Why Kissing is a Part of Most Cultures and Surprising Reasons Why It’s Important

Why Kissing is a Part of Most Cultures and Surprising Reasons Why It’s Important

Kissing requires the use of as many as 34
facial muscles and 112 postural muscles. A passionate kiss may burn two calories per
minute. It’s fitting that delivering a satisfying
kiss can be a physically demanding feat, since kissing can potentially have more emotional
significance than sex does. Andréa Demirjian, the author of the book
Kissing: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About One of Life’s Sweetest Pleasures,
says,“Kissing is intimate: You’re right there in the space of your soul. It gets to the core of your heart and spirit
because it’s such a lovely way to express and receive love and affection.” Even if a kiss is never just a kiss, its value
isn’t solely determined by its emotional significance to the people who are sharing
it. Every kiss has a cultural context. Unlike kisses, some cultural beliefs about
kissing aren’t easy to impulsively share, and they aren’t universally understood. 10. Sinful Kisses (Asia) Like many other cultural beliefs, beliefs
about kissing change over time. In the 19th century, kissing was considered
repulsive in some Asian cultures. According to 19th century anthropologist Paul
d’Enjoy, citizens in Thailand and other Asian countries didn’t enjoy kissing at
all. Because it often involves connecting one’s
mouth with another’s skin, in these cultures kissing was seen as an abomination akin to
cannibalism. 9. Kissing Under A Mistletoe (Celtic Tradition) Because mistletoe can thrive even during frigid
winters, the Druids believed it had the power to grant fertility. By the 18th century, members of the English
middle class (and their servants) kissed beneath Christmas mistletoe as a symbol of their enduring
love, and hopefully their enduring fertility. If a woman refused a man’s advances while
she was standing under a hanging mistletoe, the English believed she would have bad luck. A man could pluck one berry from the mistletoe
for every kiss he bestowed on his beloved. Once he had plucked the last berry, he had
been granted his last kiss. 8. Hogmanay Kisses (Scottish Tradition) The romantic New Year’s Eve kiss is a symbol
of singlism—the stigmatization of single people—in North American and European cultures,
since so much significance is placed on finding a partner to kiss each year. Single people may feel inferior at New Year’s
Eve parties, but perhaps they’re simply celebrating them in the wrong country. During Hogmanay, the Scottish New Year’s
Eve celebration, each person kisses every other person in the room. According to the Scottish tradition, celebrating
a new year should connect both friends and strangers, as kissing undoubtedly will. 7. XO (Ancient Greece and The Roman Empire) In ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, a
kiss could serve in lieu of a signature. A Greek or Roman citizen who could not read
could kiss an X the scribe had written at the end of a document. Both the action and the document would be
considered legally binding. It is still possible to seal a love letter
with a kiss today, since an X can still symbolize a kiss. 6. Forbidden Kissing (Egypt) In Egypt, kissing someone on the mouth is
a form of foreplay. No erotic act should be performed in public,
kissing included. This isn’t merely a cultural belief that
reinforces the suppression of socially taboo sexual impulses. It’s also a legal matter. Someone who kisses his or her beloved on an
Egyptian street could face fining or imprisonment for an act of public indecency. By contrast, two people who publicly kiss
each other on each cheek in turn are showing their mutual respect, according to the cultural
tradition in Egypt and other Arab countries. 5. No Public Kissing (China, Hong Kong, and Japan) As previously mentioned, kissing isn’t a
physical expression of emotional intimacy in some Asian countries. Though public displays of affection are gaining
popularity amongst Japanese milennials, the Japanese have traditionally considered mouth
kisses as intimate and as private as acts of lovemaking. In China and Hong Kong, limp (by North American
standards, at least) handshakes are a preferred form of greeting, while cheek kissing is considered
impudent. As in Japan, milennials in China and Hong
Kong don’t always adhere to such formal standards for physical conduct. In contrast to kissing, however, the Chinese
have traditionally considered spitting a polite public act, though some Chinese cities banned
public spitting after the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic of 2003. 4. Wedding Kisses (Christian Tradition) The tradition of a couple sharing a first
kiss was observed in the Roman Empire. As previously noted, for the Romans, kissing
a contract was a legally binding way of sealing it. Before the 19th century, marriage wasn’t
a symbol of mutual love and sexual desire between two people. It was a contract between two people that
they entered in order to socioculturally and socioeconomically benefit their respective
families and communities. Therefore, newly married Roman couples sealed
their marriage with a kiss, the same way they would seal any other legally binding contract. Christian couples, by contrast, were entering
a contract with God when they married, promising their union would be virtuous and produce
children. The Christian priest symbolized God’s role
in a marriage by giving a holy kiss to the groom, who would then kiss the bride. 3. Kissing On A Red Step (Mexico) According to local lore, two lovers in Guanajuato,
Mexico lived on opposite sides of an alley. When Ana, a wealthy Spaniard, and Carlos,
an impoverished miner, kissed while standing in the narrow space between their two balconies,
Ana’s disapproving father caught them. Ana’s father warned her that if he saw her
kissing Carlos again, he would kill her. Unable to resist their mutual attraction,
the lovers again met in the same spot. When they kissed, Ana’s father fatally stabbed
his daughter with a dagger. When Carlos leaped to shield Ana, he fell
down the red staircase the lovers used for their trysts, breaking his neck on the third
step. According to myth, Carlos’ spirit is watching
over any contemporary lovers who stand on the step where he died. If they kiss while standing on the step, he’ll
bless them with 15 years of good luck. If they stand on the step without kissing,
he’ll curse them with seven years of bad luck. 2. French Kisses (England and The United States) France’s reputation as an inherently romantic
nation originated with its popularization of courtly love in the 12th century. Courtly love is a passionate, chaste love
between a knight and a (usually married) noblewoman. By the 16th century, courtly love was no longer
a common practice, but France’s romantic reputation was solidified. After World War Two, that reputation became
one of the country’s most successful exports. When British and American Allied soldiers
returned to the home front after being stationed in France, they colloquially referred to mouth
kisses with tongue as French kisses. Even though the French didn’t invent the
kissing technique, their ardent example allegedly popularized it amongst British and American
soldiers. 1. Masquerade Kisses (Renaissance Italy) In Renaissance Italy, masquerade balls were
a popular pastime for nobles who wished to arrange erotic trysts with anonymity. Shakespeare’s two most famous characters,
Romeo Motague and Juliet Capulet, first meet at a masquerade ball in Verona, Italy. However, not all masquerade kisses were clandestine
and passionate. At midnight, couples would remove their masks
and kiss. The symbolic admission that each kisser had
no shameful conduct to hide warded off evil spirits.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

68 thoughts on “Why Kissing is a Part of Most Cultures and Surprising Reasons Why It’s Important

  1. Missed opportunity to talk about the evolutionary psychology theories – ie mother/infant biome, display of lack of aggression between adults – I could be biting but I’m kissing etc

  2. I will be married to my husband 28 years this December. Lots of kisses over the years, but none cracks me up more than I our first as we peaked to see if the other was peaking.

  3. It always puzzeled me why couples kiss in porno movies before the sex begins. I mean these two are strangers, doing an intimate act for the camera, and clearly not in love. Why do they have to kiss first before going at it?

  4. One kind is missing from this video – hand kissing when a man kisses a woman on the hand showing elegance to her esp. during the first meeting between the two of them, when they are introduced to each other. Or when a woman is older and is introduced to the younger man. Thats popular in my country.

  5. Oh no, it's my first year living in Edinburgh and I'll be going to the Hogmanay street party. I'll have to kiss about 100k people

  6. Kissing is alright. But the moment you stick your tongue in my mouth, like some filthy teenager that only knows how to kiss from watching movies, I am going to dump you like last weeks leftovers.

  7. OMG, you showcased the Callejón del Beso, the number three. I have a pic there kissing my ex gf haha. Such a lovely place.

  8. Prostitutes dont let customers kiss them although they will do other things with their mouth, which seems to make no sense.

  9. In Asia weaning babies were fed with pre chewed food directly from the mother's mouth..no Gerbers . A custom that makes mouth on mouth in adults an awkward event in cultures that follow the ancient practice. I'm amazed you didn't mention that.

  10. … Just to keep the juices flowing – as it were, What about 'Famous Kisses'? I can think of a few right off the bat :0)

  11. I have horrific breath. It's really bad. My teeth are rotted. I still have three left. I really want to make out with someone besides my dog.

  12. Mexico's Kissing on a red step is actually called "callejon del beso" that translates to "kissing alley", google it!

  13. soooo Courtly Love has been around since the 12th century…and in that time period she's showered 17 times (KIDDING)

  14. Epoch Times ad are all over the place, must be some big fascist money behind it. If your tired of hearing the skinny Nazi and his lies contact google and let them know.

  15. It’s like that conversation in the movie French Kiss where he says he has to pay prostitutes extra for kissing, and she responds because it’s so personal.

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