13 Fascinating Kissing Facts You Never Knew, But Really Should

By Muk Khatri in Facts and DIY On 1st September 2015

#1 Most people remember their first kiss more vividly than the first time they had sex.

John Bohannon of Butler University asked 500 people about their memories of important life experiences, including their first kiss and losing their virginity. The kiss beat everything as the most detailed memory.

#2 No one's really sure why we do it.

Swapping spit is kind of a weird thing to do. So why is it so popular? The most widely accepted theory is that kissing is a way for humans to exchange biological information about whether or not our partner will make a quality mate.

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#3 It can save your life.

A now-famous study conducted during the 1980's found that men who kiss their wives before leaving for work live longer, get into fewer car accidents, and have a higher income than married men who don't.

#4 Not every culture is into it.

Anthropologists have discovered cultures in Asia, Africa and South America that do not kiss at all . Even cultures that participate in kissing sometimes frown on doing it in public--and in some places (including parts of the US!) it's illegal.

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#5 Some people are even terrified of it.

First kisses make everyone nervous, but for some people, that anxiety never goes away. Chronic 'fear of kissing' is known as philemaphobia .

#6 It keeps us healthy.

In addition to making us feel good, several studies indicate that kissing can actually help keep us healthy. Swapping mouth bacteria boosts our immune system, the extra saliva produced when you kiss washes out dangerous bacteria , and the raised heartbeat causes blood vessels to dilate, thus lowering blood pressure.

#7 'Kiss' is an onomatopoeia. Kinda

The word "kiss" comes from the Old English word "cyssan," No one really knows the origin of "cyssan" but it's thought that it might represent the sound people make when they kiss .

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#8 Two out of three people turn their head to the right when kissing.

People are more likely to tilt their heads to the right when kissing instead of left, says a report published recently in the journal Nature . A scientist from Ruhr University in Germany analyzed 124 pairs of smoochers and found that 65 percent go toward the right.

#9 This couple can out-kiss you.

This is Thailand's Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat. In 2013 they made history by kissing for 58 hours, 35 minutes, and 58 seconds at a Ripley's Believe It Or Not Event and are currently the world record holders for World's Longest Kiss.

#10 It's basically a workout for your face.

Although a kiss mostly involves the orbicularis oris (the muscle around your mouth that puckers your lips) a total of 146 muscles are involved, including 34 facial muscles and 112 postural muscles. Not surprisingly, just one minute of kissing burns 26 calories.

#11 We have special neurons that help us kiss in the dark.

In the 1990s, a team at Princeton University discovered that some neurons in the brain's premotor cortex do two related jobs: they are important for tactile sensation and for visual awareness of the area immediately around the face. This might explain why it's possible to find your partner's lips after the lights go out.

#12 It's all about the chemistry, baby.

Kissing releases the same neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain) as those that are released when you engage in intense exercise or do stimulating drugs, like cocaine. This causes your heart to beat faster and your breathing to become deep and irregular.

#13 It helps reduce stress and makes us feel safe.

Over time, kissing lowers your levels of stress hormone cortisol , making you feel all safe and secure. The longer you've been with someone, the bigger the decline.