• Mon. Jun 5th, 2023

Our Lips are Unsealed: Exploring the Science & Culture of Kissing


May 26, 2023

Amongst the a lot of “firsts” we practical experience in our lives, a initially kiss is 1 of the most memorable.

In addition to becoming a novel practical experience, our brains acquire pleasure and facts from kissing. Our lips are the most exposed erogenous zones on our bodies, and a great, consensual kiss triggers hormones that give us a rush of wish and appreciate.

Science communicator Sheril Kirschenbaum talks with host Anita Rao about these physical effects of a kiss and how they aid us measure compatibility with a possible companion. She also describes the cultural history of kissing, like how locking lips has enforced energy structures and how kissing is interpreted differently about the globe, all subjects discussed in her book “The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us.”

Kadar Modest, a photographer, director and filmmaker primarily based in New York City, also joins the conversation to share the inspiration behind his photo series “PDA.” Kadar photographs moments of kissing and intimacy in between Black and brown queer people in public and at house, exploring what this sort of connection appears like by means of his operate.

Anita also talks about the cultural milestone of a initially kiss with a group of present and former WUNC youth reporters. Higher college students Parys Smith and Donna Diaz, along with college student Chris Williams, share the stories of their initially kiss, how they consider about boundaries and what constitutes a great kiss.

Thank you to Caroline, Jeanine, Caitlin, Kristin, Lawrence and Steven for sharing with us for this episode!

Remembering the Initially Kiss

How Old Had been You?

 A word bubble over the outline of lips that features these words: 7th grade, PreK, 8th grade, middle school, 17, 16, 15, 6, 13.

We gathered with each other stories of initially kisses from our listeners, guests, and colleagues … and we had such a wide variety of experiences!

What Was that Initially Kiss Like?

 A word bubble over the silhouette of two people kissing featuring the words: nothing special, making out, exciting, wet, 4 out of 10, awkward, gentle, clumsy, cringey, physically uncomfortable, inconsequential, anticipated, embarrassing, sweet, public, eager, unexpected, playful, nice, awkward, traumatic, simple, naive, biggest letdown of my life.

Who’s shocked that the most prevalent adjective is “awkward”?

What Can a Initially Kiss Teach Us? (from former/present WUNC youth reporters)

“My initially kiss, there had been no boundaries. And even even though I was young, it created me incredibly sturdy, in like, what I want and not letting people today come into my space.”
-Parys Smith

“There does not want to be tongue all that, like, it can just be sweet for a couple seconds.”
-Chris Williams

“It has to be the suitable moment. Kissing in basic, I consider it must just be energy”
-Donna Diaz

Why Do We Keep in mind Our Initially Kisses So Effectively?

“Novel experiences can spike all sorts of distinctive neurotransmitters and hormones in our bodies … But we’re utilizing that kiss to inform us a lot more about the circumstance, how we’re feeling: Are we comfy? Are we stressed? So that memory is highly effective.”
-Sheril Kirschenbaum, author of “The Science of Kissing”

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