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What Real Women Say
The evolutionary origins and physiology behind mouth to mouth kissing
Skip navigation! Story from Wellness. Erika W. Make kissing even more of a turn-on by leveling up and adding French kissing to your repertoire.
It all comes down to our lingering evolutionary urge to sniff out a genetically compatible mate, although nowadays a person's genetics isn't the only thing that draws us to them otherwise Tinder and hook-ups wouldn't exist. Still, people love a good snog in almost every culture in the world, and those which don't get up close by sniffing or smelling instead, explains Dr Sarah Johns, an expert in human reproduction and evolutionary psychology at the University of Kent. That makes a couple more likely to produce a child better equipped to fight infectious disease, which was pretty important before modern medicine and the advent of vaccines and antibiotics.
Anthropological studies suggest that kissing is an acceptable practice in up to 90 per cent of cultures. Photograph: iStock. In early human societies, it is believed mothers weaned their babies by chewing up their food and then passing it to their babies by lip-to-lip contact. Yes and no. Most other primates use kissing as a form of conflict resolution and bonding rather than foreplay to sexual intimacy. Bonobo apes — our closest genetic relatives — kiss both for comfort and to socialise.