FOXSexpert: The New Year's Eve Hook-Up, Do You or Don't You?

A kiss is just a kiss — unless it’s a New Year’s Eve kiss.

According to a recent survey of more than 84,500 people conducted by TouchTunes Corp., 34 percent deemed locking lips at midnight Dec. 31 more important than watching one’s weight, meeting someone new or getting the perfect gifts this year.

Quite honestly, I’m surprised that percentage isn’t higher. After all, while New Year’s Eve is known for the bubbly, the ball drop and being with best friends, this celebration of old and new is defined by THE kiss that carries you from one year to the next.

It is the crème de la crème of kissable moments, with everyone feeling the pressure to make out at the pinnacle of festivities whether you’ve known your fellow smoocher for years, months or mere seconds.

Why is it such a big deal? Besides that a good kiss can be an incredible turn-on, making for an all-the-more-arousing "Auld Lang Syne," many consider the New Year’s kiss affection insurance for the next 12 months.

An astrological predictor of sorts, this kiss is thought to impact one’s luck in love, sex and romance for the subsequent 365 days. This is especially important for any singles longing for love.

Many turn into stalkers in their pucker-up pursuits, throwing caution to the wind in throwing themselves on somebody — anybody — willing to lock lips come midnight. Nobody wants to be that sole soul-deprived of a kiss at the strike of midnight. Nobody wants the label of the oral-pleasure outcast.

So taken or single, how do you boost your pucker-up portfolio for the supposed eve of all eves?

1.) Strive for kissable lips. Think pouty, though you can skip collagen injections as lip servicing a baboon’s swollen bottom is highly unappealing for most. You want shiny, seductive fleshy folds for oral feasting, but watch the lip gloss or ChapStick. The scent or texture of such goop can evoke dry heaving more than the desire for dry humping since many adults find inhaling or tasting what resembles Barbie lipstick candy a total turn-off.

2.) Make sure that you have fresh breath. Nothing kills any kind of kiss more than wondering what crawled into somebody’s mouth — and died. So brush and floss your teeth before stepping out. Use mouth wash. Arm yourself with gum and breath fresheners. And don’t smoke, since sucking face shouldn’t taste or smell like butt-kissing.

3.) Be bold, but brief. If you just met, don’t let your bodies touch. You’re after a kiss, not sexual harassment charges. If you’re caught up in coupledom, don’t go overboard on the PDA; rather, get a room. Nobody, especially the sensitive singles present, needs to actually see what they’re missing out on.

4.) Don’t shove your tongue down somebody’s throat, unless you know such is desired. The New Year’s kiss is not CPR training. You’re not giving mouth-to-mouth. Don’t linger if you’re not with a special someone, as the French kiss actually is referred to as the "tongue kiss" or "soul kiss" in France since it is said to feel like two souls merging.

For some of you, you’ll be lucky to even remember so-and-so’s name tomorrow, so keep it simple, slightly wet, but definitely not sloppy. You want something to remember, not something regrettable, as many have admitted to settling for in their New Year’s kissing quest.

More than anything, don’t let whether or not you’re kissed make or break your evening. You’re in good company having good times, which is what New Year’s Eve should be all about. So if you’re not finding anybody for "the anatomical juxtaposition of two orbicularis oris muscles in a state of contraction," (that’s a kiss, as described by Dr. Henry Gibbons), then don’t distress.

Kiss those dear to you. Give a hug. Relax, have fun and be open to the possibilities of love in a new year. And lastly, smile, as nothing instigates the art of kissing any time of year more than this simple form of sexy encouragement.

8 Sex & Relationship Resolutions for ‘08

1.) Interested in someone? Call instead of emailing or text messaging, as anything other than the old-fashioned love letter is cowardly.

2.) Reinvent sexy for yourself. This doesn’t need to involve starlet "beaver shots," going commando or leaking homemade sex tapes to the press. It’s simply reconsidering the way you look after yourself on a daily or nightly basis in your sensual self-care practices.

3.) In a dead-end relationship? What are you waiting for — get out! Life’s too short. Explore your eroticism.

4.) Find out what turns you on as never before. Note: This does not need to involve paddles, group sex, leather clubs or rentals like "The Fist, the Whole Fist, and Nothing but the Fist."

5.) Always ask to see ID and carry a condom. Enough said.

6.) Schedule a weekly date that invites more romance into your life. This could be by yourself (yes, you can be your own date), with friends (being out and about simply creates more opportunity to meet others) or with a special someone.

7.) Try something new. Nothing invigorates you — or your sex life — like the novel. The best part about this is that that can be almost anything in and out of the bedroom. Just remember to check your state’s laws regarding public nudity, use of sex toys, sodomy…

8.) Reconnect with an old flame, especially if you have unfinished business. Heed, however, former lovers who are likely to burn you — once again — ex-spouses, former live-ins, and anyone you left at the altar.

Dr. Yvonne Kristín Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."