French kiss

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This article is about the type of kiss. For other uses, see French kiss (disambiguation).
"Frencher" redirects here. For the wine grape, see Gewürztraminer.
A couple deep kissing

In English informal speech, French kiss, also known as a deep kiss, refers to an amorous kiss in which the participants' tongues extend to touch the other participant's lips or tongue. The implication is of a slow, passionate kiss which is considered intimate, romantic, erotic or sexual. Slang synonyms include "swapping spit" and "tonsil hockey".

A "kiss with the tongue" stimulates the partner's lips, tongue and mouth, which are sensitive to the touch. The practice is usually considered a source of pleasure. The oral zone is one of the principal erogenous zones of the body.

Anthropologists are divided into two schools on the origins of kissing, one believing that it is instinctual and intuitive and the other that it evolved from what is known as kiss feeding, a process used by mothers to feed their infants by passing chewed food to their babies' mouths.[1][2]


A French kiss is so-called because at the beginning of the 20th century, the French had a reputation for more adventurous and passionate sex practices. In France, it is referred to as un baiser amoureux ("a lover's kiss") or un baiser avec la langue ("a kiss with the tongue"), even if in past times it was also known as baiser florentin ("Florentine kiss"). The Petit Robert 2014 French dictionary, released on May 30, 2013, added the French verb "se galocher" — slang for kissing with tongues — making it the first time a single word described the practice (except in Quebec, where the verb "frencher" describes the act, Australia, where the term "pash" is used, the German verb "knutschen" and the Swedish word "hångla").

Disease risks[edit]

French kissing carries moderate risk of HPV.[3] The possibility of contracting HIV from french kissing would be extremely rare, and then only if lips or gums were bleeding.[4][5] The CDC considers transmission of Hepatitis B via french kissing to be an unlikely mode of infection.[6] Occasionally syphilis can be passed through prolonged french kissing,[7] but this usually requires contact with an active lesion.[8] French kissing is an unlikely mode of transmission of infection by Hepatitis B[6] or gonorrhea.[9]


  1. ^ "The (Mostly) Blissful History of Kissing". NPR. 2007-02-11. Retrieved 2015-05-12. 
  2. ^ Morris, Desmond (1977). Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behaviour. Triad/Panther Books. pp. 51–52. ISBN 9780224015332. 
  3. ^ "French kissing ups risk of oral HPV infection". Reuters. 2009-05-12. Retrieved 2015-05-12. 
  4. ^ "HIV/AIDS 101" (PDF). The CDC. June 2012. Retrieved 2015-05-12. 
  5. ^ "Man with HIV may have infected partner with a kiss". CNN. 1997-07-10. Retrieved 2015-05-12. 
  6. ^ a b "Hepatitis B" (PDF). CDC. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2015-05-12. 
  7. ^ "Syphilis Symptoms, Causes, and Diagnosis". WebMD. Retrieved 2015-05-12. 
  8. ^ Fantry, M.D., M.P.H., Lori E.; Tramont, M.D., F.A.C.P., Edmund C. "Treponema Pallidum (Syphilis)". Retrieved 2015-05-12. 
  9. ^ Connelly, D.D.S., Thomas P. (2012-01-23). "Oral Gonorrhea? Yes, You Can Get Gonorrhea of the Mouth and Throat". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2015-05-12. 

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