Our first experiences with love and security involve lip pressure and stimulation through behaviors that mimic kissing, like nursing or bottle feeding, as well as kisses from our parents.
Important neural pathways are laid out in a baby's brain after these early experiences that associate kissing with positive emotions which will be important for the rest of their life.
Adults engaged in a passionate kiss brings two people in very close proximity. We learn about each other by way of our sense of smell, touch and taste buds. All sorts of signals are sent to our brain informing us about the other person.
Taken from Dutch scientists' research published in the journal Microbiome, a single 10-second kiss can transfer as many as 80 million bacteria.
Mmmm. I don't like the sound of that. No wonder fashion is established to kiss strangers on the cheek or air-kiss.
Researchers monitored the kissing behavior of 21 couples and found those who kissed nine times a day were most likely to share salivary bugs.
I kiss my husband about that many times, but not with lips parted. My kiss is meant to convey love, affection and support.
On the couple's next 10-second kiss, scientists detected an average of 80 million bacteria transferred to the other partner.
But while bacteria in the saliva seemed to change quickly in response to a kiss, bug populations on the tongue remained more stable.
This sounds rather unsavory, especially at the start of cold and flu season. But don't be too worried. We're more likely to get sick by shaking hands throughout the day than through kissing. Have you ever wondered if the hand you shake has been washed recently? Well, that's another topic.