What Does Kino Mean?

Definition of Kino - Kinesthetic Approach in Dating

Couple having margarita together on sofa
Trinette Reed/Blend Images/Getty Images

The word kino is short for kinesthetic approach, meaning physical touch with the intention of getting to know someone better. Kino is a commonly used word in the pickup artist world.  Kino usually refers to the act of touching someone in a non-threatening manner to build trust to eventually have sex with them. Kino can involve subtle touches such as brushing up against one's arm, holding hands, or stroking someone's hair.

  • Pronunciation: KEE-know
  • Common Misspellings: keeno, keno

Kino Tactics in Dating

Guides for pickup artists tell their audience of men who don't want to remain "average frustrated chumps," AFCs, how to use touch to show women that they are romantically or sexually interested rather than interested in a platonic relationship.

Different tactics are suggested by different authors. Some say to begin with non-threatening touches such as a handshake or high five as a young man would with his male buddies. Other guides caution against using that same touch (handshake, high five) that would easily be considered to be platonic. They may suggest kinds of touch that they consider to be non-threatening but wouldn't normally be ways a guy would touch a non-sexual male buddy.

These guides then often go on to describe kino escalation - touching the woman more intimately as the guy has gained her trust and she appears to be receptive for more interaction. The guides often offer a kino escalation ladder to help guide their readers in what touching to perform next.

The goal of kino is to show the woman that the man is interested in a romantic or sexual relationship and not to get stuck in the "friend zone."

The Hazards of Kino

Browsing through a few guides to kino, you quickly see that they are written for an audience that is in need of developing social skills. They might easily be regarded as offensive. Some refer to women as "chicks" rather than using respectful terms. Some are focused on the seduction goal rather than aiding a socially-awkward person in establishing a true human connection with another person.

While the guides caution against touch that could be interpreted as creepy, it is easy to see that if the suggested moves are done by someone who is socially awkward, they are liable to come across as creepy and clumsy.

Touching another person without permission is easily construed as assault or sexual harassment. This is especially true in an academic or work environment. Sexual harassment does not depend on the intent of the perpetrator, but rather how it is interpreted by the person who was touched and how a reasonable woman would view the action.

Simply put, touching a person can easily result in an accusation of sexual harassment. If the person is in a relationship with someone else, that third party may take issue with the touching even if the woman does not seem to object.

Kino should be practiced with caution and with respect, always being intent on determining if the touch is, in fact, welcome and permissible.