Kissing is an intimate act that has been shared by countless generations of couples all around the world. It is a way to express emotions and connect with a loved one through touch and emotion. Kissing is something we all do in order to show affection and love to someone we care about. There are many different types of kisses for different situations and for different levels of affection. But why do we kiss? Why does it feel so good and make us so happy? That’s a question that has been debated for centuries, yet remains unanswered.
A study was conducted in which 168 cultures from different parts of the planet were analyzed. What was the purpose? To understand why people kiss. The study is by William Jankowiak, professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
He determined that only 46% kiss with their lips in a romantic sense. Other gestures such as parent-child kissing or greetings were excluded. “There was a marked pattern: the greater the social complexity, the more frequently the act of kissing is found.”
Childhood and clothing
One of the theories about why people kiss goes back to infancy. It says that when we are babies we have an innate taste for lip touch. We associate lip touch with the act of breastfeeding and that is a natural reflex. It is a stimulus that is positive for us.
“The more clothes you wear, the higher the frequency of kissing. The less clothes you wear, the lower the frequency,” Jankowiak points out. He says that among hunters and gatherers there is no kissing. Except for the Inuit in the Arctic Circle.
“They are the only group of hunters and gatherers we have found who kiss. It is the famous oceanic or Eskimo kiss. It consists of rubbing noses but not lips”. “Why? In other places, hunters and gatherers don’t wear clothes. When you have clothes, the only sensuality that is available is the human face,” says the anthropologist.
“There were many cultures that kissed mouth to mouth. But there is the Malay kiss that Darwin described. The women would squat on the ground and the men would lean over them and quickly sniff each other.”
The important thing about lip kissing and other types of kissing is that it is a time of sharing intimate information. “It’s about trust and connection. Whatever the source, don’t let another moment pass you by. Go, and find someone to kiss.