Venus in Libra is learning the art of the kiss all over again, cuddling kissup to Mr. International, Sagittarius Sun. After all, when visiting a foreign country one must be mindful of her kissing etiquette. There is one global rule: when diving in, always go for the right cheek first.

If you’re visiting, say France, home of the French kiss – “kissing is a way of life.” Four kisses suit the French. In Italy, there are no rules to the number of kisses (or fanny slaps) one can give/receive – which can lead to unsolicited & troubling hanky panky. But in Germany, a kissy, kissy greeting? As Amy Winehouse sings, No, no, no.

England is just warming up to the kiss. So don’t try it yet. They’re still a little shy.

In Belgium, not two but three kisses demonstrates respect for your elders – but if you’re not a good age-guesser, you could insult someone.

Mmm, mmm, kind of makes you want to run out and find an International Lover to experiment with, huh?

A Guide to European Kissing Etiquette

As globalization becomes part of everyday life, the need to understand local culture and customs becomes vital.

One local custom dear to the hearts of Blistex users everywhere is kissing! But, this custom is not always straightforward. A myriad of kissing questions arise when one finds oneself away from home.

Do you kiss, when do you kiss, and how?

These questions seem especially relevant in Europe, where barriers between countries are increasingly relaxed and frequent trips across the border are a part of everyday life.

Below is Blistex’ guide to European kissing customs, to help keep your lips on the right path.

For the French, kissing is a way of life and multiple kisses are normal. Paris adopted a four kiss greeting years ago and has stuck to it. The sequence is left cheek first–always. In Brittany they follow a three kiss routine and in most other parts of France they restrict themselves to a restrained two kiss greeting. The exception is the Cte d’Azur where a five or six kissing pattern is not unusual.

In the Netherlands, you always begin and end your kissing on the same cheek. Three kisses are expected, but if you are greeting an elderly or close member of the family, add a few more to show your affection. Right cheek first is the rule.

Kissing is restricted to very close friends or family in Italy. The number of kisses is optional and as there are no rules regarding which cheek to kiss first, there are frequent and sometimes painful clashes. Hugs and handshakes are good alternatives for friends.

If you are about the same age as the person you are greeting, one kiss is the rule in Belgium. For someone at least ten years older than you are, then three kisses is seen as a mark of respect. This could be hazardous — especially if you are not good at judging ages!

Spain, Austria and Scandinavia are each content with the two kisses ritual. In Spain the rule is strictly right cheek first.

Germany tends to restrict kissing to family and very close friends. Handshakes predominate and all meetings begin and end with this formality.

In the UK kissing is only just being extended outside of family and friends. Somewhat shy of physical contact, the British have tended to opt for a handshake or nod as the safest form of greeting. In today’s less formal environment, “Hi!” or “How are you?” is a way of avoiding physical contact. But it must be remembered that when the British ask how you are they don’t expect you to tell them.