She's a Lousy Kisser

Q: I'm 23 years old and I've been seeing a 21-year-old woman for 8 months now, and she may be the worst kisser I've ever had. I really like her and I know she feels the same. I just don't know what to do. When we start to kiss, she immediately shoves her tongue as far into my mouth as humanly possible. I feel like her tongue has a mind of its own and she has no power over it. It just flails around out of control. It gets to the point where the lower part of my face is covered in saliva. I don't know how or if to tell her. Personally, if I'm doing anything wrong I like to know about it so I can fix it and it never happens again, but she doesn't seem to take too well to constructive criticism. She loves to be romantic and loving, and kissing symbolizes that more than sex. How do I tell her what I feel without making her believe she's not romantic and wonderful? -- Kevin

Dr. Susan: You do need to inform her of your preferences, but the way you do it can make all the difference in how she takes it. Your quandary reminds me of when I first learned to French-kiss at 17, and I was going at it hot and heavy one New Year's Eve with a neighbor of my cousin's. It was only going to be a short-term relationship, because I lived across the country. So the next day, my cousin tells me that his neighbor told him I kissed funny, that it wasn't "bad," but that he felt like he was "going to fall in." Naturally I was embarrassed, and I've never forgotten it, but I also learned something that I could use to adapt my technique. I remember letting the next guy take the lead so I could see how it was more typically done.

I suggest you don't go at this as though you're offering her "constructive" criticism, but rather as expressing your preferences. So, for example, you could say something like this, not necessarily all at once: "Dryer kisses feel better to me. I love it when you slow down so I can concentrate better on YOU and not only on your wild and sexy tongue. I like you SO much that I hope you won't take this wrong. I just want it to be even more perfect between us. Let's experiment, okay? Variety is good, right? It would be fun." Something like that. If she reacts badly, not only embarrassed, but angry, that gives you a clue to how she handles problem-solving. Certainly, she may feel deflated for a while, and not trust that you really like her or that she's wonderful. But you can show her in many ways that she's jumping to the wrong conclusion. And if you don't bring it up now, after 8 months of kissing, it's going to spoil the relationship.

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