When done right, French kissing is “a real party in your mouth that can heighten foreplay and arousal,” Andréa Demirjian, kissing expert and author of KISSING: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About One of Life’s Sweetest Pleasures, tells Refinery29. Whether you’re French kissing your partner at the end of a date, spending time on a long make out sesh, or adding French kissing to a sexual encounter, here are some techniques to try.
You don’t want to overwhelm your partner with a “tonsil tongue,” particularly at the beginning of a French kiss. Open your mouth and gently touch your tongue to your partner’s tongue, moving it delicately. “The tongue is a very strong muscle – it should only be served with finesse,” says Demirjian. “Keep it supple and gentle.”
Explore your partner’s mouth
Imagine your tongue as a sexy cartographer and your partner’s mouth as uncharted territory. Move your tongue slowly around your partner’s mouth, touching all over their tongue, as well as the insides of their cheeks and the roof of their mouth. Do this “in search of what may bring heightened pleasure and excitement (and then concentrate on that for a moment),” Demirjian says.
Dance a “tongue tango”
Imagine French kissing as a sort of dance. “Tongues can flow in supple tandem, dancing a ‘tongue tango’ with equal fervor and gentility,” says Demirjian. “It can be a delightfully, highly charged experience of mutual passion where you feel lost in a deep ocean of delight.”
Intertwine your tongues
Move your tongues against each other’s to really get up close and personal. This way, “you are really taking in the 411 of their taste, scent, and smell,” says Demirjian.
Go slow… at first
Begin the French kiss slowly, so you can see how your partner reacts. As the kiss gets more intense, you can get more intense.
Suck on your partner’s tongue
Another way to heighten the intensity of a French kiss is to gently suck on your partner’s tongue before releasing it. The suck should be gentle and quick, at least to begin with. See how your partner reacts, and go from there.
Let your partner take control and follow their lead. If French kissing is part of a longer make out sesh or sexual encounter, you and your partner can take turns leading.
During your make out sesh, switch between French kissing and closed-mouth kissing, and throw in some neck kissing, too. If your partner’s into it, use your teeth to gently bite their neck or lower lip. And don’t forget about your hands. “Hold your partner’s face or caress their hair, neck, or body, just as you would when kissing without tongue,” Demirjian suggests.
The options here are endless. If you’re French kissing as part of a larger sexual encounter, you can move back to French kissing after nipple play or oral sex. And whether you’re having penetrative sex or non-penetrative sex, any position in which you’re face-to-face can involve French kissing, too. The beauty of French kissing is that it can be added to any sexual encounter — but it’s hot on its own, too.