What are kisses for? Why do we love them so much?

It is well known that the vast majority of human beings kiss, have kissed, or will kiss someone at some point in their life. These curious rituals amaze you with all that is given to them and the many meanings they can have. There are kisses that serve to reconcile, but they can also denote affection, attraction or even courtesy.

However, none of this changes the fact that kissing, in and of itself, seems like a pretty absurd act. Why is it so natural to approach another person and rub your lips? What are kisses for?

Related article: “Types of kisses”

What are kisses for? What is its real use?

To answer it, it is necessary above all, dive into our past, See what this custom is based on. Some evolutionary psychologists believe that kissing is an act to which we are genetically predisposed, and utility is fundamental in the perpetuation of the species. To wonder what kisses are for is also to wonder how they have helped us to survive.

In this regard, many researchers have emphasized the importance of kisses to solve two basic problems: find a partner I strengthen ties with other people.

A wise choice to find a partner

The first of these functions has to do with our unconscious sensitivity to the analysis of chemical signals coming from the body of the potential partner. Smell plays a role in this task, but the sense of taste serves something similar as well.

Detecting the chemical patterns in the other person’s saliva is helpful in learning about the general condition of your body, your hormone levels, and the characteristics of your immune system. In short, kisses are a means of indirectly knowing the state of health of those who approached us, to know how well their immune system complements ours, and from there to subconsciously decide if they can be a good breeding partner.

Tightening links

The second function is the easiest to combine, as most kissing can be understood as a protocol to bond with someone. However, this process has an unconscious aspect that goes beyond the symbolic burden associated with this custom. Kissing has been shown to increase the segregation of oxytocin and endorphins, substances associated with bonding and stress relief.

In addition, the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which are associated with falling in love and addiction, Are also shot during the kiss, which, if we add the above hormonal cocktail, can contribute to what is called romantic love. The person you shared the kiss with suddenly becomes a little more important.

If we add to this the fact that the kiss could be useful in choosing a partner, it seems clear that its functions are focused on the the reproduction and the parenthood.

Our species might be predisposed to kissing in the mouth by their evolutionary inheritance, as these have also been observed in other animals (bonobos, for example). CultureBut that would have been to create varieties of kisses and mold the way they are presented, appearing alternatives to kissing in the mouth which, however, are perhaps indebted variants of the latter type.

Why do we like kisses?

Obviously, no one decides to kiss someone to get information about that person, not even to bond with them. The kisses are there because we love them. Evolution has meant that the main utility of these practices, which is in the long term, is masked by a short term objective: to obtain pleasure.

In this pleasure is based on the large amount of sensory neurons which are found on the tongue and lips. These areas have one of the highest cell densities of this type, and are therefore extremely sensitive to potentially pleasant stimuli.

like that, a few seconds of kisses generate a major torrent of information that goes straight to the brainMuch of the mental process begins to revolve around this experience. This is when the substances we have named begin to be massively secreted and the neurotransmitters linked to pleasure and falls take center stage. Therefore, a good kiss can make you lose track of time: your whole body is attentive to what is going on in this interaction.

NOTE: If you want to know more about what kisses are for, you might be interested in The Science of Kissing.

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