Kissing is an intimate act that expresses passion and desire, yet can also be very seductive. But it is important to keep in mind that not all kisses are created equal.
Kisses stimulate neural signals and chemicals that provide sensory pleasure such as tactile sensations, sexual excitement, closeness and even euphoria. Kisses also convey information about the status and future of relationships; one poor first kiss could even derail what could otherwise be an exciting future romance.
Many don’t give much thought to their tongues, yet they play an integral part of kissing. Chewing, swallowing, singing and speaking all come down to one thing – your tongue! With nerve endings and taste buds scattered all across it to pick up flavors like salty sweet sour bitter and umami flavors it plays a vital part.
Kissing activates sensory neurons located within your lips and tongue that send messages directly to your brain and body, which explains why it feels so amazing. These signals trigger the release of feel-good chemicals called oxytocin and dopamine which make you feel affectionate as well as exhilarated when kissed.
Women use kissing to communicate their interest in potential partners. Their shorter biological window for having children makes it even more essential that they find someone compatible; enthusiastic kissing gives women clues as to whether or not they’re ready for romance with you, so paying attention to their body language and asking what type of kiss they prefer are both essential aspects of successful courtship.
Kissing should involve keeping your jaw closed when your tongue is outside of your mouth; this simple action can reduce the risk of spreading bacteria that cause meningitis, septicaemia or other life-threatening conditions (like salmonella or listeria) by stopping saliva from spreading across the lips and into your nose.
As part of kissing, it’s also essential that your partner knows you want them to go deeper. A gentle brush of hands on the face or nape of the neck is an effective way to make that statement; if they nod and smile back at you, brushing lips together or further experimentation can follow.
Kisses on the head and shoulders can be seen as a gesture of love and commitment, particularly for women with shorter biological windows to reproduce who must choose partners carefully. A kiss may also serve as a signal as to whether the relationship is progressing toward its desired goals, or whether a breakup may be in order.
Your orbicularis oris
Kissing requires the coordination of many muscles in your mouth and lips, with orbicularis oris being the muscle responsible for closing lips.
This muscle is unique because it does not attach directly to bones like other muscles do; instead it connects directly to skin and fascia of various areas surrounding lips via a thin and superficial musculoaponeurotic system.
Contracting this muscle allows you to narrow, protrude, and close your mouth; and also allows lip movements like pouting and puckering. Furthermore, this muscle plays a pivotal role in speech production for labiodental consonants (such as “p” in peas or “b” in basket).
Furthermore, the orbicularis oris muscle is responsible for transmitting bacteria when you kiss. An estimated 278 different bacteria colonies may be transmitted during one kiss, which may help your immune system by fighting pathogens and possibly stimulating hormone production.
Kissing is an intricate form of communication that expresses more than words ever could. Kisses can be nerve-wracking, exhilarating and awkward all at the same time; yet kissing has the ability to change relationships forever. Close observation of couples has revealed more complex layers to this seemingly straightforward act; our quest to uncover its secrets continues unabated.
Your lips boast more nerve endings than any other part of your body and are 100 times more sensitive than fingertips, which when coupled with liplock can send incredible stimulation into the brain’s somatosensory cortex.
Kissing releases many chemicals, including oxytocin – the bond-forming hormone which stimulates feelings of affection and attachment. Oxytocin can also be found in pregnant mothers during childbirth and breastfeeding; thus explaining why women feel strongly about kissing. Furthermore, females generally have much shorter windows for reproducing offspring compared with men so must carefully choose a partner whose traits match up well enough with them in order to have children successfully.