Passionate kissing is a globally recognised sign of affection – a sign of lust and/or love, it can induce an element of excitement, a rush of addiction and indeed a certain level of nervousness. Whilst you may be judging how well your date kisses based on your own preferences, your brain is busy judging the suitability of your kisser as a potential ‘mate’ to procreate with. This is classed as the ‘mate assessment’ stage of attraction, which prevents time wasting, emotional expenditure and sexual intercourse with the wrong match.
Match assessment is taking place even before you get to that first kiss where subconsciously your brain is engaging in an assessment period, deliberating if your date is right for you to procreate with. For instance your lips do not only play an important role in the physical act of kissing, becoming an erogenous zone and heightening in sensitivity, but they also play an important role in mate selection and indeed attraction. Women’s lips are visual indicators of her fertility with Psychologists suggesting that fuller lips are linked to higher levels of the hormone ‘oestrogen’. This hormone creates a more feminine appearance, indicates a higher level of fertility and creates higher levels of attraction.
As lips, and indeed the tongue and face, are rich with sensory glands sensing and secreting hormonal changes. The pure nature of kissing allows us to have physical contact with our date. Being in this close proximity allows our senses to pick up on smell and chemical changes to assess our date as a potential mate. Evolutionary psychology supports this concept, suggesting that our subconscious sense of smell enables our brains to recognise the sexual and reproductive ‘position’ of our date. This allows neuro-psychological detection of our date’s hormonal changes which is particularly important in female mate selection, allowing the male to subconsciously detect the fertile stages as well as menstruation. This aids the male in selecting the best female to impregnate. Evolutionary Psychology also suggests that kissing allows females to detect the male’s immune system where she will show more attraction to males possessing a different immune system set than her own, creating wider protection for their subsequent children.
After we have subconsciously smelt and sensed chemical reactions in our date to assess mate suitability, the sense of taste comes in to play. Although the type of kisser you are may appeal to your date’s individual preference, research has found that the ‘sloppy kisser’ is usually subconsciously preferred by men. Exchanging more saliva allows him to identify oestrogen in his dates saliva, simultaneously allowing his brain to identify how fertile she is and if she is a worthy biological match. This is also true of females, during the act of kissing, the male passes testosterone through his saliva showing his fertility and creating female sexual arousal, this then allows the male to further understand the chemical reactions, her fertility and sexual response – all aiding mate assessment.
So, although it can take about seven attempts before you get used to how your partner likes to be kissed, for many of us, the First Kiss can be the deal breaker - maybe our brain knows something our conscience does not.