How to Kiss a Stranger

Three Methods:Breaking the IceGetting CloserTaking It Further

Kissing can mean a variety of things to different people. Depending on culture, context, and the relationship between the people, a kiss can be anything from a friendly greeting [1] to a sexual advance. In some cultures, kissing a stranger on the cheek is a normal part of saying hello, but in many situations, kissing a stranger is fraught with perils. Here’s a guide to knowing when and how kissing a stranger can be a fun experience for both of you.

Method 1
Breaking the Ice

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    Pick the stranger carefully. Pay attention to things like body language and how the person is behaving, especially whether they're interacting with the people around them. If they're alone, and looking around the room interestingly, then they might be looking for someone to talk to. However, they might also be looking for a person they're planning on meeting there. Try to notice whether they're just being observant or whether they seem to be searching for something in particular, for example, they might be craning their neck to get a good look at something that's difficult for them to see. If they're with a group of friends, and seem to be enjoying themselves already, they probably won't welcome an intrusion.
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    Show a genuine interest in the person you’re trying to kiss. It’s generally better to avoid pick-up lines and not try to impress them with your ability to come up with a good one. While there are occasional situations in which these can be effective, it's generally a safer bet to try some of the ideas below to open the possibility of a kiss:
    • I couldn’t help but notice _________. Insert something you've noticed about them that's drawn your attention. Pick something that's a choice that they've made, not something they can't help like the shape of their eyes. For example, an item of clothing, a hairstyle, something you overheard them say (nothing personal!), or something they look interested in are all good options.
    • Is this seat taken?
    • Hi, How are you, my name is…
    • Are you waiting for someone?
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    Try starting a conversation about something in the immediate vicinity. If you’re in a bar or restaurant that you often go to, ask whether he/she is a fan of some category of food or drink that they serve (for example red wine, a variety of beer, or any kind of food such as nachos, or fried meat). If the person says yes, then recommend something to them, making sure to point out what’s so great about it. If the person says they don't like it, you can either try to convince them that they should try it, or ask what they do like, and try to find some common ground, or a discussion point. Make sure to pay attention to what he/she is saying about what they do or don’t like and respond appropriately.
    • If you’re in a new place, ask if the person goes there a lot, and whether they have any recommendations. If they say they haven’t been there before, you can still ask their advice about what they think is likely to be good.
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    Suggest a game. You can go up to just about anyone and ask them if they want to play a game, and then suggest a game or bet with stakes that involves them kissing you if something specific happens. This is a great technique because it gives the other person the option to say that they aren’t interested without having to give a direct yes or no to a question as blunt as: "Can I kiss you?" It also preserves the feeling that perhaps they didn’t choose to kiss you, and only ended up doing it because they lost the game. Warning! Even if you win the game, if the other person declines to kiss you, you should not try to kiss them anyway - that would be harassment. A couple examples of some good games are:
    • Any sort of bet. Notice something going on around you, and say something like: "I'll bet you a kiss that ____________."
    • A card trick where you have to find the card that the person you want to kiss chose. Before you start, agree on the stakes: if you succeed, they have to kiss you (you can even set parameters about what kind of kiss it has to be). If you fail, then offer them something else in return. A drink, offering to take them out to a meal, or some amount of cash are all good options.
    • Something like spin the bottle. This is especially good if you really want the person you kiss to be a complete stranger - you can call in friends to put together the group, and then you will never have spoken to some of the people you might then kiss!
    • Truth or Dare. Even if the other person consistently picks truth, you can always tell them the truth that you want to kiss them and see how they react!

Method 2
Getting Closer

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    Start slow. Flirt, and give them hints that you might like to do something more than talk. This will give them a chance to consider the possibility that you might be interested in kissing them, and to think about whether or not they’d like to kiss you. This might be a good time to break the touch barrier, and put a hand on their arm or shoulder to indicate physical interest. Consider asking them to dance if you are somewhere that dancing is appropriate, but make sure not to do anything that could be construed as overtly sexual - coming on too strong will scare most people away. Pay attention to how they respond to this touch: if they pull away, or act uncomfortable, chances are they aren’t interested.
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    Compliment them. Try to stick to something that isn’t sexual in nature, and won't come off as creepy, or overly personal. Make sure to take the situation into account, and consider the gender (or gender identification) of the person you’re trying to compliment. While you won't know much about this person yet, compliments that aren't physical are usually more effective, so make use of anything that you've gleaned about them. This below list comprises suggestions, but not all will be applicable to everyone, so you should use discretion and your awareness of their body language to filter the suggestions.
    • I’d like to get to know you better.
    • I know we've just met, but you seem really talented / smart / caring / kind / funny.
    • You’re really interesting.
    • I think it's really interesting that _________, (Insert something you actually find interesting about them!)
    • You’re beautiful / gorgeous / good looking / strong.
    • You make me feel (really) excited / nervous / happy.
    • I love your eyes. (You can also say something like mouth, or face, but try not to get any more personal than that.)
    • It's really cool that you_____________. Can you tell me more about_____________. This can be especially effective if you make them feel special for the knowledge they have by adding something like, "I've never met anyone who____________."
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    Pay attention to body language. Men and women tend to use slightly different movements for expressing interest using body language, but some general signs that a person may be interested in physical contact with you are:
    • Leaning towards you rather than back.
    • Paying attention to you when you're talking. If their gaze wanders around the room frequently, it's probably a sign that they wish something else would happen to give them a way to stop talking to you.
    • Making eye contact. If a person is wiling to look into your face for an extended period of time, it's a good sign that they're interested in you.
    • Looking interested and engaged. It's usually pretty easy to tell if the person you're talking to is bored with the conversation. If they have been quiet, or look bored or uninterested, either change tactics and talk about something else (try offering them the chance to choose a topic of conversation by asking an open ended question), or look elsewhere for someone to kiss.
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    Don't make assumptions. Even if someone seems willing to kiss you, think about whether you have taken into account their body language, or whether you are relying on common assumptions and stereotypes. An example of an assumption you might make is that if someone is dressed in a revealing way, that they are asking for sexual attention. Remember that these assumptions on your part do not constitute consent on their part. When body language fails to tell you what you need to know, you can always just ask them if they’re interested in doing something with you.
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    Think before acting. If you might want to start a lasting relationship with this person that is emotional as well as physical, consider that kissing them right off the bat might not be the best way of accomplishing this. Letting the physical tension escalate slowly as you get to know them better may be more effective at starting something that lasts. On the other hand, kissing soon after meeting can be a good way to tell whether there is any physical chemistry between you – something which can be good to establish before too much time has been invested!
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    Treat it like any first kiss. Just because you haven’t gotten to know this person very well yet, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the same precautions you would for a kiss at the end of a first date! Make sure that they’re interested in kissing you via body language and other signs, and make sure that your mouth is reasonably clean.

Method 3
Taking It Further

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    Follow up. Just because you kissed someone doesn’t mean that they will assume you want to start a relationship with them. Shortly after the kiss is a good time to establish what you are hoping for. Depending on what you want you could say something like :
    • That was nice.
    • Can I see you again sometime soon?
    • Are you free to go out to a movie next Thursday?
    • Shall we get out of here?
    • Do you want to come back to my place?
    • I really enjoyed that. We should do it more often.
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    Pay attention to boundaries. This means both your boundaries and the boundaries of the person you want to kiss. Just because you initiated the kissing, doesn’t mean that you’re obligated to take it further if your partner indicates that they’re interested. Similarly, just because someone is willing to kiss you, or even enjoys kissing you, it doesn’t mean that they will want to take it further.
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    Never kiss anyone who you have any reason to suspect doesn’t want to be kissed by you. Doing so would be an aggressive sexual advance. If you persist when the person you are trying to kiss has made it clear that he/she does not want to be kissed, then it becomes harassment,[2] and can subject you to legal action.[3] To know whether or not someone doesn’t want to be kissed, pay attention to their body language, and how they are interacting with you as well as any verbal cues. For more information on subtle cues that can let you know the person you want to kiss doesn’t want to be kissed, you can look at How to Know if a Girl Wants to be Kissed. This advice applies almost equally well to people of any gender.


  • Even though it's often considered awkward to ask someone if they want to be kissed, it's a fail-safe way of knowing for certain whether you have someone's consent to kiss them, and, done confidently and sweetly, it can be incredibly charming.
  • Be honest. Whether you want just a kiss (or many kisses), a one night stand, or a short or long relationship, never say or imply that you want something which you definitely don’t. If you’re not sure, just say so! [4]
  • Act like someone who people would want to kiss! This means brushing your teeth, using breath mints when necessary, and having good grooming habits (at least when you’re trying to kiss someone for the first time). [5]
  • Don’t kiss strangers if you have a cold, or other illness that might infect the person you’re kissing.[6]. While most adults probably already have the variety of herpes that’s spread by mouth contact (as well as sharing water bottles etc.), and it’s not generally something that is a cultural concern when deciding whether or not to kiss someone,[7] you have a responsibility not to spread your cold around.

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Categories: Kissing