Every April 13, International Kissing Day is celebrated in order to honor the longest kiss recorded in history, 46 hours 24 minutes 9 seconds. In the same way, it is a way to remember the relevance of the kiss in relationships between people, since it is a common way of expressing love or affection for someone. However, according to a study published by the American Anthropological Association, it is only part of 46 percent of the cultures in the world.
The origin of the kiss is not clear, but it can be attributed to primates, which used it as a means of feeding their young according to the book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by biologist Edward Wilson. For its part, among humans, its oldest record is found in India, where figures carved in stone have been found where the figures perform the practice. In addition, in the Kamasuta book, written approximately in the 3rd century AD, there are allusive references to the kiss. Currently, it is already part of the routine of hundreds of people and a common practice in various societies.
Doing this practice carries with it certain risks, which are rarely talked about. Such as contracting infectious mononucleosis or also called the “kissing disease”, as it is transmitted through saliva. According to MedlinePlus, adolescents and young adults tend to suffer from this disease, the most common symptoms are fever, sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. You can also get the common cold, stomach parasites, periodontitis, strep throat, and meningitis. But also a kiss can spread sexually transmitted diseases, for example cold sores.
Despite its drawbacks, kissing practice may have some benefits, such as being an excellent calorie-burning practice. Well, according to the study published in Archives Sexual Behavior for every minute of passionate kissing, two calories are burned. In that sense, it can increase metabolism and reduce weight gain. It also has a positive effect on people’s moods because it generates oxytocin, the hormone responsible for producing pleasure.
It was previously mentioned that the first recorded glimpse of kissing was in India and was brought to the West by Alexander the Great. In important historical books, such as the Bible, kisses are alluded to, for example with the kiss of Judas. During the Industrial Revolution the practice was more common, however it was carried out in privacy, it was not until Romanticism when people had greater freedom to kiss in public. Currently, kisses are not only a sign of love between couples, but it is used as a way to show emotional ties, whether passion, friendship, affection or love.