Being a better kisser no question adds to the passion and lust of every relationship evolves. When couples first fall in love and become physical, the excitement of exploring each other’s bodies keeps the sex fresh.

As the intimacy builds and the relationship settles in, things become more familiar, the excitement dwindles and patterns are formed. One of the activities which seem to go away first is the couple’s make-out sessions. They start dwindling until they’re not kissing as passionately—or as often—as they used to. So how can you become a better kisser and lover?

So even know we know this can happen in our relationship, why does it continue to happen? “Kissing evolved as a way to assess a potential partner’s compatibility because it exchanges a host of information about health and hormonal status,” says Gordon Gallup, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Albany. “Yet, once people choose a partner, kissing may die down because there’s no longer a need to gauge each other’s DNA.”

Even for couples who are long-term committed relationships, they owe it to their sex lives to keep kissing. “Saliva contains the sex hormone testosterone, which triggers libido,” says biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D., a research professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey. “So the more time you spend kissing, the more primed you’ll be for sex, resulting in a more intense sexual experience.” With that being said, here are some great kissing tips to get the spark back in your relationship and improve your sex life.

Be a Better Kisser Starting Today

Add a New Twist

While it may sound weird to say put it this way, but you have four lips and two tongues, so use them to your advantage and are creative. William Cane, the author of The Art of Kissing, recommends a move he calls “lip-o-suction.” To try it, softly kiss his upper lip while he lightly chews and sucks your lower lip, then switch, explains Cane.

If your partner attempts to slip you the tongue, do not let them. Wait until their arousal level is high, then allow your tongue to meet and wander. Trace each other’s teeth, inner cheeks and gums with your tongues. The different sensations you will both feel from the changes in textures from the hard, smooth tooth enamel to the inside of their soft, moist mouth awaken your senses and heightens your arousal.

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Sweeten the Deal

There can be some things learned from Hollywood’s loves scenes. Mickey Rourke’s character in the movie 9 1/2 Weeks had the right idea when he fed Kim Basinger juicy strawberries during their naked romp. Eat one before making out; strawberries activate the sweetness receptors in your mouth, so when you kiss, your sense of taste will go into overdrive, says Krista Bloom, Ph.D., author of The Ultimate Compatibility Quiz.

Creating Spine-Tingling Chills

Use lip balm to make the kiss felt in all parts of your partner’s body. Before kissing put on some mint lip balm to engage their sense of touch, taste and smell. “Menthol triggers the body’s cold receptors, and when that’s combined with your warm breath, you’ll feel a tingly sensation from your lips straight down to your genitals,” says sexologist Ava Cadell, Ph.D. When you do use the mint lip balm keep one thing in mind. The menthol that is invigorating the kiss can be a major irritant to body parts below the waist. Make sure if you are going to move your kissing below the belt, to wash your lips and rinse out your mouth.

Rough It Up

There is pleasure in pain. We are not talking about an extreme amount of pain but in small doses, pain can take a regular kiss and make it extraordinary. The feel-good endorphins your body releases as you kiss and become more aroused are a natural pain reliever,” says Sadie Allison, D.H.S., author of Ride ‘Em Cowgirl: Sex Position Secrets for Better Bucking. “Plus, when you apply firm touch to the body, you force more blood to rush to those areas, heightening the responsiveness of your skin receptors.”

Before kissing your partner, grab your partner by the nape of the neck and gently pull them towards you. While maintaining eye contact, bring them in for a kiss. As your lips meet slowly get aggressive, letting the passion build naturally. “The idea is to use subtle force. Lightly pull at his bottom lip with your teeth, rake your fingernails down the side of his neck and back, and tug his hair after warming him up with some soft, sensual kissing,” says Allison.

Bring Them to the Brink

While we have all heard of the French Kiss, a less known kiss that can be more erotic is called “facial intercourse.” As the name would suggest, this type of kiss mimics intercourse, everything from foreplay to penetration, except using your tongues. “Rub your tongues together in small and large circles, then dart them in and out of your mouths, as if you were having intercourse,” says Cadell. “You can also take turns wrapping your lips around each other’s tongues and sucking passionately, alternating between slow and quick movements, much like oral sex.”