Smooching and Science

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June 1, 2013 by thejalebichronicles

Four Chambers:- A category discussing heart aches, heart throbs and so much more

Kissing[1]Kissing – something we all do a lot. Almost 90% of the world’s population is involved in making out, everyday! However, has anyone really thought about kissing? No, not about kissing someone, (which we ALL have at some point), but how kissing really works?

Kissing isn’t just a process of gluing our faces against the other person’s and making noises. Scientists tend to believe that kissing is the first process in showing affection for others, and is known to be the ‘chemical basis for falling in love’. Suddenly hoping that you didn’t ruin that first kiss? There are many theories which try to explain why kissing is such an important process for humans (and certain non-human primates like bonobos!)


Lips are known to be more sensitive than any other organ, including our reproductive ones. In fact, a certain theory suggests that men find lips attractive because they resemble female genetilia. ‘Plump’ or ‘full’ lips imply the peaking of sexual maturity. The female bonobo is known to change the colour of her lips when she wishes to neck a male. Of course, we humans are a little more subtle about it than that. Making out is a big turn on because it makes us use our olfactory sense.Women tend to choose males with an MHC (Major Histocompatibility Complex) dissimilar to their own, and that is why “sniffing” while smooching is SO important.

SmoochApart from the olfactory sense, many other processes take place during kissing. Dopamine is released, which is a neurotransmitter associated with rewards and pleasure. Oxytocin is released in men, which results in feelings of attachment. Surprisingly, this is not the case with women, as oxytocin isn’t released after kissing every man, just the ones they really like. Women are more fussy when it comes to picking their partners, which may be due to a more limited fertility span per month and few eggs to waste.

When we start slobbering, blood vessels expand, leading to more oxygen in the brain, causing the ‘Oh God, YES!’ sensation. Certain studies also believe that saliva in males contain testosterone, which makes women more interested in mating!

Certain cultures are known to be extremely kiss shy. 88% of Japanese men have said that they have had sex, but not kissed their partners. This may have something to do with the fact that 62% people have ended their relationship because of a bad first kiss! (Or it can have something to do with a medieval manuscript which warns Japanese men against deep kissing during the female orgasm because a woman might accidentally bite off part of her lover’s tongue.) It is also known that people tend to lean towards the right and never the left while kissing, whether they are right handed or left.

So there you have it– the point of making out, why we kiss, and why we enjoy it so much. Now that you know all the benefits, here’s hoping that you get more action than usual!


Diksha Negi

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