Part of the ‘The Case for Kissing‘ set of blog posts.
Reproduced from the MORE Magazine website:
Origins of the Use of X as a Kiss
The use of the letter X as a symbol of affection can be traced back to when the illiterate would sign contracts with an X in place of a signature. Marked in the presence of witnesses, it was followed by a kiss upon the X to further convey sincerity.
If one’s mind is on calories whilst kidding, there can be no hope for love. However, it is known that some have a penchant for such inanities, so: the energy used in a kiss is of course, totally dependent upon one’s depth of passion but a general estimate given is between 2-6 calories a minute.
The Weight of a Kiss
A kiss conveys subconscious information about the genetic compatibility of a prospective mate. Research has proven that women prefer men with immune system proteins that are different from their own. Scientists believe that a woman may be able to smell these proteins while kissing and that what she smells may affect whether she finds her partner attractive.
The Scent of a Kiss
Kissing, according to the Gordon G. Gallups at Albany State University, New York, involves a very complicated exchange of olfactory information that enables people to make determinations about the degree to which they are compatible. Kissing may even reveal the extend to which a partner is willing to commit to raising children, a central issue in long-term relationships.
Roman law defined such kisses ascrimen osculationis, kisses borne of one-sided lust and taken without permission. Punishment was dependent on proof of the perpetrator’s unchaste intentions, and proportioned in severity according to the rank and status of the injured party.
Long before cybersex, there was the much more low-key, though decidedly more stylish telegraph kiss. From Popular Science, 1938: “Sending kisses by wire is a new use for facsimile telegraph transmission. Recently a New York girl kissed a telegram blank and the lipstick impression was placed on the facsimile transmitter to be reproduces for delivery in Chicago.”
Ay Caramba Kisses
In 1969 an effort was made to crack down on young lovers who were smooching in public in the town of Inca on the island of Majorca. When the police chief began handing out citations that cost offenders 500 pesetas per kiss, a group of 30 couples protested by staging a kiss-in at the harbour at Cala Figuera. Following a massive roundup by police, the amorous rebels were fined 45,000 pesetas and then later released.
Minor Kisses of Dubious Nature
In 1996, Jonathan Prevette, a first grader from Lexington, North Carolina became famous overnight after he kissed a girl on the cheek. The school deemed his act as “unwelcome touching” and removed him from the grounds. Such was the media storm that the U.S. Dept of Education was forced to rewrite their sexual harassment guidelines, omitting kisses by first graders.
Interracial TV Kisses
The first black-white kiss on American network television is often credited to the Star Trek episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” aired on November 22, 1968. The kiss occurred between Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Lieutenant Uhura (Michelle Nichols).
Kiss Me, Kill Me
The Shanghai Daily reported a vicious revenge taken by a Chinese woman upon her lover, when she killed him with a rat poison-laced kiss having suspected him of being unfaithful.