Tag Archives: Kissing

Need a Quick Stress Reducer? Plant a Juicy Kiss on Your Mate.

We have already learned that touching is a great bond-inducer and stress-reliever. This is true for basketball players as it is for spouses. Research now says a specific kind of touching—kissing—is even more effective at reducing stress than other kinds of touching. That’s great news for kissing fans.

Kissing unleashes chemicals that ease stress hormones in both sexes. It also increasing bonding, at least in men. Wendy Hill, professor of neuroscience at Lafayette College, says the chemicals in saliva may be a tool for assessing mates.

For her research, Hill paired heterosexual college students who kissed for 15 minutes while listening to music. These students experienced significant changes in oxytocin levels (which affects bonding) and cortisone levels (associated with stress). Men and women had declined cortisol. Oxytocin levels increased for men, but decreased for women.

In the test group that merely held hands, chemical changes were “similar, but much less pronounced,” said Hill.

Hill presented her findings at a session on the Science of Kissing. Isn’t it interesting that such a conference exists? Her co-presenter, Helen Fisher of Rutgers University says 90 percent of human societies practice kissing. It’s three purposes are said to be for sex drive, romantic love, and attachment.

Fisher adds that men tend to think of kissing as a prelude to sex, and that they prefer “sloppy kisses” in which chemicals, including testosterone can be passed to the woman in saliva. (Testosterone increases sex drive in both men and women.)

If you find your marriage and family life is getting a little too stressful some days, make time for kissing. And not just as a prelude to sex. Talk about what kind of kissing you prefer, and when you like it best. Some marriage experts suggest lengthening your hello and goodbye kisses to at least 30 seconds. Taking this research into consideration, it may lead to a less stressful day or evening for you both.

Read Do You Kiss Like You Mean It? for common kissing mistakes.

 How many times a day do you think you and your spouse kiss? Consider increasing this number.

Do You Kiss Your Spouse Like You Mean It?

As I was listening to a recent radio program explaining the top kissing mistakes of spouses, I had to plead guilty of all of them at some point. In fact, when I left the house this afternoon, I didn’t offer my hubby any kind of kiss, just a friendly, “See you later!” Psychologist David Clarke, author of Kiss Me Like You Mean It would not approve.

He says kissing “like you mean it” is a sign of your devotion and passion for one another. He says the following are considered big no-no’s in marriage:

1. The Pathetic Little Peck Kiss (connecting for a millisecond)

2. The Poofy Lip Kiss (leaning forward and barely grazing your spouse’s lips)

3. The across-the-room (or across-the-yard) Sound-Effect Kiss when you’re too rushed to even bother with #1 or #2.

4. The Dreaded Kiss on the Cheek Kiss, when you move your lips at the last second so your spouse’s lips land on your cheek. These should be reserved for your aunt or your mother, he says, not your spouse.

Dr. Clarke suggests remembering or learning how to kiss can lead to a better sex life and help put the passion back on your relationship—even if you’re married to a woman who steals the sheets (as I do) or makes funny noises during sleep (as my husband sometimes does).

I remember listening to another marriage expert suggest you kiss for at least 10 seconds when you greet or leave one another. We tried it, but it didn’t stick. On the other hand, we did adopt a habit to always greet each other with a kiss and hug before we greet our kids.

I asked my husband about his thoughts on my lack of a kiss earlier today, and it didn’t faze him a bit. In fact, this “kiss like you mean it” business sounds a little too dramatic for him and isn’t really a sign of how much I care about him.

So, what do you think, is a peck on the cheek on your way to the grocery store such a bad thing? Or do we all need to ease into behaving more passionately at every opportunity? How do you greet or depart from one another each morning or evening? Do you think there’s a time and a place for “kissing like you mean it,” or would you even kiss passionately in front of your teenager?