Dear Em & Lo: My Boyfriend Hates Kissing

Dear Em & Lo,

My man, who I love and adore, blah blah blah, does not like to kiss. This is not to say we don’t peck: we do, as after bringing up the lack of kissing to him earlier in our relationship (around year one of three), he did up the level of G-rated kisses considerably. I have since tried to suggest on a few occasions that a little open-mouth, tongue action would be very well-received, but his response was that he doesn’t like to kiss like that.

Okay…but I love kissing! I feel like it is important! It makes me feel loved! It’s the biggest and easiest turn-on ever! The thing is, he seems to be pretty sensitive about it, and brining it up makes him defensive and hurts his feelings. I might just learn to live without (is this possible?), but I feel that it is more of a fear thing; he hasn’t ever really figured it out, feels awkward doing it, and perhaps has some weird association with it (French kissing is for cheesy movies, horny teenagers, sleazy players, who the hell knows).

So, I know the key is to talk, and believe me I will try again, but is this an actual issue, like guys who don’t like blowjobs, or just his personal little hang-up? And, last but not least, we are in a long-distance relationship and see each other only every couple of weeks, so is there a way to address it without marring our all too rare intimate encounters with hurt feelings and self-conscious awkwardness?

— Kiss Me Kate. No Seriously, Kiss Me

Dear K.M.K.N.S.K.M.,

Frankly, we’re kind of shocked that you waited an entire year to mention this to your BF — and we’re even more shocked that you’re still with him, three years into the relationship! Most women would have ditched Mr. No-Kissee-Face long ago. Kissing is one of the most common methods used to take a relationship’s temperature, because it’s often the first thing to go when a relationship hits the skids. In fact, we know women who’d ditch a bad or unenthusiastic kisser after a first date.

Your man is lucky to have you. And it’s about time he learned to show a little appreciation for you…with his kisser. We’re not sure whether his issue is a “thing” or not, but even if it were, that wouldn’t be an excuse. Because this isn’t some kind of personal sexual preference that he can just decide, unilaterally, not to be into. Vetoing all osculation is removing one of the basic building blocks of an intimate relationship. (And yes, we learned all this from watching Pretty Woman.)

No one should have to learn to live without kissing. That’s like learning to live without naps, or chocolate, or, well, kissing: it’s not going to kill you, but it’ll sure make life a lot less pleasant. So, yeah, you’re right, you need to help him figure out why he’s not into canoodling. And then you need to tell him that you’re going to require five minutes of Frenching a day, either all at once or in short puckered bursts.

The more you do it, the more he’s going to realize that it’s not sleazy or cumbersome or even particularly complicated and it doesn’t necessarily have to be horny-teeny either. (Though if you ask us, we think the horny-teen aspect of extended makeout sessions is what can make them so hot.) Tell him this kissing ration is non-negotiable and that if he gives you five minutes of smooching a day, you’ll never make him talk about kissing again. Because, as we think an inspirational poster somewhere once said, talking about kissing is like dancing about architecture.


Em & Lo


  1. I have been dating a guy that hates french kissing to. He says that it is messy. I feel no intimacy because of this. I asked him to start french kissing and he agreed but does not bother to. He also can’t stand to see my dog like my leg. He is very picky about many things and very complaining. I have started seeing another man that kisses great and he seems more into me. I plan to move in with him soon. I also think my ex was gay. He had intimacy issues and would not say anything intimate and I found gay porn on his website history. Just saying. ….

  2. wow I read the response to this question and this is the worst ever advice ive heard. of course if your bf is not into kissing, find out why.
    I have no idea why women judge a guy from the constant kissing or not kissing, but that’s got nothing to do with relationships.
    the best advice is if a person is not happy about his/her significant other, then theres no point staying in the relationship. with that said, if the woman is just basing a relationship with just the kiss, then she is extremely shallow and the guy will be better off looking for another.

  3. I reckon it’s a more common feeling than people think! I do enjoy kissing, but with the right person. Sometimes I just don’t like someone’s kissing style. But it’s a very up close and personal thing and to be honest I often get a bit paranoid my breath isn’t as fresh as it could be, or what I’m doing won’t appeal to the other person. Could you boyfriend have been criticised for bad breath or bad technique in the past? These things get stuck in your memory sometimes. Maybe it’s worth sending some more encouraging comments his way.

  4. Let me just say: my grandparents have been married for fifty years and still have a wonderful marriage. My grandfather hates kissing; he’s weird about spit. My grandma? Very sensitive, needful of physical interaction. Yet, having gone through hell and high water together, this seems to be completely unimportant to her and he is extremely in love with her; she is still extremely in love with him. So let me phrase it this way: what are your priorities? If this is making you doubt your relationship with this man, then maybe that is a sign. If, on the other hand, in your gut, you know that you would love him and want to be by his side no matter the glitch, there’s your go light. Also, how serious -is- this relationship? Just think about how your thinking, is my advice, and go with what makes you–and, hopefully him, too–happy.

  5. I LOVE kissing, and can’t breathe through my nose well, either. If that’s his problem (may not be, of course), he could try what I do: making out=a bunch of little kisses one-right-after-the-other, rather than having your lips constantly covering his. Some of the kisses with lots of tongue, some with a little, some with none. It’s fun, varied, sexy, and playful! I get breaths in between (without drawing attention to it), and have gotten *lots* of compliments on the way I kiss (I probably shouldn’t admit how many people I’ve made out with… haha) Win-win!

  6. Wow, 3 out of 5 commentors don’t really like kissing. I had no idea this aversion was so prevalent.

  7. I don’t particularly like French kissing either and it’s not fair to style it as a measurement for the quality of the relationship.
    Maybe the guy can’t breathe through his nose unrestricted? Believe me, having your mouth covered by your partners lips and not being able to breath is a huge turnoff.

    And some Newsflash: There are lots of ways of cuddling and stroking and hugging which are heavily sexual and don’t involve knotted tongues.

  8. Hmm. Could it be that he doesn’t like your kissing style? Is it too much sloppy saliva? Is it possible that you have bad breath that he can’t face telling you about? Needs to be considered, so that you can get to the bottom of what the problem is. Don’t just insist on more kissing without talking about it, or you may never get to what the issue is, and he could end up being resentful.

    Me, I hate French kissing unless I’m very turned on indeed. I just don’t like the slippery sensations and breathing in someone else’s breath. I put up with a certain amount (although I would never let on that I’m putting up with it), but I can’t do too much or I just want to heave. But I don’t think that I have deep seated psychological issues or prudishness, honest! Some people just don’t like certain sensations.

    I think meeting your partner halfway is the key, not laying something down as an ultimatum. What if you started with upping the quantity of neat and tidy kissing, rather than going straight for lots of ‘Frenching’ as Em and Lo so delicately put it? But if he won’t meet you halfway, don’t put up with it!

  9. I’m probably gonna get a lot of crap for saying this…but I don’t exactly looooove kissing and my boyfriend is often the initiator…I like kissing, but he just does it so much!

    I think it all boils down to that I view kissing as very ineffective, I mean what does it do? (and I do know what i chemically does). Whereas sex leads to orgasms, leads to great. I am slowly learning to do the whole kissing for kissings sake, especially during sex is fantastic, and I find I quite enjoy it. But it’s still really a matter of letting go, taking the time, because it is immensely intimate…

    That said, maybe you just have different kissing styles?

  10. I have no idea how the letter writer copes with this.. a month ago my BF and i had about a month without proper kissing (and other mouth related activities) as he had a major coldsore and didn’t want to pass it on.. It was the worst month we’ve ever had together, our sex life reduced, we were picking and grouching at each other and for the first time I found myself doubting whether this was ‘the one’.. lacking that first step to intimacy really threw us out of sync and it was the kissing I deeply missed.. Fortunatly, once his lip cleared up and kissing was back on the menu we regained our usual equilibrium and are currently very happy but it was quite an eye opener how much that insignificant seeming act really matters!

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