Saturday, February 09, 2008

kisses are a better fate than wisdom

Some 650 million members [or 10%] of the human species have not mastered the art of osculation, the scientific term for kissing; that is more than the population of any nation on earth except for China and India.

Observed by Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt in his 1970 book Love and Hate: The Natural History of Behavior Patterns and referenced in Affairs of the Lips: Why We Kiss in the 31 January issue of Scientific American Mind.

Also in the piece and of interest, if you’re one of the remaining 6 billion-some members of our species who generally are interested in kissing:

  • 80% of people tilt their head to the right when kissing -- which curiously does not correlate with right-handedness (according to the article: right handedness is four times more common than the act of kissing on the right)

  • Of the 12 or 13 cranial nerves that affect cerebral function, nearly 40% are employed when when we kiss, shuttling information from our lips, tongue, cheeks and nose to the brain about temperature, taste, smell and movement

  • Researchers were surprised to find that oxytocin levels (a pleasurable hormone induced by social bonding) rose in men after kissing and dropped in women -- they expected a rise across both sexes (their theory: woman need more than a kiss to bond)

  • However, stressful cortisol hormones dropped in both genders after kissing, asserting the hypothesis that kissing is a stress reliever

  • In Mongolia some fathers do not kiss their sons. They smell their heads instead

  • A Gallup survey found that 59 percent of 58 men and 66 percent of 122 women admitted there had been times when they were attracted to some­one only to find that their interest evaporated after their first kiss

And, perhaps one of the most important tips provided by the article: Be careful when kissing a bonobo -- unless you don’t mind a little tongue (‘cause he’s almost sure to slip you some).

In closing, an attribution:

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
--the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

— e.e. cummings


patrick said...

"woman need more than a kiss to bond"

THAT'S what I keep telling them!!

Thank you! THANK you!

suttonhoo said...

lol -- so glad to be of service, patrick. ;)

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