French Kissing: 7 Tips to French Kissing Techniques

French kissing doesn’t have to be relegated to those sloppy make-out sessions you had back in junior high. So much attention is given to the “bigger” parts of sexual intimacy, like foreplay and intercourse, that learning about the art of french kissing falls by the wayside. 

When was the last time you took the time to make out with your partner, especially outside of actively having sex with them? If it's been a minute since you really enjoyed kissing your partner, with no other goal in mind, we’ve got some tips to up your game. 

What Is a French Kiss?

French kissing is the type of open-mouth tongue kissing we traditionally think of as “making out.” But does it come from France? Well, yes and no — in the same way that french fries do. 

India truly deserves the credit for “inventing” the french kiss, but it earned its name because of the influx of American and English service members traveling through France on their way back home after World War 1. 

Interestingly, the French don’t use the term “french kissing.” It wasn’t until 2014 when the Petit Robert dictionary (the French equivalent of Merriam-Webster) added its own take on making out. It was the first time “galocher,” meaning “kiss with tongues” made it into the French dictionary.

People can fall into plenty of pitfalls when they pucker up. For one, many people see it as solely a form of foreplay and don’t take their time to enjoy it or make it an enjoyable experience for their makeout partner. 

This is just bad vibes, especially when you’re in a long-term relationship, and it can say that you don’t value them enough to do something arguably more intimate than sex. 

Then there are the typical mistakes — too much tongue, eye contact, or too handsy (or not handsy enough). 

The good news is that, like pretty much everything in life, you can solve these issues with a bit of introspection and a healthy dose of communication.

How To French Kiss and Be an Amazing Kisser

You're not alone if you’re feeling a little out of practice. Most of us haven’t made out for the sake of making out in quite some time, focusing our energy on being better in the sack instead. 

But the joy of life is that we always have something to learn, so spending some time learning how to be a better kisser and getting reacquainted with your partner’s mouth is definitely time well spent (no matter how old you are). 

1. Find the Right Time To Kiss

There’s no worse feeling than going in for a kiss only to be shut down by your partner. But don’t put all of the blame on your partner; there’s an element of “read the room” that needs to happen before going for it. 

If you want a steamy make-out sesh, you probably don’t start one right before you have to leave for a dinner reservation or head out to run time-sensitive errands. 

Make sure you both have the physical and emotional time and space to connect fully. Don’t pick a time when you know your partner is going through something likely to distract them.

You’ll also want to make sure that your breath is nice and fresh before going in. No one wants to smooch someone with bad breath. Avoid garlic and onions right before kissing your partner, and take the time to floss, brush your teeth, and use mouthwash. You may even want to pop a breath mint for a little extra freshness.

2. Use Your Hands

Feel unsure what to do with your hands when french kissing? Don’t just let them hang awkwardly at your sides; take the opportunity to turn it into a full-body experience. 

Try running your thumb over your partner’s bottom lip before tipping their chin up to you and going in for the kiss. Or hold onto the back of their neck (and maybe their hair, if they like things a little kinkier) as you kiss them firmly. 

After you’ve been french kissing for a while, you can let your hands explore even further. Caress the small of their back or run your hands across the sides of their breasts. R

emember, the joy of making out is its own reward; you’re not trying to get your partner off. Like sensate focus exercises, the goal is touching them and building intimacy.

3. Start With Your Lips

French kissing is a sensual experience, meaning it's both sexy and involves all of your senses. If you plan on spending a good chunk of time with your partner’s tongue, do a little self-prep beforehand. 

Invest in a quality lip mask to remove dry skin, and follow up with lip balm to keep your lips feeling smooth and healthy. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will keep you hydrated inside and out. 

Starting with your lips is also a solid piece of advice for how to approach your french kissing partner. Don’t attack tongue-first; spend some time with some gentle “pecks” on your partner’s lips before going for that deep kiss. 

4. Go Light With the Tongue

We feel pretty confident that you’ve had at least one experience making out with someone who just immediately shoved their tongue down your throat. 

It was probably very memorable (and not in a good way), and you may have just visibly shuddered thinking about it. Nobody wants that (unless they’re explicitly asking for it).

5. Mix Up the Pace

Yes, hot and heavy french kissing is intense and fun, thanks in part to all the tongue’s nerve endings. But keeping up that fast and furious pace can be less than sexy. Plus, french kissing that way will end up messy and exhausting (and dry — and no one wants dry frenching). 

Remember, the entire point of taking the time to make out with your partner is to build intimacy. It isn’t only “foreplay,” or just a means to an end; it’s the main event. Going slow and enjoying a passionate kiss with your lover can be even more meaningful. 

6. Don’t Forget To Breathe

Breathing while french kissing is a lot like breathing while giving oral — there’s not going to be an obvious chance to catch a breath, you’ve got to work your breathing in there. If you’re not a natural multi-tasker and can’t breathe through your nose while making out, try to look for a lull in the action to take a breather. 

But don’t slack off; use this time to plant small kisses or gently run the tip of your tongue along your partner’s neck, jaw, and ear lobes. They won’t know you need a minute to breathe, and you get quality time with their other erogenous zones. Win-win.

7. Follow Your Partner’s Lead

Whether it’s your first kiss with your partner or your thousandth, there’s always something you can learn about them from a good kiss. Tell your partner you want to know more about how they want to be kissed, and let them take the lead. 

Match their intensity and motions and make a mental note to remember their preferences for next time. 


Sexual intimacy doesn’t have to lead up to penetration. Don’t write off french kissing as just something you do to get your partner primed for other forms of sexual intimacy. 

Show them how important they are to you by taking the time to kiss them properly, with no other goal than simply enjoying the moment with someone you like. 

From french kissing to making out to oral sex and lubing up for penetration, Foria wants to be there to help you make every single encounter the best one yet — explore our blog here for more tips on all things sexual wellness


Does 'French Kissing' Really Come From France? | TAMU

A Kiss Is But A Kiss, But To French Kiss Is 'Galocher' | NPR

What Is Sensate Focus and How Does It Work? | SMSNA

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