It’s been a long time since most older adults experienced their first romantic kisses. But while some elements of eroticism fade with age, kissing can remain just as vibrant and sensually satisfying at 96 as it felt at 16. And when couples take kissing more seriously and put some oomph in their smooches, they can introduce new pleasure into even the longest-term relationships and be a better lover.
Kissing is an often-overlooked element of sex. (Sexuality guides, for example, rarely mention it.) But the few scientific studies that have been done suggest that both men and women place a surprisingly high premium on smooching:
- Oxford University researchers surveyed 308 men and 594 women aged 18 to 63. Many — but especially the women — considered the quality of first kisses a key signaler of the partner’s attractiveness and relationship potential.
- University of Texas researcher, Sheril Kirshenbaum, author of “The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us,” reports that two-thirds of women and more than half of men recall terminating budding relationships because they disliked the way their partner kissed. Talk about your kiss-offs!
In long-term relationships, many people, particularly women, continue to use the quality and frequency of kissing before, during, and after sex as a gauge of relationship satisfaction.
SIMPLE SECRETS FOR SUPER SNOGGING
Remember the “Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss),” the 1964 hit by soul singer Betty Everett? Many popular songs extol the virtues of kissing, but precious few tell you how to do it like a pro. Fortunately, results are just in on that front, too: In a recent survey of 1,041 adults, the vast majority cited fresh breath, clean teeth and good grooming as vital to a successful kiss.
The majority likewise prized soft, moist lips; deep breathing; mutual caresses; and assertiveness. That last item should liberate you to “lean in” and really put your heart into it, rather than remaining passive and simply receiving the other person’s kisses.
Percy Bysshe Shelley defined kissing as “soul meeting soul on lovers’ lips.” (No wonder they called him a Romantic poet!) I suppose it’s possible to express deep love with lips-only kissing, but for soul to truly meet soul, most couples prefer open-mouth kissing with tongue contact. Most people consider the dance of tongues quite intimate; indeed, for some it’s almost as intimate as genital sex. Respondents to the survey mentioned above said the best kissing begins with mouths closed, and that the lips should part only as the two people become aroused. But please, don’t forget to always check your breath. Nothing worse than going in for the big kiss to find that your partner has bad breath. Brush, floss, gargle…but keep the mouth fresh especially when romance calls.
So who cares whether you met last year or last century? You may be able to “say it with flowers,” but the best way to seal the deal is with a kiss. Mmmwah!
Courtesy of 50 PLUS REPORT
By Michael Cattleman who writes about sex and relationships for AARP Media
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps people 50 and older improve the quality of their lives. News and information on health, money, politics, entertainment and more can be found at AARP.org.
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