Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Science of the Kiss

At this time of year many of us think about try to corner desirable ladies under it, and ladies try to avoid being cornered under it by undesirable or tipsy men. The whole point is either to snag or to avoid a kiss.

Let's talk about kissing, shall we?

There's a fascinating article on the topic of kissing in today's Washington Post: Sealed with a Kiss - and Neuroscience. If you enjoy the sensation of kissing a desirable member of the opposite sex (or even the same sex, since we're no longer asking or telling), this article will tell you why. It seems that the kiss may have evolved as a way of allowing humans to get close enough together to allow their unconscious senses to evaluate the scents and chemical hints that give clues as to whether or not they will be sexually and genetically compatible. The article says that ...

"During a passionate kiss, our blood vessels dilate and our brains receive more oxygen than normal. Our breathing can become irregular and deepen. Our cheeks flush, our pulse quickens, and our pupils dilate (which may be one reason that so many of us close our eyes). A long, open-mouthed exchange allows us to sample another person's taste, which can reveal clues about his or her health and fertility. Our tongues - covered with little bumps called papillae that feature our 9,000 to 10,000 taste buds - are ideally designed to gather such information. When we kiss, all five of our senses are busy transmitting messages to our brain. Billions of nerve connections are firing away and distributing signals around our bodies ... Our brains respond by producing chemicals that help us decide on our next move."

Well. That certainly puts a new twist on the term sexual chemistry.

No matter. Science or no science, neurotransmitters or expensive perfumes, in the end the sentiments of Louis Armstrong's classic tune "As Time Goes By" still apply...

You must remember this:
A kiss is still a kiss,
A sigh is just a sigh,
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.

And when two lovers woo
They still say, "I love you"
On that you can rely -
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by.

Moonlight and love songs
Never out of date,
Hearts full of passion
Jealousy and hate.
Woman needs man
And man must have his mate
That no one can deny.

It's still the same old story -
A fight for love and glory,
A case of do or die.
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by.

Have a good day with your lover. Or the one you hope will turn into your lover.

More thoughts tomorrow.



Bandit said...

Every time I hear that song (or see the lyrics here) I am reminded of the movie "Sleepless in Seattle." What a great soundtrack. By the way, Meg Ryan was very "kissable" in that movie.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Louis Armstring? Surely it was Dooley Wilson who sang the song?

Bandit said...

Jimmy Durante sang the the rendition that was in "Sleepless in Seattle."

Mike said...

Everyone knows what move '2' for the guy is.

Bilbo said...

Bandit - Meg Ryan is one of the most kissable women of all time. I never saw "Sleepless in Seattle," so I'll take your word on Jimmy Durante.

Jean-Luc - it was indeed Dooley Wilson who sang the song in "Casablanca." And don't call me Shirley.

Mike - I used to know that a long time ago...