The U.S. States with the Best and Worst Kissers

Title graphic for the U.S. states with the best and worst kissers

The U.S. States with the Best and Worst Kissers – A Survey

Those of us who have experienced a bad kiss know just how cringeworthy the experience can be. Whether it’s a peck on the cheek or a long-lasting lip lock, there are countless ways for the act to go wrong, or very right.

As lifelong students in the school of love, we at Shane Co. became interested in kissing experiences across the U.S. Are there states where poor kissing is standard or states where all the expert kissers reside? To find out, we went straight to the source — American mouths.


No, we didn’t start kissing Americans willy-nilly. We conducted a lighthearted survey of more than 2,300 U.S. residents, ensuring at least 50 in every state. We asked them to confess their own kissing prowess on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being the worst at kissing and 5 being Aphrodite’s equal. We also asked them to disclose how many different people they have smooched and answer a variety of questions targeted at uncovering kissing preferences in the U.S.

Read on to see what we found!

The States with the Best and Worst Kissers

Bar charts showing the states with the best and worst kissers

As a whole, Americans were very modest when it came to ranking themselves as kissers. The national average kissing score was just 3.54 out of 5 — a rating that would cause most to steer clear of an establishment they found on Yelp, let alone lock lips with someone for a steamy make-out session!

But how did individual states rank themselves? Florida’s beach babes and hunks flocked to the top of the list as the country’s best kissers, according to themselves. Floridians rated themselves 3.82, which is 7.86% above the national average!

Other kissers who reckon they’re better than most include those living in New York, Nevada, and Texas, coming in at 7.51%, 6.42%, and 5.19% higher than the national average, respectively.

On the flip side, Alabamans are the least confident in their ability to smooch, ranking themselves a whopping 9.08% below the national average. Midwesterners in Illinois and Michigan come in at fourth and ninth on the list of the 10 states that are the worst at kissing, respectively. Of course, these self-reported kissing disasters could actually be the best kissers in the country and also the most modest.

To look at American kissing talent from another angle, we decided to find out how many partners people kiss on average in every U.S. state.

The States with the Most and Least Kissing Partners

Infographics depicting the U.S. states that kiss the most and least partners

Interestingly, we didn’t see complete overlap between high numbers of kissing partners and high opinions of one’s own kissing talent. In fact, only two of the states that are the best at kissing appeared on the list of the 10 states with the most kissing partners on average. So who admitted to testing out the most merchandise?

Washingtonians exercise their freedom to kiss more than any other state, as residents of D.C. have kissed 28.1 partners on average. That’s 51.15% higher than the national average of 18.6 kissing partners! Mississippians, New Mexicans, and Arkansans also kissed 49.56%, 44.94%, and 43.79% more partners than average.

It’s clear that residents in some states are planting kisses on far more partners than others. But why? What makes the average American pucker up?

Kiss and Tell

Infographic about kissing habits in America

The most important asset to a successful kiss is the confidence of the kissing partner. Or so say 1 in 4 Americans we surveyed (26.41%). Exploratory kissers get rewarded too, with 24.27% saying neck kissing is their biggest turn-on. We suppose confidence is a prerequisite for planting hickies, though. Other notable turn-ons include incorporating hands (14.56%), fresh breath (9.90%), biting/nibbling on lips (9.42%), and words of affirmation (9.03%). Surprisingly, in the wake of the Me Too movement, asking for permission was the biggest kissing turn-on for just 3.69% of respondents.

Curious to know if kissing has changed over the years and among the sexes, we gathered insights by gender and generation. We discovered that the spark has all but fizzled for 21.01% of boomers, who never kiss their partner. On the other hand, 44% of Gen X respondents have experienced the romantic cliche of kissing in the rain.

In terms of gender, we asked about the elephant in the kissing booth — mustaches. According to our results, 16.84% of women would not kiss a mustachioed partner while 15.37% of men would.

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

Donut charts showing data on kissing inanimate objects and pets

If you’d kiss a mustache, why not the next hairiest thing — a cute, slobbering pupper? That’s the same question 23.68% of respondents asked, and answered, by kissing their dogs on the mouth! In fact, 13.95% of respondents actually owned up to kissing their floof more than their actual romantic partners.

But wait, there’s more. Dogs aren’t the only non-human thing people are kissing. 30.78% of respondents are very uncomfortable with kissing in public, leading 34.47% to kiss someone or something for practice. A larger percentage (38.25%) kiss platonic partners while 7.81% of Gen Zers have gotten to first base with their mirror for practice.

Final Thoughts

After conducting this survey, we learned that kissing isn’t as simple as locking lips with the nearest human. For example, Americans in some states have more kissing partners than those in other states, and ascribe themselves kissing competency ratings that don’t correlate with the number of partners they’ve smooched. Additionally, dogs are quite possibly the most kissed Americans, and we can’t totally count out platonic friends and inanimate objects from being on the receiving end of puckered lips.

It may sound sappy, but this survey proves that every relationship, every romance, and even every kiss is completely unique. At Shane Co., we believe you should celebrate that with a one-of-a-kind diamond that can only capture the fire of your specific love. We’ll help you find the perfect one in our unmatched selection of engagement rings, jewelry, and loose stones.

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