Remember your first kiss? I do like it was yesterday. “David, give Amaretto Auntie Hilda a kiss goodnight before you go to bed.” As awful as kissing seemed at age three I actually quite enjoy a good smooch now that I’m more mature, or at least older. Little did I know how much the pucker factor was/is simply improving my health.
1. Helps keep the facial muscles toned. A kiss involves 34 facial muscles (30 if you don’t speak French) and often 112 postural muscles in the rest of the body including those muscles that prepare you to run like really really fast. According to my Uncle Vern, the three words he used to hate to hear while in the throes of passion were “Honey, I’m home.”
2. Those who kiss their partner goodbye each morning live five years longer than those who don’t. Those who forget completely may not live past supper.
3. Prevents three-eyed children. Women tend to be attracted to male partners with a different immune system makeup from their own. Subconsciously they detect information about a partner’s immune system through smell during kissing and can reject a potential mate based on one kiss. And here I just thought it was the garlic and pickled eggs when, in fact, it’s just a different immune system. I feel better.
4. Less cavity searches (by the dentist) as extra saliva produced during kissing cleans the bacteria off your teeth. Hence you may select either a hearty floss or possibly a Heidi Fleiss. Thus kissing can be helpful to your teeth however should you be salaciously saliva-sharing with Moose’s girlfriend, possibly harmful to your teeth, as my Uncle Vern used to say.
5. Can help you lose calories. During a really, really passionate kiss you might lose two calories a minute – double your metabolic rate. Of course you might even burn more calories if kissing leads to other activities like, umm, basketball.
6. Due to the release of the calming hormone oxytocin kissing helps alleviate stress, unless it is with someone other than your spouse or dog, in which case the oxytocin is replaced by oxy moron.
7. When we swap kisses we swap antibodies. There are powerful proteins in saliva that make it a natural antiseptic. New evidence suggests that these proteins may even destroy viruses. Animals lick their wounds because saliva has healing qualities and acts like an antibiotic. Personally, knowing what my dog has been licking I tend to take antibiotics after he zips his tongue into my mouth trying to get at those jelly beans remnants lodged in my molars.
8. Gets rid of the owwie. I know this is true because my mother told me so and she is bigger than your mother. The trust that is generated with a maternal kiss makes one feel loved with all the confidence that comes with it.
9. A study in Japan revealed that thirty minutes of intense kissing can relieve sneezing and sniffling, caused by allergies, by slowing down histamine production. Of course this can get a little messy if it doesn’t work as kissing and sneezing at the same time suddenly makes fugu look good.
10. Kissing can boost the immune system. If you’re sharing your germs with somebody, you’re adding to your internal defense system. This has lead to an interesting line at the bars “Hey baby, care to snuggle up to a little Strep, a little bacterial buss. Name’s Vern.”