I’ll never forget my first kiss with my partner. It may sound cheesy, and there may have been enough tequila in my system to get a rhinoceros drunk, but there were *fireworks*. His lips were so soft, he applied the right amount of pressure, and smelled so insanely good. I didn’t know he’d be my boyfriend at the time, but I knew I wanted him to be. Up until that first kiss, I wasn’t even sure that I liked him that much. He was quiet and shy; I was loud and crazy. The kiss changed everything for me. I went home and told my best friend all about it. She even wrote about it in her journal and showed me a few years later.
There is nothing quite like a really good first kiss. You can feel it right through your whole body. There is a jolt of hormones, chemicals, and biological factors that go into making a fabulous kiss. It’s not all sexual chemistry, horniness (and tequila — just me?). "Kissing is an instinct which aims at releasing chemicals in order to experience pleasant feelings." Takeesha Roland-Jenkins, a professional consultant for the Between Us Clinic, tells Bustle, "Furthermore, the lips have nerve endings that become stimulated upon kissing, leading to the activation of additional senses such as smell." Kissing is a wild, well-timed science experiment.
Here are seven incredible things that happen to your body when you kiss someone for the first time.
1. Your Stress Levels Decrease
If you’re feeling tightly wound, try opting for a makeout session instead of a glass of wine. Kissing regularly can help to lower your stress levels. According to a study cited on NBC, college students who participated in 15-minute makeout sessions had drastically decreased cortisol levels, the body’s stress hormone. Male participants saw increases in oxytocin, the brain’s feel-good chemical — while females actually saw a decrease.
The study also found that those who participated in the kissing felt stronger pair bonds to their partners. Pair bonding is what makes you feel close to the one you love.
2. Your Cholesterol Improves
As if you needed another reason to make out, kissing can actually improve your overall health, particularly your blood lipid levels. In a study in the 2009 edition of the Western Journal of Communication, researchers found that romantic kissing can actually decrease serum cholesterol and increase overall relationship satisfaction for couples. What is in a kiss? A lot actually.
3. Your Saliva Is Designed To Help You Assess Potential Mates
Slobbery kisses are not just foreplay. Apparently your body is actually trying to figure out if it wants to make babies with the person you’re macking on. Researchers at Oxford University have found that kissing is actually designed to help you assess a potential mate. They were curious to know why kissing is such a widespread practice and the purpose it serves. It turns out, the chemical makeup of saliva helps your body decide if the person you’re kissing would produce strong offspring.
Another theory from Rutgers University suggests that there is testosterone present in a man’s saliva, making it possible for a woman to access his strength as a potential mate on a molecular level.
4. Adrenaline Is Unleashed
When we kiss, our bodies jump into overdrive, release a burst of adrenaline. Your heart rate increases, and blood flow is positively impacted. This helps to increase your energy levels, giving you a boost of positive vibes.
After an intense kiss, you’re revved up and ready to go (hopefully to the main event — the sex, but you do you).
5. All Your Brain’s Happy Chemicals Are Released
Not only is your body flooded with the feel-good chemical, oxytocin during a kiss, but your body is subject to a host of other happy chemicals.
In an interview with The Expondent, Justin Lehmiller, a Harvard professor of psychology said that when we kiss, our brains are flooded with dopamine. This is the same chemical that is released when we engage in other highly pleasurable activities such as sex or listening to our favorite music.
6. Your Pupils Dilate
According to Marie Claire, one of the reasons we close our eyes when we kiss is because our pupils naturally dilate, making us susceptible to light sensitivity. This occurs because our pupils widen when we feel intense sexual attraction. If you’re kissing someone you are heavily digging, and want to know if they’re feeling the same, the eyes don’t lie.
7. Your Body Is Rife With Pheromones
When you kiss someone you really like for the first time, your body releases pheromones. These are the natural chemicals that attract us to one another. When you’re flushing in pheromones, you’re going to seem extra sexy to those around you. You are literally glowing.
According to Livescience, “The skin around people's' noses and mouths is rich in sebum, an oily substance that coats our skin. Evidence suggests that sebum contains pheromones, chemicals that broadcast information about a person's biological makeup.” These pheromones increase our attraction and help to further access if the one we’re kissing would make a strong mate.
Kissing is a pretty amazing thing. Your body is your trusty guide to finding love and a strong partner. Long story short: If you kiss someone and are not feeling their energy, scent or smell, it could be your body’s way of telling you to back off and find someone else. Now, go find someone hot to kiss.