It’s funny how, over the course of a long-term relationship, kissing and long makeout sessions go from being the main event to … rare, if not nonexistent. Even if you have an active married sex life, somehow, many couples find the appeal of locking lips fades over time. What’s up with that?!
Well, if you needed more reason to make out with your honey, research reveals a bevy of benefits of smooching more! Here, 10 science-proven facts about one of humankind’s most intimate pastimes.
1. There’s a “right” way to kiss. Even though everyone may have their own personal style and preference, people are more likely to tilt their heads to the right when kissing instead of left, according to a report in the journal Nature. Researchers at Ruhr University in Germany took a microscope to 124 couples and found 65 percent of ’em went right.
Don’t try this at home or work… or even see it..
2. Kissing makes for happier, healthier hormones. Endorphins are those joy-making hormones we get from working out, and oxytocin is the bonding hormone triggered by snuggling or breastfeeding your baby. But both are also released by smooching — and add up to making you feel far less stressed and way more blissful! Kissing also boosts levels of dopamine, which regulates sexual desire and serotonin, which elevates mood, and lowers stores of cortisol, the stress hormone, in turn reducing anxiety and blood pressure.
3. Your lips have more nerve endings than your clitoris. The spot on a woman’s body most frequently associated with pleasure has 8,000 nerve endings. Your lips? Approximately 10,000!
4. Humans aren’t the only ones who kiss. Animals of all kinds show affection in similar ways: Chimpanzees kiss, foxes and dogs lick each other’s faces, some birds tap their bills together, and elephants put their trunks in each other’s mouths.
5. Kissing can keep you feeling well. Though it has a reputation for actually spreading illness (cuz, you know, all that saliva-swapping), a study published in the journal Medical Hypotheses found kissing may actually increase a woman’s immunity from Cytomegalovirus, which is contracted through mouth to mouth contact, can cause infant blindness and other birth defects if the mother is a carrier during pregnancy.
6. Your lips can guide you to your best match. According to anthropologist Helen Fisher, kissing is a “mate assessment tool,” because the brain picks up data about your partner’s feelings, tastes, smells, touch, and temperature. In other words, a kiss tells you a lot more about someone than just how their lips feel. In fact, Fisher explains that men can actually subconciously assess levels of your estrogen and thus, fertility, and women can pick up on how strong a man’s immune system and health is and how well he looks after himself. Impressive!
7. Making out could count as your cardio! Okay, not quite, but it does burn calories. A minute of passionate kissing can burn a little more than 6 calories.
8. Kissing your husband is stress management. A British survey found that nearly one in five married couples go without kissing for as long as one week at a time. And when they finally do pucker up, it will last no longer than five seconds for 40 percent of them.
But there are obviously major benefits of snogging (that’s British slang for kissing!) your long-term love, too. According to a study of married and cohabitating couples, published in the Western Journal of Communication, kissing reduces stress and improves your body’s response to and recovery from stress you experience. Sweet!
9. It also makes for a healthier, happier marriage. The same study found that couples who kissed said they exercised more, argued less, had less conflict and understood each other better.
10. … and your bad cholesterol. The kissing spouses also had lower levels of bad cholesterol — which means better heart health.
11. French kissing serves a sexy, scientific purpose. Saliva contains testosterone, according to researchers at the University of Albany, and men may enjoy sloppier kissing with a more open mouth, because they’re unconsciously trying to transfer their testosterone, which boosts a woman’s sex drive.
12. Women use kissing to assess the health of a long-term relationship. University of Albany researchers also found that we ladies use puckering up as a way to evaluate the state of our partnerships. We’re more likely than men to insist on kissing before, during, and after sex. Well, yeah! Given all the benefits, why not?!