The Power of a Kiss


Is kissing something that can be casual or can it have serious implications for your relationships?

Check out this statement from a recent article on abcnews.com:

"Psychologists report that most people can remember up to 90 percent of the details of their first romantic kiss, a memory that is even more powerful than their first sexual encounter."

Yep. You read that right. Psychologists are making the claim that a kiss can be even more powerful than sex.

A psychologist interviewed for the article went on to explain, "The lips are very sensitive tissue, with many nerve endings that signal reactions such as hot and cold, sharp and soft. These same nerve endings also activate our feelings of closeness and attachment by arousing the brain's love chemicals such as oxytocin."

Oxytocin is a powerful chemical often called the "cuddle hormone." It's a bonding chemical that creates feelings of caring. God created this hormone to work as human super glue. For example, oxytocin is released when a momma breastfeeds her new baby. It creates a bond that says, "We are meant to be together. Do not pull us apart." The only other time this hormone is released is when there is intimate physical contact. What psychologists and scientists are discovering is that when we have intimate contact with another person even through kissing, our brains have a chemical reaction that causes a bond to seal.

The bottom line is that kissing has consequences but the world teaches a different message. Most television shows and movies contain gobs of kissing scenes. We are used to seeing people kiss casually, and our heart gets the subliminal message that kissing is no big deal. Sadly, the content of our hearts almost always spills over into action. I read that the average person will have 28 first kisses (as in kissing someone new for the first time). That's a lot of puckering up, and it's a lot of gluing our hearts to the hearts of someone whom we will not be with for a lifetime.

I've always bucked at the idea of hard and fast rules on the issue of kissing. I did not save my first kiss for my wedding day and always thought that maybe some girls could handle kissing while still pursuing purity and others could not. But lately I've been asking a new question in relation to the issue of purity. Instead of asking, "Is this okay?" I think it's more helpful to wonder, "Is this holy?" and "Is this what's best for me and my future spouse?"

Since science has proven that every time you kiss someone your body wants to bond with that person at a chemical level, we know that there can never be kissing without an emotional connection. Science has also proven that a kiss can be even more powerful physically and emotionally than a full-fledged sexual encounter. That little tidbit of information sounds like a warning siren to me. "Steer clear! Kissing is a potential danger zone!"

What do you think? How does the data about the power of a kiss impact your decision to kiss or not to kiss? Do you think it is possible to kiss causally and not face a broken heart? What personal boundaries do you have in the area of kissing?

Ben Stuart
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