We’re scientifically advanced enough to know what it takes to be a great kisser — hint: Good oral hygiene and low stress play a big role. But have you ever thought about why we even kiss in the first place? In the moment, kissing can be pretty great (or not great, depending on who you’re snogging), but under the surface, there are some pretty primal reasons behind a simple smooch. Dr. Neil Hadaegh, DDS, a dentist in Beverly Hills, dishes on why we kiss and what goes into being really, really good at it.
Why We Kiss
“A lot of scientific studies have speculated that kissing may have evolved to help us choose a suitable partner, or to realize when someone isn’t a match,” Dr. Hadaegh says. Kissing is an especially effective way to narrow down your romantic choices because it involves so many of the senses. Think about it: When you kiss someone, you are close enough to them that you can smell them — and by default, taste and touch are also involved in the interaction. Add in seeing that person up close and hearing them whisper sweet nothings, and you’ve got a pretty sensory picture of that potential partner.
But there’s more to the story: In addition to the senses kissing triggers, the action also gives us clues about that person’s personality. “A kiss might even tell us our potential partner’s level of commitment and genetic compatibility,” Dr. Hadaegh says. “In a relationship, the amount that a couple kisses is proportional to the level of satisfaction in their relationship.” In other words, if the kissing is good in the beginning, you’ve got every reason to keep it up!
What Makes A Good Kisser
Since people are different, their preferences will vary as well. However, Dr. Hadaegh has found some pretty significant habits of great kissers. Interestingly, these habits vary among men and women.
1. Taking the Lead: According to Dr. Hadaegh, men actually prefer for women to take the initiative. When it comes to both sexes, however, matching your partner’s tempo is key. This is where the chemistry comes in.
2. Hygiene: “Not only can poor oral hygiene kill the moment before it begins, but women depend heavily on taste and smell and pay close attention to a man’s teeth when selecting a partner,” Dr. Hadaegh says. “Since many of our senses are involved when we kiss, breath and the taste of a man’s kiss are significant in determining whether a woman wants to keep kissing him in the moment or in the future.”
3. Creativity: Best practices shouldn’t constrain you, Dr. Hadaegh says. In fact, incorporating variation is a great way to stand out and express your personality. Mix it up, ladies!
Want to know more science behind everyday interactions? Let us know what we should investigate next at @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)