Kissing Roundup: Celebrating the International Day of Smooching

Two men stand on the street, wrapped in each other's arms and smooching with a smile.
Photo by Wendy Wei on

Did you know we are one of the few species that practice the art of kissing? Apparently. And, we have an entire day dedicated to it! Whether this beautiful act evolved as a “mating ritual” or not, we cannot deny the importance and allure. Our lips are multifaceted. Considered an erogenous zone, lips help us express happiness and sadness; through them we expel words of anger and appreciation. They are our gateways to laughter and breath. They are diverse and seductive, comforting and tender. So, whether you kiss someone out of affection and comfort, or desire and pleasure, here’s to you and all the love you give!

Why is Kissing Important

Kissing is a universal act, yet unique in that it is used for both romantic and non-romantic purposes. Family and friends  show their affection and provide comfort to one another through the kiss. Many cultures use the kiss to greet the people they know amicably (bonjour, mes amis). But, if you’re anything like me, the most memorable, soul replenishing kisses are those that reinforce connection – the I want you now kisses; the kisses that leave you breathless and wanting – the precursor to primitive fulfillment. 

Qualities of a Good Kisser

I hope for your sake, the word kiss conjures fond memories both old and new. In saying that, I can’t deny that I have experienced my fair share of slobbery messes. Kissing is an art form, and it takes certain practiced skills to master it. Here are the qualities of a good kisser:

Should go without saying!

Good Hygiene 

I remember watching a forbidden late night show as a preteen, and the theme was kissing

A detail I remember most was the preferred taste the sexes had for a kiss. Males preferred a partner with whiskey on their breath, while the female participants preferred minty-freshness. I can’t speak for the validity of this show, partially because I don’t remember the name, and I’m relying on an old memory, but it does raise an important question:

What is your preferred flavor of a lover’s tongue? 

Along with brushing your teeth (or taking a shot), keeping your face clean (*cough*bearded-humans-out-there-I’m-talking-to-you*cough*) is another safe guideline. You know what, throw in your entire body while you’re at it. I say good hygiene benefits everyone across the board.

Appropriate Contact 

Studies show that both partners prefer someone who includes some physical contact. This can include light touching of the face and arms, or ripping each other’s clothes off, should the moment call for it (and the consent has been given)

Pro-Active Presence

No one enjoys kissing a slack jaw, and according to Jeremy Nicholson M.S.W., PhD at Psychology Today, “Both men and women found assertiveness attractive in a kisser. Partners who committed to a kiss, rather than making out half-heartedly, were viewed as better kissers.”

Like anything in a relationship, showing your partner you are there and enjoying the moment with them, can only lead to good things! And, remember fellas, “a good kiss appeared more important to women than to men…Women are also more likely to use kissing as a way to bond…[and] are less likely to kiss when they feel a partner only wants sex and nothing more” (Nicholson, Psychology Today).

Ladies, it seems guys “may be somewhat less picky with their kissing partners. However, they were also found to be more passionate. Men prefer open-mouthed, tongue-included, wet kissing more than women. They also seemed to prefer that their partner makes pleasurable noises while kissing” (Nichoslon, Psychology Today).

How important is kissing for you?

Famous On-Screen Kisses

Kissing hasn’t only influenced our personal lives, but that of mainstream media. I’d bet that we each have that movie. The movie that made our heart skip a beat. The movie that set the standard for the kind of love we desire, the deep, passionate movie moment we all want to experience – specifically, the kiss. Which movie comes to mind for you?

Is it Gone with the Wind, when Rhett Butler tells Scarlett, “You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how”? 

How about P.S. I Love You, when Holly meets Gerry for the first time:

Holly: I’ve been seeing this boy, but we don’t do much. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s me.

Gerry: No, he’s a boy who …doesn’t know anything about kissing. That’s a man’s business.

Or my favourite, The Notebook, when Noah flashes that disengaging smile at Allie, and professes, “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.” 

What movie moment made you long for your perfect kiss?

Types of Kisses

Oh, the creativity of human beings. Our inventiveness didn’t cease when it came to this act of love. Here is an unexhausted list of kisses you should try today:

  • The Classic Hand Kiss (also known as The Enchante)
  • The Gomez Addams 
  • The Forehead Kiss
  • The Spiderman Kiss
  • The Neck Kiss
  • The French Kiss
  • Kiss on the Cheek (but which cheek!?)
  • The Butterfly Kiss
  • Kiss in the rain
  • Kiss beneath the stars

How many have you tried? Which is your favourite?

Smooching Around the World

  • Tonsil hockey (Canada…?)
  • Osculate (Science…?)
  • Baiser (French – but also the verb “to fuck”)
  • Embrasser (French – verb “to kiss”)
  • Bisou (French for “kisses”)
  • Kuss (German)
  • Bacio (Italian)
  • Beso (Spanish)

5 Fun Kissing Facts Curated from the Web

Of course, kissing is an act of affection, arousal, seduction, and so on. But what else do we know about the kiss? Let these e-mags share the science behind the snog (UK):

1. Women’s Day shared that men and women kiss for different reasons: 

“A study of a little over 1,000 college students at the University of Albany found that men and women prefer different techniques and have different reasons for leaning in for a smooch. Basically, women are kissing someone to find out if they want to date them long-term, while men are kissing someone simply because it feels good and can serve as a means of arousal.”

2. Healthline states that kissing boosts happiness hormones, by:

“trigger[ing] your brain to release a cocktail of chemicals…igniting the pleasure centers of the brain. These chemicals include oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, which can make you feel euphoric and encourage feelings of affection and bonding. It also lowers your cortisol (stress hormone) levels.”

3. According to Mental Floss, French Kiss is in the dictionary:

“The term ‘French kiss’ has been around since Victorian times, and first appeared in print in a WWI-era book called Private Lindner’s Letters: Censored and Uncensored. The thought was that the French were experts in passionate romance. In France, they call it baiser amoureux (love kiss) or baiser avec la langue (kiss with the tongue). The word galocher, the verb for ‘to kiss with tongues,’ was added to French dictionaries in 2014.”

4. Best Life Online tells us, kissing helps with mate selection:

“From a biological perspective, the primary purpose of kissing is to help you figure out who you want to have sex with. When you swap saliva, you end up exchanging information about your genetic makeup, thereby letting your body know whether or not the two of you stand a good chance of producing healthy offspring. Your mouth reveals a lot about how healthy you are, which is why kissing someone who is conventionally attractive but has bad breath is such a turn-off.”

5. Let’s thank Kinkly for introducing us to the Vampire Kiss: 

“…as a fetish, it’s called odaxelagnia, and it refers to sexual arousal through biting or being bitten. Considered “mild sadism,” Alfred Kinsey found that half of the people he surveyed were interested, and turned on, by biting.”

Happy Kissing Day

Whether you’re a parent kissing your child goodnight, or a partner ready for some intimacy, I hope you find the time to boost those happiness hormones and feel loved today (and everyday!)! 

Until next time,

Smooch well!

Quean Mo xx

So, tell me, what was your first kiss like? Comment below or contact me here.

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