Why Do We French Kiss?
Rhett Butler and Scarlet O' Hara
On the face of it, French kissing doesn't seem so sexy, there you are, with your tongue down in your partner's throat, swapping saliva and swarms of bacteria. Thirty-four of your facial muscles are fully engaged, Your lips are swollen from all the blood rushing through your body, thanks to your heart, which is pumping at up to twice its normal rate. Your pupils dilate, your groin tingles, and you feel feverish.
French kissing (also called deep kissing or soul kissing) might not sound good ,but when its right it feels good. According to a study of more than a thousand college students at the University at Albany, most women regard the first kiss as a make-it-or-break-it moment. Only 10 percent of women said they'd even dream about having sex with a guy without kissing first, whereas men didn't think suck preliminaries were so important. Yet kissing is a compatibility test. Are your partner's lips supple and sensitive, or tight and tense? How does he or she hold you - hungrily,with passion and wonder? or weakly or ceremoniously ? Is he or she even the kissing kind?
Your lips are dense with sensory neurons. If you like your date's kiss, nerve endings shoot happy signals to your brain's cortex to release neurotransmitters including dopamine and endorphins. Dopamine fuels your brain's reward system, which motivated you to continue kissing. Endorphins ,also known as natural painkillers, enhance pleasure ( the likely explanation for how a kiss can turn a frog into a prince). Levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, drop in couples who kiss. Smooching may also flood your brain with oxytocin, the "hug drug" hormone that makes strengthens your attachment to another person and makes you feel warm and cuddly.
Evolutionary psychologists believe that kissing is part of a courtship ritual to judge a potential mate's body chemistry and compatiblility, which is why at least 90 percent of human cultures do it. By getting close to your partner and even tasting his saliva, you capture his "chemical fingerprint". His saliva and sweat contains potential pheromones that either turn you on or turn you off. Do you like his taste, or, as a friend put it after a disastrous exploratory effort, did " something die right there and then"?