Kissing has a lot of roles in our world - we kiss hello, we kiss goodbye, we kiss for love and we kiss for lust.
And if you really think about it, puckering up and connecting at the lips is a little strange.
There is a bit of science behind the health benefits of kissing. Yep, kissing has many health benefits.
First and foremost it makes you feel good because it boosts oxytocin (for bonding and connection), dopamine (reward and desire) and serotonin (feelings of happiness and well being) - a potent cocktail of feel good chemicals.
It is a great anti stress reducing cortisol. Plus the combination of the increase in oxytocin and decrease in cortisol means it reduces anxiety too. Kissing chemicals give a sense of relaxation and attachment.
It dilates your blood vessels which can be helpful for lowering blood pressure, reducing cramps and headaches.
Swapping spit with a partner can boost your immunity by exposing you to new germs that strengthen your immune system. Apparently you can swap up to 80 million new bacteria when you go in for a canoodle. And the additional saliva you produce can wash away plaque. Immune and gums health are not to be scoffed at.
It is a great anti-ageing technique because it tightens and tones your facial muscles, especially if it is a serious snog with some tongue tangling. Apparently you use 146 muscles to pucker up.
It also boosts your sex drive. To be clear this is when you are pashing someone you are interested in.
Even better the snogging of a potential partner can make or break the relationship. Apparently when we kiss a potential mate we may be subconsciously testing their compatibility with us. Saliva contains hormones (like testosterone) which can trigger arousal as well as genetic information about a person’s immune system. And the close proximity required of a long session of kissing means we may be subconsciously picking up on our partners pheromones - those invisible particles we secrete to influence the behaviour of others.
Socially kissing is a culturally accepted way of expressing emotions like love, respect and friendship as well as maintaining bonds. But not for every culture. Some cultures just don’t do romantic kissing - at all. Romantic kissing is not a universal phenomenon.
And then there are the friendly lip kisses, you know, the friends or acquaintances who greet you hello lip to lip. A bit confronting if you are a cheek kisser and not socially appropriate for many especially in Europe where the cheek pecks are common for a cultural greeting.
So whether you are sucking face, swapping spit, tongue wrestling or playing tonsil hockey - a canoodle is a fun way to improve your health. This seemingly simple act of affection has so much more to give.
Pucker up and get a pashing...for health.