Kissing, smooching, snogging, whatever you wanna call it (please, please don’t call it necking), can be loads of fun. But it turns out it’s not just something nice to do with someone you fancy. There are also some surprising benefits that come with it. Female health app Clue shares nine things you probably didn’t know about kissing.
1. It determines compatibility
You may think that a bad kiss is just down to bad technique but, according to a study carried out by the University of Oxford, the chemical information exchanged when kissing is an indicator of reproductive compatibility. So if you kiss someone and afterwards feel a little underwhelmed, it may simply be that you are not a good genetic match.
2. It makes women more likely to orgasm
We’re talking pre-sex, obvs, not just willy nilly. One study also showed that those who indulged in more foreplay (ie. deep kissing) as well as being more inclined to kiss affectionately post-sex, were found to be more sexually fulfilled.
3. It DOUBLES the speed of your metabolism
It may not be quite as strenuous as a 5km run (we can dream), but kissing does double the usual speed of your metabolism. Kissing burns two calories a minute (as opposed to one per minute at resting rate), while a particularly passionate session can burn up to six calories per minute. We’ll take that.
4. It can build up your immune system
You transfer between 10 million to 1 billion bacteria when you kiss someone (ewww). That said, if the person you are kissing has a common cold, you’re more likely to catch their cold by shaking their hand than by swapping saliva with them. In fact, kissing actually helps to boost your immune system, as you introduce each other to different bacteria, allowing you to better fight off infection in future.
5. You can study kissing
For many years, people have studied the science behind why we kiss, with much debate as to whether it is a learned or instinctive behaviour (as some cultures don’t kiss). So it was only fair that the study of kissing, otherwise known as philematology, was given its own word.
6. Your lips are more sensitive than your clitoris
Your lips are extremely sensitive, in fact they are 100 times more sensitive than fingertips, with around 10,000 nerve endings – that’s more than the 8000 in your clitoris. Why don’t we orgasm through our mouths then? Just sayin’…
7. Sealed with a kiss
In ancient Rome, people would kiss when they reached an agreement and it effectively sealed the contract. In Medieval times, when loads of people couldn’t read and write, to sign a contract people would sign with an X (which is why we’re signing all our texts with Xs these days), and would then kiss the X they had just penned to seal the contract.
8. Kissing was once banned in the UK
In 1439, Henry VI issued a ban on kissing due to an outbreak of plague. Kissing was a huge part of religious ritual and customs for greeting others back then and, as there was no awareness of germ theory at the time, he believed that banning this contact would stop the disease from spreading.
9. It makes you happy
According to science, kissing releases many feel good chemicals including dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin, stimulating the pleasure centres within our brain, giving us a natural high.