The kiss it has a range of meanings, from a cordial greeting to becoming the materiality of passion and love between couples.
In its long history, the kisses have been reflected in literary works, like the old testament, or in the poetry of Homer; However, several cultures considered that kissing on the lips was considered very unpleasant.
According to anthropology studies the kiss appeared in the hominids as a way of showing affection on the part of mothers towards their young.
Cro-Magnon’s wife, according to anthropologists, He gave his children food in his mouth by chewing it beforehand.
Kiss at Khajuraho Temple in India.
Various possible origins of the kiss
One of the theories states that the kiss was generated by the sucking impulse of infancy and lactation. It is also linked to the custom of smelling each other in primitive communities and cannibalism.
However, the first record of kissing dates back to 2500 BC., in India. Punctually at the temples of Khajuraho.
Also in the East the Kamasutra, in the year III AD, a holy book by Vatsyayana that addressed the natural divinity of sex.
The Kamasutra it also included references to kissing as a sexual practice. And it separates it into three categories.
The first is the nominal kiss, where the lips hardly touch; follow him the throbbing kiss where only the lower lip is mobilized; and finally, the touching kiss in which lips and tongue are used.
The Kamasutra was written in Sanskrit and originally comes from India. There the kiss was mentioned. Photo / file
Several researchers agree that lhe culture of kissing as a sexual practice began in India and that it came to Europe during the invasions of Alexander the Great.
Even in canonical texts of Western culture such as The odysseyby Homer; and later in Ovid It refers to kiss as a symbol of love or affection. Even in Greek myths it is also present, for example, in Galatea and Pygmalion.
But the kiss was also recorded as treason in the Bible, especially in Judas Iscariot and in Jesus.
In another vein, the men of the Persian culture kissed on the mouth, provided they are of the same social caste, to confirm and seal pacts.
On the other hand, the Celts gave kisses healing properties. And in Italy, during the Middle Ages, if a man kissed a maid in public, he should get married otherwise it was considered a serious offense.
The shape of the lips defines the kiss
Physiologically, human lips are special. In fact, Sheril Kirshenbaum, author of The science of the kiss, stated that they are unique because they are “everted.”
That is, according to the author, “they bend outwards in a different way than all other members of the animal kingdom. Therefore, when we connect through the kissIt means something different and affects us differently from any other species. “
The kiss. By Gustav Klimt. 1907-1908.
Of course lkisses can mean many things, from greeting and saying goodbye to family and friends to intimate connection of lovers. Kirshenbaum suggests thatand this ancient practice is a fusion of instinct and culture.
“We kiss people for different reasons: because it is what is familiar to us, what we see on the street, what we see today in movies and on billboards, but we also seem to have this instinctive urge to do so, “the author said.
The kiss and the “love drug”
Also the kiss is an exchange of sensory information. Also, as our lips are full of sensitive nerve endings, when two people kiss all kinds of hormones are triggered.
Even a light brush of the lips can be very pleasant, and stimulates physiological changes in our body that cause these sensations. One of them is dopamine, a chemical in the brain that is stimulated when we do something that makes us feel great.
A couple kiss during the COVID pandemic. Photo / EFE
It also increases oxytocin, the famous “love drug”, which makes us feel connected to someone. It’s what keeps couples together long after the novelty, dopamine, is gone
Kissing may be an ancient practice, but it is not universal. For example, 19th century British explorer William Winwood Reade wrote that he fell in love with the daughter of an African king.
Reade dared to kiss her and at that moment she was so scared that she screamed and ran. Later, the Englishman understood that the woman believed he was trying to eat her.
Kisses that made history
During the Cold War, the leaders of communist states often greeted each other with what is called the “socialist brotherly kiss“.
It could be on the cheek or on the mouth, but the most famous example is the 1979 photo by French photographer Régis Bossu of Leonid Brezhnev, from the Soviet Union, and Erich Honecker, from East Germany, kissing on the mouth.
Kiss between then Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev (L) and East German leader Erich Honecker. Photo / AFP
The kiss came when Brezhnev visited East Berlin to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic (ie East Germany).
When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Soviet artist Dmitri Vrubel recreated the image on a mural on the east side of the wall. He titled it: “My God, help me survive this mortal love“.
On the morning of August 14, 1945, patients broke into the office of Greta zimmer on Manhattan stating that the war was over.
The Austrian immigrant wasn’t sure what to think, so on her lunch break she went to Times square in his white dental assistant uniform to see what the tickers were saying.
The atmosphere was celebratory and the news ticker confirmed that, indeed, World War II had ended.
Greta Zimmer, at 86, remembers the mythical kiss photo in Times Square. Photo / Archive
When Zimmer looked away from the ticker, a Navy sailor named George Mendonsa He walked over and kissed her aggressively, leaving his girlfriend behind.
Zimmer struggled to push the stranger away and they parted ways, but, unbeknownst to both of them, photographers Alfred Eisenstaedt and Victor Jorgensen they had caught the moment.
Zimmer herself demystified the moment. He said, in an interview in 2005 that “It was not my decision to be kissed … the guy just walked over, grabbed me and gave me a kiss that went down in history. “