Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Art of Kissing

Imagine we're whispering in the firelight, soft music lingers in the background. Candles flicker in the breeze, reflecting through our wine glasses and throwing a glow on the walls... "Je t'aime mon petit escargot, je t'aime". Our lips touch...

I used to be quite a good kisser in my day. I'd get as much practice in as I could (without being physically hit). And I'm not talking about the peck on the cheek or the mother-child type thing; I'm talking about the deep, eye-popping, knee-weakening, swooning, romantic kiss. On the lips. Complete with embrace. With sensitivity and tenderness; languishing one second and urgent the next.

Over time I got better and while I was probably not the best kisser in the world I'm happy to learn there were worse.

Kissing is said to release good stuff like adrenaline and increase your heart rate, which strengthens the heart. And your svelte-ness too. Dr. Alexander DeWees, an expert in the subject, revealed in an experiment that a passionate kiss generally burns up to 2–3 calories per minute. (I must have amassed millions.)

Research shows the word kissing comes from the Old English word cyssan (“to kiss”), and coss (“a kiss”). The romantic aspect of it derives from an adverb of the Latin origin "Romanicus," meaning "of the Roman style." The term was not combined with the idea of love until late into the seventeenth century. In fact, the practice of the romantic kiss is quite modern. It was totally unknown in ancient Egypt, (unsurprisingly the Greeks knew about it but didn't advertise it). Khristoper Nyrop (download here) writes that "from the remotest times we find (the kiss) applied to all that is holy, noble, and worshipful—to the gods, their statues, temples, and altars, as well as to kings and emperors; out of reverence, people even kissed the ground, and both sun and moon were greeted with kisses." But not the romantic kiss. In the Middle Ages it became a social gesture and was considered a sign of refinement of the upper classes. Then Europeans clicked in. People began kissing passionately everywhere. And like all good things it spread to the West who made it into the art it is today.

Kissing is not just schmooshing lips together and getting slobber everywhere. Kissing has evolved over time to be a true art. There's a magic to it. One day I might get back into it. It's like riding a bike. You never forget.

Shhh. Frankie's singing...

1 comment:

  1. Movies used to be so much better than they are today. I kiss my dog. Does that count? :)