Kissing

Kisses are such glorious business that it seems a shame, perhaps, to allow scientists to get their grubby hands into the entrails of such a wonderful experience.

“Kissing,” said evolutionary psychologist Gordon G. Gallup of the University at Albany, State University of New York, last September in an interview with the BBC, “involves a very complicated exchange of information—olfactory information, tactile information and postural types of adjustments that may tap into underlying evolved and unconscious mechanisms that enable people to make determinations … about the degree to which they are genetically incompatible.”

… In the 1960s British zoologist and author Desmond Morris first proposed that kissing might have evolved from the practice in which primate mothers chewed food for their young and then fed them mouth-to-mouth, lips puckered. Chimpanzees feed in this manner, so our hominid ancestors probably did, too. Pressing outturned lips against lips may have then later developed as a way to comfort hungry children when food was scarce and, in time, to express love and affection in general.

So says (and so much more) a fascinating piece in Scientific American.

Me?  I just like the taste and the texture and the smell and the cuddling that goes along with the kissing.  It would be a far less wonderful space my lover and I inhabit if we didn’t kiss so much.  That much I do know.

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