How to French Kiss: 7 Steps to Master the Basics

We've got you covered with the basic French kissing process for a makeout session your partner will love.

Updated August 30, 2023
Young couple kissing

Whether you've just had your first kiss or are more experienced, knowing how to French kiss perfectly can take your make-out game to the next level. Most of what you know about regular kissing applies to the French kiss, but there are some tried-and-true tips you can follow to improve the experience for you and your partner.

Don't stress about knowing all the tricks right now. Master the basics and explore on your own with your partner. We've got you covered. Follow these instructions and tips on how to French kiss to help your first time go smoothly.

Need to Know

If you're wondering what a French kiss is, don't worry. It's basically a regular kiss, but it involves your tongue. French kissing is intimate and is a powerful way to build your sensual bond.

1. Moisten Your Lips 

Woman Applying Lipstick

Dry lips are no fun to kiss with or be kissed by. Lick your lips quickly before you kiss to moisten them. For continually smooth and moist lips, regularly use lip balm and drink plenty of water.

At home, you can also exfoliate your lips prior to meeting up with your date. Gently rub a dampened washcloth in circular motions around your lips to remove dead skin. Finish with lip balm.

Quick Tip

Before you learn how to French kiss for the first time, you should have already enjoyed regular kisses with each other. Using your tongue is more intimate and requires greater comfort between two people, so this isn't something to try with a partner you just met last weekend. Give it a little time to build this kind of intimacy.

2. Freshen Up Your Breath

Because French kissing is so intimate (your tongue will be in someone's mouth), it's super important to make sure your mouth is clean and your breath is fresh. Nothing is worse than smooching someone with bad breath.

Brush your teeth and tongue before meeting up with your partner. If possible, take some mints with you to pop into your mouth before you start kissing.

Quick Tip

If you suspect your partner may be a little shy about French kissing, you may want to talk about it before trying. Chances are your date is interested in eventually using their tongue, but they may just need a little encouragement and support from you first. Most often, the first French kiss actually happens during the passion of the moment without any planning or discussion.

3. Move in for a French Kiss at an Angle

couple standing on city street kissing

When you approach your partner to kiss, angle your head to one side. If you both move together straight on, then your noses will bump into each other. While kissing, it is ok to change sides for a little variety. If you're not sure which way to lean, let your partner take the lead and move in the opposite direction.

This is one of those things that just takes a little practice, so don't worry if it's a little awkward feeling at first. Have fun practicing.

4. Close Your Eyes

Most people close their eyes while kissing so they don't look cross-eyed into their partner's eyes. A brief look during the kiss is fine, but staring at each other during the kiss will likely kill the mood. Gently close your eyes in a relaxed manner and try not to squeeze them too tightly, or you'll feel uncomfortable.

5. Start With a Normal Kiss

Couple Romantically Engaged In A Kiss

Trust us; you never want to start French kissing immediately. The French needs to be worked up to, and that is done with soft, closed-mouthed kisses. Think of those initial, tender kisses as foreplay that builds anticipation for the French kissing main event. Take your time and enjoy the moment.

6. Add Some Tongue When You're Ready

When you decide to begin your French kiss, don't just jab your tongue into your partner's mouth. Knock on the door, so to speak, by slowing moving your tongue.

Stop when you reach your partner's lips and teeth to make sure your partner wants to begin French kissing. Chances are your date will enthusiastically respond in kind to your French kissing maneuver.

7. Explore a Little

Now that the two of you are French kissing, take the time to explore their mouth, tongue, lips, and teeth. Find what you enjoy doing the most and see what your partner prefers as well. If you're nervous about your technique, use gentle motions followed by pulling back and kissing normally.

Add Some Variety to Your French Kissing

Where you explore will add variety, but there are other ways as well. First, don't forget to return to normal kissing. The French kiss is great, but so is regular kissing. If you go back and forth between the two, you and your partner will avoid getting bored.

Second, adjust the speed and strength of your tongue. Sometimes you'll want to vigorously explore your partner's mouth, while other times you'll want to be more passive and let your partner take the lead.

How to French Kiss Perfectly: Helpful Tips

Young couple kissing

Now that you know how to kiss, here are some additional tips to improve your kissing experience.

  • Breathe. Don't forget to breathe while kissing. You'll stay comfortable and be able to kiss longer. Breathe through your nose so that you won't have to stop your kiss to get some air.
  • Prioritize fresh breath. No one likes to kiss someone with bad breath. Regularly brushing your teeth will help, but downing a breath mint moments before you kiss may also be necessary and appreciated.
  • Use your hands. Kissing isn't just about your mouth and tongue. It's a romantic gesture enjoyed by your whole body. Use your hands to caress and hold your partner to improve your overall French kissing technique.
  • Focus on feelings. French kissing for the first time can feel daunting. Take your time and focus on sensory pleasure. In no time, you'll be a pro.

  • Take a break if you need to. If you need a breather, try giving your partner some varied kisses on their neck and collarbone.

Quick Tip

How do you French kiss in a way your partner will find irresistible? It's all about paying attention to their signals. If they lean in and seem to like what you're doing, you're on the right track.

There Are No Rules to French Kissing

Learning how to French kiss is easier than you think. Best of all, there really aren't any rules to follow. Just enjoy yourself and show your partner your affection in a new way. 

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How to French Kiss: 7 Steps to Master the Basics