No one can deny that kissing feels good, whether you’re kissing someone hard or giving them lighter pecks – there’s just something exciting about pressing that soft patch of skin on your lips against someone else’s body parts… and lips too. ^_~
But it turns out that there’s a little more to kissing than the delicious feel of skin on skin – researchers have found that all kinds of chemicals are released when you kiss someone AND that kissing may tell your partner a little more about you than you might have thought.
A psychology prof at Lafayette College invited (hetero) couples to come into the lab to make out and measured their blood levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) and oxytocin (a bonding hormone). They found that after some hot lip on lip action, people’s levels of cortisol went down (yay that’s good!) and the levels of oxytocin went up in men, but down in women – so kissing helped build a social bond with their partner for men. I doesn’t sound like anyone seems to know why women didn’t experience an increase in that bonding hormone too, but some researchers think one of the reasons could be that women may subconsciously use kissing to help them learn more about their partner. (Obviously more smooching research is needed ^_~)
Some evolutionary psychologists suggest that kissing can be used to screen potential partners: your breath and teeth can say a lot about your personal hygiene and women can be a lot more picky about that when selecting a partner. (Sounds like you’d better pop that breath mint before you stick your tongue in someone else’s mouth!)
Now, back to that hormone level thing: researchers think that kissing might be able to induce these neat chemical changes through pheromones in the saliva. We know pheromones are important chemical messengers for mammals, but not a whole lot is known about them in humans yet.
And if neat hormonal changes weren’t enough to get you excited about making out, there’s also the idea that kissing can improve your overall health because swapping germs with someone else will help boost your immune system!
Umm I think I’ll stick to my original reasons for kissing – because it feels so good and is a great excuse to get right up close to someone. ^_~
P.S. This seemed like a great point to bring up one of my most important wisdoms about kissing: make sure you swallow before you start! You have no idea how many exsessivly slobbery kisses I had to deal with before I started my policy of stopping and asking my make-out buddy to swallow before we continued. It might sound picky, but the results were so much better! ^_^
psssssst – wanna win some swag? stop by The S Spot this weekend and enter for your chance to win some neat stuff from the SundanceChannel!