You’ve bought the flowers and the candy, made reservations at a romantic restaurant, but how can you end Valentine’s Day right? From daring to be different to erogenous zones to what to do with your hands—not groping!—”kissing doctor” William Cane on how to deliver the perfect smooch.

Valentine’s Day is here again, meaning an exponential explosion in the amount of kissing that goes on. It may seem a truism, but delivering a good kiss is an important art form. And not everyone is great at it. Herewith, we offer some tips. In order to benefit from this advice, culled from interviews with more than 100,000 people, the first step is to have an open mind. With that as our premise, you might try the following:

1. Falling into a pattern is the death knell to good kissing. Try doing something—anything—different. The worst that could happen is that you’ll get slapped; but, all kidding aside, just trying to be different is apt to jolt you into discovering new approaches to kissing that will excite both you and your partner.

2. If you’re a guy, keep in mind that 96 percent of women love neck kisses. In fact, they go crazy for them. I know that probably sounds odd (since 90 percent of guys couldn’t care less about being kissed on the neck), but if you want to bring joy to a girl when necking, stray down to her neck.

3. If you’re a gal, you undoubtedly know that guys love French kissing. Adding a little tongue contact (just the tips of the tongues) can do wonders for almost any kiss. Or just open your mouth a little wider and let him initiate tongue contact.

4. The majority of people fail to use their hands when kissing. We’re not talking about groping (although that has its time and place, of course). Instead, try running your hands up and down your partner’s back. Caress his or her face gently while kissing. Pull your lover close for a bear hug in the middle of a passionate kiss. All these actions can add a synergistic spark to enliven your kisses.

5. Begin at the beginning. All great storytellers know this. And, the same applies to kissing. Start with the basics, a lip kiss. Feathery and light, it can prepare the ground for all that follows.

6. Tease. A good way to do this is to give your partner a few simple lip kisses to set up a pattern, and then when he leans in for the next one, pull back and flash a flirtatious smile. It will whet his appetite for more kisses to come.

7. Can you talk while kissing? Sure, as long as you whisper sweet things into your partner’s ear. Do you know why they call them sweet nothings? Because you can say anything! You can even say silly things like, “You have nice ears.” It’s not what you say but how you say it—and the feel of your whispered breath—that will excite your partner.

8. Don’t fail to prepare for a kiss (or a more extended kissing session) with plenty of eye contact, compliments, and pleasant conversation. Get close enough to brush a fleck of lint off her collar. Straighten her hair. Adjust the lapels of her jacket. Then, after you begin to kiss, all that preparation will swirl through her mind like pretty pictures, adding to the sensual pleasure of the kiss.

9. Observe your partner’s reaction. If she’s giggling and smiling, you’re on the right track. If she’s bored and unresponsive, try something different. Sliding your kisses from mouth to cheek to shoulder to arm, then back to cheeks and lips, you can get a good sense of what excites your lover.

10. Alexander the Great conquered the world because he used different methods of attack and defense. In your campaign of love, remember this lesson from the great general, and vary your kissing style: sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes forceful, sometimes light as a whisper. In this way you, too, will conquer the heart of your valentine.

Enjoy the best Vals Day kiss……