Kisses can be sweet, radical, spiritual, horsy
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Kisses can be sweet, radical, spiritual, horsy

By Steve Korver Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 13:30
The world is wet with great kissing facts. For good reason: kissing seems to be more important than sex in establishing and maintaining long-term relationships. And perhaps one day, a kiss will spark a revolution.

Big, wet did-you-knows

Did you know that the phrase ‘kiss my ass’ dates back to before the 16th century?

Or that full-out tongue kissing burns more calories than walking?

Or that certain New Guinea islanders were known to use tongue kissing as foreplay to biting off each other’s eye lashes?

Or that that friendly peck ‘X’ used at the end of messages, was originally formulated to visually represent full lip contact between two people?

Or that it’s sometimes possible for a female to reach orgasm through kissing alone?

Or that some scientists claim to be able to tell if a person was breastfed or bottle-fed by the way he or she kisses?

Or that kissers exchange between 10 million and 1 billion bacteria?

Or that lips resemble vaginas?

These are the sort of facts you learn if you read articles such as ‘43 fun facts about . . . kissing’.

Dangerlicious There has only been one documented case of contracting HIV through kissing. But the transmission likely occurred through blood, not saliva, since the smoochers both had gum disease.

But kissing can hold other dangers.

Earlier this month in Morocco, three teens were imprisoned for “violating public decency” after posting a photo on Facebook of two of them kissing. A fierce public outcry ensured that they were quickly released to await trial, according to ‘Moroccan kiss goes viral’. Protesters began sharing kissing pictures using the hashtag #FreeBoussa (‘Free Kiss’) to embarrass the government. But then the protesters embarrassed themselves by signing up by the thousands to attend a “kiss-in” and then not showing up. Viva the social network revolution!

And what’s this? ‘Vienna introduces £40 fines for kissing’. Austrian transit officials rationalised their decision to ban kissing from their trains by blaming “odd incidents” such as when a passenger brought a horse on board. The relation between horses and kissing remains unclear. Is it because horses are wet kissers? Then the ban would make sense: a hefty fine may perhaps motivate wet kissers to improve their game.

Better than seX “At a basic level, kissing is a biohazard. What is love then, if not the willingness to expose yourself to a host of nasty diseases lurking in your partner's mouth?” opens ‘What humans can learn from a simple kiss’ which gives a run-down of recent research from the University of Oxford.

Kissing seems to serve a dual purpose. We kiss to evaluate a potential mate. And once we have a mate, we kiss to maintain the bond.

As with many things, boys and girls are different. Boys find kissing less important than girls. Boys also initiate it more as foreplay, while women initiate it more after sex when it may “better serve a relationship maintenance function".

Couples who engage in lots of quality kissing are generally more satisfied in their relationship. But the same co-relation does not exist with couples who have lots of sex. "There seems to be something special about kissing," says one pucker pundit.

It’s been established that humans use smell to evaluate the health of a potential mate. So kissing may just be about taking things to the next level – to really get in there for some “taste tests of skin oils and saliva compounds”.

So it seems Hindu scriptures from 1,500 BC already knew the score when they described kissing as “inhaling another’s spirit”.

But sometimes even spirits need to be reminded that it’s okay to use breath mints. And I’m talking to you horsey!

How would you describe the perfect kiss? Or the perfect kisser? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.

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