I love sex. Chances are, you love it too. But amid all the hoopla surrounding the grand, (hopefully) earth-shattering act, especially in today’s world of one-night stands and quick hookups, good old making out (just for the sake of making out) often gets neglected. While hopefully you do at least make out as a lead up to sex, I know many skip it, and that’s a crying shame, friends. The goddess of foreplay and authentic arousal does weep. Whether you’re just getting to know someone or have been together for years, here, I offer you 8 reasons making out can be even hotter than sex, so take note.

 

1. It gauges chemistry 

Ever heard Cher’s ancient classic, "It’s in his kiss"? It’s an oldie but a goodie, and she was so right. What better way to gauge chemistry and attraction and make sure all the sparks are appropriately flying than to engage in a bit of lip-locking and some good ol’ heavy petting? Typically, you can tell within seconds whether or not you have chemistry. And no one even has to get naked or wake up confused, disappointed, or late for work. Perhaps I sound cynical, but on the contrary: I just think slowing down the motions can bring the best kind of clarity when it comes to one’s desires. 

2. It leaves you wanting more (in a good way)

It’s easier than one might think to spend a solid hour (or 7) making out, and teasing one another, fully clothed. Maybe there’s some ceremonious dry humping going on somewhere in there, but it’s an endurance sport, not a sprint. And it only builds on its own heat. The crazy part: you can stop, walk away full of wanting, and then come back, supercharged. Making out builds anticipation, stimulates your imagination, and awakens your sex drive and your sense of excitement. So when sex finally happens, it’s even better for it. Some would say making out is a necessary build up for mind-blowing sex. Whether that build-up best commences hours, days, or even weeks before causing said explosion, who’s to say?

 

3. It’ll make you feel young again

In our age of internet pop-up porn, instant gratification, and overexposure, there is something young, innocent, and exploratory about simply making out. Why not even get a bit kinky with it and pretend you’ve sneaked out of your parents’ house at night or ducked behind the school at recess? Why not get in touch with the newness and excitement of the act as well as the person you’re making out with? They don’t have to be new in your life for this to work. Think of it as a jolt to your butterfly queendom. Feel free to quote me on that.

4. It’s less commitment

When it comes to first times, sleeping with someone often leads to a) never seeing them again, or b) things getting progressively more serious. And while it’s true that either of those things can, of course, happen without sex in the picture, it usually is. With making out, though, it can be easier to extend that period of initial courtship, and build a bigger fire—or else walk away without future expectations (yours or theirs). Of course, only you know how far to take it with a given person in a given time, place, or mood. So whatever you do, be sure to do you.


5. It’s safer

In a very practical (integral) logistical vein, STIs and even unwanted pregnancies are a thing. And while safe is smart, we’re not always smart where lust is concerned, are we? While even at the best of times a pregnancy or STI scare can screw you over, many a little bird has told me that it’s less screwy if you’re dealing with it in cahoots with someone you share an actual connection with, rather than alone, or with someone you wish you’d never met or had a beer with or hopped into bed with on that cold winter night.

6. It’s more slow and sensual

Sex can be an infinitely sensual (even tantric) act, but orgasms often still end up serving as a sort of finish-line much of the time. While I’m of the opinion that even sex can be slowed down and enjoyed to the last luscious breath of yesss, a great make-out session has no beginning and no end, so you get all the steam with none of the pressure to finish—and who said anything about crossing any lines? You’re free to just relax into it and explore the sensations of give and take.


7. You can do it in public

Although some of you are undoubtedly exhibitionists by nature, the reality is that public sex can actually get you in trouble, or even get you arrested. Not to mention, it can be embarrassing for those not looking to get off on being seen, and are maybe just going along with their partner. Making out, on the other hand, can be voraciously executed whenever and wherever you feel like. Sure, a few life and love-hating prudes might judge you for the shameless PDA, but you won’t get fined or locked up, or expose yourself to the harshness of the elements. Just saying.

8. It teaches patience & intimacy

Making out can teach you to be patient and wait for the “right” moment to have sex—if indeed there is one. When you make out with someone, it can also give you more time to get to know each other better and create a more meaningful bond. And I’m of the opinion that this can be accomplished whether a relationship is brand spanking new or has been a thing for years. You can always get closer to someone, or remember how to best connect with them.

So next time you and your chosen one hit a lull in the conversation, why not make out instead? Sometimes you’ve gotta give one language a break in favor of another, though, for real.

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