Kiss Imp by dhami.nabin


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									Expression of affection and love
The act of kissing on another person's lips has become a common expression of affection among
many cultures worldwide. Yet in certain cultures, kissing was introduced only through European
settlement; prior to this, kissing was not a routine occurrence. Examples of this include certain
indigenous peoples of Australia, the Tahitians, and many tribes in Africa.

Kissing on the lips is a physical expression of affection or love between two people, in which the
sensations of touch, taste, and smell are involved. According to psychologist Menachem Brayer,
although many "mammals, birds, and insects exchange caresses" which appear to be kisses of
affection (e.g. lovebirds), they are not kisses as humans consider them. Psychologist William
Cane notes that kissing in Western society is most often a romantic act and describes a few of its

It's not hard to tell when two people are in love. Maybe they're trying to hide it from the world;
still they cannot conceal their inner excitement. Men will give themselves away by a certain
excited trembling in the muscles of the lower jaw upon seeing their beloved. Women will often
turn pale immediately of seeing their lover and then get slightly red in the face as their
sweetheart draws near. This is the effect of physical closeness upon two people who are in love.

Kissing in Western cultures is a fairly recent development and is rarely mentioned even in Greek
literature. In the middle Ages it became a social gesture and was considered a sign of refinement
of the upper classes. Other cultures have different definitions and uses of kissing, notes Brayer.
In China, for example, a similar expression of affection consists of rubbing one's nose against the
cheek of another person. In other Eastern cultures kissing are not commonly done. In South East
Asian countries the "sniff kiss" is the most common form of affection and Western mouth to
mouth kissing is reserved for sexual foreplay. In some tribal cultures the "equivalent for our 'kiss
me' is 'smell me. However, in Africa people are not familiar with kissing, as is also the case with
Malays, Indigenous Australians and many other tribes.

The origins of the kiss were studied in the early 20th century by natural historian Ernest
Crawley. He wrote that kissing was "a universal expression in the social life of the higher
civilizations of the feelings of affection, love (sexual, parental, and filial), and veneration."
According to Crawley, touch is "the mother of the senses," and the kiss was a tactile and
specialized form of intimate contact. However, he notes that the act of kissing was very rare
among the "lower and semi-civilized races," but was "fully established as instinctive in the
higher societies." Yet even among higher civilizations Crawley saw differences: while the kiss
seems to have been unknown to ancient Egypt, it was well-established in early Greece, Assyria,
and India.
                  Fig:- Romeo and Juliet kissing in a painting by Sir Frank Dicksee

                                  19th-century anthropologist Cesare Lombroso originated and
The kiss of lovers, according to 19th                                   Lombroso,
evolved from the maternal kiss. Crawley supports this view by noting that Japanese society,
before the 20th century, was "ignorant of the kiss except as applied by a mother to her infant,"
while in Africa and "other uncivilized regions," it was commonly observed that neither husbands
and wives, or lovers, kissed one another. However, kissing was common among the Greeks and
Romans as when parents kissed their children, or when lovers and married persons kissed. The
kiss in Western societies was also used in various religious and ceremonial acts, as where the
kiss had a sacramental value. Crawley concludes that generally, although kissing was prevalent
in some form since primitive times, it "received its chief development in Western culture.

In modern times, scientists have done brain scans on people when a romantic relationship
progresses. Some studies found that after that "first magical meeting or perfect first date," a
complex system in the brain is activated that is essentially "the same thing that happens when a
person takes cocaine." In studies of affection between lovers, when participants viewed images
of their partners, their brains' ventral segmental area, which houses the reward and motivation
systems, was flooded with dopamine, an internal chemical that is "released when you're doing
something highly pleasurable.  .


                      Fig:-Young lovers are kissing in a park.
Christopher Nyrop has identified a number of types of kisses, such as kisses of love, affection,
peace, respect and friendship. He notes, however, that the categories were somewhat contrived
and overlapping, and other cultures often had more kinds, including the French, with twenty and
the Germans with thirty.

Adolescents kissing

In many cultures, it is considered harmless growing up customs for teenager to kiss on a date or
to engage in Kissing games with friends. These games act as icebreakers at parties and for some
participants they may be their first interaction with the opposite sex. There are many such games,
including truth or dare?, seven minutes in heaven (or the variation "two minutes in the closet"),
spin the bottle, post office, and wink.

Surveys indicate that kissing is the second most common form of physical intimacy among
                                                                         16-year-old adolescents
United States adolescents, after holding hands, with about 85% of 15- to 16
in the US experiencing it.

Sexual or romantic kiss

                               Fig:-Two men engage in a passionate kiss

The kiss is an important expression of love and erotic emotions. Nyrop describes the kiss of love
as an "exultant message of the longing of love, love eternally young, the burning prayer of hot
desire, which is born on the lovers' lips, and 'rises,' as Charles Fuster has said, 'up to the blue sky
from the green plains,' like a tender, trembling thank offering." He adds, that the love kiss, "rich
in promise, bestows an intoxicating feeling of infinite happiness, courage, and youth, and
therefore surpasses all other earthly joys in sublimity. He also compares it to one's achievements
in life, "Thus evens the highest work of art, yet, the loftiest reputation, and is nothing in
comparison with the passionate kiss of a woman one loves.

The power of a kiss is not minimized when he writes that "we all yearn for kisses and we all seek
them; it is idle to struggle against this passion. No one can evade the omnipotence of the kiss ..."
Kissing, he implies, can lead one to maturity: "It is through kisses that knowledge of life and
happiness first comes to us. Runeberg says that the angels rejoice over the first kiss exchanged
by lovers," and can keep one feeling young: "It carries life with it; it even bestows the gift of
eternal youth." The importance of the lover's kiss can also be significant, he notes: "In the case of
lovers a kiss is everything; that is the reason why a man stakes his all for a kiss," and "man
craves for it as his noblest reward.

As a result, kissing as an expression of love is contained in much of literature, old and new.
Nyrop gives a vivid example in the classic love story of Daphnis and Chaloe As a reward
"Chloe has bestowed a kiss on Daphnis—an innocent young-maid's kiss, but it has on him the
effect of an electrical shock.

Ye gods, what are my feelings. Her lips are softer than the rose's leaf, her mouth is sweet as
honey, and her kiss inflicts on me more pain than a bee's sting. I have often kissed my kids, I
have often kissed my lambs, but never have I known aught like this. My pulse is beating fast, my
heart throbs, it is as if I were about to suffocate, yet, nevertheless, I want to have another kiss.
Strange, never-suspected pain! Has Chloe, I wonder, drunk some poisonous draught ere she
kissed me? How comes it that she herself has not died of it?

Romantic kissing "requires more than simple proximity," notes Cane. It also needs "some degree
of intimacy or privacy, which is why you'll see lovers stepping to the side of a busy street or
sidewalk. Psychologist Whilhelm Reich "lashed out at society" for not giving young lovers
enough privacy and making it difficult to be alone. However, Cane describes how many lovers
manage to attain romantic privacy despite being in a public setting, as they "lock their minds
together" and thereby create an invisible sense of "psychological privacy." He adds, "In this way
they can kiss in public even in a crowded plaza and keep it romantic. Nonetheless, when Cane
asked people to describe the most romantic places they ever kissed, "their answers almost always
referred to this ends-of-the-earth isolation, ... they mentioned an apple orchard, a beach, out in a
field looking at the stars, or at a pond in a secluded area.

Kiss of affection

A kiss can also be used to express feelings without an erotic element but can be nonetheless "far
deeper and more lasting," writes Nyrop. He adds that such kisses can be expressive of love "in
the widest and most comprehensive meaning of the word, bringing a message of loyal affection,
gratitude, compassion, sympathy, intense joy, and profound sorrow.

The most common example is the "intense feeling which knits parents to their offspring," writes
Nyrop, but adds that kisses of affection are not only common between parents and children, but
also between other members of the same family, which can include those outside the immediate
family circle, "everywhere where deep affection unites people. The tradition is written off in the
Bible, as when Orpha kissed her mother-in-law and when Moses went to meet his father-in-law,
he "did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into
the tent" (Exodus 18:7); and when Jacob had wrestled with the Lord he met Esau, ran towards
him, fell on his neck and kissed him. The family kiss was traditional with the Romans and kisses
of affection are often mentioned by the early Greeks, as when Odysseus, on reaching his home,
meets his faithful shepherds.

Affection can be a cause of kissing "in all ages in grave and solemn moments," notes Nyrop, "not
only among those who love each other, but also as an expression of profound gratitude. When
the Apostle Paul took leave of the elders of the congregation at Ephesus, "they all wept sore, and
fell on Paul's neck and kissed him"(Acts 20:37). Kisses can also be exchanged between total
strangers, as when there is a profound sympathy with or the warmest interest in, another person.

Folk Poetry has been the source of affectionate kisses where they sometimes played an important
part, as when they had the power to cast off spells or to break bonds of witchcraft and sorcery,
often restoring a man to his original shape. Nyrop notes the poetical stories of the "redeeming
power of the kiss are to be found in the literature of many countries, especially, for example, in
the Old French Arthurian romances (Lancelot, Guiglain, Tirant le blanc] in which the princess is
changed by evil arts into a dreadful dragon, and can only resume her human shape in the case of
a knight being brave enough to kiss her." In the reverse situation, in the tale of "Beauty and the
Beast," a transformed prince then told the girl that he had been bewitched by a wicked fairy, and
could not be recreated into a man unless a maid fell in love with him and kissed him, despite his

A kiss of affection can also take place after death. In Genesis it is written that when Jacob was
dead, "Joseph fell upon his father's face and wept upon him and kissed him." And it is told of
Abu Bakr, Muhammad's first disciple, father-in-law, and successor, that, when the prophet was
dead, he went into the latter's tent, uncovered his face, and kissed him. Nyrop writes that "the
kiss is the last tender proof of love bestowed on one we have loved, and was believed, in ancient
times, to follow mankind to the nether world.

Kiss as ritual


       Fig:-Joan of Arc kissing the "Sword of Liberation;" painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti,


       Fig:-Kiss on the crucifix in Christianity


       Fig:-Denis Thatcher, husband of Margaret Thatcher, kissing the hand of Nancy Reagan
       wife of US President in 1988

Throughout history, a kiss has been a ritual, formal, symbolic or social gesture indicating
devotion, respect or greeting. It appears as a ritual or symbol of religious devotion. For example,
“in the case of kissing a temple floor, or a religious book or icon”. Besides devotion, a kiss has
also indicated subordination or, nowadays, respect.
In modern times the practice continues, as in the case of a bride and groom kissing at the
conclusion of a wedding ceremony or national leaders kissing each other in greeting, and in
many other situations.


A kiss in a religious context is common. In earlier periods of Christianity or Islam kissing
became a ritual gesture, and is still treated as such in certain customs, as when "kissing the
Pope's foot, relics, or a bishop's ring. In Judaism, the kissing of prayer books such as the Torah,
along with kissing prayer shawls, is also common. Crawley notes that it was "very significant of
the affectionate element in religion" to give so important a part to the kiss as part of its ritual. In
the early Church the baptized were kissed by the celebrant after the ceremony, and its use was
even extended as a salute to saints and religious heroes, with Crawley adding, "Thus Joseph
kissed Jacob, and his disciples kissed Paul. Joseph kissed his dead father, and the custom was
retained in our civilization," as the farewell kiss on dead relatives, although certain sects prohibit
this today.

A distinctive element in the Christian ritual was noted by Justin in the 2nd century, now referred
to as the "kiss of peace," and once part of the rite in the primitive Mass. Conybears has stated
that this act originated within the ancient Hebrew Synagogue, and Philo, the ancient Jewish
philosopher called it a "kiss of harmony," where, as Crawley explains, "the Word of God brings
hostile things together in concord and the kiss of love. Saint Cyril also writes, "This kiss is the
sign that our souls are united, and that we banish all remembrance of injury.

An early reference to kissing is contained in the familiar second verse of the Old Testament
book, Song of Solomon, an ancient Hebrew love poem: Let him kiss me with the kisses of his
For thy love is better than wine.

Kiss of peace

Nyrop notes that the kiss of peace was used as an expression of deep, spiritual devotion in the
early Christian Church. Christ said, for instance, "Peace be with you, my peace I give you," and
the members of Christ's Church gave each other peace symbolically through a kiss. St Paul
repeatedly speaks of the "holy kiss” and, in his Epistle to the Romans, writes: "Salute one
another with a holy kiss" and his first Epistle to the Thessalonians, he says: "Greet all the
brethren with a holy kiss.

The kiss of peace was also used in secular festivities. During the Middle Ages, for example,
Nyrop points out that it was the custom to "seal the reconciliation and pacification of enemies by
a kiss." Even knights gave each other the kiss of peace before proceeding to the combat, and
forgave one another all real or imaginary wrongs. The holy kiss was also found in the ritual of
the Church on solemn occasions, such as baptism, marriage, confession, ordination, or obsequies.
However, toward the end of the Middle Ages the kiss of peace disappears as the official token of
Kiss of respect

The kiss of respect is of ancient origin, notes Nyrop. He writes that "from the remotest times we
find it applied to all that is holy, noble, and worshipful—to the gods, their statues, temples, and
altars, as well as to kings and emperors; out of reverence, people even kissed the ground, and
both sun and moon were greeted with kisses.

He notes some examples, as "when the prophet Hosea laments over the idolatry of the children of
Israel, he says that they make molten images of calves and kiss them." In classical times similar
homage was often paid to the gods, and people were known to kiss the hands, knees, feet, and the
mouths, of their idols. Cicero writes that the lips and beard of the famous statue of Hercules at
Agrigentum were worn away by the kisses of devotees.

People kissed the Cross with the image of the Crucified, and such kissing of the Cross is always
considered a holy act. In many countries it is required, on taking an oath, as the highest assertion
that the witness would be speaking the truth. Nyrop notes that "as a last act of charity, the image
of the Redeemer is handed to the dying or death-condemned to be kissed." Kissing the Cross
brings blessing and happiness; people kiss the image of Our Lady and the pictures and statues of
saints—not only their pictures, "but even their relics are kissed," notes Nyrop. "They make both
soul and body whole." There are legends innumerable of sick people regaining their health by
kissing relics, he points out.

The kiss of respect has also represented a mark of fealty, humility and reverence. Its use in
ancient times was widespread, and Nyrop gives examples: "people threw themselves down on
the ground before their rulers, kissed their footprints, literally 'licked the dust,' as it is
termed."Nearly everywhere, wheresoever an inferior is meets a superior, we observe the kiss of
respect. The Roman slaves kissed the hands of their masters; pupils and soldiers those of their
teachers and captains respectively. People also kissed the earth for joy on returning to their
native land after a lengthened absence, as when Agamemnon returned from the Trojan War
Nyrop points out, however, that in modern times the ceremonious kiss of respect "has gone clean
out of fashion in the most civilized countries," and it is only retained in the Church, and that in
many cases "the practice would be offensive or ridiculous.

Kiss of friendship

The kiss is also commonly used in American and European culture as a salutation between
friends or acquaintances. The friendly kiss until recent times usually occurred only between
ladies, but today it is also common between men and women, especially if there is a great
difference in age. According to Nyrop, up until the 20th century, "it seldom or never takes place
between men, with the exception, however, of royal personages," although he notes that in
former times the "friendly kiss was very common with us between man and man as well as
between persons of opposite sexes." In guilds, for example, it was customary for the members to
greet each other "with hearty handshakes and smacking kisses," and, on the conclusion of a meal,
people thanked and kissed both their hosts and hostesses.

Contemporary practices
In modern Western Culture, kissing on the lips is most commonly an expression of affection.
When lips are pressed together for an extended period, usually accompanied with an embrace, it
is an expression of romantic and sexual desire. The practice of kissing with an open mouth, to
allow the other to suck their lips or move their tongue into their mouth, is called French Kissing.
"Making Out" is often an adolescent's first physical contact with the opposite sex and the first
experience of their sexuality and games which involve kissing, such as spin the bottle, facilitate
the experience. People may kiss children on the forehead to comfort them or the cheek to show

Kissing in films

The first romantic kiss on screen was in American silent films in 1896, beginning with the film
The Kiss. The kiss lasted 30 seconds and caused many to rail against decadence in the new
medium of silent film. Writer Louis Black writes that "it was the United States that brought
kissing out of the Dark Ages. However, it met with severe disapproval by defenders of public
morality, especially in New York. One critic proclaimed that "it is absolutely disgusting. Such
things call for police interference.

Young moviegoers began emulating romantic stars on the screen, such as Ronald Colman and
Rudolph Valentino, the latter known for ending his passionate scenes with a kiss. Valentino also
began his romantic scenes with women by kissing her hand, traveling up her arm, and then
kissing her on the back of her neck. Female actresses were often turned into stars based on their
screen portrayals of passion. Actresses like Nazimova, Pola Negri, Vilma Banky and Greta
Garbo, became screen idols as a result.

Eventually the film industry was forced by law to follow the dictates of the Production Code
established in 1934, overseen by Will Hays and supported by the church. According to the new
code, "Excessive and lustful kissing, lustful embraces, suggestive postures and gestures, are not
to be shown. As a result, kissing scenes were shortened, with scenes cut away, leaving the
imagination of the viewer to take over. Under the code, actors kissing had to keep their feet on
the ground and had to be either standing or sitting.

The heyday of romantic kissing on the screen took place in the early sound era, during the
Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s. Body language began to be used to
supplement romantic scenes, especially with the eyes, a talent that added to Greta Garbo's fame.
Author Lana Citron writes that "men were perceived as the kissers and women the receivers.
Should the roles ever be reversed, women were regarded as vamps. According to Citron, Mae
West and Anna May Wong were the only Hollywood actresses never to have been kissed on
screen. Among the films rated for having the most romantic kisses, are Gone with the Wind,
From Here to Eternity, Casablanca, and To Have and Have Not.

Sociologist Eva Illouz notes that surveys taken in 1935, during the peak of the film industry,
showed that "love was the most important theme represented in movies. Similar surveys during
the 1930s found the 95% of films had romance as one of their plot lines, what film critics called
"the romantic formula.

Non-sexual kisses

Female friends and close acquaintances commonly offer reciprocal kisses on the cheek as a
greeting or farewell. To a lesser extent this is also common between male and female friends, but
men usually greet each other with a handshake. In some countries a single kiss is the custom,
while in others a kiss on each cheek is the norm. In the United States an air kiss is becoming
more common. This involves kissing in the air near the cheek, with the cheeks touching or not.
After a first date, it is common for the couple to give each other a quick kiss on the cheek on
parting, to indicate that a good time was had and perhaps to indicate an interest in another

A symbolic kiss is frequent in Western cultures. A kiss can be "blown" to another by kissing the
fingertips and then blowing the fingertips, pointing them in the direction of the recipient. This is
used to convey affection, usually when parting or when the partners are physically distant but
can view each other. Blown kisses are also used when a person wishes to convey affection to a
large crowd or audience. The term flying kiss is used in India to describe a blown kiss. In written
correspondence a kiss has been represented by the letter "X" since at least 1763. A stage or
screen kiss may be performed by actually kissing, or faked by using the thumbs as a barrier for
the lips and turning so the audience is unable to fully see the act.

In Slavic cultures until recent times, kissing between two men on the lips as a greeting or a
farewell was not uncommon and was not considered sexual.

In some Western cultures it is considered good luck to kiss someone on Christmas or on New
Year's Eve, especially beneath a sprig of mistletoe. A bride and groom usually kiss at the end of
a wedding ceremony.

Some literature suggests that a significant percentage of humanity does not kiss. In Sub-Saharan
African, Asiatic, and Polynesian and possibly in some Native American cultures, kissing was
relatively unimportant until European colonization.

With the Andamanese, kissing was only used as a sign of affection towards children and had no
sexual undertones.

In traditional Islamic cultures kissing is not permitted between a man and woman who are not
married or closely related by blood or marriage. A kiss on the cheek is a very common form of
greeting among members of the same sex in most Islamic countries, following the south
European pattern.

In 2007, two people were fined and jailed for a month after kissing and hugging in public in
Dubai. In 2008, Singapore's Media Development Authority fined cable firm Star Hub after it
broadcast an advertisement showing two women kissing.

In India, public display of affection is a criminal offense under Section 294 of the Indian Penal
Code, 1860 with a punishment of imprisonment of up to three months, or a fine, or both. This
law has been used by the police and lower courts to harass and prosecute couples engaging in
acts such as kissing in public. However, in a number of landmark cases the higher courts have
dismissed obscenity proceeding against kissing couples. Attacks by vigilante groups also are a
danger for those displaying affection.

In religion
Kissing was a custom during the Biblical period and appears for the first time in recorded history
in the Book of Genesis, 27:26, when Isaac kissed his son Jacob. The kiss is used in numerous
other places in the Bible: the kiss of homage, in Esther 5:2; of subjection, in 1 Samuel 10:1; of
reconciliation, in 2 Samuel 14:33; of valediction, in Ruth 1:14; of approbation, in Psalms 2:12; of
humble gratitude, in Luke 7:38; of welcome, in Exodus 18:7; of love and joy, in Genesis 20:11.
There are also spiritual kisses, as in Canticles 1:2; sensual kisses, as in Proverbs 7:13; and
hypocritical kisses, as in 2 Samuel 15:5. It was customary to kiss the mouth in biblical times, and
also the beard, which is still practiced in Arab culture. Kissing the hand is not biblical, according
to Tabor. The kiss of peace was an apostolic custom, and continues to be one of the rites in the
Eucharistic services of Roman Catholics.

In the Roman Catholic Order of Mass, the bishop or priest celebrant bows and kisses the altar,
reverencing it, upon arriving at the altar during the entrance procession before Mass and upon
leaving at the recessional at the closing of Mass; if a deacon is assisting, he bows low before the
altar but does not kiss it.

Among primitive cultures it was usual to throw kisses to the sun and to the moon, as well as to
the images of the gods. Kissing the hand is first heard of among the Persians. According to
Tabor, the kiss of homage—the character of which is not indicated in the Bible—was probably.
Upon the forehead, and was expressive of high respect

   •   Muslims may kiss the Black Stone during Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).
   •   In Ancient Rome and some modern Pagan beliefs, worshipers when passing the statue or
       image of a god or goddess will kiss their hand and wave it towards the deity (adoration).
   •   In the gospels of Matthew and Mark (Luke and John omit this) Judas betrayed Jesus with
       a kiss: an instance of a kiss tainted with betrayal. This is the basis of the term "the kiss of
   •   The holy kiss or kiss of peace is a traditional part of most Christian liturgies, though often
       replaced with an embrace or handshake today in Western cultures.
   •   Pope John Paul II would kiss the ground on arrival in a new country.
   •   Visitors to the Pope traditionally kiss his foot. (The ring of a cardinal or bishop, hand of a
   •   Jews will kiss the Western wall of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, and other religious
       articles during prayer such as the Torah, usually by touching their hand, Tallis, or Siddur
       (prayer book) to the Torah and then kissing it. Jewish law prohibits kissing members of
       the opposite sex, except for spouses and certain close relatives. See Negiah.
   •   Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians often kiss the icons around the church
       on entering; they will also kiss the cross and/or the priest's hand in certain other customs
       in the Church, such as confession or receiving a blessing.
   •   Catholics will kiss rosary beads as a part of prayer, or kiss their hand after making the
       sign of the cross. It is also common to kiss the wounds on a crucifix, or any other image
       of Christ's Passion.
   •   Hindus sometimes kiss the floor of a temple.
   •   Local lore in Ireland suggests that kissing the Blarney Stone will bring the gift of the gab.

Biology and evolution
                              Fig:-Black-tailed prairie dogs "kissing"

Within the natural world of animals there are numerous analogies, notes Crawley, such as "the
billing of birds, the cataglottism of pigeons and the antennal play of some insects." Even among
higher animals such as the dog, cat and bear, similar behavior is noted.

Anthropologists have not reached a conclusion as to whether kissing is learned or a behavior
from instinct. It may be related to grooming behavior also seen between other animals, or arising
as a result of mothers pre-masticating food for their children. Non-human primates also exhibit
kissing behavior. Dogs, cats, birds and other animals display licking, nuzzling, and grooming
behavior among themselves, but also towards humans or other species. This is sometimes
interpreted by observers as a type of kissing.

Kissing in humans is postulated to have evolved from the direct mouth-to-mouth regurgitation of
food (kiss feeding) from parent to offspring or male to female (courtship feeding) and has been
observed in numerous mammals. The similarity in the methods between kiss-feeding and deep
human kisses (e.g. French kiss) are quite pronounced, in the former, the tongue is used to push
food from the mouth of the mother to the child with the child receiving both the mother's food
and tongue in sucking movements, and the latter is the same but forgoes the pre-masticated food.
In fact, through observations across various species and cultures, it can be confirmed that the act
of kissing and pre-mastication has most likely evolved from the similar relationship-based
feeding behaviors.


Kissing is a complex behavior that requires significant muscular coordination involving a total of
34 facial muscles and 112 postural muscles. The most important muscle involved is the orbicular
is oris muscle, which is used to pucker the lips and informally known as the kissing muscle. In
the case of the French kiss, the tongue is also an important component. Lips have many nerve
endings which make them sensitive to touch and bite.

Health benefits

Affection in general has stress-reducing effects. Kissing in particular has been studied in a
controlled experiment and it was found that increasing the frequency of kissing in marital and
cohabiting relationships results in a reduction of perceived stress, an increase in relationship
satisfaction, and a lowering of cholesterol levels.
Kissing can also cause the adrenal glands to release epinephorine and norepinephorine
(adrenaline and noradrenalin) into the blood, thereby causing an adrenaline rush, which has a
beneficial impact on the cardiovascular system because the heart pumps faster. In an experiment
by Dr. Alexander De-Wees, a passionate kiss generally burns up to 2–3 calories per minute.

Disease transmission

Kissing can result in the transmission of diseases, including mononucleosis, allergic reactions to
nuts and drugs, and herpes, when the infectious virus is present in saliva. Research indicates that
contraction of HIV via kissing is extremely unlikely, although a woman has been infected with
HIV by kissing (in 1997). Both the woman and infected man had gum disease, so transmission
was through the man's blood, not through saliva.

The date's gone well, and now it's almost over. Of course you’ve been through your first date and
successfully so. But you haven’t attempted kissing all this time. Although no one can really get
to teach you how to kiss; here are some tips on the "how and when" of the kissing scene.

"How to" on kissing

* Look for positive body language, such as eye contact, uncrossed arms and head tilted toward
you. Your first impressions on these would prove to be valuable and fruitful to get you going.

* Don’t think too much, just do it. Waiting just makes the moment awkward. It’s possible that
your partner too is thinking of letting you make the first move as you may be.

* Maintain eye contact all throughout and as you close in. Try not to close your eyes until after
making lip contact. This not only helps you observe the intimacy of the kiss, but the expressions
give you an exact picture of her mind.

* Tilt your head slightly to one side to avoid bumping noses. This is very important. I know of a
friend who forgot this and landed in a huge knockout. To make things worse, they both forgot
that they had braces on, to help their protruding teeth!

* Press your lips gently against your date's. Try not to suck his or her breath away just yet.
Chances are that you’ll probably get your chance to go beyond this. If you are patient that
sometime may just be your lucky day today!

* Release. If this sounds moiré like you are looking into an instructional Yoga manual, well, then
believe it or not, some men and women need to be told this! Look into your date's eyes. If he or
she isn't looking back at you the same way, then you probably shouldn't continue. Like I said
earlier, it’s all in the eyes!

* Kiss your date again. There's more flexibility to this kiss. You’ll be more relaxed and more
enthusiastic to indulge now than you did before!

* Explore - softly kiss your date's neck, ears and eyelashes. You could also explore with her ears
too, as that’s a woman’s passion point. And by this time, you'll have a better feel for how and
where to kiss your date.

A few more pointers in this direction:

* Despite what has been shown only in the movies, when it actually comes to doing it, its best to
keep the kissing as simple as possible. A soft touch calms your date, especially if this kiss is the
first one.

* Don’t rush in and then explain. If you’re the adventurous kind, well, leave it out for later, you
might just scare her away!

* Try putting your hand on their back (if you are a woman) or on their cheek (if you are a guy).
This will make them feel more at ease in an awkward situation. Ruffling your fingers through
each other’s hair also calms and soothes the effect of kissing!

* Women and men react differently to kissing. So if you are a man, remember your kissing will
not only make her feel loved, it would also open up all her pent-up emotions and feelings she had
for you. And if you don’t kiss her right, instead expect something more (as most guys do!) then
you’ll be sure that she’ll detect it and push you away. Women love to be loved.

Kissing is one of the ways you can express your love. And men love to kiss because it satiates
their energies, making them prepared for something more than just a touch of the lips. All and all
kiss and make up!

Body Language

The eyes are often called, with some justification, 'the windows of the soul' as they can send
many different non-verbal signals.

For reading body language this is quite useful as looking at people's eyes are a normal part of
communication (whilst gazing at other parts of the body can be seen as rather rude).

Looking up
When a person looks upwards they are often thinking. In particular they are probably making
pictures in their head and thus may well be an indicator of a visual thinker.

When they are delivering a speech or presentation, looking up may be their recalling their
prepared words.

Looking upwards and to the left can indicate recalling a memory. Looking upwards and the right
can indicate imaginative construction of a picture (which can hence betray a liar). Be careful
with this: sometimes the directions are reversed -- if in doubt, test the person by asking them to
recall known facts or imagine something.

Looking up may also be a signal of boredom as the person examines the surroundings in search
of something more interesting.

Head lowered and an eye looking back up at the other person is a coy and suggestive action as it
combines the head down of submission with eye contact of attraction. It can also be judgmental,
especially when combined with a frown.

Looking down
Looking at a person can be an act of power and domination. Looking down involves not looking
at the other person, which hence may be a sign of submission ('I am not a threat, really; please do
not hurt me. You are so glorious I would be dazzled if I looked at you.')

Looking down can thus be a signal of submission. It can also indicate that the person is feeling

A notable way that a lower person looks down at a higher person is by tilting their head back.
Even taller people may do this.

Looking down and to the left can indicate that they are talking to themselves (look for slight
movement of the lips). Looking down and to the right can indicate that they are attending to
internal emotions.

In many cultures where eye contact is a rude or dominant signal, people will look down when
talking with others in order to show respect.

Looking sideways
Much of our field of vision is in the horizontal plane, so when a person looks sideways, they are
either looking away from what is in front of them or looking towards something that has taken
their interest.

A quick glance sideways can just be checking the source of a distraction to assess for threat or
interest. It can also be done to show irritation ('I didn't appreciate that comment!').

Looking to the left can indicate a person recalling a sound. Looking to the right can indicate that
they are imagining the sound. As with visual and other movements, this can be reversed and may
need checking against known truth and fabrication.
Lateral movement

Eyes moving from side-to-side can indicate shiftiness and lying, as if the person is looking for an
escape route in case they are found out.

Lateral movement can also happen when the person is being conspiratorial, as if they are
checking that nobody else is listening.

Eyes may also move back and forth sideways (and sometimes up and down) when the person is
visualizing a big picture and is literally looking it over.

Looking at something shows an interest in it, whether it is a painting, a table or a person. When
you look at something, then others who look at your eyes will feel compelled to follow your gaze
to see what you are looking at. This is a remarkable skill as we are able to follow a gaze very

When looking at a person normally, the gaze is usually at eye level or above (see eye contact,
below). The gaze can also be a defocused looking at the general person.

Looking at a person's mouth can indicate that you would like to kiss them. Looking at sexual
regions indicates a desire to have sexual relations with them.

Looking up and down at a whole person is usually sizing them up, either as a potential threat or
as a sexual partner (notice where the gaze lingers). This can be quite insulting and hence indicate
a position of presumed dominance, as the person effectively says 'I am more powerful than you,
your feelings are unimportant to me and you will submit to my gaze'.

Looking at their forehead or not at them indicates disinterest. This may also be shown by
defocused eyes where the person is 'inside their head' thinking about other things.

It is difficult to conceal a gaze as we are particularly adept at identifying exactly where other
people are looking. This is one reason why we have larger eye whites than animals, as it aids
complex communication.

The acceptable duration of a gaze varies with culture and sometimes even a slight glance is
unacceptable, such as between genders or by a lower status person.

Glancing at something can betray a desire for that thing, for example glancing at the door can
indicate a desire to leave.

Glancing at a person can indicate a desire to talk with them. It can also indicate a concern for that
person's feeling when something is said that might upset them.

Glancing may indicate a desire to gaze at something or someone where it is forbidden to look for
a prolonged period.
Eye contact
Eye contact between two people is a powerful act of communication and may show interest,
affection or dominance.

Doe eyes

A softening of the eyes, with relaxing of muscles around the eye and a slight defocusing as the
person tries to take in the whole person is sometimes called doe eyes, as it often indicates sexual
desire, particularly if the gaze is prolonged and the pupils are dilated (see below). The eyes may
also appear shiny.

Making eye contact

Looking at a person acknowledges them and shows that you are interested in them, particularly if
you look in their eyes.

Looking at a person's eyes also lets you know where they are looking. We are amazingly good at
detecting what they are looking at and can detect even a brief glance at parts of our body, for

If a person says something when you are looking away and then you make eye contact, then this
indicates they have grabbed your attention.

Breaking eye contact

Prolonged eye contact can be threatening, so in conversation we frequently look away and back

Breaking eye contact can indicate that something that has just been said that makes the person
not want to sustain eye contact, for example that they are insulted, they have been found out,
they feel threatened, etc. This can also happen when the person thinks something that causes the
same internal discomfort. Of course, a break in eye contact can also be caused by something as
simple as dried out contacts or any new stimulus in one's immediate area, so it's important to
watch for other signals.

Looking at a person, breaking eye contact and then looking immediately back at them is a classic
flirting action, particularly with the head held coyly low in suggested submission.

Long eye contact

Eye contact longer than normal can have several different meanings.

Eye contact often increases significantly when we are listening, and especially when we are
paying close attention to what the other person is saying. Less eye contact is used when talking,
particularly by people who are visual thinkers as they stare into the distance or upwards as they
'see' what they are talking about.
We also look more at people we like and like people who look at us more. When done with doe
eyes and smiles, it is a sign of attraction. Lovers will stare into each other’s eyes for a long
period. Attraction is also indicated by looking back and forth between the two eyes, as if we are
desperately trying to determine if they are interested in us too.

An attraction signal that is more commonly used by women is to hold the other person's gaze for
about three seconds, Then look down for a second or two and then look back up again (to see if
they have taken the bait). If the other person is still looking at them, they are rewarded with a coy
smile or a slight widening of the eyes ('Yes, this message is for you!').

When done without blinking, contracted pupils and an immobile face, this can indicate
domination, aggression and use of power. In such circumstances a staring competition can ensue,
with the first person to look away admitting defeat.

Prolonged eye contact can be disconcerting. A trick to reduce stress from this is to look at the
bridge of their nose. They will think you are still looking in their eyes.

Sometimes liars, knowing that low eye contact is a sign of lying, will over-compensate and look
at you for a longer than usual period. Often this is done without blinking as they force
themselves into this act. They may smile with the mouth, but not with the eyes as this is more

Limited eye contact

When a person makes very little eye contact, they may be feeling insecure. They may also be
lying and not want to be detected.

In persuasion

Eye contact is very important for persuasion. If you look at the other person and they do not look
back at you, then their attention is likely elsewhere. Even if they hear you, the lack of eye contact
reduces the personal connection.

If you want to persuade or change minds, then the first step is to gain eye contact and then
sustain it with regular reconnection.

Staring is generally done with eyes wider than usual, prolonged attention to something and with
reduced blinking. It generally indicates particular interest in something or someone.

Staring at a person can indicate shock and disbelief, particularly after hearing unexpected news.

When the eyes are defocused, the person's attention may be inside their head and what they are
staring at may be of no significance. (Without care, this can become quite embarrassing for

Prolonged eye contact can be aggressive, affectionate or deceptive and is discussed further
above. Staring at another's eyes is usually more associated with aggressive action.
A short stare, with eyes wide open and then back to normal indicates surprise. The correction
back to normal implies that the person would like to stare more, but knows it is impolite (this
may be accompanied with some apologetic text).

When a person stares at another, then the second person may be embarrassed and look away. If
they decide to stare back, then the people 'lock eyes' and this may become a competition with the
loser being the person who looks away first.

The length of an acceptable stare varies across cultures, as does who is allowed to stare, and at
what. Babies and young children stare more, until they have learned the cultural rules.

The eyes will naturally follow movement of any kind. If the person is looking at something of
interest then they will naturally keep looking at this. They also follow neutral or feared things in
case the movement turns into a threat.

This is used when sales people move something like a pen or finger up and down, guiding where
the customer looks, including to eye contact and to parts of the product being sold.

Narrowing of a person's eyes can indicate evaluation, perhaps considering that something told to
them is not true (or at least not fully so).

   •   It can similarly indicate uncertainty ('I cannot quite see what is meant here.')
   •   Squinting can also be used by liars who do not want the other person to detect their
   •   When a person thinks about something and does not want to look at the internal image,
       they may involuntarily squint.
   •   Squinting can also happen when lights or the sun are bright.
   •   Lowering of eyelids is not really a squint but can have a similar meaning. It can also
       indicate tiredness.
   •   Lowering eyelids while still looking at the other person can be a part of a romantic and
       suggestive cluster, and may be accompanied with tossing back the head and slightly
       puckering the lips in a kiss.

Blinking is a neat natural process whereby the eyelids wipe the eyes clean, much as a windscreen
wiper on a car.

Blink rate tends to increase when people are thinking more or are feeling stressed. This can be an
indication of lying as the liar has to keep thinking about what they are saying. Realizing this,
they may also force their eyes open and appear to stare.
Blinking can also indicate rapport, and people who are connected may blink at the same rate.
Someone who is listening carefully to you is more likely to blink when you pause (keeping eyes
open to watch everything you say).

Beyond natural random blinking, a single blink can signal surprise that the person does not quite
believe what they see ('I'll wipe my eyes clean to better see').

Rapid blinking blocks vision and can be an arrogant signal, saying 'I am so important, I do not
need to see you'.

Rapid blinking also flutters the eyelashes and can be a coy romantic invitation.

Reduced blinking increases the power of a stare, whether it is romantic or dominant in purpose.

Closing one eye in a wink is a deliberate gesture that often suggests conspiratorial ('You and I
both understand, though others do not').

Winking can also be a slightly suggestive greeting and is reminiscent of a small wave of the hand
('Hello there, gorgeous!').

Closing the eyes shuts out the world. This can mean 'I do not want to see what is in front of me,
it is so terrible'.

Sometimes when people are talking they close their eyes. This is an equivalent to turning away
so eye contact can be avoided and any implied request for the other person to speak is effectively

Visual thinkers may also close their eyes, sometimes when talking, so they can better see the
internal images without external distraction.

The tear ducts provide moisture to the eyes, both for washing them and for tears.

Damp eyes can be suppressed weeping, indicating anxiety, fear or sadness. It can also indicate
that the person has been crying recently.

Dampness can also occur when the person is tired (this may be accompanied by redness of the

Actual tears that roll down the cheeks are often a symptom of extreme fear or sadness, although
paradoxically you can also weep tears of joy.
Weeping can be silent, with little expression other than the tears (indicating a certain amount of
control). It also typically involves screwing up of the face and, when emotions are extreme, can
be accompanied by uncontrollable, convulsive sobs.

Men in many cultures are not expected to cry and learn to suppress this response, not even being
able to cry when alone. Even if their eyes feel damp they may turn away.

Tears and sadness may be transformed into anger, which may be direct at whoever is available.

Pupil size
A subtle signal that is sometimes detected only subconsciously and is seldom realized by the
sender is where the pupil gets larger (dilates) or contracts.

Sexual desire is a common cause of pupil dilation, and is sometimes called 'bedroom
eyes' (magazine pictures sometimes have deliberately doctored eyes to make a model look more
attractive). When another person's eyes dilate we may be attracted further to them and our eyes
dilate in return. Likewise, when their pupils are small, ours may well contract also.

Pupils dilate also when it is darker to let in more light. Perhaps this is why clubs, bars,
restaurants and other romantic venues are so dingy.

People with dark irises (the colored circle around the pupil) can look attractive because it is
difficult to distinguish the iris from the pupil, with the effect is that their dark pupils look larger
than they are. People with light irises make the pupils easier to see, so when their pupils actually
do dilate then the signal is clearer to detect, making them more attractive 'at the right time'.

The reverse of this is that pupils contract when we do not like the other person, perhaps in an
echo of squint-like narrowing of the eyes.

When a person is feeling uncomfortable, the eyes may water a little. To cover this and try to
restore an appropriate dryness, they person may rub their eye and maybe even feign tiredness or
having something in the eye. This also gives the opportunity to turn the head away.

The rubbing may be with one finger, with a finger and thumb (for two eyes) or with both hands.
The more the coverage, the more the person is trying to hide behind the hands.

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