Kissing 101

In the Western world, a kiss is a common gesture of greeting, and at times a kiss is expected. Throughout all cultures people greet one another as a sign of recognition, affection, friendship and reverence. Depending on the occasion and the culture, a greeting may take the form of a handshake, hug, bow, nod, nose rub, a kiss on the lips with the mouth closed, or a kiss or kisses on the cheek.

There are kisses for Special Occasions such as: 

The Mistletoe KISS 

Founded in England, when young men would kiss women standing under the mistletoe, and would pluck a berry from the bush after each kiss. After all the berries were gone, it was bad luck to continue kissing under that bush. It is important to remember that during this period a kiss was taken very seriously - it was usually seen as a promise of MARRIAGE, watch out fellas.

The New Year's KISS

In some Western cultures, it is a custom for people to kiss at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. Some hold the superstition that failing to kiss someone ensures a year of loneliness. The first kiss at midnight is generally with your special person. When celebrating at a Scottish Hogmanay party, it is custom to try to give a kiss to everyone in the room after the stroke of midnight "the bells”.

The Wedding KISS

It is a Western custom for a newly married couple to exchange a kiss at the conclusion of their wedding ceremony. Some Christians hold the belief that the kiss symbolizes the exchange of souls between the bride and the groom, fulfilling the scripture that “the two shall become one flesh.” However, some trace the tradition to an ancient Roman tradition, whereby the exchange of a kiss signified the completion of a contract.  Although the kiss is not a formal requirement of the ceremony, most regard the gesture as a joyful start of the marriage. The most traditional way guests entice the new couple to kiss is by clinking their glasses. An ancient tradition explains that the clinking sound scares the devil away and the couple kisses in his absence. Today, most people uphold these traditions and new traditions as a fun excuse to get the couple to smooch.

Then there are some pretty healthy reasons to kiss, such as: 

The Physiology for KISSING

Kissing is a complex behavior that requires significant muscular coordination involving a total of 34 facial muscles and 112 postural muscles. The most important muscle involved is the orbicularis oris muscle, which is used to pucker the lips and informally known as the kissing muscle. Lips have many nerve endings which make them sensitive to touch and bite.

The Health benefits for KISSING

Affection in general has stress-reducing effects. Kissing in particular has been studied in a controlled experiment and it was found that increasing the frequency of kissing in marital and cohabiting relationships results in a reduction of perceived stress, an increase in relationship satisfaction, and a lowering of cholesterol levels. Kissing can also cause the adrenal glands to secrete epinephrine and norepinephrine into the blood, thereby causing an adrenaline rush, which has a beneficial impact on the cardiovascular system because the heart pumps faster. In an experiment a passionate kiss generally burns up to 2–3 calories per minute. Now there’s a super fun way to shed a few calories…

And finally let’s not forget the Eskimo KISS:

An eskimo kiss in modern Western culture is the act of pressing the tip of one's nose against another's. It is loosely based on a traditional Inuit greeting called a kunik. 

Well there you have it Kissing 101 made easy and fun!  SMOOCH AWAY....

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