Kissing is one of our favourite ways to express love. Kissing is something we humans do throughout the year for many different occasions and reasons. We kiss for kissing’s sake, as social conventions and in the heat of passion. From a quick peck on the cheek to a passionate, breath taking kiss, they are all part of the human experience.
Throughout our lives we quickly lose track of how often we kiss. Try thinking of your first kiss or the sweetest kiss you’ve ever had, they are probably vivid memories. Can you remember your most exciting kiss? No matter how often you’ve kissed or how much experience you have wit kissing, here are 10 facts about kissing you may not know yet.
From a movie kiss to a painting or sculpture: you will often see the kissers leaning right. Why is that? Early research into this looked mostly at western couples, who may have been leaning right just because that is what they saw people do in films and other media.
But research in cultures where kissing is more prohibited in public still shows that two thirds leans right. The one who initiates the kiss often leans to their dominant side, meaning that if they are right handed they lean right when kissing. The person being kissed, follows suite no matter if they are left or right handed.
A kiss uses 146 muscles, 34 of which are facial muscles and 112 postural muscles. A team of British researchers studied kissing couples under an MRI scanner to come to these findings. That sounds like serious facial exercise!
And it is because kissing burns calories. Not a lot and it depends on the kind of kissing you are doing. You’ll burn around 2 to 3 calories per minute with simple kissing and 5 to 26 calories per minute engaging in passionate kissing. So yes, taking the stairs will burn more calories but it just isn’t as much fun as kissing.
Where people enjoy being kissed on their body differs per person. For a lot of people the neck is a favourite place to receive a kiss. The neck has a lot of nerve endings which makes it very sensitive. A kiss on the neck is usually near the nape, where the neck meets the shoulders, but kissing someone absolutely anywhere on the neck can be pleasurable. Just don’t make it a hickey.
The longest kiss ever lasted 58 hours, 35 minutes and 59 seconds. The record is held by Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat from Thailand, who set the record at an event organized by Ripley's Believe It or Not! Pattaya in Thailand, on February 12-14, 2013.
There are plenty of other records for kissing, such as the Longest Kiss Relay, which had 1015 participants, while the Longest Underwater Kiss lasted 3 minutes and 24 seconds. And the Largest Mural of Kisses consists of 41,692 kisses, and was achieved by Pennsbury High School in the USA in 2019.
Lips are very sensitive because they are filled with nerve endings even more than the neck. That is also why kissing sparks a chemical reaction of neurotransmitters and hormones which is comparable to the response to bungee jumping, working out and taking drugs. Your heart starts beating faster and your breathing becomes deeper.
Not only does kissing give you a rush, it also boosts your happiness hormones. When you kiss someone, whether it is a peck on the cheek or a passionate make-out session, your brain releases a cocktail of chemicals, including oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin. These can make you feel euphoric and encourage feelings of affection and bonding.
Kissing also reduces stress and makes us feel save. The kiss causes levels of the stress hormone cortisol to drop, which as well as making us feel save can improve our feelings of self-worth. The longer a couple is together, the saver kissing makes them feel.
Studies have shown that your first romantic kiss is something you are unlikely to ever forget. More than 90% of all people remember the details of their first kiss, often more strongly than first time they had sex. Even twenty or thirty years later, you are more likely to remember your first kiss then what you had for breakfast that very morning.
The more vividly we experience something, the stronger the memory will be. This counts for both positive and negative experiences. Vividly lived experiences such as our first kiss, break ups, the birth of a child and painful childhood moments, stay with us forever.
According to a popular German study from the 1980s men who kiss their wives in the morning live longer, have fewer car accidents and have higher salaries then men who don’t kiss their wives before heading out to work. However, the researchers who performed the study did not conclude that it was the act of kissing alone that accounts for such a significant outcome between the two groups.
It’s the positive attitude that is strongly associated with a healthy lifestyle that is the cause. What is quite clear from the study is that the strong bond that comes from regular kissing between spouses promotes not only emotional well-being but physical health as well.
Many consider kissing as more intimate than intercourse. Several studies have shown that men are more picky about who they kiss then who they have sex with. Intercourse can, for some, be very impersonal, while for kissing you have to really connect with the other person, which is why prostitutes often prefer not to kiss their clients.
Many couples wonder if there is something wrong in their relationship if their sex life becomes less active but a drop-off in kissing is far more worrying for the status of your relationship.
A quarter of all women claim that they have improved their husbands kissing techniques. Men kiss differently than women. Research shows that men have the unconscious tendency to exchange more saliva in order to transfer testosterone. Most women are less than charmed by this tendency.