There’s a lot to be said about making out. There’s even tons of names for it! (Frenching, snogging, necking, tonsil hockey…) But no matter your race, age or creed, everybody loves a good make-out sesh. (Preferably hickey-free, amirite??)
There was the time your senior year of high school when you visited your friend at the university an hour away and made out with one of her friends on the football team and came home with your first hickeys ever. Your parents miraculously never noticed them? Then there was the time during your freshman orientation at your university where you spent an hour making out with a guy in the dorm hallway instead of bonding with your new friends. (But let’s be real, who stays close friends with the kids they meet at orientation?) You were busy bonding mouths with some tall guy. And who could forget the time you made out with that friend of a friend (the “friend” who you just met that afternoon) on the dance floor of that reeally crowded and super sweaty bar during your summer internship in DC? Ah, the joys of being young and single.
For the aficionados out there, there’s quite a bit of technique involved in a quality open-mouth kissing situation. (Learn here, or take this class for $69.99) There’s also a lot of biological and evolutionary science behind it.
My college boyfriend and I used to spend lazy weekend mornings lying in bed looking at each other, talking about how awesome kissing was. He’d always tell this story about how his high school biology teacher would exclaim how disgusting french kissing was – voluntarily sharing saliva with another human being, with reckless abandon of what germs or diseases live inside their mouths and are carried through their DNA. It was a real turn on.
In The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips are Telling Us, science writer and researcher Sheril Kirshenbaum asks the questions I want to know the answers to! Are we born knowing how to kiss, or does practice make perfect? Is bad technique a sure-fire deal-breaker? Do men and women experience kissing in the same way?
FYI, the attraction to a person’s lips has a lot to do with our evolutionarily hard-wired attraction to the color red, which theories date back to the hunter-gatherer times:
A woman’s lips make an indelible impression. They draw attention to her her face, advertising her assets in deeply hued and rosy colors. The effect is further enhanced because human lips are “everted,” meaning that they purse outward. This trait sets us apart from other members of the animal kingdom. Unlike other primates, the soft, fleshy surface of our lips remain exposed, making their shape and composition intensely alluring.
And of course, everybody’s got a make-out soundtrack. I took a quick poll:
- XX – Basic Space
- Led Zeppelin – Dazed and Confused
- Adele – One and Only
- Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On (#subliminalmessaging)
- The Fugees – Ready or Not
- The Black Keys – Howlin’ For You
and obviously, this:
Whether you’re in love with the anticipation of a first kiss, the comfortable softness of your lifelong partner, or the rush of making out with a rando at a bar, kissing feels good. It stimulates similar brain activity as high-risk sports like bungee jumping and can release endorphins and neurotransmitters like Dopamine or Noradenaline for emotional and physical arousal. It’s basically awesome.
This post brought to you by Tara, who is DTMO.