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“I Need More Than a Peck”

 By Barrington H. Brennen, October 7, 2015



Do you peck or really, really kiss?  In other words, if it is pecking you are doing with your partner, then that means the only thing you are doing is touching each other’s lips very lightly and quickly and then calling it a kiss.  If this is the case, it may be evident that your relationship is cold or lack luster.  Healthy couples passionately kiss with both lips touching while holding each other for several seconds to even minutes.  They enjoy the tender feel of the lips and tongue.   When I was a teenager, I would hear people use the word “tonguing” to describe a deep, romantic kiss.   We did not know at the time that “Tonguing is a technique used with wind instruments to enunciate different notes using the tongue on the reed or woodwind mouthpiece or brass mouthpiece.”  Well, it makes sense when it comes to kissing.


The word “peck” painfully describes when so-called lovers act like birds who peck at their foods.   We all, when rushing out, want a quick touch of the sweet parts of the body.  However, my point is if that is all you do (pecking) then your marriage might be in trouble.   It is the same when having a “quickie.”   A “quickie” occurs when lovers who are rushing out of the house but are sexually aroused at the same time want a quick sexual encounter.   “Quickies” can be powerfully sweet, however, like pecking, if that is all you do (quickies), then your marriage might be in trouble.   You might not even know it is in trouble because you have settled for superficiality in your relationship.  Or you have become so preoccupied with other things (job, children, friends) in your life, you are not even aware that your own, most important relationship is starving for romance—a deep, long, passionate kiss.


The lips are two of the sexually sensitive parts of the human body.   On a female’s body the sexually sensitive areas are the lips, breasts, and the clitoris.  On the male’s body the sexually sensitive areas are the lips and the head of the penis.   In addition we all know that a sensual touch from a lover on any part of the body can be sexually exciting.  However, the lips are one of the most powerful erotic zones of the body.   So why have a casual, quick, insensitive touch. 


It is good to know your spouse’s erogenous zones.  Some experts in sexology include the neck and ears as erogenous zones on woman’s body.  They also say on a male’s body the neck, nipples, and scrotum are also erogenous zones.   The point is, get to know your partner.   Share with your partner what pleases you.



Spouses give several reasons they do not like kissing their partners, although they really want to kiss.   It could be poor oral hygiene, tooth decay, bad breath, etc.    The sad part about this is that these “bad breath” partners do nothing to change their bad breath and eventually cause their partner to pull away romantically from the relationship.    Another reason some spouses refuse to kiss is because every kiss must lead to sex.    I think if partners truly understand and value the importance of kissing, things would be different in most relationships.



Writer Sylvia Plath wrote: “Kiss me and you will see how important I am.”   This is so true.  In the magazine Psychology Today, Psychologist, Dr. Noam Shpancer, writes in his article “What is a kiss?” the following:  “A kiss brings us into close physical proximity with the other, close enough to smell and taste them. The face area is rich with glands secreting chemicals that carry genetic and immunological information. Our saliva carries hormonal messages. A person's breath, as well as the taste of their lips and the feel of their teeth, signals things about their health and hygiene, and thus their procreative suitability”    Research is telling us that a kiss can tell a lot about a person.  When you kiss your partner, what messages you want him or her to get about you.  Is it a message that you are caring, sensitive, warm, and romantic?    Or is it message that it is all about you?  You just want to touch the lips and satisfy your urges at the time.  In this case you will be transmitting a message of indifference, insensitivity, and selfishness.  


I think far too many couples have not really understood the value and meaning of a romantic kiss.  In my marital therapy practice, I’ve discovered that couples who only have vaginal penetration (clinical sex) and do not kiss, have serious, seemingly irresolvable marital issues.  It seems as though they “must have sex” and doing so mechanically calls for little commitment and connection.   However, to deeply kiss and have sex at the same time calls for heart connection. 



I cannot help but share what research has discovered about kissing.  Dr. Shpancer continues in the article on the latest research about the benefits of kissing.  The findings are amazing. “The role of kissing in improving the quality of long-term relationships (link is external) was examined several years ago by the family communications scholar Kory Floyd and his colleagues at Arizona State University. The researchers randomly assigned fifty-two participants (all involved in long term relationships) into one of two groups and instructed the members of the experimental group to kiss more frequently with their partners for a period of six weeks. Blood tests and questionnaire data collected before and after showed that members of the experimental group experienced decreased cholesterol, decreased stress, and improved quality of relationship. Similarly, researcher Wendy Hill of Lafayette College in Pennsylvania found a few years ago that kissing for fifteen minutes led to a significant decline in the level of stress hormone cortisol in participants.”   Wow! Grab each other and start kissing right now.  Oops!  You need to read further first.



If you have not kissed your partner in a long time, you need to make a commitment to start today.  Make sure not to start with the lips—start with the voice.   Deep, spicy, romantic kissing occurs when partners have a heart connection.  This connection happens when partners talk caringly with each other.    Here are my “Ten Steps to Kissing” I developed in 1994 while living in Michigan, USA and completing my psychology degree.  See my article "Kiss Me Please"


1.      Talk, talk

2.      Talk, talk

3.      Play, play, and talk

4.      Play, play, and talk

5.      Hold hands and talk

6.      Bond minds

7.      Link shoulders

8.      Hold heads

9.      Touch lips and kiss, really kiss

10.    STOP


Note carefully the amount of time spent not kissing.  If these steps are done correctly the kissing will be hot, hot, hot. If kissing is only clinical then it will not be sweet.   Note then that if you have not kissed in years, you might need some help from a professional marriage and family therapist to help repair the relationship.   Remember, kissing is one of the important tools for keeping the relationship happy, hot, and spicy.   Start today.



Barrington H. Brennen, MA, NCP, BCCP, is a marriage and family therapist and board certified clinical psychotherapist, USA. Send your questions or comments to barringtonbrennen@gmail.com  or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visitwww.soencouragement.org  or call 242-327-1980 or 242-477-4002.


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