When did humans begin to kiss? Why is kissing integral to some cultures and alien to others? Do good kissers make the best lovers? And is that expensive lip-plumping gloss worth it? Sheril Kirshenbaum, a biologist and science journalist, tackles these questions and more in The Science of Kissing.
We know that kissing is pleasurable but the reasons why are a little mysterious; it may have a lot to do with feeling accepted. Watch the The School of Life video.
Mutual desire is normally signal by a pretty weird act. Two organs, otherwise used for eating and speaking, are rubbed and pressed against one another with increasing force, accompanied by the secretion of saliva. A tongue, normally precisely manipulated to articulate vowel sounds or to push mashed potato, broccoli to the rear of the palate, now moves forward to meet its counterpart whose it might touch and repeated the movements. One would have to carefully explained to an alien visitor from Kaplan nine be what’s going on. there not about to bite chunks out of each other’s cheeks or attempting to inflate one another.
Why is kissing so significant and potentially so exciting?
Sexual excitement is psychological. It’s not so much what our bodies happened to be doing that’s getting stoned on. It’s what’s happening in our imaginations that matters. Partly the excitement of kissing is the result of social codes being breached. We could imagine a society where it was very forbidden and yet very special for two people to rub the gap between the index finger and thumb together. The first time you did it would be something you remember all your life. The huge moving of kissing is something we’ve built up by social agreement and its fundamental definition is I accept you enough to do something potentially quite revolting with you. The inside of the mouth is deeply private ordinarily would be utterly nauseating to have a stranger put that tongue into your face. To allow someone to do these things signals a fundamental level of acceptance. All of us suffer from strong feelings of shame which another’s kiss starts to work on overcoming. Aside from our public identities. We all have lonely a private cells which what we feel we’re getting and giving access to through a kiss. Our mouths become privileged arenas in which to surrender our defenses and gift ourselves to another physical pleasure aside. That’s why it’s so very exciting