7 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Kissing

7 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Kissing

From the hidden health benefits, to what it says about us as people, kissing is much more than something fun you do with someone you’re attracted to. So, to celebrate National Kissing Day in the UK, we’ve rounded up all the weird and wonderful things you probably didn’t know about kissing...

1. Most people tilt their head to the right

If you want to avoid any awkward head banging, then you should take a tilt to the right – according to one study, that’s the way two thirds of people tend to tilt. German researcher Onur Güntürkün discovered this fact after spying on 224 couples kissing in public places in Germany, America and Turkey. Weirdly, this is something that you pick up before you’re even born; most foetuses tilt their head to the right whilst they’re in the womb, too.

2. Kissing is good for you

Kissing releases endorphins and oxytocin – also known as the ‘happy hormones’ – meaning that making out will make you feel positive and relaxed. It can also help reduce the risk of tooth decay as the extra saliva produced helps to clean your mouth. Plus, kissing burns serious calories – 26, to be exact.

When done on a regular basis, kissing can even add a few years on to your life – one study claimed that men who kissed their wives every day before leaving for work lived five years longer than the guys who left without giving their spouses a peck goodbye. Psychologists said they didn’t believe it was the kiss itself, however, that made the difference, but rather that kissers were likely to being the day with a more positive attitude, leading to a far healthier lifestyle.

3. It helps us to figure people out

Obviously there’s going to be some kind of biological reason for a quick snog rather than just feeling confident after a few wines: according to biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, we tend to prefer individuals with specific biological profiles. "Kissing is a mechanism for mate choice and mate assessment," she said, essentially meaning one of the reasons we trade saliva is to try and figure out if someone’s going to be a good match. And we’re not alone in this – chimpanzees kiss, foxes and dogs lick each other’s faces and elephants put their trunks in each other’s mouths. Very romantic.

4. Women find kissing more important than men

A study involving more than 1,000 university students found that women rated kissing far more important to a relationship that the guys did. It also found that, while women mostly use kissing to assess whether someone would be a good mate, men use it to increase the likelihood of sex.

Furthermore, a separate study showed that the amount a couple kissed was integral to their level of relationship satisfaction – in fact, 59% of men and 66% of women have ended a relationship because someone was a bad kisser.

5. The longest kiss ever lasted for over two days

Get ready to feel inferior – Thai couple Ekkachai Tiranarat and Laksana Tiranarat hold the Guinness World Record for the longest kiss, coming in with a smooch lasting 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds. But there’s many branches to this kissing tree – there’s also a record for the longest underwater kiss (three minutes, 24 seconds) and longest habanero pepper kiss (one minute, 41 seconds), not to mention the longest time to kiss in a car, that comes in at a monumental 76 hours. We have so many questions…

6. Most people remember their first kiss more vividly than the first time they had sex

The good, the bad and the ugly: turns out no matter what our first kiss was like, it’s ingrained in our memories to cringe or swoon over for the rest of our lives. Researcher John Bohannon of Butler University asked 500 people about their memories of important life experiences – including their first kiss and losing their virginity. The first kiss came out on top, beating everything else as the most detailed memory

7. Idris Elba is the UK’s most kissable man

Yep, Luther himself is the guy that all the ladies want a piece of. New research collected by KissingDay.com shows the 45-year-old actor tops the list of the UK’s most kissable men, with Anthony Joshua, Harry Styles and – rather strangely – Jeremy Corbyn joining him in the top ten.

Most kissable women include Dua Lipa at number one, with Emma Watson and Naomi Harris not far behind. Piers Morgan, Nigel Farage and Katie Hopkins we crowned the UK’s least kissable, with Donald Trump topping the US’s least kissable list – can’t say we’re surprised…

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