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30 Different Types of Kisses, What They Mean & Must-Avoid Smooch Mistakes

If you want to be the best kisser around, you need to know the different types of kisses, from french kiss to butterfly kiss, as well as the meaning behind each kiss, and when to use the right one.  

types of kisses

A kiss is never just a kiss. Believe it or not, there are many different types of kisses. Everything from a peck on the cheek from our grandma to the tongue-heavy affectionate make-out session with our significant others.

But did you know all of these smooches have their own specific meanings?

They might not realize it, but when someone kisses you, they’re exposing a certain emotion. If you learn how to distinguish between the different types of kisses, you can learn how they really feel about you. [Read: 28 kissing techniques for that heart-skipping kiss]

Kissing changes from culture to culture

There are theories that kissing may have evolved as a primitive feeding act, you know, like the birds. Who would’ve thought that the very same act that gives you butterflies in your stomach originated from that?

There really isn’t a “right” way to kiss someone. In fact, different kisses can mean different things and even change depending on your culture. A kiss that means something in a certain area of the world could have a completely different meaning elsewhere.

For example, take kissing someone on both cheeks. In America, that can be seen as invasive and far too personal. In other parts of the world, however, it’s a simple greeting and it’s considered rude when you don’t reciprocate.

Nobody expects you to understand every single type of kiss out there, but it never hurts to do some research! [Read: 37 subtle secrets to be a very good kisser and make them want to eat you]

What different types of kisses really mean

Yes, each kiss can mean something completely different. While all kisses show some form of affection, that affection can vary. If you want to know what someone means by the way they kiss you, here’s how you can tell.

1. Forehead kiss

We all know just how great it is to get a smooch on the forehead. They’re our favorite. Out of all the types of kisses out there, this one has the best reputation. It’s a very sweet and caring kiss. Its alternative could be the top-of-the-head kiss which is as equally sweet.

When someone kisses you in this way, it’s also showing that they’re emotionally attached to you. [Read: 28 cute ways to show affection in a relationship even if it feels weird]

2. Kiss on the cheek

Kissing someone on the cheek means you’re very friendly with the other person, and it usually is a friendly way to greet friends and family members.

It could also be a way to say goodbye to them. When this kiss is coming from a romantic interest, it’s just a simple romantic gesture of, “I’m thinking of you,” kiss.

3. Kiss on the nose

Getting a nose kiss is beyond adorable. The thing about getting one of these types of kisses is that it’s not something they can do easily, like a forehead kiss. They need to be very close to you in an intimate setting.

Not only that, but it also tells you how cute they think you are. Getting a kiss on the nose is like getting a compliment along the lines of, “you are the cutest thing alive.” [Read: How to be a good kisser even if you’re a newbie & don’t kiss much]

4. Kiss on the hand

Back in the day, a lady getting a hand kiss from a gentleman was a sign of courtesy and even courtship. In many places of the world, that’s still true. It’s polite and respectful.

In other places, it can be seen as a little creepy if you’re not familiar with that person. Getting a kiss like this from your significant other, however, is very romantic.

5. Shoulder kiss

If you want sweet, romantic, and sexy all in one, then kiss your partner’s shoulder. Of all the types of kisses, this one can have the biggest impact on a person.

Picture this, you’re in a tank top washing dishes or cooking dinner, and your lover walks up behind you and plants a soft kiss on your shoulder. You feel loved, cared for, and turned on all at once. [Read: How to kiss someone for the first time and turn them on]

6. Eskimo kiss

If you’ve never heard of the eskimo kiss, you’re not alone. Many people don’t know about this kiss. If you’re unfamiliar with this type of kiss, it’s when you rub your noses together.

Basically, this kissing style is not an “actual” kiss and is more a sign of affection by touching your nose against someone else’s nose or cheeks.

But the sensation is meant to show your warm affection for them in a romantic or perhaps just a familial way.

7. Peck on the lips

If you’re in a hurry and kissing your partner goodbye, you might give them one of these. A single lip kiss is one of the quick ways to say that you’re thinking of them and care for them.

This could also be used very early on in the relationship when you’re not that comfortable with more passionate, maybe open-mouthed kiss just yet. To do this, just simply touch your partner’s lips with your closed and slightly puckered lips. [Read: 29 secrets to make your first kiss very sexy and way more memorable]

8. Face grabbing, passionate kiss

One of the most passionate types of kisses to give your significant other is when you grab their face and give them a deep, passionate kiss.

When you give this type of kiss, it’s all about showing your partner your romantic attraction and making sure they know how much you want them in the most intimate and erotic way. By grabbing their face, you’re ensuring you have their full attention for the big moment. [Read: How to kiss passionately and romantically]

9. Kiss on the neck/earlobe

If someone gave you an earlobe kiss or a neck kiss, they’re definitely looking to get frisky. A kiss in these locations is NOT innocent. In fact, it’s rather naughty.

Since these parts of the body have a lot of nerve endings and are sensitive areas for the large majority of people, your partner is definitely trying to turn you on. This type of body kiss may lead to a makeout session or even more.

10. French kiss

Not only is this passionate and sexy, but it’s also very, very sensual. You don’t go around sticking your tongue in everyone’s mouth.

This type of kiss is reserved for those close both intimately and emotionally. A perfect french kiss with your partner involves just the right amount of tongue. Also, make sure to give your partner and yourself time to breathe by switching to a light kiss.

You may also trace their lips with your tongue as that will surely leave your partner wanting more. If you’re ready to take things to the next level, french kissing may also lead to some fun in the bedroom if it’s carried out for an extended amount of time. [Read: How to tongue kiss and arouse anyone in seconds]

11. Long, slow kiss

This can be with tongue or without it. Anytime someone gives you a long, slow kiss on the lips, it means they’re thinking deeply about how much they like you. They’re trying to show you physically how you make them feel. [Read: 15 secrets to make your first kiss more memorable by slowing down]

12. Hickey

This isn’t so much of a kiss as it is a mark. Most people who give you hickeys are very passionate people. Either that or they’re just trying to mark you as “theirs.”

This type of mark from someone – if done accidentally – can show you just how much they get lost in the moment of intimacy with you. You have to be mindful that hickeys are definitely not for everyone, and some people might not like it, so make sure to ask your partner first before giving them some. [Read: How to give a hickey the right way and make it fun for both of you]

13. Air kisses

This is a way to say hello where each of you touches each other’s cheek and pucker your lips as if you’re smooching the air next to it.

Although this is a little odd in some parts of the world, it’s a type of platonic greeting in many cultures. They do this in order to confirm that they’re glad to have made your acquaintance. [Read: 20 signs of attraction in the first conversation]

14. Lip biting kiss

If you really want to show someone your feisty side, nibble their lips lightly. These are the types of kisses that can show your frisky side, and feels really passionate as well.

It’s naughty, playful, sexy, and will get your romantic partner thinking about all the things they’ll want to do in bed with you later. [Read: How to kiss a guy well – 21 secrets to arouse him with your first kiss]

15. Eyelid kiss

If someone gently kisses the other person’s eyelid, it’s meant as a very sweet gesture. It’s showing how much they care for you in a non-sexual way.

Someone kissing you in this way wants you to know just how precious you are to them. This is different from a butterfly kiss when you sit close to your partner and flutter your eyelashes against the other person’s lashes and do it together like butterfly wings. Nonetheless, both of these kisses are cute and show pure form of love.

Decipher how someone feels about you from these types of kisses

Now you know the different types of kisses, you can work out how someone feels about you based on the kiss they give you.

If they kiss you on the forehead and they’re a family member, it’s a genuine sign of familial love and affection. However, if it’s your significant other kissing you on the forehead, it shows that they adore you and love you for who you are. [Read: How to tell how your partner feels and learn to read their mind]

It’s not just the actual kiss you need to know about, it’s deciphering what it means when a specific person is giving it to you.

When you can piece it all together, you’ll be able to work out exactly what’s going on in that person’s mind. That’s very handy when it’s someone you’re still trying to get to know in that ‘are we/aren’t we’ phase! [Read: What are we? How to get your crush to label your relationship]

Beware of these horrifying kisses to avoid at all costs!

While most kisses are often pleasant and even wonderful, there are some types of kisses that you really need to avoid. If anyone comes near you with this type of kiss in mind, you should also consider running in the opposite direction!

In order to do a great service to humanity, we are listing some of the most common gross kisses that can definitely make or break a new or budding relationship.

1. Wide-open-mouth kiss

This type of kisser doesn’t know what they’re getting into. Or maybe they’re really just into it. BUT… it’s so wrong! They just go all out for it and barely come up for air.

Maybe they think kissing is about opening their mouth and moving their head around and around over you. [Read: 35 clear signs of a bad kisser and must-know foolproof remedies]

2. Closed mouth kiss

Another no-no is this what-the-hell kiss. If a closed-mouth kiss comes from a partner, you’ll be frustrated by how they keep their mouth closed all the time, like they’re disgusted with what’s happening—or maybe they just don’t want to kiss you at all!

3. The constant pecking kiss

This kisser seems to think they’re a bird — a woodpecker, perhaps. Their pucker is actually a pecker, all over your face in the most unflattering, unsexy way.

4. Slobber kiss

This kisser seems to just have a lot of spit… always. You know you’re with a slobber kisser when you feel dirty and wet afterwards—but not in a sexy way. At all.

A slobber kisser will kiss you all over and leave gross, slimy trails of spit on your face that you can’t wait to wipe off before you run for the hills. [Read: How to French kiss – The real dos and don’ts you need to follow]

5. Too much biting kiss

Biting can be sexy, but if someone bites you to the point that you bleed and you get swollen lips afterward, then they may be a vampire you’ve really got to stay away from!

If you feel like you’ve been bitten by a savage animal after a kiss, you either have to give this person a lesson on kissing or a lesson on not going near you again.

6. Tongue-sucking kiss

Tongue sucking can be kinky and hot—but only to a certain extent. If you find yourself sticking out your tongue while they suck on it like a baby or animal trying to glean sustenance, that’s just weird.

This kiss isn’t really about you or pleasing you—it’s about how your tongue tastes like the last meal you ate. Maybe they have a tongue fetish? [Read: Is your boyfriend a bad kisser? Teach him right with these easy tricks]

7. Limp tongue kiss

While there are kisses that will make the hair on your neck stand up, there are also those that are just so damn boring. Case in point: the limp-tongue kiss.

There you are, all hot and heavy as your lips touch, and then their tongue just stays limp. It’s like kissing a dead fish. You stop and you wonder what happened to them *are they sick or something?*. Then, sadly, you tell yourself you’re never going to see this person again.

8. Bad breath kiss

Perhaps there is nothing worse when it comes to kissing than smooching someone who has awful breath.

Sure, they could be on top of your list of most eligible, but if their breath smells stinky, then show them the door. But not before you give them some mints so they get the hint, for the sake of all the others they might kiss! [Read: 25 of the biggest dating deal breakers for women everywhere]

9. Ear cleaner kiss

The ears are powerfully erogenous. There’s something about a whisper, a light touch, or a soft kiss on the ear that can instantly turn you on. However, there are people who go overboard.

If their slithering tongue is all over the crevices of one’s ear and feels like they’re being kissed by a thick, slimy Q-tip on their ear canal, they should push them away and tell them to put their tongue away. [Read: The sexiest spots to kiss a girl and arouse her]

10. Up-the-nose kiss

The up-the-nose-kisser reminds you of an eager puppy that you left at home. When you finally get home, they jump all over you and kiss you all over.

Like a puppy, this kisser just can’t get enough of you. Their mouth is all up in your mouth—in fact, over it and to your nose. What are they thinking???

11. Googly-eyed kiss

When you watch romantic movies, and the actors have their eyes closed as they lean in to touch lips, you begin to think that all kisses you’ll have will be like that—until you meet the googly-eyed kisser.

This type keeps their eyes open the whole time you kiss. If you happen to glance at them in the middle of kissing, don’t be surprised if you feel like you’re being doused with cold water. There’s nothing sexy or romantic about someone who goes cross-eyed while you kiss. [Read: How to cut a bad date short – The best and worst guilt-free excuses]

12. The far-too-aggressive kiss

This is simply a painful kiss. When you lean in suddenly for an impassioned kiss, but you end up bashing teeth, causing you to hurt your gums and chip a tooth, you’ve experienced this kiss.

There might be a time that one or both of you might bleed, but you still continue to kiss each other, anyway, and you taste blood mixed with each other’s saliva. If your partner kisses like this, run and don’t look back!

13. All over the face kiss

This kisser will kiss you everywhere—except your lips. When you kiss this kisser, it may feel like they’re going to eat your face—your cheek, your chin, your cheekbones—whatever. You might even be scared they’ll lick your eyeballs out. [Read: 25 things guys do that are a huge turn off for girls]

14. The sick kiss

This kiss is a somewhat forgivable kiss but is, nevertheless, disgusting. This is when your partner is sick with the sniffles and you offer a soft peck to make them feel better, but they sneeze all over your face.

You get bonus points when you get gooey mucus on your face. Ain’t love grand?

15. Food residue kiss

So, you had a fancy dinner with filet mignon and fine wine. You’re happy you got your ideal date in a fancy place—until you kiss, that is. This type of kisser should think about brushing their teeth and flossing before coming at you.

This is because, as you kiss, some of the filet mignon they ate goes to you. The disgusting part is, you might be forced to swallow it and then hate yourself for it afterward. Eek! [Read: How to kiss a girl for the first time and not screw up]

Choose the right kind of kiss to impress your lover

If you want to make the right impression on the special someone in your life, whether you’ve just started dating or not, choosing the right type of kiss is important.

Now you know the different types, you’ll be able to understand the emotions they convey. But of course, remember to avoid the terrible types of kisses so you don’t accidentally put them off!

[Read: The perfect first kiss – 22 effective tips to make it oh-so-amazing!]

Knowing what someone means when they kiss you a certain way can be helpful for a ton of reasons. If you can decipher what the types of kisses mean, you’ll know just how someone feels.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...