A Kiss is Just a Kiss

So much emphasis is placed on kissing. How important is that first kiss? Will the culmination of your first date end with a kiss? Will the kiss be gentle or hungry and passionate? In a blooming relationship, the kiss just may be more celebrated than sex itself. So, what’s really in a kiss? Are there any benefits to kissing? This blog is meant to call attention to the documented, physical benefits of kissing, independent of the (emotional) romantic benefit.


In an article published by Psychology Today, the author explored a study performed at Arizona State University by a professor, Kory Floyd. In this study, they sampled 52 married or cohabiting couples. The researcher assigned approximately 26 couples to the experimental group which were assigned to kiss more frequently and for longer periods of time than usual. The other 26 couples in the control group were given no instructions for kissing, nor did they know the purpose of the experimental (blind control). The lab assistants were also ‘blind’ to which couples were the control participants and which couples were the experimental participants in order to eliminate any possible bias while compiling the data. Therefore it was a double blind experiment.

At the end of the study, the experimental group said they felt less stress and greater contentment in their relationships. Physical lab tests showed a decreased level of (bad) cholesterol then their baseline levels. The control group displayed no such benefit.

According to another article, kissing boosts immunity as well. A Dutch researcher, Remco Kort performed a study on 21 couples. They filled out a questionnaire, provided saliva samples before and after a kiss, and then ate yogurt with markers to count the number of bacteria transferred. They found that couples that kissed frequently shared similar gut bacteria compared to individuals that kissed infrequently or not at all. Kort concluded that it was healthy to kiss because it exposed you to a greater variety of bacteria, which would increase physical resistance. In other words, kissing is similar to taking a probiotic that would boost your immune system.

In conclusion, is kissing good for your health? Well I wouldn’t go around kissing just anybody. After all the threat of communicable disease still looms over you. Also the results seem to revolve around couples, not random hook-ups. Physically, there seem to be many benefits to kissing. So couples keep smooching, just be sure to get a room!

Works Cited

Whitbourne, Susan Krauss, Ph.D. “The Kiss of Health | Psychology Today.” Psychology Today. N.p., 24 July 2012. Web. 20 Oct. 2016.

Lim, Jillian Rose. “The Health Benefits of Kissing – Men’s Journal.” Men’s Journal. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2016.


6 thoughts on “A Kiss is Just a Kiss

  1. gcm5149

    This was interesting because since I’ve been in relationships in the past, I definitely felt that kissing was vital. I only thought it was vital for intimacy purposes but I never thought of scientific effects. What was most interesting was that the couples shared the same gut bacteria. What I know about sickness and people getting sick is that their immunity is strengthened when they are exposed to more of the bacteria. For example, HPV shots and things of that sort help you build your immunity to the disease.

  2. Erin Kelly

    I wonder what incentives the couples were given who had the assignment of kissing less. This is an interesting blog, and I think the idea of sharing germs as beneficial can apply to a lot more than just kissing! I think that a lot of people are overly cautious about germs (especially with children) and as a result they can be compromised later in life.

    1. Alexis Paige Post author

      I agree! Especially living in the dorms this year! I thought I had a pretty good immune system before I got here but got sick pretty much immediately. After that one time, I actually haven’t gotten sick again so I think I might have built an even better immune system!

  3. Matthew Jacobs-Womer

    Very interesting post! Maybe instead of going to couples therapy, struggling partners should just start kissing more. But that is also something I have noticed, older couples barley ever kiss. The last time I saw my parents kiss was probably over a year ago. They are not struggling in any way with their relationship, they are one of the happiest married couples I know. This had be interested, so I read this article. According to the article, one major reason for kissing is to see if you are compatible with another person. Well once two people are married for many years, they already know they are compatible with each other (hopefully for life). So if they they are not worrying about compatibility then they may have no reason to kiss. Interestingly enough, couples that I have seen fight the most, I almost see kiss the most- maybe they want to keep making sure they are compatible for each other.

  4. Matthew J Overmoyer

    What I particularly found compelling about your post is how kissing is helpful because it exposes you to more bacteria. Specifically, the bacteria of someone close to you over a long period of time. I’ve often felt this basic premise holds true for people who spend a lot of time together, or live together. What I’d be curious to see is if it is specifically sharing bacteria with the same person that is helpful? How would kissing the same person compare to kissing a bunch of people and sharing their saliva? I think you’d probably get sick, but who knows. Also, is it the act of kissing or the closeness in general that leads to improved health? Like, could co-habitation with your family, or roommates in general increase your health in a comparable way? I think it makes a lot of sense that exposing yourself to more germs, especially those found in another healthy human, could improve your health. Interesting post.

    1. Alexis Paige Post author

      I think it probably is a little bit of both actually! The bacteria from the physical act of kissing is beneficial to your body. The closeness that comes with the kiss is more beneficial to you emotional or mental health, I believe. I’m sure closeness in a non-romantic relationship is very important though. I just have yet to look into it!

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