Theme song: Deportation by Gustavo Santaolalla from the movie Babel. intoxicating. Listen to it here.

Just a thought about how humans communicate with one another: we may have no idea what we our bodies are actually saying to one another.

During a kiss there is a huge release of feel-good brain chemicals going on: dopamine and oxytocin. Simultaneously, cortisol, the stress hormone, is reduced. So it feels great for both individuals.  In addition, we are exchanging information through our pheromones. Check out this fantastic description of the biochemistry of the kiss.

study of college students suggests that women associate more importance with kissing. Obviously, the act plays an important role in courtship. But what? Apparently men’s saliva has traces of testosterone that excite a woman. But is that why women prefer longer kisses than men? It seems that men receive more visual cues about a woman’s health and desirability where as a woman seeks more biochemical information through a longer kiss. Hmm.

If you are really interested in the science of kissing, you may want to read this book.

Published by Susannah Smith

At the intersection of wildlife and human behavior

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