Know more about the art of kissing!

Phiroza Mistry

From a first kiss to a sizzling smooch, there`s more to the art of kissing than puckering your lips

They say you never forget your first kiss. I haven’t forgotten mine. Except...I was nine. He was 11. We met often at the club. And once in a while, a group of us would go to the movies. I could see that he tried his best to sit next to me. The trouble is, my big brother saw that too and made sure it didn’t happen. But one day he succeeded and we sat in thrilling proximity. After the interval, he held my hand.

One evening when I was home alone, he dropped in. Casually. Too casually. He must have been watching from his neighbouring house and noticed my parents leaving. We chatted, chastely, in the living room. Suddenly, he got up and walked to the bedroom. I followed, knowing the moment had arrived. I began imagining our kiss. Would he hold my face between his hands? Put his arms around me? Instead, he began to talk, and talk, and talk. His nerve, had failed. Sheepishly we went back to the living room. My very first kiss, then, was a miss.

Why do humans kiss? Even philematologists (people who study kissing) don’t know. It started, experts speculate, with mothers cuddling their babies, a cheek to cheek, mouth to cheek expression of intense maternal affection, which between adults, became a lip to lip expression of passion. Come to think of it, there isn’t much choice, is there? Eskimos rub noses, but the nose isn’t capable of doing much. Whereas, the mouth has lips, teeth and tongue, two of which are capable of movement.

Getting really passionate, involves hard work. A proper kiss (an improper kiss, that is), involves 34 facial muscles and 112 postural muscles. Orbicelaris oris, commonly called the kissing muscle, is what we use to pucker our lips. Doctors say a romantic kiss reduces stress, burns calories and lowers cholesterol levels! No wonder kissing is good for the heart.

How do we learn kissing? Nuzzling may be natural but kissing well, is an art. Who can forget the romantic kisses in Gone with the Wind? Not Scarlet kissing Rhett Butler. Those were kisses of deception, but Scarlet kissing Ashley. There was so much desperate longing in that stolen kiss! Would I be spoiling it for you if I told you that there was a kissing coach involved, who made the actors do their kiss over and over again till they got it right? Yes, practice does make perfect.

Lets play kiss and tell. We`re extremely curious about your first kiss.

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