The fun excitement of kissing might wear off the older we get (although we never get tired of kissing our sweet kiddos!), but these 7 scientifically proven benefits might convince you to keep puckering up far into your golden years!
7. It can boost your immunity.
Kissing is fun, sure, but it’s also a bacteria exchange. On a bad day that could give you a virus, but the upside is that the more germs your immune system is exposed to, the better your body will be at fighting bacteria and viruses in the future.
A 2014 study found that couples who kiss frequently (at least 9 times per day) are more likely to share bacteria, so get working on that.
6. It releases endorphins.
The brain’s reward system releases feel-good chemicals like oxytocin when your lips touch, which helps us bond and improves our mood. It also reduces stress hormones, freeing your body up to rest from the cumulative crap weighing on your mind.
5. It could reduce your allergy symptoms.
At least one Ig Nobel-winning study proved that habitual kissing (and the reduced cortisol that comes from it) can help people who struggle with seasonal allergies.
4. It can give you a jolt.
Kissing can also stimulate the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline, both of which increase your heart rate, make you more alert, and prepare you for action.
Who needs coffee?
3. It could keep the dentist away.
Kissing encourages the production of saliva, which helps remove cavity-causing particles that can stick in your teeth after a meal. No dentists have weighed in, but I mean, it definitely can’t hurt!
2. It reduces stress – and cholesterol.
According to affection exchange theory, physical exchanges of affection “buffer the individual against the physiological effects of stress.”
The same study authors theorize that if affectionate behavior reduces stress, “then it is logical to predict that it will also effect improvements on physiological parameters that are exacerbated by stress” such as cholesterol. Cholesterol has a number of essential physiological functions, they write, “including maintaining membrane fluidity, producing bile, and contributing to the metabolism of fat-soluble vitamins.” It’s also “largely responsible” for the production of steroid hormones, such as cortisol, aldosterone, progesterone, the estrogens, and testosterone.
1. It’s good for the overall health of your relationship.
Romantic kissing, as well as other forms of physical contact, strengthens feelings of attachment and increases the feeling over overall satisfaction between partners.
A 2013 study found that couples who kiss more often feel happier and more satisfied in their relationship (and the same correlation was not found when people had more sex, interestingly).