Kissing rituals

Kissing is culturally determined – whether or not, whom, how, how long, etc.

While cheek kissing is a common greeting in many cultures, each country has a unique way of kissing. In Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro the Netherlands and Egypt it is customary to “kiss three times, on alternate cheeks.”  Italians usually kiss twice in a greeting and in Mexico and Belgium only one kiss is necessary. In the Galapagos women kiss on the right cheek only and in Oman it is not unusual for men to kiss one another on the nose after a handshake. French culture accepts a number of ways to greet depending on the region. Two kisses are most common throughout all of France but in Provence three kisses are given and in Nantes four are exchanged.

For the how portion, the Kama Sutra offers a variety to explore:


In the “Worth 1000 Words” couple ritual, Nose Jousting was one of the examples given, repeated here.

A couple from Northern Alaska used to “Eskimo kiss” (rub noses) sometimes for practical reasons.  When they moved to California, they continued to do it every now and then.  Later, the guy wanted to quit and just do some nice, regular kissing, but she still wanted to Eskimo kiss sometimes.  He would try and dodge her and get in a normal kiss, which turned into a funny game of nose jousting.  Now, they do both, but they will sometimes nose joust as well, which they assured me got plenty of strange looks in public, but was extra fun and meaningful for them.



  • Whenever getting into car
  • Whenever getting home
  • Upon seeing one another when separated
  • Under mistletoe, which is usually strategically placed
  • At a party, and sneaking off somewhere for a deeper kiss
  • Waking up or going to bed
  • End of a movie/tv show
  • Whenever you see an animal of a certain kind (you decide how rare)
  • Whenever someone says an unusual word in your company


Principal Purposes Served

  • Emotional money in the bank
  • Foster nurturing, affectionate, loving contact