Don’t underestimate the power of a kiss
Romantic kissing is an act that is often overlooked when it comes to conversations around sex. It is portrayed as foreplay or as purely a step to initiating sex and I find that the act of kissing in itself is highly underrated. The lips are packed with nerve endings constantly picking up information and communicating this to our brains. A passionate kiss on the mouth can send waves of pleasure to our brains as the saliva in our testosterone kick starts ours sex drives. A romantic kiss lowers cortisol levels and causes kissers to feel more relaxed and at ease. While this is happening the kisser’s brain is also being filled with the‘ feel good’ chemicals, oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals create a natural high and they are also responsible for making kissers feel closer to one another.
Almost 90 percent of the world’s cultures partakes in kissing of some sort which leads researchers to believe that the act of kissing is one that is instinctual rather than a learned behavior. Evolutionary biologists believe that the gesture we know today as kissing was passed down through generations and cultures, a distant reminder of a time when mothers weaned their babies by passing them chewed up food through lip to lip contact. This is why the act we know as kissing has become a symbol of affection. Kissing is also thought to be a tool used to help humans choose suitable mates. The act allows you to get close enough to your potential partner to detect their scent which contains indicators of their major histocompatibility genes (MHC). The scent detected in these genes communicates valuable information about your potential partners immune system health. It is believed that people will seek out partners with more diverse MHC genes than their own so that if they were to produce offspring the child would have a diverse immune system.
Although many cultures around the world practice kissing, few practice romantic kissing as we experience it in the west. Amongst the cultures who do not practice kissing some sort of face to face touching will often be practiced instead. Typically kissing serves as a greeting or gesture that may bring people together in either a platonic or romantic way. In mainstream media you often see kissing portrayed as a man passionately grabbing a woman and then forcing a kiss onto her that she is weak to resist so inevitably gives in to it. Although passion and spontaneity in the name of romance can be amazing, we want to make sure that we have consent before encroaching anyone’s personal space, especially with a romantic kiss. It may seem a bit silly to ask consent when it is ‘just a kiss’ because this has never been modeled for us before, but respecting boundaries is something we want to get in the habit of.
Remember that it is always sexy to ask for consent, no matter how small the act may appear. Kisses are so dynamic and can communicate so much information without saying a word. A peck on the cheek, a kiss on the forehead, a kiss on the neck. All very different kinds of kissing that can communicate different messages of pleasure to our brains. Take those hot make out sessions slow and fully sink into the experience instead of rushing past it to get to sex.
Experiment with kissing different parts of the body, you’d be surprised to find out which parts of your body are more sensitive than you imagined. Try different temperatures or perhaps food play with your kisses, the possibilities are endless. Sex and orgasms do not need to be the end goal of every romantic act. Let yourself lean into the kiss and it may lead you to somewhere surprising.
Watch our Kissing episode, to get more information about this fabulous topic.