General Question

allansmithee's avatar

Why do we kiss? When did it start?

Asked by allansmithee (356 points ) July 29th, 2009

I was going to write fixing emotions onto actions to create responses but I’ll leave it.
Do any other animal apart from humans kiss?

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20 Answers

Jack79's avatar

Not really kiss, but most animals have various signs of affection, and for example monkeys groom each other.

I am not sure when exactly kissing started, but it’s thousands of years old, as it is mentioned for example in Euripide’s “Ifigeneia” (written in the 5th c BC). I am sure there are much older references too, that’s just one I happened to read myself.

allansmithee's avatar

@Jack79
I can understand why animals would groom each other, though kissing seems to have no advantage to it.
Evolution is a bizarre thing, I’m still don’t understand crying for emotional reasons and why we laugh at thing and I don’t understand humour for that matter.

tb1570's avatar

Because it’s fun!! Leave it to an Englishman to take the fun out of something as wonderful as kissing—— and humor!!!!

Just kidding, man.

Some scientists have noted that there might be an evolutionary edge to using kissing to help select your potential mates. Have you ever noticed how certain people just taste better when you kiss them? Some scientists have suggsted that is because the people who taste better to us may be a better match for us genetically, as far as producing strong, fit, healthy off-spring goes.

allansmithee's avatar

@tb1570
Sorry to push you on this but why are we the only animals to kiss then? Welsh not English.

Zendo's avatar

Kissing was invented by a prehistoric man who was trying to show his intended mate that he would not eat her (cannibals abounded back then).

LuckyGuy's avatar

Maybe it was a way to determine health of the intended partner. “Hmm that one smell like burnt leaves. Better find Ug another.”

syz's avatar

It may have evolved from the practice of feeding infants/youngsters pre-masticated food. Some cultures still think nothing of mothers chewing food for their children and then passing it directly from their mouth to the mouth of the child. Basically, a low tech food processor for home made baby food.

Point5r's avatar

Sometimes when you kiss someone, it just feels more natural, you seem to work together, as opposed to a kind of awkward, am I doing this right kind of thing. Having said that, sometimes kissing is a physical way of showing that you’re willing to adapt to suit each others ways of kissing and you can extend that to other parts of your relationship.

And having said all that, maybe kissing is one of those things which shouldn’t be analysed, just enjoyed for what it is.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

don’t overanalyze kissing. The best tasting girl I ever kissed didn’t live long enough for me to have a committment with (more than a single summer) as she died in a car wreck. So I had to settle for a girl who tasted almost as good. When your first love sets the bar that high, it makes reaching that pinnacle again rather difficult.

although I must say that the girl I settled for is the best thing to happen to me since I discovered sex.

Maybe things do work out for the best after all. =)

noelasun's avatar

I’ve wondered this too, and have since decided to think it’s probably because it felt good.
Lips have lots of nerve endings, making them more sensitive.
I think it follows that we’d put two and two together.

allansmithee's avatar

@noelasun
Kiss doesn’t stimulate me though it turns me on, what I mean is (if I can put this right) Kissing doesn’t feeling good, you don’t get teenage boys putting hovers on their lips for sexual pleasure, the act of kissing does turn people on but not the kissing itself, if that makes sense to you.

MacBean's avatar

Welsh not English.

Ah. Well, that explains it, then. ;)

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Dogs kiss, but not on the lips ;)

I was told the point of kissing was to taste the other person, and thereby subconsciously determine the compatibility of their immune system. Many other animals use similar methods to smell/taste potential partners, although this is only one avenue of assessing compatibility.

Hambayuti's avatar

I honestly don’t know when kissing started but we kiss to express a lot of things – to show affection, greeting/farewell, sexual desire…even betrayal (Judas Kiss)...etc. Other animals kiss but in different ways (like kicking) and they do it not only to show affection and sexual desire but to groom themselves as well.

Hambayuti's avatar

Note: Typo on above reply. It’s licking…not kicking. =P

MacBean's avatar

Well I show affection by kicking.

itsnotmyfault1's avatar

@Zendo
wait, is that seriously true?
I feel like nobody else even considered it as a serious answer, but it would kind of make sense. It does seem like something made up on the spot though…

As for my theory, as a guy, I can appreciate a woman in every one of my four other senses. She looks good, smells good, feels good, and (arguably) sounds good.
So, it makes sense to use the last sense!
Plus, the nerve ending concentration thing… lips are a good place to be touched.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Zendo and @itsnotmyfault1 – If that was the case, how did they get close enough to kiss? Personally, if I feared being eaten the person in question wouldn’t get within half a kilometre of me, let alone close enough to kiss me. I don’t think it was a serious answer….

noodle_poodle's avatar

perhaps its a way to build up immunity? theres more bacteria in your mouth than in your colon so maybe you need to occasionally share some and faces are the better option

CMaz's avatar

It starts when the tongue enters the mouth.

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