Friday, December 14, 2007

A kiss isn't just a kiss

When I was out at the bars last weekend, I noticed a maybe-not-so-welcome reminder of the season: mistletoe.

It's one thing to see it strategically placed at a house party, where you can maneuver the hottie of your choice into position; another to see it pinned to the lopsided Santa hat of a drunk 23-year-old on Tryon Street.

Since we're likely to engage in more smooching the next few weeks, I'd like to share this: A study recently published in the scientific journal "Evolutionary Psychology" found that 59 percent of men and 66 percent of women said they've been in the position of being attracted to someone ... until they kissed them.

Singles, can I get a witness?

"At the moment of the kiss, there's a very complicated exchange of information ... that may tap into underlying evolved mechanisms" cluing us in on whether we're genetically compatible, explains Gordon Gallup, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany. "A kiss can be a deal-breaker in terms of whether a relationship will flower or flounder, so to speak."

The research also suggests men and women have different agendas when it comes to kissing. For men, kissing is more often used as a means to an end -- in other words, to get laid. Women use kissing as a mate-assessment technique, and to monitor the status of the relationship. (Not devouring you with smooches like he used to? Could be he's losing interest.)

Other gender differences in the research:

• Men show a greater preference for tongue contact and open-mouth kisses.

• Men are more willing than women to have sex with someone without kissing, as well as to have sex with someone they are not attracted to or consider to be a bad kisser.

• Women place more importance on kissing throughout a relationship, whereas men place less importance on it as the relationship progresses.

Either way, better get out the breath spray.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is at least the second time you've said "Singles, can I get a witness?" in your blog, effectively cutting off input from a decent portion of your audience. Even married folk were previously single... Why are you always segregating and stereotyping singles vs. marrieds? I was enjoying your entry till I got to that line.