Of course, all relationships are unique, as are the people who are in them. This means that different types of kisses and their meanings are not set in stone, but according to experts, there is often overlap where certain types of kisses are associated with a specific meaning.
If you’re looking for a cheat sheet on how different types of kisses and their meanings might play out in your relationship, read on for an expert breakdown. Remember, however, that communicating with your partner through intimate conversations that span kissing sessions is key to ensuring that the two of you are on the same page in your relationship.
7 different types of kisses and their meanings, according to two sex therapists
1. Make-up kiss
A lustful kiss on the lips (think: the classic make-up session) indicates that your partner is Yes, really into you – and just aroused. However, a deep, heavy kiss means that they want to feel a relatively intimate bond with you or get closer.
“I think a make-up kiss is about the need for deep connection,” says Jenni Skyler, PhD, LMFT, an AASECT-certified sex therapist and sexologist for sexual health brand AdamEve.com. “Usually that kiss involves the tongue, which helps us to be curious about the other person’s mouth, but the tongue deep inside someone else is also about union – and thus the desire to be connected as a unit.”
This type of kiss indicates that a partner is about to establish your connection. And when a passionate kiss shows up in long-term relationships, it can also represent a sense of passion and oneness.
2. Neck kiss
A kiss on the neck is associated with passion. “It’s almost like the kiss is saying, ‘Hi sexy person, I really like you,'” says Dr. Skyler. “I think this kiss is more sensual than lustful, but it can become more pleasurable when the kiss becomes a bite.” Nibbling and biting (gently) the neck can make the kiss even better when your partner tells you to be dressed and passionate about you, with a greater emphasis on sexual arousal.
3. Belly kiss
“I think the stomach kiss is a matter of trust,” says Dr. Skyler. “This one almost says: ‘I love you the way you are. You are completely safe with me. ‘”
If your partner gives you a few tummy kisses while cuddling and watching TV, or working their way up and down your body during foreplay, the belly kiss may mean they are feeling protective of you and they want you to know You can trust them. This is because the stomach is a vulnerable area for many, and a kiss there reflects a strong, intimate attraction between the two of you.
4. Kiss with your mouth closed
“It’s not entirely platonic, but it might suggest intimacy is scary,” says Dr. Skylar. It could show that the optimal level of intimacy isn’t really there yet.
It is also possible that a kiss with your mouth closed or a kiss is an expression of time pressure, disinterest, or withdrawal from the relationship. To decipher what it means in the context of your own partnership, have a conversation.
5. Kiss on the back and shoulders
“For some people, it’s super sexy to explore the shoulder and back region,” says Dr. Skylar [stay away] from deeper connection and intimacy. “
Back and shoulder kisses could also be simple and sexually driven, and your partner could convey interest and attraction.
6. Forehead (or head) kiss
“This type of kiss is most often given to show care, affection, or protection, so a kiss on the forehead feels like an ‘I have’ or ‘you’re safe here’ kiss,” says Rachel Wright, MA. LMFT.
Much like the kiss on the stomach, which requires sharing a sense of protection and trust, a forehead kiss can mean that your partner feels responsible for looking after you and wants you to feel safe with them. “There is definitely an endearing quality to a forehead kiss that indicates a level of compassion or concern for the other person,” she adds.
7. Kiss on the hand
This kiss usually conveys respect. “Offering that kiss is a way of saying, ‘I love you for all you are and I am humble before you,'” says Wright.
And it can – but does not have to – be platonic. “There isn’t a generally accepted meaning of a kiss on the hand, but some use it to say hello while others use it to show commitment,” says Wright. A romantic partner can offer you one if they want you to know that they’ll find you special, unique, and valuable.
But ultimately, accepting a meaning for what a kiss means can be detrimental to a relationship. Instead, ask your partner what they think and feel if you don’t know what a kind of kiss means to them. Also, think about what these types of kissing mean to you.
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