Can you "fix" a terrible kisser?

Suppose you’ve had a few dates and would like to continue dating to see where it goes, but absolutely can’t stand the way they kiss (so much so that you shudder to think of it and can barely refrain from shoving them away, and certainly can’t bear to think of anything more unless that changes).

I get that people may just have very incompatible preferences, in which case there’s just not a match. But assuming they’re willing to adopt whatever style you like, is it realistic to hope that someone can change everything about the way they approach the physical side of a relationship? And any tips on how to make such a request?

If you’re close enough with someone to let them stick their tongue in your mouth, you should be close enough to have a comfortable conversation about the things you like and don’t like about their kissing.

Yep. Critiques should be kept playful and be phrased like “I like this” not necessarily “I don’t like this.”

Agree. Now, just for fun, in what way is your SO a terrible kisser?

Yes, or “Could you try this?”

At least for me, after a while, passionate kissing is less important in a sexual relationship.

I could see taking a “Honey, we need to talk.” approach, as opposed to just playfully offering suggestions. I don’t think playful or suggestions would work for me. YMMV.

That’s what i came here to say, kind of.

If you phrase it as a suggestion they may not take it seriously. Or only do that thing once in a while to keep you happy, but not consistently enough to be enjoyable the rest of the time.

Beating around the bush is for passive aggressive people anyway. Just tell him straight up you are not used to how he kisses and don’t particularly like it but would like it if he did things differently. Then offer suggestions on a more specific level on what/how to change so he’s not just making things up on the fly.

If one of you is an aggressive kisser (press hard, lots of movement, strong use of the tongue) while the other is more sensual (soft touches, light flicking) then one of you will be disappointed. The sensual person may feel overwhelmed by the aggression, and the aggressive kisser may be bored with what they consider to be low enthusiasm. Neither style is bad - you’re just incompatible on what you enjoy.

If the problem is just lack of experience - then practice practice practice

That;s what you say when you dump somebody. This sounds more like a situation where you open with “You know what I like?”. Eventually you’ll get around to the don’t likes.

OP, are you literally talking about kissing?

Thanks for the tips on how to start the conversation–pretty much what I was thinking.

Yes, literally just kissing at this stage.

I think what I’m really wondering is if there’s a point where the divergence is so great that it’s just not fair to ask someone to try. (He’s really, really sweet, and really, really into me, and I’d hate to set him up to hear that he failed despite trying as hard as he can (not that I’d put it that way, of course)).

Oh good heavens, I have no idea where to start (and he’s not an SO…we’re having our 3rd and possibly final date tonight). Let’s just say that I have to wipe wetness off my cheek after a mere peck, and it gets worse from there. Not so much an aggressive vs sensual conflict…more a smacky-wet-pecky-wriggly vs sensual conflict.

Again, I’m not trying to say he’s objectively wrong and I’m objectively right (though I can’t believe previous girlfriends put up with it)…just that this is going to have to change if we are going to keep seeing each other, which I’d like to do, and I’m worried it’s too much to ask and and he would be more hurt if he tries and fails.

If it’s relevant, we’re both in our late 30s.

Oh dear, I can sympathize. I dated a guy once - three dates - who would always flick the tip of his tongue out, even for a quick “hello” or “goodbye” or whatever peck. I told him not to do that, it was very off-putting, but it was like he couldn’t help himself. It was gross.

Well, it’s what you say when you have a serious issue to discuss. I guess I assumed the OP really liked the guy otherwise, but it sounds like not, so I don’t think I’d say anything in that case.

I think it’s too early to go the serious route. They just started dating. You are still feeling the other person out and getting comfortable.

Lizard kiss … yuk.

The answer to the question is: NO! It is utterly gross, and it will not change. You will have to decide if you can live with it or not.

Kissing is like dancing. You can get your partner to follow your lead and vice-versa. I think if you approach it like that the problem can be fixed. Your partner won’t know what you like if you don’t tell them. You can even ask them to let you show them.

Good luck!


Thanks, everyone. I’ve given up…I think it’s just part of his overall personality.

(Dammit…he was SMART!)

AW, I came too late. I would have tried an honest conversation about it if you guys really liked each other otherwise. What would you have to lose?


Can’t say i blame you.