The Naughty & Nice of Mistletoe Kissing

mistletoekiss2December 17th marks the start of one of The Kissing Expert’s favorite traditions — the fabulous, flirty custom of kissing under the mistletoe.  Started long ago in the Golden Age of Rome, it was part of the merrymaking during the Festival of Saturnalia – a feasting and gift giving holiday which ran from Dec. 17th-23rd, and ended with a day where households servants switched roles with their masters. Kissing under the mistletoe would also be popular with the Druids and Scandinavians who associated it with peace and fertility.

While classic mistletoe kissing etiquette back in the early days varied, most common then, as now, would be to kiss anyone who walked under it.  Another custom required a man to pluck the berry when he kissed the woman, and if there were no more berries left on the sprig, there couldn’t be anymore kissing.  All universal codes of mistletoe kissing conduct say it’s bad kissing karma to refuse a kiss!

Today, mistletoe kissing most often happens at a party – be it at a friend’s home, the office shindig or bar.  If you’re single or newly coupled, you’re in luck.  The holiday season is the ultimate carpe kissem opportunity to show your affection for someone you’ve had your eye on, and in a manner that’s perfectly acceptable.  Because mistletoe is your 007 license to kiss, and magically boosts confidence while relieving nervousness of wondering when and where.

If you’re not sure about how to maneuver to ensure a moment under that seductive berry sprig, carry your own – it’s a very convenient way to ensure a kiss no matter where you are!  The plastic ones are good if you plan on mistletoe cruising over the holiday stretch.  It’s also the perfect time when you’ve been dating someone new to break the ice in a fun, frisky way.


As there is a possibility though to get a bit carried away when holiday festivities are high, here’s a little etiquette to keep in mind when the eggnog brings on lusty peppermint sensations where your lips have to do something more than nibble on a candy cane.

  • Ladies: If there’s a gentleman you want to kiss, don’t hesitate.  Any man would be delighted to receive an unexpected kiss from a lovely lady.  It will make him feel good about himself.  Just make sure to use your randy radar to determine whether to make it sweet and friendly, or go for something a wee bit naughty.  Who knows, after you kiss him, he might kiss you right back!  And if a guy takes a chance and kisses you, always be polite, even if you don’t particularly feel the vibe.  It’s the time for peace on earth, so show that goodwill towards men.  After the kiss, smile, wish them a happy holiday, and politely excuse yourself on the pretense of needing to find your friend, or re-apply your lipstick.


  • Gents:  While mistletoe seems to be an open invitation, all gentlemen must remember not to get too carried away.  Be careful not to turn into one of those party clichés.  Keep your cool, and be gracious to the lady.  A kiss on the cheek is always a good place to start, and if her eyes spark and twinkle, well then go for a little lip.  Soft, brief and gentle wins all the time (best to leave the tongue behind), and could lead to something special!


 Happy Holiday Kissing!


The Kissing Expert