Although we aren’t sure how kissing got started (it is a little strange when you think about it), the science behind smooching is interesting. Check out 10 things you probably didn’t know about kissing.
Whether you cringe when a kissing scene pops up in a movie or swoon as the couple locks lips, everyone is a little curious about kissing. Discover these amazing, and somewhat disturbing, things you probably didn’t know about kissing.
1. Like it or not, you’re addicted.
When you kiss someone, you get a spike in the neurotransmitter dopamine, one of the chemical signals that pass information from one neuron to the next – and the same one that gives you an adrenaline rush. This makes you want to kiss again (and again…and again). Dopamine energizes the brain, possibly making you lose your appetite or make it hard for you to sleep. Sheril Kirshenbaum, author of The Science of Kissing, tells Shape, “The more anticipation you feel leading up to a kiss, the greater the dopamine spike.”
2. A lot of bacteria is shared – but that’s a good thing!
Of all the things you probably didn’t know about kissing, this is one fact you probably don’t want to know. According to a study published in the journal Microbiome, a 10-second French kiss can spread 80 million bacteria between mouths. It sounds kind of gross, but swapping spit can actually act as a form of immunization, allowing you to build up resistance from exposing yourself to more microorganisms. Kiss away, and you might find yourself getting sick less often!
3. It’s a workout (of sorts).
Believe it or not, you’re using plenty of muscle when you pucker up.The muscle you use to pucker your lips is called the “orbicularis oris.” Simple pecks use as few as two muscles, but French kissing puts as many as 23 to 34 facial muscles and 112 postural muscles to work. And like any workout, you’re burning calories! Kissing burns between five and 26 calories per minute.