Why do we kiss? What type of kissing do men and women like best?

From an interview with William Cane, author of “The Art of Kissing“:

You list statistics—for example, 67% of men don’t mind a woman’s wearing lipstick when kissing, 53% of women prefer a clean-shaven man, and 33% of people open their eyes while kissing. Do you have favorite statistics?

Women’s favorite spot to be kissed, other than the mouth, is the neck. Ninety-six percent of women reported that they like neck kisses, while only about 10% of men do, so a guy will not even believe that a girl likes being kissed on the neck because it doesn’t really do anything for him. So I tell guys to move or slide off the lips occasionally down to the neck, and that will produce big results; we demonstrate that onstage. Similarly, women like being kissed on the ears much more than men do.

So the odds a neck kiss will succeed on a woman are…1 in 1.04. What about men?

Men often respond most to the French kiss, whereas women often respond to a romantic kiss. Guys will say they’re not really getting excited unless there is some tongue contact, while girls will often say if you’re passionate and loving, a lip kiss is good enough. You don’t have to rush in and, you know, trigger the gag reflex with the tongue.

When I made my DVD, we spent half of the project on just the French kiss. One girl says, “When I turn blue, doesn’t he realize it means I can’t breathe?” Another says not to use your tongue like a dart, but put some finesse into the French kiss. That’s the number one mistake guys make.

Women also complain that men don’t do enough variations in kissing, that they’re too machine-like or repetitive. Women would like a number of different kisses: the neck, the ears, “liposuction,” which is moving from the upper lip to the lower lip…be creative.

The number one mistake girls make is not opening their mouths wide enough, probably because the guy is trying to initiate a French kiss.

Via Book of Odds:

According to the study, men and women swap more than spit when they kiss; they share important biological information as well. This is because our facial area is packed with sebum-producing sebaceous glands that are controlled by sex hormones. When we kiss, sebum is released from the glands and mixes with our saliva. Swapping sebum, the researchers suggest, may help people assess the health and hormonal conditions of their partner before they commit to sex (a metabolically expensive activity) or long-term involvement. Chemical cues also help people, particularly women, size up potential mates. Hughes and her colleagues found that women tend to base a man’s kissing ability on the smell and taste of his mouth. This is probably because foul breath and bad taste (apart from being unpleasant) are often symptoms of larger health problems.

The Wetter the Better

Gallup’s study also found that men prefer wetter kisses with more tongue action. Dr. Helen Fisher, a professor of biological anthropology at Rutgers University in New Jersey, theorizes this is because the sloppier the smooch, the more saliva—and hence, hormonal information—is exchanged. In a 2009 interview on the radio program Earth and Sky, Fisher explained that our cheek cells absorb the hormones estrogen and testosterone that are exchanged during a wet kiss. Men, suggests Fisher, may use this hormonal input to subconsciously gauge their partner’s fertility and reproductive potential. A man’s preference for extra-wet kisses may have to do with the fact that men are less sensitive than women to chemosenses like taste and smell.

Is the First Kiss Key?

The first kiss on a first date is notoriously nerve-wracking. We instinctively sense that a lot is riding on our performance. And there’s good reason—for most people, a bad first kiss can end a relationship before it’s even begun. In a separate survey, Hughes asked people, “Have you ever found yourself attracted to someone, only to discover after kissing them for the first time that you were no longer interested?” The majority of both male and female respondents answered yes. But if a bad kiss can end a first date, can a good kiss prompt one? Probably not, according to Hughes’s original study, which found that most men (69%) and women (67%) don’t believe in starting a relationship with someone just because he or she is a good kisser.

The odds a woman will kiss her partner on their first date are 1 in 1.85, or about 54%.

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About Eric Barker