Love at First Kiss?

Just recently when I was on Facebook I saw a video of this new show on TLC that read “Love at first Kiss”. Curiously I clicked on the video and watched. The episode was about a man named Josh that has never kissed anybody before. The women that were on the show said that since every other dating hasn’t worked out for them so they decided to see where kissing a complete stranger would take them. Now, even though I absolutely regret clicking on that video and watching the unbelievably cringe worth kiss…it got my mind thinking… Why do humans even kiss? What is the evolutionary point of kissing? Does it help us pick our mate for evolutionary success? To exchange the billions of bacteria in each others mouths?… So I decided to find out.

“Examining the Possible Functions of Kissing in Romantic Relationships” is a scientific research paper I had found to answer my question. In this Journal Article, researchers have 3 hypothesizes:

  1. If kissing is used for mating, individuals who have higher standards to mate quality and commitment, should place a greater importance on kissing. Also, that the attraction to a partner is affected by an initial kissing experience. Studies showed that the “individual with high standards” are: Women and sociosexual orientation individuals.

An alternative way of explaining this in obnoxious drunk girl… *cough cough* I mean… Women talk is: “Idk (I don’t know) Becky… even though my date is a gentleman, won a noble prize, and rescues orphanages… he just wasn’t a good kisser.”

2. If kissing is a significant role in the relationship of 2 partners who seek to establish a romantic relationship, the individuals that pursue long-term mating over short-term interactions (i.e. women and low sociosexual individuals) will believe that kissing is more important to an already established relationship than an relationship that is just starting out. The hypothesis also predicts that, kissing is more valued in long-term relationships in ALL INTERACTIONS (not just relating to sex), and that kissing frequently in a relationship should greater the attachment to each other.

This can also be understood by saying, kissing is important in a relationship like marriage… where it’s the only positive thing that keeps you together…

3. If kissing plays a primary role in arousal and for physiological preparedness for sexual intercourse (a.k.a erection for males and lubrication in females)… it should be more important before sex than during or after, specially in casual sex. Furthermore, males who have been shown to prefer casual sex, put greater value in kissing before sex where it might be more useful.

In other words kissing is just foreplay to get into another individuals pants.

The participants of this study was from the U.S and the UK taking surveys from online psychology test and at colleges of Oxford University. Now, you might be wondering… “How could they ever convince someone of taking time out of their day to volunteer a survey about romantic attraction?” The answer is easy, you say “if you participate in this, you enter in for a chance to get a $50 voucher for online shopping.” Of the 902 participants: 308 were male and 594 were females from ages 18–63. They were asked to answer varies of questions about their attitudes towards romantic kissing in different relationships (Long-term or one night stands), kissing with closed lips vs kissing with open lips (french kissing), and the quality of their relationships, and lastly their self attractiveness.

The results that showed for hypothesis 1 was that the attraction to someone can change after the initial kiss.

Results for hypothesis 2 showed that kissing will aid a long-term relationship to last longer.

Hypothesis 3 had very little evidence to support, unlike the first two hypothesis. It had revealed that kissing is useful before sexual intercourse and not needed during or after. Although this somewhat supports the hypothesis, it is only relative to a short-term relationship.

In conclusion, kissing holds it’s function to mate selecting and also assisting in long-term relationships. It is rare to see animals trying to find a life-long partner (pair-bonding), humans are in this rare category. It is only because of evolution that we see this kind of pair-bonding.


Wlodarski, Rafael, and Robin I. M. Dunbar. “Examining the Possible Functions of Kissing in Romantic Relationships.” Archives of sexual behavior 42.8 (2013): 1415–1423. PMC. Web. 1 Oct. 2016.

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