Whether it’s a gentle peck or a playful nibble, a kiss is more than just a kiss according to a new series of infographics that reveals how you and your partner pucker up speaks volumes about your relationship.
Although there are a variety of ways to show physical affection, Phil Mutz from LittleThings compiled a list of 11 different ways to kiss your love – and what your favorite style says about you and your partner’s romance.
‘While we don’t often think of them in this way, human lips are the body’s most exposed erogenous zone,’ Sheril Kirshenbaum, the author of The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us, wrote in an essay for CNN.
A delicate and tender kiss in which partners brush their lips without much pressure is ‘all about anticipation,’ Phil explained of the kissing style depicted in the infographic illustrated by Maya Borenstein.
Sheril noted in her essay that lips are packed with sensitive nerve endings and ‘even a light brush sends a cascade of information to our brains helping us to decide whether we want to continue and what might happen next’.
Because this type of kiss is typically a prelude to more physical intimacy, it is described as being about ‘teasing and delayed gratification’ and usually shared between two people who are deeply comfortable with each other.
Pucker up: A quick peck on the lips is a way for two people to ‘test the waters’ before going farther with their physical relationship
The peck is considered is reminiscent of many people’s first kisses, and it is typically a quick, playful exchange as both people keep their lips closed.
For people who are kissing for the first time or just started dating, Phil explained that a peck is ‘all about testing the waters’. It is a sign that a person would like to continue a physical relationship but wants to make sure that the other person feels the same.
However, as a relationship deepens it becomes a sign of comfort as it can be an intimate way to say ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’ to your partner.
One at a time: A single-lip kiss in which two people kiss only one of their partner’s lips at a time is ‘all about love’
The single-lip kiss is a distant relative of the peck. When two people enjoy a single-lip kiss they are kissing only one of their partner’s lips at a time.
This type of kiss is more intimate than a peck because the partners choose to be deeply focused on one section of the other’s mouth. However, it is a slow kiss that can seem more romantic that more aggressive open mouth kisses.
According to Phil, the single-lip kiss is a kiss that is ‘truly all about love’.
Up close and personal: A French kiss, which is characterized by two people massaging their tongues during an open mouth kiss, is all about wanting to get to know the other person more
When couples engage in a French kiss, they massage their tongues together, and according to Phil this type of smooch is about exploration and wanting to get the know the other person even more.
And while this kiss is meant to be a sensual and passionate experience for both partners, things can easily go array if one person awkwardly darts their tongue – or worse, shoves it down the other person’s throat.
‘Beneath the surface, a kiss serves as the ultimate litmus test for a relationship,’ Sheril wrote in her essay for CNN. ‘It can urge us to pursue a deeper connection with someone special or act as a warning to back off when something just doesn’t feel right.’
Wet and wild: Sloppy kisses can be sign of an intense physical relationship as it is characterized by partners exchanging saliva without abandon
When two people throw caution to the wind and ‘swap spit’ during open mouth kisses, it is typically a sign of an intense physical relationship and sexual energy.
These types of kisses can often lead to the bedroom as partners freely explore each other’s mouths without abandon or fear of boundaries.
In her book, Sheril explained that men ‘tend to express a preference for wet, sloppy, open-mouthed kisses’ but noted that women can be fans of this type of kiss as well.
However, just like the French kiss, two people can quickly learn they aren’t compatible if one person enjoys sloppy kisses and the other doesn’t.
Feeling friendly: Whether they are exchanged between friends or lovers, a kiss on the cheek is a sign of strong friendship and fondness for another person
A kiss on the cheek doesn’t always have to be between romantic partners as it can be shared between friends or in some cultures as a greet.
Phil explained that a peck on the cheek shows friendship and affection and ‘all about conveying that you like someone’.
And while someone can easily have romantic feelings for the person who they are kissing on the cheek, this type of kiss isn’t about sexual desires, it is about showing someone you enjoy their company.
When couples share a kiss on the cheek after years of being together, it may be a sign that they still have a strong friendship at the root of their relationship.
CLOSED MOUTH KISS
No trespassing: A dry closed mouth kiss can be a sign that people need to work on their communication skills and open up to each other more
The closed mouth kiss is similar to the peck, however, it may be dryer and linger longer as both parties keep their lips tightly closed without exchanging any moisture.
According to Phil, this type of kiss reveals that two people aren’t necessarily comfortable with each other.
If this type of kiss is exchanged between people who are in a long term relationship, it could mean a sign that they are ‘putting up emotional wall’, and they most likely need to work on communicating with each other.
The Closed Mouth Kiss is one that shows you are not quite 100% comfortable with one another yet. Each person keeps their lips firmly closed, not allowing for moisture or tongues to touch.
Light as a feather: When couple’s rapidly flutter their eyelashes against each other, it is a sign of ‘excitement and newness’ in a relationship
One of the sweetest – and most unique kisses – is the butterfly kiss, which doesn’t actually involve lips at all.
In order to exchange a butterfly kiss, two people have to move their faces towards each other until their eyelids are almost touching before they begin rapidly fluttering their eyelashes.
When done right, it feels you are being kissed by the delicate wings of a butterfly. Phil explained that this type of kiss is a symbol of ‘young love’ because it is not as commonly shared between more mature couples.
‘This kiss shows an excitement and newness about things that will likely evolve into other, more stable kissing types,’ he wrote.
Stand by me: An angel kiss, which is when someone gently brushes their lips against a person’s close eyelid, can be seen as a silent vow to protect the other person
When someone lightly kisses another person’s closed eyelid, it is often referred to as an angel kiss. This type of smooch is an intimate gesture that is meant to give the other person a feeling of security in comfort.
According to Phil, someone who gives their partner angel kisses believes it is important to take care of one another.
The angel kiss can also be a symbol of trust between two people because it is all about protection.
Just a bite: Couple you like to nipple each other’s lips are ‘feisty’ and usually have a ‘healthy sex life’
When couple’s gently bite each other’s lips without drawing blood it is a sign of a ‘feisty’ relationship.
Phil explained that nibbling your partner shows a strong physical passion and may be an indicator that two people have a ‘healthy, and perhaps athletic, sex life’.
Couples who like to nibble on each other are often playful in the bedroom as they don’t shy away from a little rough play or experimentation.
However, Sheril warned in her essay for CNN that partners should draw the line at biting.
‘There seems to be a rise in the number of young people biting each other to express affection,’ she wrote. ‘This may be due, in part, to vampires in Hollywood making the exchange look extremely good on the big screen. However, biting your loved ones is the least appropriate way to show you care because injecting potentially dangerous viruses and bacteria directly into someone’s blood stream can be deadly.’
Made for the movies: The Spiderman kiss, which is inspired by the kiss exchanged in the 2002 film Spider-Man, is a sign of spontaneity in a relationship
In the 2002 blockbuster Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst introduced a new type of kiss while playing their respective characters Peter Marker and Mary Jane Watson.
During the beloved scene in the film, Peter is hanging upside when Mary pulls down is mask to expose only his lips as she gives him a passionate kiss.
The iconic kiss is far from practical, and unsurprisingly, kissing your partner an upside down kiss when they are laying down is a sign of spontaneity in a relationship.
‘This kiss shows that your relationship still surprises you,’ Phil wrote. ‘You each still share a sense of excitement, and you love the opportunity to sneak up and lay an unexpected kiss on your partner.’