K-I-S-S-I-N-G was supposed to lead to love, then marriage, and then a baby carriage. And though that clearly isn't how that works, I think we can all remember learning how to French kiss being sort of a big deal in adolescence. Still. It's one of those things that you don't forget. Truly, my first kiss is still the source of my anxiety when it comes to the most basic tongue action that we'll ever discuss as adults: French kissing. I was in eighth grade and the boy who I had been pining over for all of the fall semester was finally mine. It was after school in the hall as he was on his way to basketball practice when he leaned in for a kiss. I quickly called attention to the fact that I didn't know how to kiss in an awkward outburst. He ran off laughing and told the entire locker room.
To this day, I'm not all that certain I'm the best kisser, though I hopefully hope no one has me on their list of worst kissers. Much like when Hitch instructed Kevin to stick with a two-step in the 2005 eponymously named film, I coach myself to stick with the one-two step of tonguing. I let our tongues wrestle just a little and then when I'm not certain what comes next, I suck and bite a little lip. However, I'm certain that French kissing can be far more intricate than this.
Thankfully, I know my strengths and weaknesses well enough to know that I had to use a lifeline for this one. I got in touch with Tyomi Morgan, ACS Pleasure Coach and certified Sexologist to pick her brain. Better yet on a few, much-needed pointers to achieve the much desired accolade of most improved French kisser.
You'll be happy to find that she delivered, here's what was said.
Kissing With Tongue: How To French Kiss, According To An Expert
Like I said, I'm not the best kisser so it always feels super awkward right down to not really understanding where my tongue should be and when it should be there. Morgan says, "The dance that tongues do during French kissing really depends on the people who are in the act. One partner may have a more dominant approach while the other is more passive. There are situations where both partners are dominant in how they approach the French kiss which could lead to awkwardness...it's all about creating a balance that allows the kissing to flow effortlessly."
The Pleasure Coach adds, "One partner secedes to the other and allows the other to lead. Then, roles can be reversed allowing the submissive partner to take the lead.
"Tongues can do a lot of different things in the French kiss. Partners can touch tongue tips or circle each other's tips while the tongues are poked out. One partner can suck on the other's tongue while it pokes in and out, or tongues can rub up against each other with the upper side caressing the underside of the other. Tongues can chase each other inside of their mouths, embrace like sword fighting or rub up against the inner lips. The tip of the tongue can also be used to flick or trace the lips as well.
"Tongues are always moving in a French kiss — how they move is determined by the messages they want to convey to each other."
This actually provides relief in understanding not only what I'm "supposed" to do but also knowing why many of my kisses have probably been so awkward. In always feeling compelled to do something, and absolutely anything, I will dominate the kiss without offering space for my partners to do so. I do this to fill the "silence" so to speak and pose as if I know what I'm doing. When in actuality, the key is to let it flow!
Know That The Tongue Is A Muscle & Work It Like Oneblack and white love GIFGiphy
If practice makes perfect, then how exactly can we apply that logic to kissing? Me, personally, I visualize that scene from Superstar where ol' girl is making out with the tree. But Morgan recommends working out. Yes, you read that absolutely right! "The tongue is a muscle and must be worked out just like any other muscle in the body. Flabby tongues don't maneuver as well as strong ones, and don't have as much control.
"Strengthening the tongue is the first thing to do to gain control over the tongue's ability to deliver pleasurable strokes. The techniques found in the book, Blow Him Away by Marcy Michaels contains several tongue strengthening exercises that are easy to perform on a daily basis. Using the tongue to eat treats from cups like applesauce, pudding, jello or even frozen desserts are great ways to practice using the tongue as well. Licking food from spoons also helps."
As someone who will lick anything out of a cup rather than waste spoons, my tongue might be better off than I anticipated. And as far as technique? Well, watch and learn! Not me, of course. "Watching videos of people French kissing goes a long way in providing examples of how to move tongues when in a French kiss."
If you've already mastered the French kiss, the Glam Erotica founder gives us some additional tips that will help add to the sensuality of your French kisses:
1. Keep it Slow and Steady
As my supervisor says "this is a marathon not a race" and thus it makes sense that Morgan suggests being mindful of our breath when we're kissing. "Breathing plays a big part in French kissing, as the noses are close together and the mouth is in action.
"Slowing down the breath and exhaling gently through the mouth is a technique that can help with connection and controlling the pace of kissing. Letting out sighs of ecstasy and moans of enjoyment can also heighten the experience and communicate your desire for more to a partner."
2. Touch and Go
Additionally, "Using your hands to grab, caress or rub on other erogenous zones while locking lips and tongues is an easy way to heighten arousal and take things up a notch. Rinsing the mouth before kissing or popping a piece of gum or a breath mint will go a long way."
3. Food-play for Foreplay
Big bonus game? Make your kisses edible. Yes. Expert Tyomi Morgan suggests integrating some food to up the kinky on your kisses.
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Motor City native, Atlanta living. Sagittarius. Writer. Sexpert. Into all things magical, mystical, and unknown. I'll try anything at least once but you knew that the moment I revealed that I was a Sag.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
2023 has become the year of celebrity breakups with headlines breaking left and right about celebs filing for divorce or ending high-profile relationships. The latest couple to announce their dissolution? British actress Jodie Turner-Smith. TMZ reported that Jodie has filed for a divorce from her husband, Dawson Creek alum Joshua Jackson.
As far as her reason for calling it quits, Jodie cited "irreconcilable differences," according to TMZ, and has requested joint custody of the couple's daughter, Juno Rose Diana Jackson. Late last year there were rumblings of there being "trouble in paradise" for the couple after the media realized they were no longer following each other on Instagram.
Those rumors were more than laid to rest when Jodie and Joshua went to the 2023 Oscars together earlier this year, and even more recently, when they celebrated her birthday together last month during the September unveiling of the Lotus Emeya.
Jodie Turner-Smith celebrates her birthday with husband Joshua Jackson at the unveiling of the new fully-electric Lotus Emeya on September 07, 2023 in New York City.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Lotus
Despite seeming particularly happy and in love, perhaps the writing was already written on the wall even then. In the past, Jodie has been very celebratory publicly about her love for her estranged husband, even boldly recounting their love story for the books in a 2021 interview with Seth Meyers.
When Jodie and Joshua met, it was while at his birthday party in 2018. Their relationship was hot and heavy from the start, with Jodie openly noting that they began as a "one-night stand." During her 2021 interview with Seth Meyers, she jokingly referred to their love story as a "three-year one-night stand." She shared:
"First of all, I saw him before he saw me and when I saw him, I was like, 'I want that.' And then when he saw me, I just pretended like I didn't see him. He had to yell across the room to me, and I was wearing this T-shirt from a movie called Sorry to Bother You and [actress] Tessa Thompson plays a character called Detroit, and she has this T-shirt that says, 'The Future Is Female Ejaculation.'
"And so, he shouts across the room, 'Detroit!' He comes over and… does this really cute, charming thing that he does and just all night -- he just basically followed me around the party."
The couple were together from that moment forth, and even made things "Instagram official" less than two weeks later while on a dinner date. Joshua would later clarify to Insider that the night they met in 2018 was not a 'one-night stand' or a 'three-year one-night stand' like his then-wife joked but instead, it was "technically a three-night stand."
"It was sealed with a kiss that night and then we didn't leave each other's sides for, well, three years now," Joshua continued at the time.
In a July 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Joshua dropped more details about the why behind getting married. He revealed that he didn't know he wanted to get married to Jodie until "the moment she asked me."
"She asked me on New Year's Eve. We were in Nicaragua. It was very beautiful, incredibly romantic, we were walking down the beach and she asked me to marry her."
He added, "I did not know [she would propose], but she was quite adamant and she was right. This is the best choice I ever made."
Joshua Jackson Reveals Jodie Turner-Smith Proposed To Him
Jodie received quite a bit of flack for proposing to Joshua because it goes against tradition and what society sees as acceptable for a woman to do to a man, and proposing isn't one of them. No matter how much time has passed, the viewpoints around who should do the proposing and who should be proposed to are still very traditional.
After being on the receiving end of such backlash, Joshua would later clarify to the media in a separate interview that it wasn't just Jodie's proposal to him that sealed the deal of them getting married, he proposed to her too. She might have initiated it, but Joshua followed through.
"I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn't give the full context and holy Jesus, the internet is racist and misogynist," he explained to Refinery29 that same year. "We were in Nicaragua on a beautiful moonlit night, it could not possibly have been more romantic."
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
He continued, "And yes, my wife did propose to me and yes, I did say yes, but what I didn't say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I'm still old school enough that I said, 'This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too].'"
"She has a biological father and a stepdad, who's the man who raised her. [I said], 'You have to give me the opportunity to ask both of those men for your hand in marriage.' And then, 'I would like the opportunity to re-propose to you and do it the old-fashioned way down on bended knee.' So, that's actually how the story ended up."
Joshua and Jodie would eventually marry in December 2019. Shortly thereafter, Jodie gave birth to the couple's first child, Janie, in 2020.
In a recent interview with Elle UK, Jodie shared the ways becoming a mother to Juno helped to heal her of her wounds from colorism she experienced in the past. "It's interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother and, throughout my life, I always said if I were to have children, I wanted to have Black, Black babies so that I could affirm them as children with the love that I felt I needed to have been affirmed with by the outside world," Jodie shared with the outlet.
She continued, "Then I fell in love with my husband and we talked about having kids. I did have this mini pause, where I was like, 'She's going to be walking through the world not only having an experience that I did not have, but looking like people that, in a way, I'd always felt a little bit tormented by.' Now that I've got this little, tiny, light-skinned boss, I feel like it’s the universe teaching me lessons. I've been given a daughter who looks this way to heal my own conversations around colorism."
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