The Chemistry of a Kiss
We all know the power of a kiss, whether it’s a breathless first kiss, the comfort of mom’s kiss on a hurt knee or the disappointment of a bad kiss. Kissing is a big part of how every generation, culture and even species expresses itself.
Nearly every creature from prairie dogs to fire ants will greet each other with a kiss or a sniff. So, it’s no surprise there are actually two days in the year to celebrate kissing, National Kissing day and on July 6th, International Kissing day, and if we count Valentine’s Day that would bring the count to three days to honor the kiss!
Why Do We Kiss?
Even though 90% of humankind kisses in some expression, the reason why we kiss is not exactly clear. Research in the journal Evolutionary Psychology examined kissing attitudes and behaviors of over 1,000 college students. The results indicated men and women tend to kiss for different reasons. Women more often kissed as a way to size up the relationship and the viability of a mate, while men saw kissing as more of a means to an end – I think we all know what “end” we are talking about.
Kissing Tip #1: Men and women may have different motivations and apply different meanings to a kiss – so a great kiss, no matter the chemistry or attraction, will not necessarily lead to commitment and kids.
The Importance of the First Kiss
That funny and instructional scene in the romantic comedy “Hitch” where the infamous matchmaker Hitch explains to love struck Albert “one dance, one look, one kiss, that’s all we get, Albert. Just ‘one shot’ to make the difference between happily-ever-after, and oh, he’s just some guy I went to something with once,” kind of says it all. So why does that one moment rock your world or break your heart?
Not to add more pressure, but there is evidence to suggest the first kiss can go a long way in assessing attraction and whether that person could become a long-term potential mate. That first kiss can suggest that if you kiss well together, and you like each other’s taste, smell and touch then maybe you might like other things about each other.
Kissing Tip #2: Your saliva could actually help you pick your future mate. A compatible kiss may lead to other shared experiences and happiness through a release of chemicals like endorphins which activate the body and brain. But remember lesson #1 – there is a lot more to being compatible than just chemistry!
The Perfect Peck
Okay, that title was a bit of a ruse if you thought you were going to learn how to land the perfect pucker. A perfect kiss is the one a parent gives to teach a child they are loved and worth loving, it’s given to a good friend to provide comfort or celebration, it’s from a partner to communicate that their love is treasured in both heart and soul. The perfect kiss is the one given that speaks the truth about loving, honoring and cherishing someone. A kiss is referred to in the *bible as a loving greeting, a gift of peace and the passion of marital commitment. The kiss is the most basic, but also the most important of expressions. Spend International Kissing Day showing the people you care about that you value and appreciate them. Just have your mints handy!
Kissing Tip #3: Everyday a loved one leaves for work, school, run a chore or errand and that kiss could be the last symbol of love, peace or comfort you share. Never take a kiss for granted.
*Peter 5:14 English Standard Version (ESV) “Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.” Song of Solomon 1:2 “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine.”