Your Call: How Can They Maintain Intimacy If They Can’t Kiss?

photo by Ezyan Y.

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call by leaving your advice in the comments section below:

Dear Em & Lo,

My boyfriend just had gum surgery and as a result, I can’t touch one side of his face for three months, and I have to be especially careful kissing him with tongue. I just saw him for the first time since his procedure, and I was too nervous about hurting him to really get into anything. Normally, I really love caressing his face when we make out. He said that we can still do everything else as usual, but I feel like I can’t have passionate sex without passionate kissing! Do you have any suggestions for me or us? I love him and we’ve been together for a year, but I can see myself maybe feeling less connected to him over the next few months because we can’t properly kiss.

— Sugarlips

What should Sugarlips do?

Say Something

8 Comments on "Your Call: How Can They Maintain Intimacy If They Can’t Kiss?"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

I am sure you will find a way just be careful and maybe its a sign you guys need to start talking more istead of kissing!
Good luck!


This sexy planet is a composition of enormous elements. The dominancy beyond all is sex & love. Cultivate this wonderfulfield
with heart rendering process.Otherwise the
beauty of life shall diminish &a sea of sorrows shall dive this world.

I can relate with your situation! There have been times when I’ve regularly had cold sores and haven’t been able to use my lips for (ahem) anything for up to two months, which is definitely a drag for both me and my partner. I’ve found that the more I just accept it for what it is and focus my energy on other ways of showing affection (cuddling, touching, talking, eye contact), the less of a toll it takes on our intimacy. When I’m stressing about it and feeling frustrated, that’s when the intimacy is effected and we both end up… Read more »

Don’t see this as a hindrance; look at it like a challenge. Find new ways to ‘kiss’: literally, metaphorically, digitally, however! Make the wait something that will have you smolder with longing–the attitude you see this with is completely your choice.


This question makes me 1) want to point and laugh at the OP, just a little. and 2) feel sad.

I’m a military wife. I go long spans of time unable to physically connect with my beloved. There are a MILLION ways to keep intimacy alive. It requires thought, creativity, and true deep affection for your partner. If all you want from them is the physical aspect of intimacy, then your relationship is doomed anyway.

oh my goodness, this poor guy is undergoing a painful surgery and you’re worried about the kissing part? have a little sympathy — i’m sure he really wants some lip-locking too, but the poor dude’s orally incapacitated. if you love him, it’ll be easy to feel connected to him without being joined at the mouth. unless you’ve been feeling like there’s distance between you for other reasons, there’s no reason to feel intimately detached from him because he physically can’t kiss temporarily. if you’re worried that not kissing until he heals will undermine the strength of your relationship, you should… Read more »
Don’t despair – having regular kissing not be an option can just encourage you to get more creative with your intimacy. When my beau was going through chemotherapy for lymphoma, his white blood cell count fell so low that we weren’t allowed to breathe on each other – we had to cuddle while wearing sterile face masks. Kiss his neck, his forehead, his earlobes, his hands – learn to be a little silly in the ways you show affections and bump noses with each other, or just rest your foreheads against one another and nuzzle. Lovely as lips may be,… Read more »