Need an excuse to pucker up? Just reading these facts about kissing will get you in the mood for love.
Ever wondered why we sign-off texts and emails with an ‘X’? Today an X at the end of written correspondence signifies a kiss. For hundreds of years, illiterate people have signed a contract with an ‘X’ instead of their name, then kissed the ‘X’ as a signal of their sincerity. In Roman times, all contracts were sealed with a kiss. Over time the ‘X’ itself came to symbolise a kiss.
One minute of kissing will burn around 2-6 calories. More vigorous displays of passion will of course burn more energy.
Since the average person spends approximately 20,160 minutes of their lifetime kissing, that’s an average of around 60,000 calories burnt, or about 2,400 Hershey’s Kisses sweets.
And if you’re aiming for a workout, or need to give yourself a temporary facelift, opt for French kissing which uses 34 muscles in the face, whereas a pucker kiss uses just two.
The exchange of saliva allows us to figure out information about our partner on a subconscious level. A kiss can convey the genetic compatibility of a mate, the condition of their immune system and how willing they are to raise children. Even if you’ve paired off with a perfect match from a shared interest dating site, you have lots in common and their kissing technique is good, on a subconscious level you may reject them because of how your body has responded to this exchange of information.
Throughout the ages and across the lands, authorities have tried and failed to impose strict laws about kissing. In 1969 public kissing was outlawed in Inca, Majorca, with offenders fined 500 pesetas per kiss. A group of 30 couples staged a kiss-in protest and we’re fined 45,000 pesetas for their law-breaking. In Roman times a kiss was considered to be stolen, ‘ascrimen osculationis’, if it was taken without permission and was borne out of one sided lust. And in 16th century Naples, kissing was punishable by death (now that 500 peseta fine doesn’t look too bad after all).
The first inter-racial kiss to be screened on American network television was between Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura in the Star Trek episode “Plato’s Stepchildren”, which aired on 22 November 1968.
Astonishingly this jaw-droppingly controversial kiss, came more than 40 years after the first on-screen same sex kiss. The lesbian smooch was a scene in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1922 film, Manslaughter.
Whether you’re in the mood or not, ladies, kissing is a sure way to raise your libido. Warning: the description of how this natural aphrodisiac works, is not in the least bit sexy. Inside the mouth are invisible, thin, mucus membranes. When your man gives you a full on snog, his saliva, which contains testosterone makes its way inside your mouth. These mucus membranes are permeable to hormones, including testosterone, which means his testosterone enters your bloodstream and puts you in the mood for love.
Philematology is the science of kissing. A philematologist studies the purpose and origins of kissing, as well as modern kissing rituals and behaviours. No scientist as yet has proven whether kissing is an instinctive or learnt behaviour, but many speculate it has its origins in the mother-child relationship, as women would push pre-masticated food from their mouth into the infant’s mouth.
The first kiss can make or break a relationship. A team of evolutionary psychologists at The State University of New York recently released a report on the importance of kissing. They found that 59% of men and 66% of women say a bad kiss has caused them to end a fledgling relationship.
Now in order to restore the fun in French kissing, you need to instantly forget these fascinating facts, or the next time you’re enjoying a romantic smooch you might find yourself calculating how many calories you’ve burnt, or visualising the rush of testosterone entering your mouth.