11 Random Facts About Kissing

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1. Kissing is good for you. A few of its benefits: it can help reduce dermatitis and blemishes. It can also help fight tooth decay because the extra saliva it produces cleans out your mouth. Kissing for a minute can burn up to twenty-six calories. And practiced regularly, kissing may even add a few years to your life. One study claimed that men who kiss their wife every morning before leaving for work live five years longer.

2. On the other hand, kissing can spread germs. One peck can contain up to 278 different bacteria. Luckily, 95% of those bacteria are not dangerous.

3. On average, we spend two weeks out of our lifetimes kissing. That’s three hundred and thirty six hours of lip service.

4. The longest movie kiss was a three-minute and twenty three-second steamy liplock between Necar Zadegan and Traci Dinwiddle in Elena Undone (2010).

5. The longest kiss in the real world belongs to Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat. In 2011, the young Thai couple locked lips continuously (without a break) for nearly two days straight - a record-setting forty-six hours, twenty-four minutes and nine seconds.

6. There are many arcane laws on the books about kissing. In Indiana it is illegal for men with mustaches “to habitually kiss human beings.” Presumably, any other species is fair game. In Colorado’s Logan County, a man is forbidden to kiss a woman while she’s asleep. And in Hartford, Connecticut, men are apparently prohibited from kissing their wives on Sundays.

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7. What about kissing the Blarney Stone? The legend goes that the builder of Blarney Castle, one Cormac Laidir MacCarthy, was involved in a lawsuit and appealed to the Irish goddess Cliodna for help. She told him to kiss the first rock he found on his way to court. The result was that he pleaded his case with great eloquence and won the case. MacCarthy then laid the lucky stone into the parapet of his castle.

But kissing the Blarney Stone can feel like a fitness test. First you climb steep and narrowly winding steps to get to the parapet. And once you’re up there, you have to shimmy on your back to position your head beneath the Stone. An hour after I kissed the Stone, I won a limerick contest. So maybe there’s something to it.

8. Like snowflakes and fingerprints, no two lip impressions are the same.

9. We all know that x’s represent kisses in print. But why? Back in medieval times, before most people could read or write, they signed their name with an x, then kissed the mark to show their sincere intent.

10. The term “French Kiss” has been around since Victorian times, and first appeared in print in a WWI-era book called Private Lindner’s Letters: Censored and Uncensored. The thought was that the French were experts in passionate romance. In France, they call it baiser amoureux (love kiss) or baiser avec la langue (kiss with the tongue) or in slang, a patin (an ice skating shoe).

11. The first interracial kiss on television was featured in a 1966 episode of Star Trek. Originally, the script called for Spock and Lt. Uhura to lock lips, but according to actress Nichelle Nichols, “Bill Shatner said, ‘Oh no! If anyone is going to get to kiss Nichelle, it’s going to be me!’ So they rewrote it. Fan mail was overwhelmingly positive, and one particular fan stands out for Nichols. “Dr. Martin Luther King told me that I was one of the most important people in his family,” Nichols said. “That they watched Star Trek and that I was a role model and their hero.”

December 11, 2011 - 5:11am
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