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We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we hear the nitty-gritty of how we can actually better understand our deepest desires and most embarrassing questions? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, to help us out with the details. No gender, sexual orientation, or question is off limits, and all questions remain anonymous. Now, onto today’s topic: how to kiss someone well. Even if you’re already pretty great at it, there’s probably something more you can learn.
Q: I’ve kissed a few people, but I still feel like I’m not as good of a kisser as I could be. How do I know if I’m a good kisser? Can you give me any kissing tips? How can I be sure I’m really kissing someone well? (If you can’t tell, I’m feeling kind of nervous about this. I mean, kissing is important! It can make or break your connection with someone.)
A: Thanks for the question! So many people overlook kissing, especially once they’ve moved on to other “bases”. But kissing is a ridiculous amount of fun, and is fully deserving of your attention and effort. It’s also super important to intimacy, foreplay, and attraction in general. Here are eight steps to up your kissing game, since we could all use a kissing refresher!
Take Your Time
Arguably the best tip I could give you is to go slow and ease your way into every kiss. If you’re feeling anxious about your kissing abilities, that anxiety is likely spurring you into rushing your way through it. But no one likes kissing someone who is hyperactive and all over the place. Kissing is supposed to be relaxing and sensual! Go nice and slow until you feel yourself start to settle down and get into the groove.
Use The Right Amount Of Pressure
One of the most basic ways that people mess up kissing is by going to extremes with the amount of pressure they use. Some people are way too forceful with their kisses, and wind up bumping teeth, pushing their partner backwards, or coming off as aggressive. Other people are shy and timid, and their kisses end up feeling lifeless. Think about handshakes: it feels strange when someone squeezes your hand way too tightly, and kinda creepy when you get a limp handshake. You have to use some pressure but not too much.
I know this will sound silly, but you can practice finding the right amount of pressure by using the back of your hand! Try pressing your lips loosely against your hand, then pressing them forcefully. From there, try to find a middle-of-the-road level of firmness that feels just right.
Use Your Tongue Wisely
Another common characteristic of “bad “kissing is using way too much tongue. When you first start kissing someone, keep the tongue out of it until things start to heat up. Focus more on all the different ways you can kiss with just your lips — keeping your mouth closed, opening it slightly, intertwining your lips with your partners’, pouting your lips, and so on.
When it comes time to add some tongue, be gentle. Your tongue is an incredibly strong muscle, so you need to be careful not to go overboard. Try just gently touching your tongue to your partner’s at first. Imagine that your tongues are softly caressing each other. Don’t jab at your partner with your tongue, and don’t put too much of your tongue into their mouth. Just gentle caresses.
If you feel unsure about how to use your tongue, try practicing on the back of your hand again. Give your hand a firm jab with your tongue, just so you can see how strong your tongue is. Then play away with different ways of moving your tongue across your skin. I know it will feel silly to “practice” on your hand, but it really is an easy way to get a sense of how things feel!
Get Your Whole Body Involved
The best kisses involve your entire bodies, not just your lips! Wrap your arms around your partner’s body, or stroke their arms, shoulders, and back with your hands. Press your body up against theirs. Hold their face in your hands, or run your hands through their hair. You can also take little breaks from their lips to kiss their necks or ears. Use your body to create some variety.
Be A Tease
Teasing your partner between kisses is a ton of fun! Here are a few easy techniques to try:
- Break away from a kiss and look your partner in the eye, with a sly smile on your face.
- Pull your lips away and gently stroke their lower lip with your thumb.
- Keep your slightly-open mouth close to theirs and breathe in and out together.
- Brush your lips against your partner’s, without actually kissing them.
Adapt Your Technique
You can work on kissing techniques all you want, but the reality is that each person you kiss is going to have a different kissing style. When you’re kissing someone, pay attention to what your partner is doing and what they seem to respond to best.
Are they moving their tongue very slowly? Do they let out a little moan each time you bite their lower lip? Try to adapt your routine to theirs. If you’re unsure of what your partner likes, say to them, “kiss me how you like to be kissed,” then follow their lead. That way, you’ll learn exactly what they like.
Don’t Judge Yourself
Even though I’ve tried to give you lots of techniques to experiment with, I want to encourage you not to think about technique too much as you’re kissing. Try to get out of your head and stop analyzing what you’re doing in the moment — just feel what’s happening.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that you’re not going to have great kissing chemistry with everyone you meet. Sometimes it’s just going to feel “off” or awkward. That doesn’t make you a bad kisser, it just means you haven’t found the right kissing partner!
Ghana draws African-American tourists with ‘Year of Return
US preacher Roxanne Caleb blinked away the tears as she emerged from a pitch-dark dungeon where African slaves were once held before being shipped across the Atlantic to America.
“I wasn’t prepared for this. I’m heartbroken,” she told AFP as she toured the Cape Coast slave fort on Ghana’s ocean shore.
“My mind still can’t wrap around the fact that a human being can treat another worse than a rat.”
Caleb is among the African-American visitors flocking to Ghana as it marks the “Year of Return” to remember the 400th anniversary of the first slave ship landing in Virginia.
The West African nation is banking on the commemorations to give a major boost to the number of tourist arrivals as it encourages the descendants of slaves to “come home”.
Cape Coast Castle, 150 kilometres (90 miles) from the capital Accra, is a major magnet for those visiting
The white-washed fort lined with cannons was one of dozens of prisons studding the Atlantic coast where slaves were held before their journey to the New World.
A string of prominent African-Americans have headed to the site this year to mark the anniversary since the first slave landing in 1619.
Among them was a delegation of Congressional Black Caucus led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that toured last month.
– ‘Can’t forget history’ –
For those visiting it is an emotional rite of passage.
“This has been understanding my history and my roots where I came from,” Caleb said.
“I am very thankful I came here as part of the Year of Return.”
Sampson Nii Addy, a corrections officer with the Montgomery police department in Alabama, said he and his family had found the tour an “education”.
“I think every black person needs to come around to learn history; how people were treated,” the 52-year-old told AFP.
“We can’t forget history but we can always learn something from it.”
Ghana, one of the continent’s most stable democracies, has long pitched itself as a destination for African-Americans to explore their heritage and even settle permanently.
In 2009 President Barack Obama visited with his family and paid homage at the Cape Coast Castle.
The “Year of Return” has added fresh impetus and the country is hoping it will increase visitor numbers from 350,000 in 2018 to 500,000 this year, including 45,000 African-Americans.
Kojo Keelson has spent nine years guiding tour groups around the Cape Coast Castle and says 2019 has seen a surge in interest as Ghana looks to rake in tourism revenue of $925 million (830 million euros).
“It’s like a pilgrimage. This year we’ve a lot more African-Americans coming through than the previous year,” he told AFP.
“I’m urging all of them to come home and experience and reconnect to the motherland.”
– ‘Love to come again’ –
Akwasi Awua Ababio, the official coordinating “Year of Return” events, pointed to high hotel occupancy rates as he said “enthusiasm is very high and we’ve got huge numbers coming from the US and Caribbean”.
He insisted that beyond the major economic boost, Ghana was also looking to use the new connections it is forging to convince the descendants of slaves to resettle for good and help the country develop.
“Human resource is always an asset and we need to see how we can welcome them home to utilise their expertise and networks,” the director for diaspora affairs at the presidency said.
The African American Association of Ghana brings together those who have moved to West Africa and offers help to integrate them into their new surroundings.
President Gail Nikoi praised the “Year of Return” initiative by Ghanaian leader Nana Akufo-Addo and said the country was “setting the stage for future engagements and involvement of African-Americans and other Africans from the diaspora in the development of this country.”
But she said the authorities could still be doing more to help attract arrivals and convince them to stay.
“Dialogue and engagement is the first step,” she said.
While most of those visiting Cape Coast were not thinking about settling back permanently — they said the trip had opened their eyes to both their own history and what Ghana has to offer.
“It has broadened my horizons about how we came to be here and what our ancestors went through,” said William Shaw, 57, from Montgomery.
“I would love to come again. There is a lot more to see here in Ghana… at least once in a year I’d advise African-Americans to come back to their native land and learn about their history.”
Frontline protesters make case for violence in Hong Kong protests
Reuters – Pun sees himself as a peaceful, middle-class Hong Kong student. Yet since the beginning of June, he has been building barricades and throwing bricks at police, risking his own liberty to fight, as he sees it, for the city’s freedoms.
In one of the world’s safest cities, the idea of violence as a legitimate form of political expression – hand-in-hand with peaceful protest – is becoming increasingly mainstream in the evolving tactics of a decentralized pro-democracy movement that has disrupted Chinese-ruled Hong Kong for 11 weeks.
“I know violence cannot fight violence, but sometimes aggression is needed to attract the attention of the government and others,” 22-year-old Pun said last week, speaking at the city’s airport after overnight clashes with police.
“I have thrown rocks, I have acted as a shield with umbrellas for others, I have been helping to build barricades, to bring supplies, to take injured people to a safe zone. I have also been hit by police with batons. We’re all slowly getting used to this. We have to.”
Protests in the former British colony erupted in early June over a now-suspended bill that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial.
But the unrest has been fueled by broader worries about what many say has been an erosion of freedoms guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” formula put in place when Hong Kong returned to China in 1997.
Unlike the Umbrella movement in 2014, when a largely peaceful 79-day occupation of Hong Kong’s financial area failed to achieve its aim of universal suffrage, a more confrontational stance from some of the protesters was evident from the start.
They came equipped with helmets, masks and goggles, and well-studied plans for supplying the protest frontlines with gear and mitigating the effects of tear gas.
And it seemed to yield some results. Within days, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, while not formally withdrawing the extradition bill, as protesters demanded, suspended the measure and declared it “dead”, a word she repeated on Tuesday.
Emboldened, the protest movement has since morphed into a broader, increasingly creative and sophisticated push for greater democracy, posing the biggest political challenge yet for Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Protesters escalated their aggressiveness, playing cat-and-mouse with the police all over the territory. While a giant march on Sunday was peaceful, activists have not ruled out further violence.
“We learned a lot from our mistakes in the Umbrella revolution,” said Pun, wearing a new set of clothes after ditching in an airport washroom the all-black protest attire he had worn the night before.
“Definitely more people accept there will be some violence now. They may not like it, they may not want to be a part of it, but they don’t condemn us. We are joined together as a force.”
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