Boosting sexual satisfaction may be as simple as a smooch.

Since kissing is rated as one of the most romantic acts a couple can engage in, the amount of kissing is directly proportional to a couple’s relationship satisfaction. This sounds great — unless your partner stinks at this type of foreplay.

It happens all the time — you’re with the perfect person, have amazing energy, are having a wonderful time until ... the kiss kills everything. Instead of abandoning all hope for further arousal, you should know there are ways that such situations can be saved.

The Science of Kissing: Why Does It Feel So Good?

PHOTOS: Celebrity Smooches

Couples around the world have long realized that a kiss isn’t just a kiss — this sexual act occurs between sexual and/or romantic partners in more than 90 percent of cultures. We exchange a great deal of information when our lips meet one another’s; it’s a major mate assessment tool, often making or breaking how far things will go in a sexual situation.

Kissing also serves to:

— Promote sexual access. Males in particular use it as a way to seduce romantic partners.

— Induce bonding. Making out is a sign of commitment, especially in the unconscious willingness to risk contracting illness or death. (That’s right, if your lover has eaten something you’re allergic to, kissing can trigger a fatal allergic response to food).

— Show your genuine desire and love for another.

— Invite reconciliation, helping lovers to reunite after a fight.

— Trigger sexual desire with the exchange of testosterone.

— Spike dopamine in the brain, which is associated with romantic love.

— Cause sexual excitement, which may increase levels of oxytocin in both men and women.

Kissing indicates to your partner what you are longing for in a sexual act. It tells your lover what you have to offer. That’s part of what makes training somebody to be a better kisser —at least in your book — so difficult, but so exciting. It can be done, if approached delicately.

Some lovers are perfectly happy playing tonsil hockey. Some think that what worked for their last partner will work for you as well. Still others are so caught up in the moment they’re not really thinking that how someone wants to be kissed and how you think that person wants to be kissed are two different things.

What this situation ultimately requires is some training — or really more guidance — on your part. But first, it’s important to realize that if you’re not crazy about the kissing, your partner may not be either. Approach this effort as one of mutual learning and teaching when it comes to your kissability as a couple.

To go from locking lips to eventual locking loins, try the following:

Spend an evening just kissing — and nothing else. Focus on the pleasure center known as your mouth. Your quest: to discover exactly the way your lover wants to be kissed or to experiment with different kissing techniques and styles. Explain that you are to take turns being the lead kisser.

When it’s your turn to be in charge, show your lover what you like and give him or her positive affirmation when she/he gets it right. Some constructive criticism can really go a long way. (“I love our dry kisses, but my entire mouth gets swallowed when we French kiss, so could we try deep kissing that’s a little more shallow?”).

You’re striving to break any patterns, including expectations of kissing, while using this as a means to bond. You can do this by taking breathers to gaze into each other’s eyes or sprinkle the other’s face with kisses. Keep the moment light with sweet nothings and appreciations.

Or ask that you check in with your bodies every now and then, taking a deep breath as you do so. During these mini-breaks, share what’s taking place in your mind, body and soul. Not only does this help both of you to stay in the moment, but it invites a deeper passion by being more conscious about the exchange.

Know that it takes time to train somebody to kiss the way you like. But it can get better, and even absolutely incredible, with patience and a positive attitude. Just remember ... in cultures where kissing has been condemned — or it’s all-out non-existent — lovers may lick, suck, or rub each other’s faces before intercourse. You may find that your partner is fabulous at any of those.

Do you have a question about sex? If so, foxnewshealth.com wants to hear from you. E-mail your questions to drmanny@foxnewshealth.com

Dr. Yvonne K. 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."

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