Smooch, snog, peck, smacker, canoodle, tonsil hockey, necking… whatever you call it, being as it’s Valentine’s Day it will come as no surprise to read that our thoughts have wandered to that ultimate fat free way of having fun – kissing!
*The Romans started it all. They were the first to use the kiss the way that we know it today. They were particularly fond of the savium – the ancient Roman equivalent of the French kiss.
*Kissing doesn’t come naturally to humans. There are many cultures that had never kissed until the Europeans arrived and showed them how. It was their custom to rub or press noses (what we call ‘Eskimo’ kissing).
*In 2005, Australian men voted kissing as their 19th ‘favourite thing to do with a lover’. Watching football, visiting the in-laws and going to the toilet all ranked higher.
*During an average lifetime we spend about two weeks kissing.
*In 1802, a French couple achieved worldwide fame after their tongues became entangled during a passionate kiss. Since then, a full on kiss, with tongues has been called a French kiss (or a wet one).
*Our brains are equipped with neurons that can help us to find our lover’s lips in the dark.
*Indiana, in the USA, has a law that makes it illegal for a man with a moustache to ‘habitually kiss human beings.’
*The science of kissing is called philematology.
*In 1233, it was common for a Catholic congregation to line up and kiss their Bishop’s bare buttocks; this custom was the origin of the colloquial saying, “kiss my arse”.
*Kissing causes the brain to produce oxytocin, which is otherwise known as the ‘feel good’ hormone. Not only does this amazing hormone make you feel warm and fuzzy, it also makes you want to come back for more. Oxytocin is also present in chocolate and this may explain why we like the taste of it so much. Like kisses, one is never enough!
*In Connecticut, USA it is illegal for a man to kiss his wife on a Sunday.
*A passionate kiss uses all 34 facial muscles and burns 26 calories.
*In Cedar Rapids, Iowa it is illegal to kiss a stranger.
*Between 10 million and one billion colonies of bacteria are swapped in each snog.
*Kissing a frog was a common practice amongst ancient Amazonian tribes. Certain frogs secrete hallucinogenic chemicals that make whoever you look at appear extremely attractive (in the same way that beer-goggles work). Perhaps there is some truth in the fairy tale of kissing a frog to find a prince?
*Bonobo Monkeys (a type of chimpanzee) are the only other animals that kiss each other on the mouth – they are also the only other animal to have sex in the missionary position.
*The Mexican City of Guanajuato has declared itself the ‘Capital of the Kiss’. It even has a ‘Kissing Alley’, where a smooch is believed to bring good luck.
*In Naples, Italy in the 16th century, kissing was an offence that carried the death penalty.
*The Roman author and philosopher, Pliny the Elder recommends ‘Kissing the hairy nose of a mule’ as an excellent way to cure the common cold.
*In London, New York, Paris and other similar cities it is actually illegal to kiss your boss during working hours – although, it is not illegal to kiss their arse.