Photo by Drue Sokol

In our earlier years, swapping spit was regarded as an epic event, but by now it’s something we hardly think twice about. While it’s not exactly sex, kissing or making out is an important prelude to intercourse and should not be dismissed so quickly.

Outside of monogamous relationships, it’s essentially seen as a formality that two people must engage in before they can advance. It’s also used as a great distraction technique that allows a guy to begin the up-shirt groping he’s really after. But nothing can kill the mood faster than a bad kiss or make out session. It’s something almost everyone will claim they’ve been the victim of, but few will admit to being the perpetrator.

While I’m sure your techniques are flawless, and there’s really nothing left for you to learn, I’d still like to offer a few tips. Just in case.

1. Regarding teeth: It’s almost always a terrible idea to dive head first into a round of making out gnashing your pearly whites. No one leans in expecting to get bitten right away, unless there’s a vampire-themed role play in the works. So when is it OK to nibble a little? Your best bet is toward the end, while pulling away. It goes without saying that being gentle is key, and, for God’s sake, don’t ever bite anyone’s tongue. There’s no way to make that sexy.

2. To tongue or not to tongue: I’m sure plenty of people are cool going all out right from the get-go, but if you’re not sure about your partner’s intentions, don’t risk it. Jamming your tongue out at someone’s chastely closed lips is simply embarrassing.

On top of that, it’s a totally novice move. It screams lack of self control and suggests that you probably haven’t kissed anyone since middle school.

3. Sloppiness: It’s not like there’s a huge variance in the amount of saliva a person can have in his or her mouth, yet some people seem to have an endless supply.

You know what I’m talking about — when you pull away from a kiss and immediately have to wipe your face off without being blatantly obvious.

If you want to not remind your make out buddy of a golden retriever, try to mirror the other persons movements and, er, mouth shape. If you realize you’re better posed to perform CPR than to seduce, something has gone wrong.

4. Hands: This is something of a bonus point, as it’s not directly a part of making out. The question of where to put your hands is something that puzzles and frightens unkissed adolescents. By now, it comes naturally, and everyone probably assumes what they’re doing is totally correct. However, this all depends on the message you want to convey.

Sure, shooting your hands into a girl’s bra five seconds in is correct —  if you want to send the message that you’re a sleazeball. On the other hand, keeping your hands loosely on your partner’s hips or waist the entire time is a big mistake, and any flame you had will fizzle out.

I know it’s hard to convince college students to follow advice, but I can promise you this much — if you do take anything out of this article and bring it to your next lip-lock, no one will know you didn’t figure out how to do it right all by yourself.

Bazarian is a member of the class of 2013.

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