We’ve all heard the adage that “the eyes are the window to the soul.” To gaze into a person’s eyes allows one to become face-to-face with their true emotions and feelings. For most, it’s hard to be dishonest when we’re trapped in a death stare from another. But the eyes aren’t the only way to determine if our loved ones are telling us the truth. There’s another tell-tell feature that has the power to reveal how we truly feeling: it’s our mouth. And kissing? It’s our lie detector instrument.
Now, we all know that kissing can be incredible intimate and personal. It’s so intimate that some people forego it altogether because of vulnerability it evokes within them. But have you ever really considered the true power of kissing? The eyes may be the window to the soul, but kissing may just be the portal to our feelings.
- Kissing is basecamp for all of your senses. Kissing activates all of the senses: taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight (no, I don’t mean staring at your partner while you kiss, but rather the inevitable gazing that occurs right before or after.)
- It is the ultimate invitation (or invasion?) into another’s personal space. We are conditioned to keep people away from our faces (we literally say “Get out of my face” when we feel threatened). When we invite a person in for a kiss, we are allowing them to breach of our personal barriers and, in turn, take a step outside of our comfort zone.
- There’s science in a kiss. Kissing causes of chain reaction of hormonal and behavioral activities. It signals feelings of attachment that then causes a cascade of various actions: our “love” chemicals (e.g., dopamine, oxytocin, testosterone, etc.) and sebum (yes, sebum) are released. Like sebum, oxytocin induces bonding and feelings of connection our partner. These secretions cause a feedback loop: they amp up our feelings of affection, creating a desire to continue kissing, in turn causing us to secrete more stuff…you get the idea.
- Kissing can be its own love language. The five love languages tell us more about how we show our love with our partners. Depending on the context, the act of kissing can communicate just as effectively. Kissing has the ability to:
- Signal our level of interest in another
- Intensify a relationship (i.e., take it to the next level) or end it altogether
- mark special occasions (thus, the term “Seal it with a kiss”)
- Induce an involuntary biological response
- Heighten our emotive traits, making us feel more confident, more vulnerable, or even fall in love
- Kissing can be more than a prelude to sex. While orgasm isn’t always the end goal of sexual arousal, it can definitely enhance our sexy time. According to board-certified internist Dr. Jan Gurley, some people are capable of achieving orgasm through kissing alone without direct genital stimulation.
To explore about the importance (and pleasure) of kissing, check out the following books:
- Oralicious: The Truth About Oral Sex, Intimacy and Passion by Tatiana Carrera
- The Guide to Getting It On by Paul Joannides