Dear Dr. Darcy,
I’m a man in my early 30’s looking for a relationship. Back in college I had a really bad experience and I think it’s interfering with me finding a woman today. What happened was I hooked up with a girl one night after a party and the next day she told me she didn’t want to see me anymore because there wasn’t chemistry. Later that day my fraternity brothers told me that she told all her sorority sisters that I was an awful kisser. Ever since then I have awful thoughts floating in my head when I’m about to lean in for the first kiss. I’m convinced that the sorority girl is right and that I must suck as a kisser and not surprisingly I rarely get past the first kiss with a woman. How important is the first kiss? Is there a general way that women like to be kissed? Or maybe some common mistakes you can point out to me that guys make when kissing? Please help a guy out!


What a terrible experience – and at such a critical age! I’m sorry that happened to you. I’m even sorrier to have to confirm the importance of the first kiss. It is, hands down, the most important part of the first date and it can make or break the woman’s decision to go on a second date. 8 out of 10 women believe that the first kiss tells them everything they need to know about the possibility of a relationship. Almost 7 out of 10 women say they will dump a guy after a bad first kiss.

I can break the kiss down into two parts: Technique & Body. I’ll start with body since that’s the easiest to fix:

Smells: Our strongest sense is smell and the first kiss gives your partner ample opportunity to breathe you in. The smell of freshly bathed skin = hot. The smell of a man who bathed in cologne = gross. Most people have no idea of how strong their cologne / perfume is. I recommend the spray-walk method. Spray the air (one time only), walk through, and you’re done. You won’t be able to smell it on yourself because we build up a tolerance for our own scent (that’s why it’s hard to smell our own bad breath, etc.). Speaking of bad breath, make sure you’ve just had a mint before you lean in. No one wants to taste the food you just ate.

Lips: Make sure they are not even remotely chapped. Chapstick works wonders so if you’re prone to chapped lips, make sure you’re using Chapstick 4+ times a day, use some Vaseline at night, and up your water intake for about a week before the date. By the night of the date your lips should be fine.

Saliva: I can’t underscore the importance of the right amount of moisture. Too little and she’ll feel like she’s licking cardboard. Too much and she’ll feel like her dog just slobbered on her. The difference is, she loves her dog and she doesn’t love you, so you’ll get the boot whereas the dog will get some loving giggles. A slightly wet lip is appropriate. Anything more than that can feel gross depending on personal taste. I’ve never heard a woman complain about a kiss that’s too dry but I’ve heard many complain about the slobber-kiss. Think one lick before leaning in.

Beard: I’m a lesbian so I don’t even know where to begin with this one. I was once married to a man and I didn’t like stubble. I think some women do. You’ll have to ask someone else for advice regarding this.

OK, now for technique:

95% – 5% Principal: You’ve decided you’re going to kiss her. Don’t attack her. Lean in to cover the distance between you but don’t go all the way. Let her come to you the last 5%. Let her work a little. This will feel unexpected to her (which will increase her excitement) as most men lack the self-control to actually do this.

Leave Her Wanting More: There are few things more rewarding than pulling away from a woman who is still breathless from your kiss. Kiss her too long and you’ll miss the moment. Pull away while she still wants more. You’ll look like you have self-control, an essential aspect to great sex, and moreover, a quality that women associate with how well you’ll be able to care for them.

Tongue: Keep it in her mouth. Don’t get creative with the first kiss. Furthermore, yours should not extend more than half her tongue length. As a man, yours will be longer than hers, so you have to be mindful of that and show some awareness by not gagging her. I’ve heard many stories of the gagger-kiss. I’ve also heard stories about the darter-kiss. Keep your tongue pliable rather than phallic-like.

So there you have it. The secrets to the perfect kiss and biggest mistakes during the first kiss. And remember: That kiss tells her how you’re going to be in bed and it tells them what sort of role you’re going to assume in the relationship. So make it count.

Gender & Orientation: Male, Straight.