What is a rainbow kiss? The TikTok trend is definitely *not* your average lip-lock

A scroll of our FYPs has us asking: 'What is a rainbow kiss?' Trust us, it's not what you're thinking...

a couple kissing with a rainbow light on them, signifying a rainbow kiss
(Image credit: Future)

If TikTok has you wondering, "What is a rainbow kiss, exactly?" we've got all of the saucy intel for you. Those FYPs tend to have a lot of spicy ideas.

Thanks to the filthiness of the internet, there are always new sex trends to cycle through your bedroom, some inspired by social media posts and others by drunken exchanges with friends centered on sharing our weirdest sexual fantasies

As of late, the “rainbow kiss” has re-emerged as another sexy act for couples to experiment with. Initially doing the rounds of high schools all over the country in the mid-2000s, it’s back and trending across social media. 

This particular sexual exploit requires a strong stomach and plenty of towels. For the most adventurous, it’s an opportunity to expand pleasurable horizons, especially during menstruation, when too many of us enforce a five-day sex break. (And if you are down to get it on during that time of the month, these are the best sex positions for menstrual cramps, FYI). 

Here's everything to know about the "rainbow kiss" trend, including how to partake safely and enjoyably, and how to strike up a conversation about the intense lip-lock with your partner. 

What is a 'rainbow kiss'?

This spicy act is quite simple: a partner with a penis and a partner who is menstruating simultaneously perform oral sex on one another and, upon mutual completion, exchange the fluids via kissing, and then swallow the remains. Technically a partner with a penis is not a necessity, however. Two menstruating partners could also achieve a rainbow kiss.

Performing the rainbow kiss does require a little preparation because it’s best to clean up a little bit before diving in. You can prepare your space by laying down a towel and can also ready yourselves by freshening up during a sensual shower together. (While you're at it, shower sex is a very fun way to get dirty while you get clean!)

“It may be a good idea to clean up any oxidized blood in or around the vulva,” advises Cassie Mørch, sex expert at Bedbible.com. “Keep some wet wipes or paper towels nearby for a quick clean up afterward. You won’t have to rush into the shower immediately and you’ll have time to do some aftercare and cuddling.”

Young beautiful woman is kissing her boyfriend gently. Their eyes are closed. Couple is illuminated with bright multicolored lights.

(Image credit: Getty)

How to bring up 'rainbow kisses' to your partner

Coloring outside the lines is always a fun experiment and there should be no shame attached to trying new sex acts, even if they go against the traditional stigmatization of period sex. 

Undeniably lying outside the “normal” realms of sexual exploits, the rainbow kiss requires some delicacy when proposing it to a partner. Open communication is the key to a successful sex life so set aside some time outside of the bedroom to talk without the distraction of horniness. 

“Sit your partner down and prepare them for a conversation about your desires,” explains Mørch. “Ask them to stay open-minded and try to create a safe space within that conversation. Start by describing the elements of your desire. What kinds of things are you longing for? How could this look if you choose to incorporate it into your sex life?”

Once you have laid a basic foundation and your significant other is receptive, elaborate on the specifics, like the potential mess that comes with a rainbow kiss. Do not sugarcoat it or use subterfuge to sway them to your side.

Give your partner time to process. Some sexual acts still have a taboo looming over them, so it could take time for them to decide how they feel about tasting the rainbow. 

If your partner does not react well, this is not the time to push. No one should be manipulated or convinced to perform acts they are uncomfortable with. Respect their wishes and boundaries!

“However, you can keep the conversation open,” says Mørch. “You can gently negotiate where to go from there. Are there other ways you can fulfill this desire? Are there elements of your suggestion that your partner could be willing to try out?”

If you do go ahead with experimenting, consider establishing a safe word to ensure that both parties have an easy out if the test goes too far. 

But you'll never know what might be until you talk about sex with your S.O. 

"We have to get rid or at least begin to lessen the relationship we've created between shame and sex," psychotherapist Rachel Wright previously told My Imperfect Life. 

She added, "When couples come to me, they are usually in distress already. Because we don't learn how to communicate in a healthy way or what a healthy relationship or sex life looks like, therapy or coaching or even attending a workshop ends up being a way to try and save the relationship.”

Be aware of the risks of 'rainbow kissing'

Like with all sexual acts, the rainbow kiss has a few potential side effects to watch out for. 

“There's a risk of getting or passing on STIs if you're giving or receiving oral sex,” says senior clinical general practitioner Dr. Hana Patel. “The risk increases if either of you has sores or cuts around the mouth, genitals or anus. Avoid brushing your teeth or using dental floss before oral sex because it can cause your gums to bleed.”

Sexually transmitted infections present in semen, vaginal fluid or blood can travel more easily into a partner's body through breaks in the skin. Although the risk of transmitting an STI when receiving oral sex is lower than when giving someone oral sex, it’s still important to be mindful. 

If you are eager to try the rainbow kiss with a new partner, get tested first or use barrier methods—like a dental dam or a condom—to reduce the risks. 

“Be confident that you are using barrier methods if it is not your regular partner, have regular STI checks and be proactive about your sexual health,” adds Patel. “If you are not comfortable with it, then don't do it.”

Other things to consider

For those who are interested in the rainbow kiss, perhaps it's time to have a look at the sensory play trend. It's just as it sounds: heightening all of the senses so that your entire body is enjoying the sexual experience. And it's totally subjective. 

"Get creative! The key word here is 'play,'" Anne More, CSB and certified Erotic Blueprint Coach, previously told us. "How many different ways can you explore each other’s bodies? And you’re not limited to hands or even conventional sex toys like vibrators or wands. Anything that creates a sensation, can become an erotic sensation item."

Need a few ideas? Try caressing your partner's body with a feather, run an ice cube across specific pleasure points, or make a sexy playlist of your favorite tracks. (Audio porn stories could work well, too.) 

Hannah Shewan Stevens

Hannah Shewan Stevens is an NCTJ-accredited journalist based in Birmingham, England. Her work—which primarily focuses on opinion articles, physical and mental health, disability and sex—has been published in outlets like Bustle, Huffington Post UK, Telegraph, Metro UK and Restless Magazines.