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The Fine Art of Kissing

The Art of Kissing
The Art of Kissing
Photo by Juliana Coutinho (Some rights reserved)

Never thought of kissing as an art? Think again. Think of the many ways of kissing someone and the different emotions it may elicit. Not only is kissing an art, but it is a science.

Philematology, is known as the science of kissing. From the time we are born kissing has been a way to experience the love that someone has for you. Though you may not remember those soft kisses on your forehead or your cheek when you were first born, they had a way of bonding you with the person who bestowed them upon you. Even then you felt the love from another human being in the simplest way. That kiss you don't remember was in essence, your first kiss.

After that you learn that kissing is not only just to express a feeling of love between two people, but is also used as a greeting between relatives. When Aunt Mary came to the house, you remember the feeling of trying to escape the kiss and the pinching of your cheeks. You fondly remember the kisses you gave and received from your parents before settling down to a good night's sleep. It was the most important way to end your day. Without that goodnight kiss you felt like something was missing, not complete.

Then you remember the little childhood crushes you had and how the first thing you wanted to do was kiss that object of your affection, because, well, it was the thing to do. So you pucker up and land one right on the lips of that crush, and then open your eyes and giggle at the thought of how nervous you were before that first kiss.

There is an art to kissing, even when it is just a soft peck on the cheeks. When you were little, you remember your parents telling you that when someone tries to kiss you, you turn your cheek so that the kiss lands upon your cheek and not upon your lips. You still can’t seem to figure out if that was because kisses had a way of spreading germs and they were trying to save you from various illnesses, rendering them as caretakers, when, had you just turned your cheek, all would be well. Or if it was to save you from having to endure sloppy kisses from relatives or friends that leave you gagging and feeling gross. You remember watching your parents kiss and saying “Oh, gross, stop it”, and not understanding the power and magic of a kiss until you are much older.

There are many types of kisses you encounter in your lifetime. The peck, where lips meet very briefly, and mostly used as a greeting or a kiss goodnight. The kiss on the forehead, which is very endearing and given by someone who truly loves you. Butterfly kisses, where you get eye to eye and let your lashes flutter together, creating what is known as a butterfly kiss. There is the Eskimo kiss which is created by rubbing noses together. This could be construed as a way of keeping warm too, since every kiss creates a sense of warmth between two individuals. In foreign countries, when greeted by others, it is customary to kiss both cheeks of the person that you have met. A sort of necessary greeting. Then there is the kiss between two people who fall in love.

The more passionate kiss, that begins with a look in the eye and a fluttering in the belly, the one that starts and cannot be stopped. A kiss that is mutually satisfying to both parties. This type of kiss also has its own science. There is the first kiss, which kind of tests the water for the second kiss. Tasting the lips of another for the first time sends a powerful message to the brain’s pleasure center, producing oxytocin, the feel good hormone,which creates the desire to kiss again. Usually the second kiss becomes more passionate and longer, and there you meet a cross-road where you feel love and it becomes a very soft and gentle kiss. Or, as the excitement builds, the kiss becomes very passionate and deeply gratifying, setting off hormones in your body that attract your sexuality and builds the fire inside of you that needs to be quenched.

Helen Fisher, Rutgers University Professor, who wrote “Why Him. Why Her. Finding Real Love by Understanding Your Personality Type.”, says that a kiss sends signals to the parties kissing, by using smell, taste, sounds and tangible signals , and lets them know whether or not they will kiss again. Ever had a bad first kiss with someone and know right away that a relationship just would not work? Or felt sort of dizzy and in love after locking lips with someone who really knew how to kiss?

Shakespeare expressed it best in Henry VI, Act I, Scene I, “I can express no kinder sign of love, than this kind kiss.” Kissing is a sign of love and very often when true love first emerges, the parties kiss more than anything else. A stolen kiss here and there. A mutual kiss. A kiss that is demanding and intense. A kiss to show the world that this person belongs to you and no other. A kiss mixed with sorrow when the two of you must part.

Kissing is also used as a prelude to intimate relations. It is a powerful heating mechanism that leads you from an unsurety to total inhibition and desire. The kiss may start out sweet, but soon erupts into an almost volcanic fire between you and your loved one or lover. A kiss can sometimes be deceiving and misinterpreted – one that was meant to start a flame, may be construed by the other as a confirmation of love. That may be why, there are some who don’t kiss before, during or after intimate relations, because they don’t want to be in a relationship with the other party, but are just looking for a good time. A kiss, in that case could be dangerous, as it may make the other party think that there is something more to what they are doing, than there really is.

Be not mistaken though, if you have kissed, you know the difference. You actually feel the love come through in a kiss. If things change in a relationship and one party is no longer very interested in the other party, you may be able to tell that something just isn’t right, by the way the kiss feels. When it is no longer that passionate kiss, but becomes more of a quick peck or a semi long kiss that ends ubruptly. When that feeling isn’t there, your lips are able to convey the same to your partner. A kiss doesn’t lie. It is the absolute truth of the existence of love between two people.

Do you remember spin the bottle as a child? A sort of party game that introduces individuals to the art of kissing, where you place a bottle in the middle of a group of friends and when you spin it, you have to kiss the person that the top of the bottle points to. A rather awkward game usually played by pre-teens or teenagers, that introduces the art of kissing at a very early age.

Did you ever play a game of kissing where you were locked in a closet with someone for five minutes and you were to kiss the other person the entire time you were in the closet. Names of the individuals being chosen by pulling them out of a hat or just on a dare from friends. Another awkward kissing game.

Remember the little rhyme about so and so “sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes, love, next comes marriage, then comes…” so and so”…in a baby carriage”. Again, kissing being the start of a relationship, recognized by the very young in a sort of teasing way.

Kissing will always be an important part of your life. From kissing games when you were young, leading to your first kiss when you meet someone, from innocence to passion. Something that you can share with someone you love, whether it be a child, a first love, a pet, a lover or your spouse. Kissing is something that is always felt by the receiver, whether it be in a mutual way, an endearing way or one that is not wanted. If you’ve ever received a kiss that was stolen by someone you were not attracted to, do you remember the feeling of instant rage it can elicit? You may even have received the kiss and instantly struck out and slapped the surprised face of the one who kissed you. There always seems to be some sort of reaction to a kiss.

Kissing can be an important part of a relationship. Don’t let the fire burn out and the kisses stop, if you want to keep your relationship alive. Kissing is a very powerful and endearing thing to share. So pucker up and keep sharing the one thing that says it all without words...the kiss.

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