What's in a Kiss?
It's a way of testing the waters, sampling the goods — before you commit.
It all starts with a kiss. Whether long and sensual or short and sweet, a kiss is the ultimate form of sensual expression. If done right, a kiss can light the flames of passion; if done wrong, it can bring a delicious infatuation to a less-than-rousing end. A kiss is the doorway to what comes next.
Many women will tell you that a kiss is the ultimate deal-breaker. A good kiss is both a matter of personal style and what feels right for the moment. But what is it about a smooch that can send you to the stars or smack you right back down to earth?
A kiss puts you in close proximity with a partner’s skin and scent. Skin is the delivery site for pheromones — the undetectable chemicals of attraction that work through our sense of smell. The kiss delivers us to the most primal parts of our minds, which may be why there is so much potential for satisfaction and disappointment.
For many, kissing is one of few sexual acts they’ve engaged in with a wide range of people. Again, since a kiss can make or break an attraction, it is often the case that we end up kissing far more people than we bed. It’s the supreme technique of sampling the goods with little emotional or physical investment.
So just how much experience are most of us getting? A nationwide survey conducted by Close-Up toothpaste got up close and personal with 2,200 men and women to shed some light on our modern kissing habits. It seems that men and women are definitely getting their practice in: The average woman kisses 17.5 men before she settles down and the average man kisses 24 prospects before he locks lips forever. Women report their first kiss at age 14, while men get a bit of a slower start between the ages of 16 and 18.
Speaking of close-up, the French kiss is listed as most men and women’s favorite; however, don’t thank the French for introducing it to us. The term actually entered the English language in 1923, in honor of the très passionate country. I suspect the French kiss was around long before anything — or anyone — French.
The study also considered geographic differences in kissing trends. Evidently the best place to live if you are an active kisser is in the Northwest, where people exchange more kisses per day (5.5) than anywhere else in the country. The Northeasterners are the most confident in their kissing abilities. Wondering about the Midwest? It seems they’re the most honest in relationships. They’re more likely than any other region to confess to a partner after making out with someone else — not to mention that they’re late bloomers. Compared to the rest of the nation, the first kiss of a Midwesterner comes somewhere between 16 and 18 years old, about five years later than the smoochers in Hawaii. So if you want a good kiss-filled vacation, you know where to go — but don’t forget to brush your teeth!