What do you know about kissing other than public information?
Origin of the word
The English word “kiss” comes from the ancient English word “cyssan”, which literally means “to kiss.” No one can say for sure where the word “cyssan” itself came from, but it is generally believed that it described the sound that occurs when kissing.
The Romans had several words for different types of kissing. A kiss on the hand or cheek was called basium, a closed-lipped kiss was called osculum, and a passionate kiss was called saviolum.
Meanwhile, the Greeks did not have words to designate a kiss directly, but they had several names for love. Philia is devoted love: the love you have for your family or friends. More passionate love was called “eros”. However, Plato once established that the word “eros” can also be used to describe the attraction to the external beauty of a person. He also argued that true love doesn’t have to be based on people’s physical attractiveness.
Finally, the Greeks used the word “agape” to describe the strongest and most beautiful feeling of love of all, the feeling of being loved no matter what. This is the kind of love you can only feel for your family members and your closest friends.
10% of the population of our Earth does not kiss
Mangaia Island, which is approximately 18 million years old, is the oldest island in the Pacific Ocean. Throughout its existence, its inhabitants have never heard of kissing, until in the 18th century the British introduced them to this pleasant activity.
Today, 90% of cultures around the world kiss. The remaining 10% do not do this for various reasons. For example, in some areas of the Republic of Sudan, people refuse to kiss because they believe that the mouth is the path to the soul. And they are afraid that during the kiss their soul may be stolen.
As for the famous Eskimo kiss, when people touch each other with their noses, not their lips, it was not caused by the fear of freezing their lips to their partner, as some believe. It’s all about the extremely low temperatures, which allow you to leave only your eyes and nose open. Thus, the Eskimos were forced to invent their own method of expressing sympathy. Today the Eskimo kiss is one of the most popular “non-kisses” in the world, that is, kisses that are not kisses in the traditional sense of the word.
How kisses spread around the world
Scientists don’t know exactly how people started kissing. They are not even sure if this is an innate or acquired form of behavior. Adherents of the kissing to an acquired form of behavior believe that it all began with the days when mothers chewed food before putting it in their child’s mouth, as birds do.
The first mention of the kiss as a romantic gesture was found in the poems of the Sumerian civilization, the most ancient civilization in the world. The “procedure” of kissing was also described in ancient Egyptian love poetry. And even the Book of Genesis describes how Jacob kisses his wife Rachel.
Historians believe the kiss began to spread when Alexander the Great invaded India, where kissing has been common for centuries. In the Vedic scriptures, kissing is described as “touching the lips,” which is also a fitting definition. Then Alexander introduced the art of kissing into the Western world, and since then we have not stopped kissing.
Many animals kiss too
They may not do it exactly as we do, but some animals express their sympathy with actions that resemble our kisses. Many chimpanzees exhibit this behavior after a fight as a way to make peace. Research has shown this behavior is not limited to chimpanzees. Many other primates “kiss” in their own way.
However, “kissing” is not unique to primates. Meerkats, for example, sniff and lick each other’s scent glands to highlight the alpha male and subordinates. This is especially important when meerkats return to their clan, because the initial reason for their departure is most often the expulsion of the alpha female.
We cannot fail to mention elephants, because they are one of the smartest and most emotional creatures in the world. In difficult times, such as the death of a member of the herd, elephants stick their trunks into each other’s mouths as a sign of comfort and support.
Kissing is good for your health
Several studies have shown that kissing is not only very enjoyable but also beneficial. While most bacteria are identical in humans, 20 percent of bacteria are different for each person. This means that every kiss helps to strengthen the immune system.
Plus, kissing keeps your teeth clean. More saliva is released during a kiss, which washes away harmful bacteria and makes your smile whiter. Kissing can also lower blood pressure.
Of course, none of the above is good for kissing someone who is sick. Diseases such as herpes, common cold, and even meningitis are transmitted through kissing. However, such cases are rare and scientists are unanimous in opinion: the advantages of a kiss are more than disadvantages.
The Science of Kissing
Philematology is the science of kissing. Scientists who study this discipline concentrate, as a rule, not only on the biological characteristics of the human kiss and hormones but also wonder why we do kiss.
It is believed that the first kiss makes a strong impression, but according to scientists, that’s not all. They believe that on the level of sensation, kissing sends us signals in the form of taste, sound, and smell that make us want to repeat the kiss. But if the kiss was not very good, then we get a signal to avoid kissing again. Studies have shown that 59 percent of men and 66 percent of women have less sympathy for the ground after the first kiss.
World records for kissing
Today the world record for the longest kiss belongs to Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat from Thailand. It was installed in 2013 at the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not event where the couple kissed for 58 hours, 35 minutes, and 58 seconds.
They broke the previous record set by Andrea Sarti and Anna Chen. In 2004, Sarti and Chen kissed for 31 hours and 18 minutes. They only stopped because they nearly passed out. The story ended well, and Sarti spent the $ 12,700 prize on a wedding with his beloved Anna Chen.
But even aside from the records, the amount of time the average person devotes to kissing is surprising. Studies have shown that the average person kisses for two weeks in their entire life. Many people burn about 1,560 calories for every hour of kissing. This means that a person loses 30,240 calories in their lifetime. Of course, this “sport” is not as effective as running or swimming (in fact, it is not even close, so you should not justify a double cheeseburger eaten with several batches of diligent kisses). But this is definitely much more interesting.
Kisses trigger real chemistry
As it turns out, the assumption that a successful relationship requires a good dose of “chemistry” isn’t all that trivial. Studies have shown that the chemical dopamine is actually released during kissing. This is a strong hormone that affects the same fate in the brain as cocaine and can cause very strong, even craving. It is also accompanied by symptoms such as lack of sleep, decreased appetite, and increased energy.
Some scientists believe that dopamine is also the cause of cheating. Getting used to a partner, our body produces less and less dopamine. In order to experience this hormonal pleasure again, some people go as far as looking for it on the side.
Kissing someone you have been with for a long time, on the other hand, promotes the production of oxytocin, which induces very strong feelings of calm and relaxation. Scientists also highlight the importance of regular kissing for couples in love. After all, thanks to this, oxytocin will constantly enter the bloodstream, creating a feeling of happiness.
It sounds ridiculous, but in 2014 there are still countries where public expression of sympathy is against the law. In Mexico, University professor Manuel Berumen was arrested for kissing his wife in public. And in some countries, the punishment is very cruel. In 2010, in Saudi Arabia, a man was arrested for hugging and kissing a woman. He was found guilty and sentenced to 3 series of lashes, 30 times each, and 4 months in prison.