12 Shocking Things No One Ever Taught You About The Saliva You Swap When Kissing

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

When you're in the middle of a kiss, the last thing you're likely to think about is the other person's saliva, much less what may or may not be transferring between you. But turns outs there's a whole lot going on inside our mouths, and it can make the act of kissing even more interesting than you might think.

"The human body is an incredibly complex, contained, self-sustaining ecosystem of chemicals and micro-organisms," sex expert and educator Candice Smith, M.Ed., tells Bustle. "While we may discount it as 'spit,' our saliva contains the building blocks, the real chemical essence, of who we are." And when you kiss someone, that essence is shared.

"Your saliva is you, distilled into fluid form," Smith says. "When we kiss, we’re essentially sharing a tiny bit of our ecosystems — we’re swapping genetic information that our bodies unconsciously process — and in doing so, we learn more about each other in an instant than we ever could consciously."

That's why you may not be sure, in a romantic sense, that you really like someone until you kiss. "That’s what makes it such a powerful form of intimacy; when (if) you decide to continue swapping saliva, you’ve essentially selected each other not just on a conscious level, but you’ve accepted them with every fiber of your DNA, too," Smith says. Read on for more interesting things no one ever taught you about swapping spit, according to experts.