Ways To Describe a Kiss in Your Writing

A kiss is a simple gesture of affection that can say a great deal, often only requiring two interlocked lips miming what words cannot express.  Some even consider kissing more intimate than sex. As a writer, you deal with the paradox that you need to put on paper what words cannot express. A cache filled with various smooching terms is essential, especially if you’re writing a romance novel.

Types of Kisses
What’s in a kiss? Here are different types of kisses and their meanings to help you write kissing scenes that make readers swoon.

The Xlibris Author Advice has come across this list of various kisses and their meanings, from which you may also coin your own.

Types of Kisses and their Meanings


This is the kind that you give or get if a first date didn’t go well. However, it could also be a prelude to a more promising romantic contact in the future.

I want to kiss you and — hopefully, sometime soon — make out, but it’s early and we’re not there yet, so this peck on the lips is a suggestion that there is to be much more smooching in our future.

A long peck

Your date went very well, but you want to take things slow, so you somehow give an assurance that the next date is something to look forward to.

A lingering, closed-mouth kiss on the lips. Very sensual, yet still somewhat chaste and restrained … This extended peck is usually followed by a knowing smirk and, sometimes, an audible “mmmm.” 


This is like a playful long peck, demonstrating a lot of affection without allowing things to get too hot and heavy. It’s also deemed PDA-appropriate.

Rapid-fire pecks. Playful and cute, these say, “I really like you, a lot, but I don’t want to get myself all randy right now.”


Who doesn’t know about the desirably infamous French? And who knew there are various ways to kiss French-style?

  • Standard  – brushing one’s lips against another with a little tongue action here and there.
  • Tongue Tango – Tongues too can dance with as much fiery passion as terpischoreans do moving to the tango tune.
  • He’s Eating My Mouth – a kissing turnoff, also called the washing-machine kiss that will leave your entire face smothered in saliva. Basically, the kisser opens his or her mouth as wide as possible, rolls their tongue all around and down their partner’s throat and then, inexplicably, slides it all over their poor partner’s face.

Love Bite

The mark that says you’re taken and you love it even when there’s a teeny weenie of pain involved.

I Love You/I Hate You

A kind of a no-choice, make-up, passionate kiss all rolled into one. You can’t stand being together but are equally fond of each other and cannot imagine life apart.


The kissee shows resistance to the smooch as the kisser forcefully plants a kiss to teach the former a lesson. It could also indicate that the kisser is simply being a brute because the kissee is secretly asking for it.

The Bend Back 

Many women who are fond of classic romantic movies must have fantasized being kissed this way by the man of their dreams.

Old-fashioned and romantic, he leans in to you and bends you backward, often with one hand holding the small of your back, and the other placed gently against the side of your face. Swoony. 

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