An Anthropological and Artistic Look at the History of Lip smacking
- Like the Romans, early Christians often greeted one another with an osculum pacis, an holy kiss on the cheek. According to tradition, the holy kiss caused a transfer of spirit between the two people kissing. Some historians believe this was the result of the church wanting to foster a sense of "brotherly love amongst the clergy", but could also have been the result of rampant homosexuality within the clergy.
- In the 13th century the Catholic Church substituted a pax board, which the congregation kissed instead of kissing one another. The Protestant Reformation in the 1500s removed kissing from religious services entirely. The holy kiss doesn't usually play a role in modern Christian religious services, although some Christians do kiss religious symbols, including the Pope's ring.
- Works of literature like "Romeo and Juliet" have portrayed kisses as dangerous or deadly when shared between the wrong people. Some folklorists and literary critics view kissing as a form of physical vampirism, symbolic of the physical and emotional dangers that can come from kissing the wrong person.
- The Holy Bible (in the gospels of Matthew and Mark) for example shows the betrayal of Judas by singling out Jesus with a kiss, while Sleeping Beauty is awakened by a princely kiss and stories of succubi tell of women sucking the life out of men with a kiss (ie. Hans Baldung Grien - Death and the Maiden - 1518-20 or John William Waterhouse - La Belle Dame Sans Merci - 1893).
- In the Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea (an older version of Sleeping Beauty) a romantic kiss is used by a male to awaken or breathe life into a female statue (ie. Jean Leon Gerome - Pygmalion and Galatea - c.1890).
- In modern American versions of the fairy tale "Frog Prince" it is the male who is transformed into the prince from the frog kissed by the beautiful female princess. A similar account occurs in "Beauty and the Beast".
- A French kiss, tongue kiss, pash, snog or deep kiss is a passionate romantic or sexual kiss in which one participant's tongue touches the other's tongue (or lips) and usually enters his/her mouth.
- Although family members may sometimes kiss on the lips, a kiss using the tongue almost always indicates a romantic relationship. French kissing stimulates the lips, tongue and mouth, which are all areas very sensitive to touch. It is considered by many to be both very pleasurable and highly intimate.
- Unlike other forms of "casual" kissing (such as brief kisses of greeting or friendship), episodes of French kissing will often be prolonged, intense, and passionate. Because of the intimacy associated with it, in many regions of the world tongue kissing in public is not acceptable to most, particularly for an extended time. In Israel, legal precedent has been set for considering a French kiss without consent, as opposed to a kiss without involvement of the tongue, indecent behavior.
- In a tongue kiss participants exchange saliva, something which would be considered disgusting in other contexts. Although most sexually transmitted diseases are not transmitted by kissing, the exchange of saliva in a French kiss may increase the chances of catching an orally transmitted disease. Infectious mononucleosis (American: Mononucleosis or, colloquially, "mono"; European: glandular fever), a disease spread through saliva, is colloquially referred to as "the kissing disease."
- A French kiss is often used by lovers to express their intimate feelings toward each other, whether in passing or as a prelude to sexual intercourse (as a part of foreplay). French kissing also occurs frequently throughout actual intercourse. A French kiss is thus a highly intimate affair, and in a manner of speaking symbolizes a side of the physical love one has for the other. In essence it can also be called a passionate or loving kiss.
- Generally speaking kissing between two women is much more accepted in Western culture. Two men kissing usually means politicians meeting foreign dignitaries.
- In some countries kissing is only considered proper when between two men, two women, or parents kissing their children. Traditionally kissing between two men on the lips as a greeting or a farewell was as normal as the modern Western handshake. The rise of various plagues and widespread illness caused this custom to become frowned upon in Western culture.
- At the Diocleia festival at Megara a kissing contest was held in which boys would kiss a male judge, who awarded a laurel wreath to the boy he deemed the best kisser.
- Lord Nelson, the British naval commander, famously requested "Kiss me, Hardy", as he lay dying (they were not his last words).
- The history of homosexual kisses is relatively short and has few examples in art history or film. There is Tanya Chalkin's photograph of two women kissing, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec's The Kiss and also Kissing in the Bed and of course plenty of erotica and X-rated material, but not many popular art examples.
Kissing in Film
- The first kiss on film was in 1896 and made by Thomas Edison. "The Kiss" features the first known screen kiss, a forty-seven second recreation of a stage kiss from the musical The Widow Jones. The movie was considered scandalous at the time of its release but has since entered film history as one of the most memorable early films.
- Andy Warhol made an avant-garde film, the kiss, close-ups of couples kissing.
- The first interracial kiss shown on television was between characters Uhura and Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series.