Mark your calendars because National Kissing Day is just around the corner! Whether you’re single, taken, crushing, or just enjoying loving your friends, family, and pets, National Kissing Day is a day to show the ones you love how you feel and maybe plant one on ’em as well. Not sure what to make of National Kissing Day? Don’t really understand all the hype? No worries! We’ll run through all the ins and outs of this (unofficial) holiday so you can celebrate in style.
What Is National Kissing Day?
Also known as World Kiss Day, National Kissing Day is all about encouraging people to pucker up with the one they love. International Kissing Day has been celebrated on July 6th every year since its inception, but no one is entirely sure when or why the holiday was created. National kissing day, however, is usually celebrated in mid-to-late June, and is thought to have originated in the United States. It is speculated that kissing day celebrations first began in the United Kingdom sometime during the 19th century, but it has only been regularly celebrated worldwide since 2006. Though the day can be for anyone and any type of kiss – a peck on the cheek between friends, a kiss on the forehead from parent to child, or a passionate lip-lock between lovers – National Kissing Day aims to celebrate and spread awareness about the important role kissing plays in society.
Understanding Why People Kiss
Have you ever wondered why people kiss in the first place? What is it about mutual attraction that lures people to each other’s lips? Of all the ways humans show affection, we might consider kissing to be the strangest of them all. Believe it or not, there is actually a scientific explanation behind why humans (and other animals!) kiss.
Boosting self-esteem, mate-guarding, and feelings of love and attraction are most familiar to us, but what about swapping genetic information? Though much lesser known than some other reasons for kissing, swapping genes actually plays a big role in kissing.
According to sex expert and educator Candice Smith, M.Ed., our saliva contains the building blocks of who we are. This may not be surprising given all the ancestry kits that require a drop of spit to get started, but between human beings, swapping spit is a deeply ingrained, biological process important for procreation. Smith says that when we kiss, we are sharing our chemical essence and genetic information with our partners that our bodies then unconsciously process. With this in mind, we learn a great deal more about each other through kissing than we ever could through casual conversation.
This extra element of kissing is what makes it such an important part of intimacy. Not only are you choosing someone based on levels of attraction and compatibility, but you’re also choosing them on a molecular level. What’s more, kissing can also be a “vetting mechanism” for dating. You may find that you don’t like kissing someone, or that their kisses feel boring or incompatible. Believe it or not, this could be because their bacteria don’t match up with yours, making you incompatible on a biological level. In short, your body may reject a possible mate if their kiss doesn’t meet your body’s needs! You can learn more about swapping genetic information through kissing, here.
Benefits of Kissing
In addition to helping us learn about a potential romantic partner, kissing is also an act that comes with many benefits for your mind, body, and spirit. Whether you’re kissing your spouse, kissing babies, or giving your cat or dog a quick peck, smooching actually comes with some pretty awesome health benefits:
Kissing Helps Reduce Blood Pressure
Enthusiastic kissing (i.e. a make-out session) can give you quite the workout and increase your heart rate in a healthy way. It gets the blood flowing to all your vital organs and helps lower blood pressure heightened by stress and other issues.
Kissing Alleviates Cramps Headaches
Since kissing gets your blood flowing and your blood vessels dilated, it can help ease the pain brought on by headaches or menstrual cramps. When we’re in pain, we tend to curl up and stay stationary, which can make pain stay longer. Once you get your heart pumping and allow all your essential organs to get the oxygen and blood flow they need, it can help reduce or totally alleviate pain.
Kissing Releases Your Feel-Good Hormones
When you kiss, whether your lover on the lips or your mother on the cheek, your feel-good hormones are released. These chemicals, namely serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, help to relax and restore you, calming you and helping you feel content and at ease.
Kissing Fights Cavities
A good kiss can get a lot of fluids flowing, especially saliva. During a kiss, your body is secreting more saliva in your mouth which washes away plaque on your teeth. Since plaque is the main cause of cavities, having a nice long smooch will actually lead to a healthier mouth.
Kissing Relieves Stress
When kissing, the combination of feel-good hormones, increased blood flow, and feelings of love and intimacy with your partner can help reduce stress. You’re sitting in the perfect soup of calm, happiness, and closeness, keeping your body and being at ease.
Kissing Can Burn Calories
Kissing can strengthen your immune system
Part of being introduced to your partner’s mouth bacteria is building up immunity to certain types of germs and viruses. When we kiss, we’re swapping a lot of germs, and being exposed to a lot of germs is generally how we build up our immune systems.
Kissing Can Really Boost Your Self-Esteem
When we kiss, our stress hormone, cortisol, is lowered. When cortisol levels are reduced, it can potentially increase feelings of happiness and acceptance of self. A recent study found that people who were unhappy with their looks had higher cortisol levels than those who were not. What’s more, when you’re getting kissed, it’s a clear sign that someone loves you, values you, and/or is attracted to you – which should make you feel pretty darn good about yourself!
Who Celebrates National Kissing Day?
National kissing day is celebrated by anyone and everyone worldwide. Primarily for couples, National Kissing Day is the perfect time to celebrate your love with a sweet pucker. Of course, kisses can be shared between family members, friends, and even pets and their owners, meaning that anyone can celebrate National Kissing Day if they so choose.
10 Ways to Celebrate It
1. Kiss Your Partner Good Morning and Good Night
You can start the day by waking your partner with a sweet kiss good morning. If you don’t live with your significant other or can’t be with them in person, send them a text with a kissing emoji or make a point to greet them with a kiss the moment you see them. When the day is through don’t forget to kiss your partner goodnight as you head home or to bed. A sweet kiss goodnight could mean a better night’s sleep thanks to reduced stress and heightened feel-good hormones.
2. Greet Your Friends with a Kiss on the Cheek
Meeting friends for brunch or a movie? Show them a little extra love today by greeting them and saying goodbye with a kiss on the cheek. This small gesture can make those you care for feel loved and appreciated, and you’ll feel good doing it, too!
3. Give Your Mom and Pop a Peck
The love between children and their parents is one of the purest forms of love in the world. Most people receive their first kisses (on the cheek, forehead, tummy, etc) from their parents and remember this as a tangible show of love throughout their lives. Remind your parents how much you love them back by giving them a peck on the cheek today when you see them. If you can’t see them in person, a “mwah!” over the phone or in a text is just as sweet.
4. Plant One on Your Pet
There’s nothing better than getting a kiss from your pet, and we’re sure they feel the same way about getting a kiss from you. Give your kitty or your pooch a smooch to show them how much they mean to you today!
5. Share a Social Media Post
Want to share the love a little more? Consider capturing all this kissing in a social media post. So long as it’s okay with your partner, friends, and family members (and pets!), document your kisses with a picture or video and share it on social media. On National Kissing Day, PDA is perfectly okay, so take advantage of sharing the extra love!
6. Make a Boomerang
Sometimes you just don’t want a good kiss to end, which is why Boomerang is the perfect app to capture your smooches forever. The fun app that lets you loop an image can be used to capture the moment you kiss your significant other on the lips or your friends, pets, or parents on the cheek. In just a few short seconds, the moment is captured and can be replayed
over and over again for as long as you like. Want to share that love, too? Turn that Boomerang into a post and let others enjoy your endless love!
7. Blow a Kiss
Sometimes blowing a kiss can be just as sweet as actually giving one. Consider blowing a kiss to your friends, babies, cute animals, or even your colleagues today. A blown kiss takes away some of the intimacy of a physical kiss (which is important in settings that may be inappropriate or with people you aren’t super close to), but it feels just as friendly, sweet, and endearing.
8. Give It a Go with Chocolate
Giving away a Hershey’s kiss is another way you can celebrate National Kissing Day! This method of giving (or stealing!) a chocolate kiss adds a touch of innocence and sweetness to the gesture, literally. Everyone loves to get candy, and chocolate is one of the sweetest treats out there. What’s more, chocolate is often associated with love and loving feelings, making the treat even more fitting for National Kissing Day.
9. Watch a Romantic Movie or Show
Whether you watch with your significant other, your friends, or your mom, a romantic film or show can be the perfect way to celebrate National Kissing Day. Films and television series are often filled with iconic kisses that audiences love and love to relive, and there are so many options to choose from! You can grab a romantic comedy, a drama, a steamy and passionate love affair, or maybe even a thriller with sweet moments in between. Whatever film or show you choose, chances are a kiss will come up!
10. Read a Romantic Book
Sometimes the best kisses are literary kisses, so why not celebrate with a good book? You can relive Ron and Hermione’s first kiss, enjoy the first smooch between Lizzy and Mr. Darcy, see the love affair bloom between Romeo and Juliet, or cry along with Hazel and Augustus. Whatever love-filled literary moment you choose, this is a great way to celebrate.
Though it’s all about kissing, National Kissing Day is a day for all forms of love, whether romantic, platonic, or familial. The role kissing plays in society is one of love and happiness, and that is certainly something worth celebrating! Next time you feel the urge to smooch your partner, give your friends or family a peck, and show a little love to your pet, remember that kissing is one of the best ways to do so.
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