What is it about kissing that is so damn fun?

Scientists in the Netherlands have reported that we share approximately 80 billion bacteria in just one 10-second passionate kiss.  As gross as that is, it’s not enough to make anyone stop kissing.  As opposed to other erogenous zones, the lips are exposed.  Eyes may be the windows to the soul, but lips are the windows to the heart.

Scientists believe that our first experiences with love and security involve lip pressure and stimulation through activities such as breast feeding and sucking on a bottle.  That in turn lays down neural pathways in a baby’s brain that associate kissing with positive emotions.

A great deal of importance is placed on a first kiss.  During a kiss, your body undergoes biological and chemical changes.  When you first start to kiss, the nerve endings in your lips become more sensitive.  That stimulation causes those nerve endings to fire back signals to the brain’s cortex to release certain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, endorphins, and phenylethylamine.  Dopamine is a crucial component of desire.  Endorphins are the brain’s “feel good” chemical.  And phenylethylamines influence mood and attention.  These three neurotransmitters together are a potent cocktail of lust, pleasure and euphoria.  No wonder kissing feels so good.

Studies now show that men and women kiss differently.

Women place more importance on kissing than men.  Women list “good kisser” as a key component in a potential mate and most would never have sex without kissing first. In contrast, men place less importance on kissing and would have sex with a bad kisser or even without kissing at all.  Men are also more likely to initiate French kissing.  Researchers believe this is because saliva contains testosterone which can increase libido.  Men also may also be able to subconsciously detect a woman’s estrogen level through kissing which is an indicator of fertility.

Kissing has a way of bringing together two people and having them exchange sensory information in the manner of taste, smell, touch and chemical messengers.  A kiss is seldom just a kiss.
* This blog was updated on September 2, 2022 to remove or update links and information.

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