That Kiss!

To report this seems, at first, disappointing, almost cruel. Kissing didn’t start out as “upper persuasion for lower invasion” but as a way to share germs and build immunity. Yes, swapping spit has a biological function. It likely originated with moms, and maybe dads, feeding infants pre-chewed food (don’t gag—visualize birds feeding their brood in the nest). This food was not only soft and more easily swallowed, but it contained probiotics and other good germs from mom or dad, which aided in the maturation of baby’s digestive system. Someplace along the line, mouth-to-mouth contact took on additional meaning and the act became tied up with bonding hormones and circuitry.

On his website, Dr. Joseph M. Mercola tells us that kissing relieves stress, releases epinephrine (which lowers LDL cholesterol and dilates blood vessels thus lowering blood pressure), alleviates pain, washes away teeth plaque thus preventing cavities, burns calories, increases self-esteem, tones facial muscles, and releases serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin, strengthening the bonding circuitry in one’s brain. “…sex, kissing, or even hugging, these forms of affection have primal, biological roots that impact our bodies, typically in a beneficial way.”

And kissing feels good. With the right person it tastes good. The taste of a kiss has amazing ramifications on short-term and longterm attraction. When the bioactive testosterone in a man’s saliva
is absorbed through the mucous membranes in a woman’s mouth, it activates the sexual-arousal centers in her brain. Now we’re getting someplace—hopefully beyond second base.

“Saliva contains molecules from all the glands and organs in the body,” Dr. Louann Brizendine points out. “So a French kiss serves up our signature flavor… [passing on] information about each other’s health and genes…” These amazing machines that our human bodies are have built-in intelligence far beyond what most of us realize. “If [a woman’s] genes [are] too similar to [a man’s] and the kiss taste[s] sour, it could [be] a sexual deal-breaker.”

Dang! The body knows more than what the brain recognizes. Maybe Tic Tacs or Altoids to the rescue! Aaahh… unfortunately, no. However, if a woman is on daily oral birth-control pills her sensitivity to acrid breath, and thus her selectivity, is reduced. There might be a deal in here after all! In all seriousness this has profound ramifications, which we will explore in the section on the women’s movement and the sexual revolution.

Jeffrey Rabuffo, MD

Dr. Jeff has a weekly, half hour, live radio show on WLIS/WMRD, 1150AM (Old Saybrook, CT), which can be streamed live or on demand via The show airs Mondays at 11AM with a replay on Thursdays at 11AM.

You can also order a copy of Dr. Jeff’s book, The Life of Men, available in a 2nd edition paperback on Amazon at this link

Dr. Jeff is also available to speak at your group, club, or organization.

He can be reached via email:

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