“I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.” —Bull Durham

the science of a kiss

A psychologist at Butler University found that most folks can recall up to 90% of the details of a first romantic kiss. In fact, most people remembered this experience more vividly than their first sexual encounter.

That’s because there is a whole science behind kissing. It’s also a whole lot more than his lips and her lips (and maybe some tongue). 

From an anatomy standpoint, it’s not just your lips that are involved in kissing. It’s a full-body experience. Your head, nose, tongue, arms, and other body parts, including your brain, are all involved.

According to research, a simple kiss could use just a couple of muscles, whereas a deep, passionate, full-body kiss could involve upwards of  23 to 34 facial muscles and 112 postural muscles.  

But the science of a kiss goes deeper than that. 

Your lips are packed with nerves that send info to your brain about what is happening. You have all 5 senses in play too and you are recording all of this information about what’s happening. 

Plus, let’s not forget all those hormones that are being released the whole time, further impacting the experience. 

Dopamine is an amazing neurotransmitter that is associated with “the rush” or that butterfly feeling that takes a kiss to that  “Oh my goodness, that kiss was incredible,” level.

Although your body is wonderfully made and has a natural ceiling for dopamine, over time the novelty wears off and oxytocin enters the scene. This hormone not only helps to cement the connection, but it can also boost mood and serve as a natural painkiller! 

When a woman has sex, her levels of oxytocin can peak 5 times higher than normal! 

Cortisol, the stress hormone, is also involved. It actually decreases as kissing increases. 

And then there’s testosterone…

You may not know this but testosterone increases a woman’s libido and creates a reaction in which her clitoris engorges with blood, all actions to prepare for sex. Since testosterone is present in saliva, women are sensitive to saliva exchanged during kissing.

There are studies that indicate that men prefer open mouth kisses. One hypothesis for this is that in those kisses there is a transfer of testosterone, and women are sensitive to it; therefore, she becomes more receptive to him. Which all leads to sex.

The science of a kiss is fascinating. When you think about the science of a kiss, what does it look like in your marriage? If you’ve not explored that, there is no better time than the present!

The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us

Listen to all 4 episodes of The Kissing Game series now!

603: The Kissing Game: Part 1 — Our Kissing Patterns

605: The Kissing Game: Part 2 — The Science of a Kiss

607: The Kissing Game: Part 3 — What Keeps Us From Kissing

609: The Kissing Game: Part 4 — Your Kissing Challenge

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