Young singletons have been practising their snogging skills by locking lips with total strangers for a new campaign launched today, as over half (57%) of Brits admit to having lost complete confidence in their kissing abilities during lockdown.

A new study has also revealed that one in five Brits aged under 30 – 21 – have not kissed any love interest since March 2020. And 84% of the 2,000 singletons surveyed are now nervous about dating as the world reopens.

To help a nation of snog starved singletons regain their confidence, EXTRA Gum has today launched the ‘Kissing with Confidence’ campaign and a don’t-want-to-look-but-can’t-look-away video of brave Brits snogging a complete stranger at first sight. Appointment viewing for a nation of nervous neckers!

Recently, some 40 singletons took the plunge and signed up to lock lips with a stranger in EXTRA’s pop-up ‘Kissing Booth’ in central London. All kissing contributors were kept in separate rooms and weren’t allowed to meet, see or even hear their counterpart until the curtain was drawn and they walked towards each other on an elevated stage with nothing but the cameras rolling. Amid initial awkwardness and nervous laughter, the lipsing lads and ladies jumped into action – and were soon back into the swing of snogging.

The COVID-19-safe experiment was overseen by leading relationship expert Alix Fox, the award-winning writer, broadcaster, sex educator and script consultant for the hit Netflix TV show, Sex Education, and was designed to show that rather than worrying about a right or wrong technique, those looking for love need only kiss with confidence.

Research, conducted by EXTRA Gum, found that Generation Z and younger Millennials are suffering from an epidemic of post-lockdown dating anxiety. Three quarters (73%) of those surveyed said that the pandemic and time spent alone has made them more apprehensive when it comes to dating new people.

57% of those surveyed, admitted they have lost confidence in their kissing skills. Similarly, 84% are suffering from FoF (fear of flirting) and 69% dread making the first romantic move IRL (in real life).

A fretful 77% worry that they are out of practice for talking to a date and 52% admit that their chat up lines are terrible and need work.

The study found that when it comes to the first kiss, the weighing concern on a woman’s mind is the freshness of her breath (46%), whereas the top stress for men is wondering if they should slip the tongue (32%).

When it comes to finding the perfect smooching partner Brits hold nothing back, with 73% of saying they will happily call out bad breath after a snog, while 1 in 3 said they would actively make an excuse to avoid a kiss if they felt they had bad breath. Alongside this, a huge one in two (48%) surveyed said they would consider cutting ties with a love interest if the kiss wasn’t up to scratch.

Sasha Storey, EXTRA’S Head of Fresh Breath said: ““Whether you are a nervous giggler, confident canary or anything in-between, EXTRA gum is here to help British singletons dust off their kissing cobwebs this Autumn and kiss with confidence! And, for the 9 in ten Brits worried about their breath when locking lips, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered too!”

Alix Fox, leading Sex Expert, said: “Three quarters of single people worry about kissing someone new, and these anxieties have been made worse by COVID-19 and Lockdown. As young people start to go out and date again, EXTRA decided to help put people’s minds at rest by staging a simple experiment to prove definitively that that there is no right or wrong way to kiss. So, whether you are a lip nibbler, a tongue twizzler, a pucker pecker – just make sure it’s always consensual and that you remember to kiss with confidence.”