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The Biological Function of Kissing Explained

Anatomy of a Kiss

The simple act of kissing is loaded, not only on the emotional front but physiologically as well. I didn't expect to find information about kissing in the usually unsexy Scientific American, but I learned some interesting things about kissing and just needed to share. Especially since Valentine's Day is just around the corner.

Here are some new things I learned about the ancient art of kissing:

  • The uber romantic act of kissing may have evolved from the unappetizing practice of pre-chewing food for babies. Primate mothers chew food for their offspring and then feed them from their mouths.
  • If kissing makes you feel thin-skinned, it could be because our lips have the thinnest layer of skin in the entire human body. Yet, lips are densely packed with sensory neurons that quickly send impulses to the brain.
  • Kissing may reduce stress chemicals in the body. So you might want to experiment with literally kissing stress goodbye.
  • Kissing couples tilt their heads to the right twice as often as they tilt to the left, and this tendency doesn't seem to be related to being right- or left-handed. Which way do you tilt?
  • A Gallup survey revealed that out of 58 men, 59 percent of them lost romantic interest in their potential kissing partner after a "bad" first kiss. Women seem to be a little more discerning as 66 percent out of 122 women dropped a potential love interest after a first kiss didn't pass muster.


Join The Conversation
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Hey Scientific American is VERY SEXY. To some of us its porn. :-) Kissing is so chemical - the right kiss can warm you up on a cold night. I get flushed when the kiss is really good.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Kissing is nice. A good sensory experience. :)
misskacie misskacie 8 years
I personally find "Scientific American" very sexy! Brainy people and subjects just do it for me. Shrug. Also, the head-tilt thing is funny. It's true for me, but I'd never thought about it.
gumdrops334 gumdrops334 8 years
I tilt to the right. Kissing is fun and the best anti-stress medicine! :)
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I tilt right too.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I tilt to the right, ha.
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