Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sensual Saturday - History of Kissing


Humans have a long history of kissing. Europeans kiss both cheeks. Parents kiss their child's cheek. The Intuit rub noses. The French kiss by... well… you know. Kissing, both casual and romantic, is a common practice, but we really don't know where or how it began.

There are several different theories as to how kissing all began:

*       * In ancient times, a mother would chew up food and pass it directly to the mouth of her baby. What started as a sign of affection between mother and child most likely spread to romantic relationships. However, some cultures had the same practice of passing food to their children, but knew nothing about kissing.

*       * Some believed that our souls lived in our breath and that kissing brings your soul together, thus combining you together for eternity. This is a romantic theory, but not really one that can be proven true.

*       * Kissing gets you close enough to your partner to smell their scent, giving you knowledge of the person. Animals practice a similar behavior by rubbing against each other.

The theories are just that though. There is no proof or record of where and how kissing originally began. We do know that Europeans were kissing during the Greek and Roman times. It also appears that some form of kissing may have started in India as there are texts from around 1500 B.C. that describe the custom of rubbing noses together, now commonly referred to as 'Eskimo Kissing'.

While we don't know for sure when or where kissing first began, the reference to 'Eskimo Kissing' supports the theory that kissing gets you close to your partner in order to pick up on their scent. When you inhale your partner's scent, you subconsciously learn a lot about the other person by their smell. As we previously noted, most animals engage in a similar behavior.

It seems then that the modern romantic kiss most likely evolved as a way of unconsciously testing the genetic fitness of a potential mate. While this may be the underlying reason as to why we began kissing, it's not really the main reason as to why we continue to practice it. The reason is simple: it feels good, it evokes feelings of passion, and it's a physical connection between us and our partners.

However the kiss began, we're thankful. :)

No comments: