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Why Do We Kiss?

Why Do We Kiss?

It’s something I had never really thought about, until I started talking to a woman from a village near New Delhi. The newlywed was trying hard to come to terms with her husband’s peculiar habit of wanting to lock lips with her. “He says they do this in the cities,” she said, shyly. “But I don’t enjoy it…”

This might sound surprising to most of us who take kissing for granted and suppose it is a universal practice. But I have since learned that many men and women in the rural belts of India do not kiss each other. In fact, many of them find the idea of exchanging saliva quite repulsive. Sex is a straightforward affair for many of them, without much foreplay or fuss.

A little more reading on the subject revealed to me that Indian villages are not the only ones untouched by kissing. An article published in the Orlando Sentinel suggests that even as late as the early 1990s, there are several non-kissing communities, including: rural native tribes of South America, people in rural areas of Zaire, Nigeria and Kenya, some Polynesian cultures and Australian aborigines.

According to the New York Times, in 1990, an editorial in a Beijing newspaper urged Chinese citizens not to take up, among other things, the “vulgar practice” of kissing.

But according to some research, kissing can help us find the right partner and keep him or her. Kissing provides vital sensory clues about your partner—taste, touch, smell, and the feeling that you fit together (or don’t fit together). Does this mean that non-kissers have a higher chance of ending up with the wrong partner?

Perhaps there isn’t a simple answer. But I do want to know why so many people on the planet prefer not to kiss, if it is supposed to be such a universal act.

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts.

Test Your Kissing Knowledge
The Art of Kissing

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


+ add your own
9:12AM PDT on Mar 28, 2014

Haven't kissed anyone in 6 years...... :(

3:10PM PST on Nov 18, 2013

I love kissing my guy. interesting to wonder about

5:56PM PST on Nov 12, 2013


2:12AM PDT on Oct 27, 2013

Kissing is soo sensual - I could not imagine being in a relationship with a man and not kissing him...they sure are missing out!!!

1:35AM PDT on Oct 27, 2013

interesting article

1:28AM PDT on Oct 27, 2013

Wow, there are people who don't kiss and don't like it! That's weird.

5:59PM PDT on Oct 26, 2013

3 reasons not to kiss - culture, bad hygiene and medical issues. Know your partner well before you smooch.

8:06AM PDT on Oct 26, 2013

Never really thought about it.

8:59PM PDT on Oct 25, 2013

To kiss as such an intimate thing. Very close to sex, but with clothes on. If you aren't comfortable surrendering yourself, I think kissing would be very difficult.

The greatest description of true kissing for me was found in Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. “I've been kissed by men who did a very good job. But they don’t give kissing their whole attention. They can’t. No matter how hard they try parts of their minds are on something else. Missing the last bus—or their chances of making the gal—or their own techniques in kissing—or maybe worry about jobs, or money, or will husband or papa or the neighbors catch on. Mike doesn't have technique . . . but when Mike kisses you he isn't doing anything else. You’re his whole universe . . . and the moment is eternal because he doesn't have any plans and isn't going anywhere. Just kissing you.”

I've been working hard to kiss like Mike ever since I first read it.

7:04PM PDT on Oct 25, 2013

I like Kissing

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