In all your active years of kissing, have you ever wondered why we close our eyes when we kiss? It's how we've been trained — lean in, close your eyes and present your lips. Check list: lean, eyes, lips. The lean is necessary, the lips are the main event, but the closed eyes, that's just a touch that's been added for no obvious value. We're so unfazed by the "unnecessary" step that we find it taboo when people fail to close their eyes. A few seconds of eye contact and kissing can be powerfully intimate and erotic. A few seconds too long and it's creepy. It's grounds for gossiping in the group chat.
But why do we so easily trust the person we're kissing with our senses? You'd think we'd be a little circumspect about shutting down our vision. Not to mention, a visual can really help to get the mood going so why do we forfeit our right to see? Well, according to a new study published by Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, there's actually a scientific reason we close our eyes — it's not just a formality.
According to psychologists Polly Dalton and Sandra Murphy, who studied a group of participants interacting with both physical and visual stimuli, the brain cannot fully appreciate the physical when distracted with the visual. Participants were fitted with a small device that emitted a subtle vibration on their hand. While they wore the device, they were given the visual and mental task of searching for letters. The participants reported that while they were searching for letters, the vibration felt less apparent, wheres when they closed their eyes, the vibration on their hand felt much more significant. The vibration obviously was set to the same frequency the whole time.
So what this proves for Dalton and Murphy is that the brain can better appreciate physical stimulation when it's not splitting its efforts with visual stimulation. What's not been specifically stated is the fascinating big picture impact closed-eye kissing has. What is kissing? It's an intimate act of desire that can escalate to an even more intimate act of intercourse. Because yes, on a primal level, that's the main reason we're here. So someone obviously figured out a long time ago, that kissing with closed eyes gives participants a better chance of moving towards intercourse by keeping them focused and allowing them to build momentum with a kiss, rather than quickly getting distracted and diverting their attention elsewhere.
Think about it: you don't close your eyes when you kiss your mother. Closed-eye kissing is an ernest attempt at mustering the feels and intensifying the intimacy of the encounter. So perhaps for more reasons than one, keeping your eyes open while you kiss can derail the interaction.
Images: Drazen_/E+/Getty Images; Giphy