The Fighting Couple’s instructions for perform the perfect kiss!
Now that we have your attention, we want to offer you a cultural primer to correct kissing. Each county that we have traveled to has its own social kissing customs. We hope that you have the whole romantic kissing down. We want to offer some of the other social setting in which kissing is appropriate.
How could we not start with the French? While they likely didn’t invent the kiss, they came up with an interesting version. Parisian social kissing is reserved for family, friends and known acquaintances. The double cheek kiss is very common in French culture. Both persons lean slightly forward and lightly touch cheek to cheek or lip to cheek. Male-female and female-female cheek kissing is very common. Male to male is less common. A failure to offer a kiss-kiss is often a sign that two people do not get along. The kiss is initiated on the left, what else would we expect? Public displays of affections are a national pastime.
German’s are much more reserved in their expressions of affection. The double kiss is common amongst family and the closest of friends. A warm handshake is appropriate for friends and acquaintances. Hugs or embraces are also frowned upon in a business social setting.
The Italians follow the French model. The double kiss-kiss is appropriate for friends and family. Male-male kisses are also more common. The Italians have turned the kiss-kiss into an art form. Public displays of affection between couples is also very prevalent.
The Aussies are a melting pot of Europe with a heady dose of Limeyness. The single cheek kiss male to female is fairly commonplace between close friends and family. Before you book your flight down under, brush up on your kissing!
Spaniards in particular actively practice the kiss-kiss approach with friends and family. They do make one deviation from the two kissing countries identified above, they start on the right and move left.
Middle East Peck:
Cheek kissing in the Middle East is very commonplace. It is typically reserved for expressions between friends and relatives. Cheek kissing male-male is very common. However, cheek kissing between a male and female is usually considered inappropriate, unless within the same family. “Involved” public displays of affection are forbidden and in some locals illegal.
The Brits are firmly planted in the nod and shake camp. A nod in the general direction of a friend or an associate indicates a kind acknowledgement. A firm handshake and a back slap are also very typical. For the females, a typical embrace is the elbow grab. Both parties extend arms and place hands lightly on each other’s elbows.
The US has a different set of rules depending on where you are. For the north eastern part of the US, see UK above.
The refined south is likely the most liberal in allowed affection between friends and associates. The kiss-kiss is still practiced in much of the south on a female-female and male-female basis.
Westerners are a combination of north and south. Much like the northerners, a handshake works fine in most settings. Westerners do like to hug close friends and family, especially the male-female variety. It is not uncommon for two close male friends to hug with a back slap.
Some Hints for Kissing:
Regardless of where you are off to, it is best to “follow the leader” in your selection of affection. Watch your guide and or those around you for the level of affection required. Don’t feel that you must kiss someone. Just because you Italian taxi driver gets you to your destination in time, a kiss is certainly never expected (unless is he is extremely handsome!) Lip to lip contact is reserved for husband or wife or couples in all the locations that we have traveled.
Now it is time to practice! Gold luck! Mwah! Kiss, Kiss!