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Christian95's avatar

How did kissing appear?

Asked by Christian95 (3260points) June 30th, 2010

I understand the sex thing,but I don’t understand how kissing appeared.What’s the evolutionary purpose of that?And why would that be a pleasure?I’ve seen studies that showed humans feel way much pleasure eating chocolate than kissing their soul mates.
So what’s the role of kissing?

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21 Answers

CMaz's avatar

Its an act of submission. We kiss another to give the impression that one is not a threat to the other.

That providing “pleasure” in the form of contentness.

marinelife's avatar

Um, I’ve not seen the studies that you cite. I get a lot of pleasure from kissing.

” Anyone who has ever been kissed knows that the sensations involved aren’t confined to the mouth. Your facial nerve carries impulses between your brain and the muscles and skin in your face and tongue. While you kiss, it carries messages from your lips, tongue and face to your brain to tell it what’s going on. Your brain responds by ordering your body to produce:

* Oxytocin, which helps people develop feelings of attachment, devotion and affection for one another
* Dopamine, which plays a role in the brain’s processing of emotions, pleasure and pain
* Serotonin, which affects a person’s mood and feelings
* Adrenaline, which increases heart rate and plays a role in your body’s fight-or-flight response

When you kiss, these hormones and neurotransmitters rush through your body. Along with natural endorphins, they produce the euphoria most people feel during a good kiss. In addition, your heart rate increases and your blood vessels dilate, so your whole body receives more oxygen than it does when you’re just standing around. You can also smell the person you’re kissing, and researchers have demonstrated a connection between smells and emotions. ”


Historically, the first references to kissing are in Vedic Sanskrit texts dating from 1500. This does not mean that kissing was unknown before then, just that written records of it do not survive.

bunnygrl's avatar

Chocolate better than kissing? ok, as a proper choc-oholic here, oh no, no, no honey, honestly, hand on heart when you’re kissing the right person (and thats the important bit) everything around you melts away as if it never existed. There is nothing else to experience except your partner and yourself and what you’re feeling. “wow” does not start to cover it lol, and if you’re very, very, very lucky, some 30 years later it’ll still blow your socks off :-)
hugs xx
edit: @marinelife GA, well said!! <hugs>

ragingloli's avatar

Transmission of germs from the mother to the offspring to train the spawn’s immune system and increase survivability of the offspring. That is the purpose. The pleasure is the reward system that evolved so that we do it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Depends on who you’re kissing. If kissing were better than chocolate, I’d remember every girl I’ve had chocolate with. It’s a form of communication. It may have developed out of the missionary position, perhaps? I just don’t know how you could document this type of thing.

josie's avatar

This came up in both a psych class and an anthropology class that I took in college (some years ago).
First of all, nobody really knows. Some human societies do not kiss at all.
But nearly all primates make close facial contact, such as rubbing noses or touching lips. Chimps and bonobos do it a lot.
The only really sensible guesses that I have ever heard are
1. It simply feels good because the lips are sensitive
2. It is a way of sniffing each other out to see if the pheromones are right.
From a personal perspective, both of these seem to make sense.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

I studied that in social studies, and it said something that kissing came from apes, they used to smell and lick each other at their private parts and stuff like that. So I think that’s how kissing came in the world!

Cruiser's avatar

I can’t imagine much kissing being done before the invention of mouthwash! Check this out…

“But what was in this first mouthwash? Well, you’d be surprised and dismayed to find that the Greeks used donkey’s milk. The Romans went a step further and used human urine, specifically Portuguese if they could get some.”

So it wasn’t until the late 1800’s when Listerine addressed the bad breath issue but diesel fuel smells better than that original stuff! So IMO real kissing is a modern invention just to sell minty fresh mouthwash. Anyone know where I can get Portuguese urine??

bunnygrl's avatar

@Cruiser OMG that is all shades of disgusting!! You’ve just made me more grateful than I can say for my nice minty bottle of Dentyl in the bathroom lol. I mean…. ick <shudder>
hugs xx

gailcalled's avatar

Kissing appeared soon after humans grew lips.

CMaz's avatar

One reason why I would not go back in time.

Bad dental hygiene, bad breath and other places of not so sweet smelling. ;-)

mattbrowne's avatar

“Four Vedic Sanskrit texts, written in India around 1500 B.C., appear to describe people kissing. This doesn’t mean that nobody kissed before then, and it doesn’t mean that Indians were the first to kiss. Anthropologists who believe that kissing is a learned behavior theorize that the Greeks learned about it when Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 B.C. There aren’t many records of kissing in the Western world until the days of the Roman Empire. Romans used kisses to greet friends and family members. Citizens kissed their rulers’ hands. And, naturally, people kissed their romantic partners.”

evandad's avatar

Stage one of swapping fluids

SundayKittens's avatar

I’ve thought about this from time to time….sometimes it strikes me as so strange if I really think about it. Pushing your mouth against someone else’s…why not ears or eyelashes?

gailcalled's avatar

Taste buds, moisture, and heat maybe? Rubbing eyelashes would give me styes. (And there is a lot of ear nibbling in many cultures, as an adjunct and not as a replacement for kissing.)

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I’m with @ragingloli on this one. My lecturer on “the psychology of love” said that kissing was an immune compatibility test, and that people would be slightly more likely to feel a spark while kissing if they had compatible immune systems.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@marinelife has it on the nose. Secondarily to the chemicals it invokes are the extremely pleasurable physical sensations, which cannot be ignored or denied. You could ask how oral sex came about and you’d get pretty much the same answer.. it seems a bit odd if you don’t know much about sexuality, but it’s no surprise to me at all that someone figured out that it’s intimate and feels really good. In both cases, the areas we are talking about are full of nerve endings, the mouth and tongue give particular, very nice sensations.. so someone put two and two together. ;)

Minute_And_A_Huff's avatar

@josie What societies don’t have kissing at all? Do they have an equivalent, or is there just a void there?

ericnueman's avatar

Adam and Eve obviously kissed first when they were introduced to each other stark naked & started to obey the first commandment from God in the garden.

Have Sex! Be fruitful and multiply!

mattbrowne's avatar

And multiply we did ;-)

ericnueman's avatar

Yes exactly what I was thinking as I wrote the reply; ha! Well it sure is quite a world and people are God’s business. Moving people or inspiring them with His thoughts not our own necessarily! Nice to hear from you! My first day, so I got online and shared a lot this afternoon.
More soon. eric

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