Monday, September 05, 2011

Kiss – From cave to big screen.

Motherly, friendly, French, movie, Judas... People are kissing each other from the beginning of time. Here are some of the most interesting theories about how and why was kissing invented.

Sexologists say that a kiss is even more intimate then the act of sex itself, regardless the fact is that kiss is the most frequent physical contact among people. 99.9 percent of people on the planet know what kiss is, but very few know the real truth about the origin and meaning of the kiss.

Kiss is a powerful phenomenon, that’s for sure. If you think about it, you will come to the conclusion that kiss had an influence on the course of life of every man, it was the beginning and test of survival of every relationship, and it has significantly influenced the history of mankind. Film industry has recognized the power of kiss, but also and people from show business. You can still hear stories about how Madonna kissed Britney Spears at one of the MTV awards, right?


Even today, the phenomenon of kissing is not fully explained. We even have a branch of science that studies kissing and it’s called filematology.

No one is definitely sure why people started touching each other with lips and exchange saliva, but it is known that this kind of physical contact was present even in the period around 1,500 BC.

According to one theory, the kiss was created because of practical reasons – so that people can lick salt from each other’s cheeks. The Vedic scriptures describe the phenomenon of kissing as an act of affection. It is believed that the kiss has culturally spread from India via Greece, and that Alexander the Great is the most creditable for that, because he brought it to Europe during the great invasion in 326 BC. Besides spices and tea, the great commander had, allegedly, brought and something that was even hotter and spicier then the tea and spices together – the kiss, which conquered Europe with the speed of fire.

There are different opinions about the origin of the kiss. According to one legend it was invented by medieval knights who were trying to determine in this way if their wives had drunk the juicy mead. According to another theory, the kiss derived from the relationship between mother and child. Allegedly, cave mothers, who didn’t have blender like today’s mothers, were chewing the food and then, with their mouth, they were feeding their children.

Some cultures knew of kissing long before others, but they considered that act too private and didn’t discussed nor write about it for many years and centuries. Even Bible says that God kissed a man and gave him life through that kiss. 

Some cultures like Finnish, Burmese, Polynesian, Philippinian, or cultures of African tribes consider kissing as weird, absurd and rude. They have ways of greeting like nose rubbing or gasping at the throat. In this way, they can recognize each member of the tribe based on his smell.

Some even believe that kissing evolved as a way of spreading bacteria between partners. In this way they would become immune to each other’s diseases, and were able to have kids. At the time of Ancient Rome, kissing was used as a way of showing status – that status was ranked according to permission to kiss a certain part of the body. Those who have enjoyed higher status were kissing each other on the cheek and arm, while ordinary mortals had permission to kiss feet.

In Chinese tradition, it is considered that the ideal balance between yin and yang can be achieved only by exchanging "liquid jade", better known as saliva, or, in romantic terms – with a French kiss.


In Naples, in 1562, kissing in public was forbidden, and those who were caught in that act were condemned to death.

In Hartford, Connecticut, the old law, which is still in force, considers it illegal for a man to kiss his wife on Sundays. And in Indiana, until recently, there was a law that strictly forbidden men with mustaches to kiss women - probably for reasons of hygiene.

English word “kiss” originates from Germanic word “kussian”, which onomatopoetically imitates what happens during kiss. What is considered as a French kiss in western world, in India is called English kiss.

Name „movie kiss“ says by itself that a kiss had a significant role in the film industry. In 2005, a movie called “Brokeback Mountain” attracted much attention because of description of sexual relation between men, but the first kiss of two men was shown much earlier – some eighty years before, in a movie “Wings” from 1927. However, the first homosexual kiss was shown even before that – in a movie “Manslaughter” from 1922, where two lesbians were kissing each other.

For a long time, the longest kiss in film history was the one between Jane Wyman and Regis Toomey – it lasted three minutes and five seconds. However, in 2010, that record was broken by Neckar Zadegan and Traci Dinwiddie with a longest movie kiss, and also the longest lesbian kiss in a movie.

In the movie “Some Like It Hot” from 1959, actor Tony Curtis, who plays Joe or Josephine after he disguises himself as female band member, shocked the public when he said that his kiss with Sugar (Marilyn Monroe) was like "kissing with Hitler." He later gave an explanation for his statement and said that such a stupid question (How did he like kissing a sex symbol like Marilyn) deserved an equally stupid answer. “What was I supposed to say? What do you think it’s like to kiss Marilyn Monroe you dickheads?” – Curtis said.


In 1929, Greta Garbo appeared in MGM’s last silent film called “Kiss”. It was the end of silent film era, but not the era of kisses.

In 1984, Rock Hudson kissed Linda Evans in “Dynasty”. And when it was reveled that he had AIDS, Hollywood was swept with panic that she was infected too. The actress revealed later that the people around her didn’t want to come near her because they had kids and they didn’t want to expose themselves to risk.

In Indian cinema, kiss was forbidden for a long time. The first real kiss with open mouth and a tongue was shown in Indian cinemas through a little-known English film from 1926.

Around the world, there are some pretty interesting but also and vulgar names for a kiss. People on Maldives use a term, which, when translated, means “lip sucking”, and the kiss in South Africa is called “tongue in lungs”.

Interestingly, the kissing was unknown to many people. Indians and Aborigines didn’t kiss before meeting Europeans. After that, they introduced that custom.

Also, one of the biggest misapprehensions is that the French have invented the French kiss. They haven’t even gave it its name. The truth is that in 1923 this term was forged in England.  And the only reason this kiss has that “French” in its name is because the French, at the beginning of the 19th century were known as amorous persons.

Kissing is good for your health

Scientists have discovered that kissing has multiple positive effects on health because it increases the secretion of hormone of happiness.  Even bacteria, which are present in the saliva, with their mixing contribute to stronger immunity; they are breaking down plaque in the mouth and are destroying harmful microorganisms. Kissing is also good for dental health because it stimulates the secretion of saliva, which, on the other hand, has a function of washing the mouth and removing the remains of food.

Clinical tests have shown that touching, including kissing, reduces blood pressure, stress, and improves the immune status of the organism. Many believe that the activation of a large number of facial muscles during kissing is preventing the appearance of wrinkles and is slowing the aging process.

Kissing is pleasure

The lips are definitely made for kissing. They are the thinnest part of our body and 100 times more sensitive than our fingers. The tongue and the inside of the oral cavity contain enormous amount of nerves that are transmitting messages directly to the limbic system, the oldest part of the brain associated with sexual pleasure. A kiss is stimulating the secretion of the hormone oxytocin, which affects parts of the brain responsible for pleasure and adrenalin, and thus creating the feeling of butterflies in our stomach.

Facts about kissing

-    Two thirds of men are leaning their heads to the right when they are kissing someone;
-    Most kisses are shown in the movie "Don Juan" from 1926 - 191 kiss in 110 minutes;
-    In 1990, Alfred Wolfram kissed a 8001 person in a period of eight hours at a festival in Minnesota – he kissed, on average, 16 persons per minute.
-    Men who are kissing their wives before going to work, on average, are earning more money than those who do not do that;
-    The only animals that are kissing each other’s mouth are chimpanzees, orangutans and cats;
-    In just one exchange of saliva during a kiss, there is more than 278 species of bacteria, and many of them can cause various diseases;
-    A passionate kiss can increase the level of hormones in your body so high, that it can take away one minute of your life;
-    During his life, a man is spending approximately 336 hours or two full weeks kissing someone.
-    One French kiss is activating 23 muscles;
-    Ten minutes of kissing is burning 30 calories;
-    70 percent of people experience their first kiss before they turn 15.

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