By Laura Snyder
So common we often take it for granted, kissing is more than just the meeting of two lips.
New research finds that kissing is nature's way of filtering out (or in!) romantic partners. All that closeness makes it easy for your brain to sniff out someone who's genetically incompatible with you.
Not much you can do about that, but anyone who's been on the receiving end of a very good - or very bad - smooch knows a kiss can change everything. It can have the spine-tingling, firework-setting magic that makes you wonder if it will be your last first kiss, or it can have all the charm of making out with a mackerel.
If you'd like to increase the chances of it being the former and not the latter, start here first.
Chemistry Lesson #1: Time It Right
Great kissers seem to intuit the precisely right moment to make their move. They know when to exploit our longing by barely brushing their lips against ours, and when to boldly capture our mouths with their own. Even if you're not genetically blessed with a good sense of timing, you can get a grasp on how and when to proceed by tuning in to your partner's body language and breathing. Time and conversation stops, your eyes lock and the rest of the world melts away.
Chemistry Lesson #2: Get an Eyeful
Okay, so no one likes a wide-eyed, deep-pore examination during a lip lock. But a little self-voyeurism can be super-sexy. According to the Journal of Research in Personality, a couple with their eyes locked on one another experiences a marked increase in feelings of passionate love. Eye contact going into the kiss establishes the moment and creates anticipation. But that doesn't mean you should stop there. Open your peepers just a bit for a quick peek at the action. You'll remember it better that way.
Chemistry Lesson #3: Take a Deep Breath
One of the theories on the history of kissing is that it evolved from partners sniffing each other. Our noses are much more important sexual organs than we figured. Subliminal scents - or pheromones - play a major role in why and who we love and even dictate how often we have sex. So inhale your partner's scent while you're so close.
Chemistry Lesson #4: Always Leave 'Em Wanting More
It's just good manners to smile after a kiss, even if it was less than perfect. But if your smooch was smashing, don't pull away too quickly. You'll miss the only thing better than sharing one perfect kiss - sharing more!