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What is tongue kiss meaning?

A tongue kiss, also known as a French kiss, is an intimate and passionate kiss where the tongues touch. It is considered more intimate than a regular closed-mouth kiss. The meaning behind a tongue kiss is that the two people kissing are exploring a deeper connection through the intimacy of mouth-to-mouth contact and tongue touching.

Definition and meaning of a tongue kiss

A tongue kiss is defined as an open-mouthed kiss where two people’s tongues touch each other’s lips or tongues. The tongues caress each other as the intensity of the kiss grows.

The meaning behind a tongue kiss is passion, exploration, and deeper intimacy. When two people French kiss they are comfortable being physically close with each other. The tongue kiss suggests intimacy, chemistry, affection, and sexual interest between the two people.

Why is it called a “French” kiss?

Despite the name, the tongue kiss did not originate in France. The exact origin of the term is unknown, but some believe it came about in the early 1900s when French culture had a reputation for greater sexual freedom than most other countries. The open mouth kissing style was referred to as “French kissing” or a “French kiss” in English speaking countries. The nickname stuck despite the kiss not being uniquely French.

How to tongue kiss

Tongue kissing can be an exciting and pleasurable activity when done properly. Here are some tips for how to French kiss:

1. Set the mood

Kissing with tongues requires some build up and intimacy first. Start with gentle closed-mouth kisses and work up by lightly sucking or nibbling on your partner’s lips. Gaze into each other’s eyes and caress faces to help set the mood.

2. Initiate tongue contact gently

Once caught up in passion, let your tongue lightly touch your partner’s lips at first. Gently prod their mouth open and initiate tongue contact by lightly touching the tip of their tongue with the tip of yours. Let them reciprocate before pushing deeper into their mouth.

3. Get into a rhythm

Once touching tongues, get into a back-and-forth rhythm of tongue caressing and mingling. Avoid going overboard with too much tongue at first. Take turns gently kissing each other’s tongues and lips. Find a rhythm that works for both of you.

4. Use your hands

Kissing with your hands, such as caressing your partner’s face, neck, arms, or thighs can add to the passion. Play with their hair as you kiss or lightly run your fingers over their skin.

5. Change it up

Don’t get into a predictable routine with your tongue kissing. Switch up the speed and intensity. Gently suck on their tongue or try swirling your tongues around each other. Break off into soft lip kisses periodically before building back into deep French kissing.

6. Be responsive

Pay attention to your partner’s signals and what they respond well to. Match their intensity and pace. If they seem to enjoy something, repeat those motions. Being responsive will make the kiss better for both parties.

7. Don’t go overboard

A tongue kiss shouldn’t be a sloppy free-for-all. Keep your tongue relaxed and relatively still so you don’t end up just licking their mouth. Too much tongue action can ruin the moment.

8. End on a good note

Slowly ease up on the intensity of the kissing as you’re ready to stop. Don’t abruptly pull away. Gently bite or suck on their lower lip as a finishing move.Trail off with smaller lip kisses to smoothly end the tongue kissing.

Tongue kissing benefits and health risks

Tongue kissing feels pleasurable, but is it good for your health? Here are some potential benefits and risks:


  • Increases intimacy and bonding between partners
  • Causes a “high” by releasing hormones like dopamine and oxytocin
  • Exercises and tones facial muscles
  • Increases libido and sexual arousal
  • Helps partners learn what feels good to each other
  • Overall stress relief from prolonged close contact


  • Can spread illnesses like colds, flu, or mononucleosis
  • Risks cavities or tooth decay from the exchange of bacteria
  • Potential to trigger herpes infections if one partner has oral herpes
  • Some risk of transmitting HIV or hepatitis, but very low

To enjoy the benefits while avoiding risks:

  • Don’t kiss when seriously ill
  • Practice good oral hygiene habits
  • Look for signs of oral sores or lesions before kissing
  • Get tested if concerned about STIs spreading between partners

Different styles of tongue kissing

There are many variations on tongue kissing that create new sensations and experiences. Here are some styles to try:

The teasers

This is playful kissing where you take quick lip bites or tongue touches, then pull back and kiss gently before intensifying again. The starting and stopping builds tension and teases your partner.

The talkers

Whisper sweet nothings or say each other’s names between kisses. Talk about how good it feels. The words enhance the intimacy.

The explorers

Let your tongues wander over more than just the lips and tongue. Lick and explore your partner’s teeth, gums, roof of their mouth. Discover new sensitive spots.

The listeners

Tune into the sound of your mingled breaths and moans. Let those guide you on what your partner is enjoying most. Get lost in the sounds.

The gazers

Maintain eye contact while kissing. The eye contact creates electricity and deeper intimacy.

The suckers

Apply more suction while tongue kissing. See how hard you can suck on your partner’s tongue. Sucking intensifies sensations.

The biters

Gently bite lips, tongue, or mouth. A little teeth and pain can be pleasurable. Start gradually and communicate.

The role players

Pretend to be different characters, like meeting a stranger at a party or kissing on your wedding day. Role play adds fun and excitement.

How and when couples tongue kiss

Tongue kissing is usually considered a more intimate act between established partners, but there are no strict rules. Here is how and when couples tend to tongue kiss:

Stage of relationship Tongue kissing habits
Dating and seeing each other During passionate moments while making out
Exclusive relationship Frequent tongue kissing as part of foreplay and sex
Long-term relationship Kissing hello, goodbye, and to maintain intimacy
Engaged or married Daily tongue kissing to keep romance alive

As you can see, tongue kissing tends to increase and become more important as the relationship progresses. Established couples use French kissing to emotionally reconnect regularly.

Gender differences in tongue kissing

There are some general differences in how men and women tend to approach French kissing:

Gender Tendencies
  • Tend to be less discriminatory about who they will tongue kiss
  • View it as more sexual
  • More aggressive tongue usage
  • Enjoy being in control
  • Tend to be selective about partners
  • View it as romantic
  • Prefer gentle to moderate tongue action
  • Want partner to take cues from them

However, those are broad generalizations and not true for every man and woman. Communication is important to make sure both partners enjoy the style of tongue kissing.

How to tell if someone wants to tongue kiss you

Wondering if your partner wants to French kiss? Look for these signs:

  • Holding extended eye contact during kisses
  • Parting lips during kisses
  • Darting tongue to wet lips frequently
  • Touching tongue tip to your lips during kisses
  • Increased breathing rate when kissing
  • Stroking your face, neck, or hair more passionately
  • Pressed up close against your body

If you get signals but aren’t sure, ask if they want to French kiss. Consent is crucial before tongue kissing.

How to get better at tongue kissing

Some tips for improving your French kissing skills include:

  • Stay hydrated – drink water before to avoid dry mouth
  • Use mints or lip balm if needed for fresh breath
  • Start slow and gentle
  • Pay attention to your partner’s cues
  • Use your hands to caress them
  • Alternate deep kisses with lip nibbling or sucking
  • Don’t jam your tongue down their throat
  • Make eye contact
  • Have an open discussion afterwards on what your partner enjoyed

The key is paying attention to your partner’s responses and providing feedback to each other on what feels best. Great tongue kissing relies on intimacy and communication.


Tongue kissing allows couples to share an intimate, passionate moment of mutual exploration and sensuality. The meaning behind a tongue kiss goes deeper than physical pleasure. It represents affection, chemistry, bonding, and a desire to be close. For couples who feel comfortable being vulnerable and intimate together, the French kiss can be a rewarding experience and shared activity.