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Auntie SparkNotes: Kissing Makes My Lips Hurt

Auntie SparkNotes: Kissing Makes My Lips Hurt

Hey there Auntie,

Skipping all formality, let me get straight to the point. On my last date with my long-distance boyfriend, we made out. A lot. And my (and his) lips were chafing. It was rather embarrassing. So my question:

Is this normal? Am I just some kind of chafing-lip freak? No one ever said this was a side-effect of kissing. So how can I prevent this? I use vaseline and chapstick throughout the day. Is there something else I should do? A certain brand? Anything?! Thanks for any help you may provide.

Okay, Sparkler, be honest: is this really a question? Or did you just want to impress everyone with a sneaky humblebrag about how totally long and awesome your makeouts are? Because make no mistake, WE are IMPRESSED. Or, okay, most of us are. There is that one guy in the corner yelling, "Chafing? Chafing?! Screw you and your stupid chafing! I won't be impressed until I see blood!" (But ignore that guy; he also hates pizza and thinks The Dark Knight Rises was overrated.)

And to answer your question: yes, this is normal, and no, you're not a freak. Chapstick and vaseline are no match for the unstoppable forces of friction and pressure, and if you and your boyfriend mash your faces together repeatedly, for hours on end and/or days at a time, you ought not to be surprised when things end up all red and angry-looking. It's physics, baby!

Also: Depending on your guy's stubble situation, you might be suffering the effects not only of friction but of beard-burn as well.

As for what you can do to prevent it, the answer is... um. Not much! Except for maybe kissing less, or less violently. Which, of course, is no solution at all. So instead, forget about preventive measures and focus on triage after the fact: invest in a soothing lip balm, ideally one with aloe, that you can use post-makeout to calm your chafing face. If the beard is a-burnin', you might also want an aloe-based moisturizer for the skin around your mouth. And if your boyfriend has dry or rough lips that exacerbate the problem, then you can hook him up with his own tube of Chapstick and request that he demonstrate his affection by applying it liberally and regularly in the days before he sees you. (Oh, and just in case: if one of you has an actual open sore on your lips, don't do any kissing—or, um, other mouth-related activities—until it heals.)

But this is purely for the sake of your own comfort, not because lip chafing is freakish and wrong and humiliating. There's no need to be embarrassed by the injuries you incur during prolonged acts of passion; you should accept them as part of the deal, and wear them proudly and with panache. And enjoy them while they last, darling, because one day, you will be old, and tired, and the energetic makeouts will be few and far between—replaced by car payments and coffee stains and small, moist piles of cat vomit on the living room floor. Which I should probably clean up.


Do you ever get lip-chafe while making out? WELL GOOD FOR YOU. Tell us how you handle it in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at

Topics: Advice
Tags: auntie sparknotes, kissing, dating, advice, boyfriends, making out

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About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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