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What Makes a Guy Want to Kiss You?


The subtle and not-so-subtle things that trigger a man’s urge to lock lips.
– Justin DeMarco,

Living with my sister and her boyfriend of nearly ten years, William, I’ve seen (and unfortunately, heard) just about every type of kiss in the book between them. William, a 28-year-old artist and student, definitely gets high marks for having an arsenal of appropriate kisses for every situation, but what is it that triggers that “I need to kiss her now” urge? When I asked him, he had to admit that he really hadn’t thought much about it. So to make our “Three’s Company” living situation even more awkward, each time I saw him kiss my sister, I asked what made him want to do it at that precise moment.

“It’s an irresistible urge,” he says. “I see her lips and I want to kiss them. It’s instinct. I don’t think before I act, unless I’m in front of your parents. Besides, by the one-thousandth kiss, you know all the fun things you both enjoy,” he continues. “It’s nice when they’re familiar lips that you’re comfortable kissing. It’s more emotional and satisfying.”

After I fought the urge to throw up – OK, yes, I asked, but still, it’s my sister he’s talking about! – I decided to branch out and ask some other dudes who aren’t in marathon-length relationships what makes them want to kiss someone.

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“I want to kiss every girl I see,” says Ben, “The Make-Out Mayor,” a 27-year-old teacher with an extensive kissing resume. “It’s fun and I like to do it. But, it’s even more fun when there are real emotions involved.”

Keith, a 31-year-old construction worker, says he makes sure to kiss his girlfriend of three months when he goes out with her so other guys know she’s with him. “I hate to say I’m marking my territory, but I just want to let everyone know we’re together,” he says. “I also kiss her to give her attention when I’m with my friends so she knows I’m thinking about her, too.”

After just a few of these conversations, one thing becomes clear: It’s often a woman’s idiosyncrasies – the way she bites her lower lip when she’s feeling vulnerable, snorts and wrinkles her nose when she’s laughing way too hard, or just flat-out looks sexy in the new lingerie she picked up – that can cause a guy to become overwhelmed with emotion and feel the urge to give her a gentle kiss on the forehead or start a passionate kissing session, the way the French intended. However, most men admit that in order to go there, there has to be some physical attraction and a strong connection.

“If a girl has a pretty face, nice lips and smiles a lot, I want to kiss her,” says Phil, a 36-year-old electrician.

Matt, 26, a visual stylist, has no trouble getting to the point about what makes him want to kiss a girl. “Chemistry and a plump lower lip,” he says.

Kissing while you’re in a relationship has one major perk: She kissed you once, she kissed you twice and she’s most likely going to kiss you again, as long as she’s digging the relationship. But a guy who’s on a first date or who recently started seeing a girl is going to be more hesitant about going for it.

“My heart may be telling me to kiss her,” says Kevin, a 26-year-old businessman, “but my mind is reminding me not to do anything that’s going to get me slapped.”

“The initial kiss has a weird danger,” says Alex, 29, a freelance illustrator. “There’s a rush to it because you don’t know what the after-effect is going to be.” In other words, she may kiss you back. She may pull away. Or she may say, “Not on the first date.” The fear of rejection is definitely on most guys’ minds, especially ones who have fresh wounds.

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“It’s hard reading girls, even when they flirt and act interested,” says Trevor, a 24-year-old filmmaker, talking about one of his most recent dates. “I tried kissing this girl who acted like she wanted me to, and when I did she wasn’t into it. She was like, ‘What was that?’ I thought she was into me and all she could say was, ‘I have onions on my teeth.’”

Ladies, please note: If there’s a guy you want to kiss you, but you can’t figure out why he hasn’t yet, chances are he’s had an experience similar to Trevor’s at one point or another. So, remember, if he doesn’t go in for the kiss and you want him to, don’t be shy about giving him some subtle hints. Even if he seems clueless, if he likes you chances are good that it will happen eventually.

And if the man of the moment isn’t interested in kissing you, don’t worry, there’ll definitely be others. Besides, it could be worse. At least you don’t have to watch your sister’s boyfriend kiss her all day long and then sit there and listen to him explain it to you in detail.

Tell us: What makes you want to kiss a guy?

Justin DeMarco is a New York City-based writer. He co-wrote Hockey: The Musical with Rick Wilson, which premiered at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2008.