• Thu. Jun 8th, 2023

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


May 26, 2023

Amongst the several “firsts” we knowledge in our lives, a initially kiss is 1 of the most memorable.

In addition to getting a novel knowledge, our brains acquire pleasure and details 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 need and really like.

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

Kadar Smaller, 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 involving Black and brown queer people in public and at household, exploring what this type of connection appears like via 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 assume 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 1st 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 collectively stories of initially kisses from our listeners, guests, and colleagues … and we had such a wide variety of experiences!

What Was that 1st 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 1st Kiss Teach Us? (from former/present WUNC youth reporters)

“My initially kiss, there had been no boundaries. And even although I was young, it created me really robust, in like, what I want and not letting persons come into my space.”
-Parys Smith

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

“It has to be the correct moment. Kissing in common, I assume it should really just be energy”
-Donna Diaz

Why Do We Keep in mind Our 1st Kisses So Properly?

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

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