The secret of getting the first kiss is so simple that that, once you understand it, getting it will be a trivial risk rather than a huge event. The secret is the pre-work. By the time you go for that kiss you must have her so ready, so prepared, and so desiring, that kiss that she is more than ready to go.
It's like lighting a camp stove. If you just lunge at the stove with a lit match, of course it won't light. If the stove doesn't light, the problem isn't with the match you are using, how you are holding it, or the way you struck the match on the box. It's not a defective camp stove and it doesn't hate you. You just haven't primed it properly. If you focus on thinking that you are doing something wrong during the lighting stage, when the problem is that you haven't primed the stove properly, nothing you do will work. You need to realize that lighting the stove itself is trivial if you have primed it properly.
Before going for the first kiss, you must have done most if not all of the flirting moves with a woman. These are the bare-bones basics. If you haven't done most of these things, don't even consider the first kiss. Go back and do them more. Get the basics handled, then move on.
Testing her readiness for the first kiss
Touching Test. You can test her readiness by gauging her responses to casual and romantic touching. Casual touching is simple and fast. It's when your fingers touch her when you give her a cup of coffee, or when you touch her arm or back to guide her to the table you've selected. Casual touching is ambiguous; you might be touching her as a friend, or you might be touching her as a potential lover.
Romantic touching is more intrusive. If you are touching and holding her hand, or rubbing her arm, or keeping your hand on any part of her body for more than a few seconds, you are touching her romantically. You want her to welcome longer and longer periods of touch from you. First, touch her casually, and see how she responds. More than likely, she will have no visible response at all. If she pulls away at all, keep your touching extremely brief, and keep up your romantic conversations. If she continuously shrugs away from your touch, consider getting rid of her and moving on. There's no reason to stay with a woman who is cold, unresponsive, and doesn't want to be romantic with you.
If she does respond positively, touch her for longer periods of time. If she gets more relaxed and animated, if her skin flushes, or her eyes get shiny and reflective, these are all signs of positive response. If she responds positively, move to putting your hand on hers for longer periods. Don't make a big deal of this, just let it seem to happen.
The Hug Test. One way to learn about how a woman feels about you is to see how she responds to being hugged. Like casual touching, hugging is something you can usually get a woman to accept just by doing it. When you hug a woman and don't make a big deal out of it, much of the time she'll just assume that you are a guy who hugs, and not make a big deal out of it either.
We usually recommend avoiding hugging a woman much before you are having sex with her. Hugging is a friendly thing to do, rather than a lover-ly thing to do. If she gets use to being in your arms without kissing you, it's easy for her to resolve the apparent incongruity by telling herself that you are simply a friend.
Also, hugging is a time when men who are starved for touch accidentally show some desperation. They grab a hold, get caught up in how good it feels to them (rather than to her), squeeze too hard, and don't let go. The first rule of hugging a woman that you are dating is that you keep it short. Short, short, short. Use it as a test of her readiness, not as a chance to get your sexual or touch needs met. You'll get enough of that later on.
When saying hello or good-bye to her, you can often simply take her in your arms and hug her. If you keep it short, it won't scare her, and you'll be able to gauge her response. Does she press into you? Does she seem to want to really hang on? That's a good sign, and you might want to move to kissing her right then. If she seems to want to get away, then you know you have more work to do in making her feel romantic feelings.
The face kiss test. Along with hugging, you can try face-kissing. This is when you kiss her cheek, to see how she responds. If she leans into the kiss, and smiles, she's into it, and will be receptive to your lip-kiss later. If she pulls back, or winces, then it's back to the drawing board. She most certainly won't be receptive to a lip-kiss if she won't take one on the cheek willingly.
Enthusiasm test. You can also gauge a woman's level of interest by her level of enthusiasm. Her enthusiasm will be shown in her overall demeanor, but it's best shown in the time between one activity and the next. It's between the activities that you do together, rather than during them, that she has the best opportunity to claim she is tired and needs to go home. Between activities, watch her level of interest. After the movie, is she eager to go out for coffee or a drink, or does she seem reluctant? Does she seem to be looking for a juncture at which she can end the date, or is she up for partying with you all night long? It's these between spaces that will tell you her level of interest.
Pretend Kiss test. This test also primes the woman for your kiss. You begin by moving towards her, as if to kiss her, at some point "change your mind," and back off again. If, as you move toward her, she backs away, she probably doesn't want to kiss you. If she stays still, or moves slightly forward, she's probably interested. The pretend kiss can "seal the deal" for the kiss later. If she hasn't moved away, then you both have acknowledged that a kiss in inevitable, and it's only a matter of time.