There is a lot more to kissing than sexual arousal. In fact, researcher Prof. Robin Dunbar of Oxford University found that kissing serves a greater purpose in determining the suitability of a possible mate, as well as strengthening the bonds between existing ones.
“Mate choice and courtship in humans is very complex, and assessments become more and more intimate as we go deeper into the stages of courtship, and that’s where the importance of kissing really comes in,” stated Dunbar.
To complete their study, Dunbar and Rafael Wlodarski, a student at the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford surveyed 900 adults about the importance of kissing in both short-term and long-term relationships, and discovered that kissing was valued the most by people who considered themselves to be attractive, and “therefore could be picky about choosing their sexual partners.” The also found that women tended to place more value on the activity than men do Yet, both women and men more inclined to short-term relationships felt that kissing was “most important before sex, less so during sex, was less important again after sex and was least important at other times.” However, those in committed relationships (where creating and maintaining a lasting bond is an important goal) rated kissing as “equally important before sex and at times not related to sex.”
Similarly, a companion paper published in the journal Human Nature, reported that women’s feelings regarding romantic kissing also depended on the stage of their menstrual cycle, noting that they were in the part of their cycle, placing more “value” on the act during ithe beginning stages of a relationship when they were “in the part of their cycle when they are most likely to get pregnant.”