Kissing: Part 1
By Patricia Pritchett, MS, LAC, CCTP, CLC
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Do You Like to Kiss?
According to Women’s Health (2014), couples who kiss more often have longer lasting and more satisfying relationships. Due to physical reactions that can occur in the body, kissing can lift our overall mood, reduce chemicals that cause tension and irritability, increase chemicals that make us feel good and even increase a deeper sense of connection between the couple due to the bonding chemical oxytocin.
During passionate kissing many electrical/chemical changes occur. The brain receives signals through the many muscles in the face, more than 24 facial and over 100 in the body, that a pleasurable event is occurring. This signals a release of chemicals (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, adrenaline, among others) into the body. At the same time other parts of the brain are shutting down the release of stress hormones such as cortisol.
Because lips are up to 200 times more sensitive than even the most sensitive fingertips, a sensory explosion can occur resulting in a multitude of physical changes. Sweating, increased respiration, muscle swelling, increased salivation, and increased blood flow to various parts of the body.
Early in a relationship, passionate kissing releases chemicals that stimulate sexual arousal. Over time the chemicals released may produce more of a peaceful feeling. Either way, the feeling is pleasurable and increases the bonding between the couple. So, kiss your partner often, enjoy the resulting physical and emotional bonding, and be grateful you’ve found love.
- Wlodarski R, et al. (2013). Examining the possible functions of kissing in romantic relationships.
- Hughes SM, et al. (2007). Sex differences in romantic kissing among college students: An evolutionary perspective.
- Alpert JS, et al. (2013). Philematology: The science of kissing. A message for the marital month of June.