Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters Courtesy LoveMatters.info
Why do we kiss? Are you doing it right? Can it pass on contagious illnesses? Here are the answers to all these questions and more!
Kissing can be the most romantic thing, with the right person at the right time. Sparks flying, butterflies in your stomach, and then your lips finally touch. Amazing.
Or...tongues tickling tonsils, saliva dripping, teeth clashing. Far less romantic. So how do you do it right? Why do we kiss? And can it be dangerous? Find out in the edition of our Top Five Facts.
1. Do what feels good
There are no such things as kissing lessons. You learn it yourself with practice. It's not difficult either. Tongue kissing often starts with kissing on the lips. You move your lips, and explore the other person's lips gently with your own. Then you turn your head to one side a little, so your noses don't get in the way, you open your mouth, and slowly let your tongue slip inside. If it feels good, you're doing it right!
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2. Everyone is different
Photographs: Chris Ruggles from Australia on Flickr/Wikimedia Commons
Different people like different types of kissing. Some people close their eyes, others don't. And while you may enjoy slow, gentle kissing, your partner might be into rougher kissing and nibbling your lips. But don't worry! The key is to talk to your partner and find out what you both like.
And don't be put off if the first kiss is not as perfect as you may have imagined -- keep on trying, and you'll get to that perfect kiss!
3. The down side
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While kissing can be exciting and lots of fun, there may be some risks involved. Some illness can be passed on through kissing. Herpes for example -- otherwise known as cold sores. Or glandular fever (mononucleosis) -- which is even known as the 'kissing disease'. It's most common among young people and can leave you feeling exhausted for months.
(Getting HIV through kissing is nearly impossible, by the way. You'd both need to have open cuts on your lips or in your mouth, and be very unlucky.)
Finally, if you don't want that perfect kiss to be ruined by bad breath, brush your teeth regularly! And use dental floss or tooth picks. It's the bits of food that fester between your teeth that can give your breath that bird-cage aroma.
4. Why do we kiss?
Photographs: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters
In humans, kissing probably evolved from parents passing food with their mouths to their children, scientists say. Or even passing food to their partners, which is called 'courtship feeding'. (We don't recommend you try it on a first dinner date!)
What's more kissing has health benefits! For one thing it can make you happier and reduce stress. And it can even lower your cholesterol level, researchers found.
5. Don't feel like hitting the gym? Start kissing!
Photographs: Eduard Korniyenko/Reuters
Intense kissing will get your heart rate going just like working out. While resting, your heart usually beats 70 times a minute. During kissing it can increase to 100 beats per minute and up to 150! You also use 34 facial muscles when you kiss.
You could even lose weight through kissing. Intense kissing will burn about six calories per minute. So grab your partner for a fun and effective workout tonight!