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Eight Reasons to Kiss More! (And They’re ALL Great for Your Health!)


More than 90 percent of human societies kiss, perhaps signaling that this ancient expression of love is practiced for good reason. Of course kissing feels good, and inherently we like the way it makes us feel close to our partner, but a kiss impacts us on a far deeper, more primal level than you might expect.


Kissing may be a subconscious way to find the right mate.

For starters, a kiss may invoke a gut feeling or intuition in women, who often say they can tell if a relationship is going to work out after the first kiss, and certainly after the first night of kissing, according to Michael Cane, author of The Art of Kissing.

But the benefits of kissing stretch far beyond that, and can benefit not only women, but also men, and apply no matter what stage your relationship is at. So, in case you’re looking for more good reasons to make kissing a regular part of your life, here are eight great ones.

  1. Ease stress. A new study by scientists from Lafayette College found that kissing decreases levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, which indicates that a good smooch may ease your stress.
  1. Get the benefits of meditation. "It [Kissing] stops the buzz in your mind, it quells anxiety, and it heightens the experience of being present in the moment. It actually produces a lot of the physiological changes that meditation produces," Joy Davidson, PhD, psychologist and clinical sexologist in Seattle, told WebMD.
  1. Encourage bonding for men. Kissing raises levels of oxytocin, a chemical that affects bonding, in men. Researchers from Lafayette College concluded that kissing may therefore make men more interested in bonding.
  1. Keep your teeth healthy. The extra saliva from a kiss helps to wash bacteria off your teeth, which may help break down plaque.
  1. Boost your immunity. Though this hasn’t been scientifically proven, experts such as Helen Fisher, PhD, professor of anthropology at Rutgers University in Newark, N.J., believe sharing germs with someone adds to your own internal defense system.
  1. Exercise the muscles in your face. A French kiss that involves a lot of tongue action exercises up to 29 muscles in your cheeks and jaw, which could potentially help your face stay young-looking.


Kissing produces physiological changes that are similar to those meditation produces!

  1. Burn calories. A passionate kiss burns two calories a minute, which is double your metabolic rate!
  1. Stimulate your brain. "When you kiss an enormous part of your brain becomes active," Fisher told the Associated Press. This can lead to feelings of euphoria and well-being, or increase your sex drive.

The Power of a Kiss

Interestingly, while a good kiss can lead to all of the benefits above and more, a bad kiss can signal to partners that they’re not meant to be.

"A kiss is a mechanism for mate assessment," Fisher said in a Reuters article.

She believes that kissing activates chemicals that stimulate different areas of your brain used for mating and reproduction. These include:

  1. Sex drive: Tied to testosterone, which is present in saliva. "We do have evidence that saliva has testosterone in it. And there is also evidence that men like sloppier kisses, and more open-mouthed kisses. That suggests to me they are unconsciously trying to transfer testosterone to trigger the sex drive in women," Fisher told Reuters.
  1. Romantic or passionate love: Motivates people to focus on one mate.
  1. Attachment: This helps couples stay together and raise a child.

And this is only the beginning. Researchers have only skimmed the surface of the art or science of kissing, known as philematology, and time will likely reveal even more fascinating insights into the deceptively simple act of a kiss.

"I think we will find all kinds of chemical systems are at play in courtship that we are not aware of," Fisher said in Reuters.

Recommended Reading

What Does Love Mean

Three Simple Strategies for Rekindling the Romance in Your Relationship

Sources February 14, 2009

Yahoo News February 13, 2009 What’s So Great About Kissing?

Sound Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine

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