02 January 2013


Two years ago, the prolific Sheril Kirshenbaum published 20 Things You Didn't Know About .... Kissing.  I only recently discovered the list.  Here are a few entries ~

  • Scientists are not sure why people kiss, but some think the answer lies in early feeding experiences.  Through nursing, infants may learn to associate lip pressure with a loving act.
  • And yet kissing is not universal, leading some experts to think it might actually be a learned behavior.
  • Love is the drug ~ dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with desire and reward, spikes in response to novel experiences, which explains why a kiss with someone new can feel so special.
  • Holding hands and kissing reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, thereby lowering blood pressure and optimizing immune response.
  • A passionate kiss has the same effect as belladonna in making our pupils dilate.
  • One milliliter of saliva contains 100,000,000 bacteria.
For more on the history, physiology, and variations of kissing, check out Sheril's article.

So is kissing healthy, or is it a great way to spread germs?  Perhaps both ~ here is a point-counterpoint discussion.  Me, I'll take my chances.

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