The 6-Second Kiss

Written by Morgan Johnson.

This is actually science.

Instead of that “hey, sweetie” peck-style kiss you may have fallen into a routine of, start by just replacing your end-of-the-day or leaving-for-work peck with a 6-Second Kiss.

Simple as it sounds–open or closed or mix of both– kiss for 6 seconds. You can also try 1-Minute Hugs if you need a bit more gradual re-entry into the mojo atmosphere.

Researchers have found that extending the length of our kisses just by a few seconds can kick our nervous systems into connecting/safety/relax mode.

“Foreplay” isn’t just something for prudes and romance novelists, it primes the nervous system to chill and ready the body/brains/mind for sexing and connecting.

Dr. Ian Kerner calls foreplay “Coreplay” and I’m with him for accurately honing in on the neurobiology and psychophysiology involved.

Desire and arousal are two different things. Don’t forget that.

Kisses, touches, pets, strokes–all great ways to help a partner experience a safe, physically connecting landscape in which desire can emerge and/or they can move toward their unique arousal threshold.

Notice how I language’d that?

We aren’t “making our partner aroused” or “getting them to have desire” or “making them want to have sex”–that language is too loaded with pressure and sexpectations.

Successful approaches to inspiring desire in our partners are more relaxed and Bob Rossy; you just sit back, paint a happy little cloud, and see what emerges moment-by-moment.

Make kissing for 6 seconds a ritual of connection that is such a normal part of the routine that no one’s body ends up saying: “eek! this is probably going to lead to sex!”

Sustainable, longterm desire doesn’t emerge out of some hot-and-heavy build-up like a lot of folks seem to think–and movies definitely don’t try to counter.

Desire tends to grow out of routine connection, disconnection, and reconnection cycle ever-present in relationships–that dance we experience day in and day out together in which we take a risk and dare to need the other and we are met with someone willing not only to try to meet the need, but to also bravely risk needing.

We use the metaphor of a couple sitting in a canoe facing each other but leaned out over the edges; in order to sit upright and lean toward one another, there has to be a simultaneous, mutual leaning-in–if one person leans in but not the other–PLOP, overturned. The paralyzing fear I see in lots of partners makes sense.

If you’re trying to break the ice after a long time physically apart, make a commitment together to try adding in the 6-Second Kiss and/or the 1-Minute Hug (I recommend both!) to your daily routine for a few weeks. 💃🏻See what happens!

Now go! Kiss with tongue!


Morgan Johnson is a post-graduate counseling intern at The Center for Relationships with a Bachelor’s from Wake Forest and a Masters degree in professional counseling from St. Edward’s University.  She is the director of our Intimacy Support program as well as the creative force behind many of our innovative ideas.  Follow her on Facebook @MorganJohnsonATX and Twitter @MojoATX.  If you would like to schedule a meeting with Morgan, please call 512-465-2926.