"I don't think—well, I know—my girlfriend doesn't like the way I kiss. She's been trying to show me what she likes, but I can't seem to get it right. Truth is, kissing isn't that big a deal to me, but it seems to be for her. Help!" - Lance V., Miami, FL
Tammy Nelson, Ph.D., sex therapist and psychotherapist: Yes, kissing is a big deal. You could say it's a more intimate version, a microcosm, of the bigger, more sensual world of intercourse. That means it can be the make-or-break factor in a new relationship. If the kissing's good, you both want more. If it isn't, you might be able to chalk it up to first-time jitters.
But eventually, you both have to enjoy it.
If you feel there's mad attraction between you, ask her for more time to connect to her kissing style. Next time you make out, try to relax and get into it. Do some stretching, take some deep breaths, use mouthwash, and go slow.
But, yes, you do need to put the effort into it because if she doesn't like the way you kiss, then it may mean the chemistry just isn't there. Just sayin'.
Michael Aaron, Ph.D., pyschotherapist and sex counselor: You say she's tried to show you. But some people learn better by hearing specific instructions rather than trying to follow along with a demonstration (and let's be honest, how much can you really see with her tongue in your mouth?).
So if you're still stuck why not get some training from a kissing coach? I'm serious—they do exist in most big cities. That way an objective pro can see what you're doing wrong and steer you in the right direction.
Jena Freidman, writer and stand-up comedian:
On the bright side, it's clear your tongue trouble hasn't been a deal breaker for her—yet.
But why haven't you been able to kiss her in a way she likes? Are you nervous? Maybe meditate, or down an antianxiety pill before your next makeout sesh. (I don't normally advocate for neurochemical performance enhancers—unless I'm getting big money for it, #Xanax.)
Or maybe you're not listing to her. Have you thought of that? Hello? Are you still there, or did you trail off? Make a real effort to hear her and try to get in sync.
But, bottom line, in a long-term relationship you both need to be on the same page when it comes to lip locking, so I'd make this a priority.