic one that many couples share after a long time apart from one another where both parties don’t want to break away. A good mental picture of this kiss is the iconic photo of the World War II soldier kissing a nurse in Times Square.
This is a passionate and romantic type of kiss.
4. Licking Kiss
Build anticipation with your partner by leaning in for a kiss but instead tracing the outline of their lips with your tongue.
5. Palm of the Hand Kiss
The palm of your hand is a highly sensitive area and one that’s often overlooked when it comes to kissing. This is a good kiss to communicate your desire for your partner.
The most sensual type of kiss, steamy kisses are best shared behind closed doors. Be sure to communicate with your partner before trying a steamy kiss to ensure you’re both on the same page when it comes to comfort levels.
6. French Kiss
The classic French kiss takes a bit of time to master. It requires the perfect combination of tongue, saliva, and movement and is one of the steamiest types of kisses out there. Once you have your technique down, a French kiss is a great skill to have in your arsenal — and it can even burn calories depending on how intense your makeout session gets.
7. Breath Kiss
Breath kissing with your partner can be a great way to build intimacy. While kissing, match your breathing with your partner’s. When they inhale, you inhale. This type of kissing can be very sensual.
8. Love Bite/Hickey
More of a sucking action than kissing, a love bite or hickey is one to plant on your partner’s neck. This type of kiss indicates your romantic desire for your partner.
9. Vampire Kiss
Don’t worry, a vampire kiss isn’t as scary as it sounds. This is a deep and passionate kiss on your partner’s neck that involves a bit of gentle biting. A vampire kiss is a sensual kiss best for alone time rather than a public setting.
10. Earlobe Kiss
The earlobe kiss is a great way to spice up your kissing style. The earlobe is an especially sensitive part of the body with loads of sensory receptors, which makes it the perfect spot to kiss as you’re deep in a makeout session.
11. Wet Kiss
The wet kiss is an open-mouthed kiss that can involve as little or as much tongue as you and your partner want. These kisses are typically reserved for passionate embraces and indicate the desire for your partner.
Unexpected kisses are a good type to pepper into your kissing repertoire. These kisses are a great way to mix up your typical kissing style and remind your partner how much you adore them.
12. Butterfly Kiss
The butterfly kiss is an especially intimate and romantic type of kiss. All you have to do is sit close to your partner and let your lashes flutter together like butterfly wings as you kiss. This kiss means you’re head over heels for your partner.
13. Jawline Kiss
This exploratory type of kissing can be a sensual way to switch up your traditional lip kissing style. Kiss your partner’s jaw where it meets their neck and work your way into other parts of their body.
14. Neck Kiss
Not to be confused with a hickey, a neck kiss is more of a peck than a deep kiss. This is a playful kiss meant to let your partner know how much you care for them.
15. Body Kiss
Especially sensual, body kisses are a great way to indicate arousal to your partner. Some ideas of places to place a body kiss include the chest, stomach, torso, and legs.
16. Wrist Kiss
A wrist kiss is a cute one you can plant on your partner in public without going overboard with the public displays of affection.
17. Nibble Kiss
You can add a nibble into almost any kind of kiss. Apply a little bit of pressure and let go. Remember to be gentle and gauge your partner’s reaction to see if it’s something they enjoy.
18. Back-of-the-Neck Kiss
The neck is a sensitive area, and the back of the neck is an often-ignored part of the body. Experiment by planting a kiss there and see what happens.
Perfect for public places, sweet kisses are thoughtful and kind gestures to let your partner know they’re on your mind.
19. Forehead Kiss
A forehead kiss communicates your affection for another person. This type of kiss means that you care deeply about them and they mean a lot to you.
20. Angel Kiss
Also known as an eye kiss, the angel kiss is one that’s placed on the closed eyelids of your partner. It indicates fondness and can be a sweet way to wake your partner up in the morning.
21. Cheek Kiss
Often shared as a greeting in Europe, the cheek kiss involves one or two light kisses between friends, family or even new acquaintances. When shared with a potential partner, it can help you gauge their interest.
22. Nose Kiss
The nose kiss is more of a greeting than a traditional kiss. This kiss involves rubbing your nose against your partner’s. It’s an intimate and sweet gesture to show your partner how much you adore them.
23. Hand Kiss
A very formal type of kiss, the top of the hand kiss doesn’t have to indicate affection. This type of kiss is more of a polite gesture between new acquaintances.
This simple, light kiss is frequently used early on in the relationship to show your interest while taking things slow.
25. Blowing A Kiss
Blowing a kiss is a fun and flirty way to say goodbye. Pucker your lips and blow the kiss toward your partner before you leave.
26. Nose Peck
A quick kiss on the nose is a cute gesture to show your partner that you find them adorable. It’s an unexpected kiss and will leave you both smiling.
Switch up your kissing style with these fun and surprising kiss types. Adventurous kisses are a great way to show how much you care for your partner and that you’re willing to go the extra mile to prove it.
27. Spiderman Kiss
Made famous by Peter Parker, the spiderman kiss isn’t as dangerous as you might think. You could try out the Spiderman kiss as your partner lays on the couch and you lean over them to plant a kiss on their lips.
28. Lizard Kiss
A lizard kiss is definitely not for everyone. Similar to a French kiss, this type of kiss involves sticking your tongue in and out of your partner’s mouth quickly. This is best for couples who know each other well and want to try something new.
29. Ice Cube Kiss
Switch things up by icing down your next kiss. Keep an ice cube in your mouth until it dissolves and then French kiss your partner. This is a fun kiss to try on a hot summer day.
Beyond the butterflies in your stomach when you kiss the person you love, kissing offers some incredible health benefits. If you’re still not convinced, check out some of the kissing facts and statistics we’ve rounded up below.
- The longest recorded kiss lasted 58 hours, 35 minutes, and 58 seconds, which was achieved by Thailand natives Ekkachai Tiranarat and Laksana Tiranarat on February 12–14, 2013 (Guinness World Records).
- Bad kissing can have negative effects on relationships. In fact, 59% of men and 66% of women said they’ve ended a relationship because of their partner’s bad kissing technique (Time).
- Couples who kissed often were more likely to share the same oral microbiota, which can lead to stronger immune systems (Microbiome Journal).
- Just like human fingerprints, no two lip impressions are the same (NCBI).
- Research shows that kissing may have evolved from a feeding technique. Primate mothers chewed food for their young and then fed them mouth-to-mouth and with their lips puckered. Researchers believe this habit developed into a way to show love and affection (Scientific American).
- A study shows that men who kissed their spouses every morning missed less work due to illness, got in fewer car accidents, and lived about five years longer
- Those who did not kiss their spouse on a daily basis (Psychology Today).
- Romantic kissing can strengthen the bond between you and your partner and increase the feeling of satisfaction in your relationship (NCBI).
- Men and women kiss for different reasons. Women tend to use kissing as a way to find out if they want to date someone long-term, while men tend to kiss because it feels good and can serve as a means of arousal (Albany.edu).
- Kissing makes your brain release happy chemicals and hormones, including oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin (Healthline).
- A 2017 study found that most people tilt their head to the right when they go in for a kiss (Science Daily).
- Just 15 minutes of kissing can lower cortisol levels, which helps alleviate stress and anxiety (Scientific American).
Bottom Line: Kissing Is Good for You
Sharing a kiss with your partner is a great way to build your bond and let them know you care in a variety of ways. After learning the differences between kisses and what they mean, you can now confidently communicate your feelings to your partner.
While you’re preparing to pucker up, don’t forget to take care of your oral health, too. A healthy mouth is an essential aspect of any kiss, so be sure to brush your teeth, prep your lips, and brighten up your smile with teeth whitening tools to put your best smile forward.
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