Body Language of Lips

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Hi there!

In this post I want to talk about our lips, the red and juicy part of our face.

Let's find out what kind of role they are playing in our face expressions and what do they have to do with sex appeal.

different face expressions with lips


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Social Tool

Think about it for a second… what's the main difference between humans and animals in terms of face expressions?

Well since we talk about lips, you got a big clue here…
Think about it… We are the only animals with their lips turned outside. The reason for this distinction is evolution.

A lot of animals lack "proper" lips, and those who do (mostly mammals) lack the flexibility of the human lips, so their use in communication is very limited – when baring teeth for example.

We, however, use our lips as a more advanced social tool - We talk, kiss and convey our emotions with them. That's why the lips have such strong and bold features in humans – they are big, red, and juicy. Surrounded by 12 facial muscles they are capable of conveying many face expressions with only a slight adjustment.

Sex Magnet

Another difference between us and other animals is that we're almost the only ones who are known to kiss. (The bonobos also known to kiss each other and are similar to us in many aspects of social behavior).

Why? Well it's beyond the scope of this article, but basically, scientists believe that kissing is helping us to find a potential mate, through the exchange of pheromones in the process. We essentially taste each other to see if we're fit… You can read more about it here.


The sexy way to use a pout

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It's not a big surprise then that lips often associated with attraction and sensuality.

Just look at this photo of this girl and her sexy pouting lips – it won't be the same image without them…

There is also some biological evidence in our lips when we are sexually aroused – Our lips become bigger and redder and we salivate more, causing us to lick our lips, expecting a good taste of something…or someone…

In women especially, lips play a main role in sexuality and attractiveness. That's the reason behind lipsticks – it emphasizes the color and size of the lips – causing us men to drool in anticipation of something tasty.

The Pout

We already saw the pout example in the previous page, where it expressed sexuality… but there are other implications, depending on the circumstances.

Children love using this expression to show their displeasure or sadness. Let's look into this further:


Pouting happens when the lower lip pushing the upper lip, and both of them protrude forward. Children often overdo this and show their lower lip.

When used with frowning, you can often spot tight eyes and crinkled forehead along with it.

When expressed in sadness, the mouth become smaller, the edges drop down and the lips may tremble.

Pursing the lips is a more "advanced" form of pouting - The lips round into a small circle. Imagine blowing a whistle or a kiss.


It's easy to spot the pout in children, since they usually exaggerate it.

Just look at this photo – you can be sure that this girl is not happy about something.

the displesure pout


Adults use this face expression also to show displeasure, but usually in a more subtle way.

Pouting has other meanings too:

1. Pursing the lips, combined with frowning, indicates a very strong sign of disagreement and annoyance.

2. May be a sign that the listener is in deep thought or doubt.

3. In flirting and courtship, pouting can have entirely different meaning (like many other face expressions, such as the smug smile). The pout in flirting play the card of "I'm harmless, vulnerable and cute" – just like in children.

sexy pout

A little pout to show some "innocence" never hurt anyone

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Tense Mouth

This one pretty much speaks for itself.

"People who keep stiff upper lips find that it's damn hard to smile."

- Judith Guest


The lips pressed together and create a thin line. The Jaw is often locked.

What you get is a tense, tight and solid image. Sometime the lips are even swallowed (more on that in the next page).

stiff upper lip.


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This facial expression indicates some kind of emotional tension or self restraint. It can be anger, sadness, anxiety and\or frustration – all the negative stuff. I always imagine it as if the lips are like a dam, holding someone from bursting and flushing their true feelings.

A variation of this face expression is the stiff upper lip, an expression most associated with the British. It's known as a sign of restraint and control over emotions. Some see it as a sign of keeping dignity; others may see it as a cold and distant attitude. So unless you're British, be careful with it.

By the way, the opposite is also true – slightly parted lips usually mean that there is no tension. Either it's relaxation, comfort or daydreaming.

Women can use the parted lips as a very strong signal in flirting – showing sexual attraction and perhaps a wish to kiss.

You're So Tasty…

Ah yes, one of the hottest expressions women can make is licking the lips. It's very inviting and sensual gesture, usually done with intention to get attention, so it's really hard to miss this one.

If you plan on using this expression – I’d recommend you to practice it first; or you may look like someone with a weird lip problem. Don't sweat over it though; if it's not working for you, there are many other means to seduce others (especially men).

Licking the lips can have some other meanings, depending on how it's done.

body language with lips can be sensual


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There are 2 main ways to lick the lips, so pay careful attention when observing.

1. A full and slow lick. The tongue starts in the corner of the mouth, licking the upper lip and then the lower, in a slow-moving and sensual action.
2. A quick peek with the tongue, licking only one lip in a hurry.


If it's a fast nervous lick it's a sign of nervousness (I know…shocking…).
Can also be a strong indication of a lie, especially if you see it immediately after someone said something. It's a non verbal leak of the body – the body is not comfortable with the lie and so it expresses it outside by other means.

It can also simply mean that someone has chapped lips and he's trying to moisturize them.

If it's a long full lick then it's a very strong and clear sign of attraction, especially in women, and can be an attempt for seduction. So men, watch out, you don't want to miss that sign!
Keep in mind though, it's not really recommended to use this gesture with complete strangers, it's a strong signal and it may give someone the wrong impression.

Biting the Lips

Biting has very similar meanings as licking: nervousness and attraction signals.


Commonly displayed in 3 forms:
Biting the upper lip – not a very pretty this one.

Our lower teeth are not the most… presentable part of our face.
Plus it creates some not very compelling marks on your upper lip.

Biting the lower lip – a "better" form of biting, can be sexy if you know what you're doing.

Swallowing the lips – both of the lips enter between the 2 rows of teeth.

biting the lip


swallowing my lips - anger


nervous bitin


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Biting the lips is mostly a sign of nervousness and shyness.

Swallowing the lips can be a strong sign of anger and may appear before tantrum.
It can also indicate that someone is holding back, and not telling everything.

Biting the lips can be a signal of attraction and sexual arousal, but only if the bite is on the lower lip. The bite emphasizes the fullness of the lips; combined with the fact that our lips grow in size when we're enticed – makes the lips appear juicy and tasty.

This gesture requires some practice to look sexy – avoid the rabbit teeth.

Let me conclude…

Well, I believe we've the major part of body language with lips in this series. There are slight variations to each face expression, but the general idea remains the same. Let's summarize what we've learned:

We saw that humans are quite different in terms of body language with lips from other animals. We use the lips as a more sophisticated social tool to express our emotions, or just for fun – i.e. kissing.

I talked about the connection of lips with flirting, especially in women, and you saw some powerful ways to use these signals. Body language with lips can be a very powerful tool of seduction.

Lastly, we've been through the different body language lips expressions. I know that many of these gestures have various explanations for them, and it can be quite confusing; but remember that we know these expressions instinctively – I just show them to you to emphasize and clarify details.

If you have trouble identifying the correct mood and meaning of a certain face expression, you need to pay attention to other body language signs. Look at the circumstances, too. Read the section about reading body language if you haven't already – It's important!

sweet licking

So sweet...

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