Humanity has always loved locking lips
by: Owen Ray – A+E Editor
May 10, 2004
Locking lips with someone you love, or at least someone you think is really hot, is something that all of us savor. We spend our loneliest days and nights dreaming of what it might be like to gently press our lips against those of someone we have a secret crush on. Those of us who are lucky enough to be involved in a fulfilling, loving relationship may spend days and nights away from our significant others, longing for the familiar feel and taste of their mouths.
Kissing someone incites a feeling, that certain fuzzy rush of hormones into the gut that cannot be reproduced by any of our other day-to-day activities. Bungee jumping, skydiving and heroin combined could not possibly compare to the feeling of a passionate smooch.
Swapping spit actually consumes about 336 hours, or 20,160 minutes, of the average person’s life. That time could not be possibly spent in a better way. OK, there are a few better ways, but you usually have to kiss to get there anyway.
With all of the time people spend kissing, thinking about kissing and practicing kissing their hands so they don’t screw it up on the first date, nobody thinks much about where this erotic practice originated.
There are many theories as to where the romantic kiss originated and the tales range from totally disgusting to downright practical.
The earliest and most repulsive possible origin of kissing is believed to be the practice of mothers chewing up food and pushing it into their babies’ mouths with their tongues. The would’ve loved the convenient two-ounce jars of vegetable mush that we feed our offspring today. How exactly this maternal regurgitation turned into a romantic practice of any sort, we do not know. Those damn scientists are either crazy or totally full of BS.
While on the vomit-inducing side of kisstory, it is worth exploring the possibility that humans may have picked up kissing from watching their monkey buddies go at it. According to Frans De Waal of Emory University, kissing with tongue contact is common in bonobos, a kind of pygmy chimpanzee. Watching apes kiss could certainly cause some sparks to fly. For Neanderthals, anyway.
Less revolting, yet more practical than romantic, is the ever-popular theory that the Romans are the ones that blessed us with the practice of kissing. The Romans kissed each other hello and kissed their leaders’ robes and jewelry as a sign of respect. Good thing we don’t have to make out with our leaders’ rings and suits now. Who knows what Bill Clinton’s hands and clothes may have had on them.
Some also claim Roman men kissed their wives when they arrived home from battle to see if they have been dipping into their wine stash. How romantic.
The first erotic kiss may have been exchanged in India around 1500 B.C., said Dr. Vaughn Bryant Jr. in a Chicago Tribune article. This comes as no surprise, seeing that there were references to kissing in the original Kama Sutra, written in India over 1500 years ago.
There are also some biological factors that contribute to our desire to suck face. The act of kissing signals our brain to produce the hormone oxytocin, the chemical that produces that “tummy full of fuzzy squirrel tails” feeling we all enjoy so much.
Making out creates feelings so strong, there have been laws written to prevent oral exchanges, some of which still stand today.
In 1903, the Minnesota legislature introduced a bill that declared, “It shall be unlawful for one person to kiss another unless he has proved that he is free from contagious disease and further that a certificate from a physician declaring a person to have a weak heart, shall continue a bar to the indulgence of kissing.”
As if it isn’t already cold enough in Minnesota. Indiana has a law on the books that makes it illegal for a man with a moustache to “habitually kiss human beings.” True, moustaches do suck, but at least Indiana lawmakers were nice enough to say nothing to prevent their mustachioed residents from making out with farm animals.
Now you can comfortably make out all night, now that you know about the regurgitating mothers, brown-nosing Romans and hot primates that may have given us our favorite form of foreplay.