While sex is awesome, sometimes we focus a bit too much on “the big thing” and forget about all the amazing little moments that can happen on the way. While it’s true that foreplay is important, sometimes kissing and messing around without sex can be amazing too. It doesn’t matter if you’re celibate or have an active sex life, or if you’re single or taken. A good snog session, whether that’s with a long-term partner or some random you just met at the club, can be completely unbeatable. Here are nine things I love the most about making out.

1. It’s low risk.

What other sexual activity is fun and pretty much risk-free? The chances of pregnancy or catching an STI from an intense make-out session are basically nonexistent. Also, at least when it comes to how I process emotions, I’m less likely to catch feelings from a kiss than I am from more intense sexual activity. It’s something I can do for fun with any acquaintance when need be without feeling nervous or embarrassed around them in the future.

2. It’s healthy.

It’s good for you and not just because it feels good! It can help with blood pressure, cramps, headaches, cavities, and your self-esteem.

3. There are so many types of kisses.

Just like there are hundreds of sex positions, there are so many different ways to kiss. Variety is the spice of life. Even with a long-term partner, there are still new things you can try when it comes to kissing. Furthermore, you can kiss different people in different ways: a playful make out with your best friend, an intense, fierce kiss with the man you’ve wanted forever, or a light peck on the lips for that guy friend you’re always flirting with.

4. Your lips are actually more sensitive than your bits.

The clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings and the penis has about half as many, while your lips have 10,000. Sure, the clitoris is smaller, so the nerves are closely bundled together, but it’s no secret how sensitive your lips are. Don’t believe me? Start gently licking your lips while really focusing on the sensation combined with whatever your usual fantasy during masturbation is. You’ll be super turned on in no time.

5. It’s a fun way to feel sexy when sex isn’t an option.

Maybe you share a dorm and your roommate is always around, so sleepovers with your boo usually don’t include sex. Quietly kissing can still be sexy and fun, and the challenge of keeping quiet can be borderline erotic. Or maybe you’re just on your period and you or your partner have no interest in surfing the crimson wave. That doesn’t mean your sex life should go out the window for the week! Kissing gives pleasure to everyone involved.

6. It gets you in the mood.

Foreplay is important, but many of us have been in that place where we’re not even turned on enough for the foreplay to be good. At least for me, making out is a must about 90% of the times I have sex. It gets your blood flowing, which makes you more excitable and open-mouth kisses can transfer testosterone, increasing your libido and that of your partner’s.

7. It’s a great way to discover sexual compatibility.

That’s not to say that you should cross someone off your list just because you had a bad kiss or two. But for the most part, it’s important to share a smooch to see if you’re sexually interested in your potential partner. If there’s no chemistry there, there probably won’t be any once the clothes come off either.

8. It’s fun.

Really. What else is there to say? It’s romantic, it’s sexy, and it’s a good time. What’s there to not like about kissing?

9. If you have no one to kiss, that’s what puppies are for.

If you don’t have a significant other waiting for you at home, haven’t scored a date for the weekend, and don’t plan on making out with anyone at the bar anytime soon, that’s okay! After all, a kiss from your pet is just as good, if not better, than anything a boy could ever give you. 😉