Sharing a kiss is no doubt the simplest way to engage with your partner and express that giddy feeling of butterflies they give you.
Of course, it’s such a normal thing that we don’t even bat an eye anymore when we do it, or see it.
But like anything else, there’s more beneath the surface about kissing, like health benefits, origins of etymology, and the science of kissing.
Read on to learn about many people’s favorite hobby, kissing!
We usually lean to the right when we kiss.
While your reaction to kissing feels like a natural response, for the most part, our kissing style can be traced back to when we were still in our momma’s stomach!
The majority of people will tilt their head to the right when they kiss.
This may seem like a socialized trait, but it actually goes back even further.
The theory goes, is that we lean to the right because when we were in the womb, we naturally tilted our heads to the right.
The next time you lean in for a smooch, keep in mind that two-thirds of people will lean to the right, although there may be the occasional left-tilter, so watch out for head bumps!
Kissing uses 146 muscles.
In total, one kiss uses 146 muscles working together. You may think the majority of those are in your face, but actually 112 of those are postural muscles, and the remainder 34 is various facial muscles.
Even so, the muscle used the most in a kiss is the muscle around your mouth of course, called the orbicularis oris.
How did researchers find out something like this? Well, they studied couples kissing underneath an MRI scanner. Imagine that experiment!
Using the letter “X” as a kiss dates back to the Middle Ages.
Sometimes if you want to be cute and write a love letter to your significant other, you’ll sign it off with “XOXO,” as everyone knows means “hugs and kisses”.
It seems so normal to us, but no one ever questions the origins of this funky signature.
Back in the Middle Ages, many people couldn’t read or write. Peasants especially, were sadly illiterate.
So if they had to sign a document, they would write “X” as a substitute for their signature, and then kiss the document as a symbol of honesty.
The world record longest kiss lasted over 58 hours.
There is a Guinness World Record for the longest-lasting kiss, and it’s insanely high!
Thai couple, Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat held a kiss for 58 hours, 35 minutes, and 58 seconds without a break. If that’s not a symbol of love, I don’t know what is!
To emphasize this impressive feat even more, the average person spends two weeks of their life kissing – about 20,160 minutes in total.
I imagine the total amount of time kissing by this record breaking Thai couple must be even higher!
“Kiss of the Irish” phrase originated from Blarney Castle, Ireland.
We hear this phrase every Saint Patrick’s Day, we see it on t-shirts, but where does it come from?
In Ireland, there’s a place called Blarney Castle, which houses the world famous Blarney Stone.
Legend has it, a man named Cormac Laidir had to go to court for a lawsuit, so he asked an Irish goddess for help.
She told him to kiss the first rock he saw on his way and he ended up winning his case. Cormac took the stone and set it into the parapet of his castle as he believed it to be a lucky stone.
Based on folklore, if you bend over backwards to kiss the stone, you’re rewarded with the gift of eloquence and flattery.
Originally, it was a legitimate life risk to kiss the stone, as you do so on top of the castle with no safeguard to prevent you from falling off the edge.
These days, there is a safety barrier, although beware if you’re afraid of heights!
Kissing carries up to 80 million new bacteria.
When you lock lips, your mouth produces extra saliva which helps clean your mouth and prevent tooth decay!
Although keep in mind, that one kiss can carry up to 80 million new bacteria, which may be a turn off if you’re a germophobe.
Rest assured, research implies that this bacteria swapping and sharing microbes is good for you and boosts your immune system.
Worried about your complexion? Kissing can also minimize dermatitis and blemishes on your skin.
The study of kissing is called philematology.
If you want to follow a career in kissing, you can! The study of kissing is called philematology, while the person who studies kissing is called an osculologist. Now that’s a mouthful!
If you choose to pursue this study, you’ll learn deeper about things like how many calories a kiss burns (3 per minute), or that lips are like snowflakes in that no two lip impressions are the same!
While we’re on the subject of kissing… check out our #FACT t-shirt: Kissing for One Minute Burns 3 Calories Unisex T-Shirt.
Kissing is heavily used in movies.
There are quite a few milestones in the world of on-screen kissing. For example, the first same-sex kiss in cinema occurred in D.W. Griffith’s silent film, “Intolerance” in 1916.
Not much later, in 1926, “Don Juan” was released which is the film with the most kisses between two people. John Barrymore and Mary Astor kiss 127 times!
Shortly afterwards, Hollywood started regulating on-screen passion.
Under what was called the “Hays Code,” which lasted from 1930-1968, two people kissing on screen had to abide by a set of rules.
Actors were not allowed to be lying down, on-screen married couples had to sleep in separate twin beds, and if the couple kissed in bed, at least one spouse had to have one foot on the ground.
The first interracial on-screen kiss didn’t occur until the 1950’s on the popular American sitcom “I Love Lucy”.
Of course, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were married in real life, so perhaps it came as less of a shock value to people.
A fear of kissing is known as philemaphobia.
Afraid to have your first kiss? Many people are nervous at first, which is normal! But there is a phobia for pretty much everything, and kissing is no exception.
The fear of kissing is officially known as philemaphobia which makes sense, because the Greek word for kissing is “philema”.
Of course, this can occur not only in young people, but lovers of all ages.
Sometimes it may not get better unless you seek therapy!
Which of these facts was your favorite? Next time you share a smooch your your significant other, you can rest assured that you’re doing both parties a favor by improving your health and burning calories!