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The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us Hardcover – January 5, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
When I sat down to read it after Christmas, I had thought to thumb through 20 or 30 pages, but found myself anxiously turning beyond 50.... 100.... 200... until I was done. Couldn't wait to see what the next page would hold. As I read, I laughed (quoting "The Princess Bride" at the onset is a good way to do that), learned (did you know that humans generally remember their first trip to 1st base better than their first trip to home?), and cringed (eating apples from armpits - trust me. Ick!). The book even touched on "Twilight"-inspired "kissing" behaviors from a scientist's point of view (interesting).
The book was a fun cruise through the history and present status of kissing in different cultures, groups and species - in the context of scientific studies on what kissing does to us, and why me continue to do it.
Great for those of us who like to learn about new topics, from a scientist/historian's point-of-view - but also want a work that is engaging, and not dry. Definite 5 stars!
"A romantic kiss does nothing less than set off an avalanche of biological activity. During a passionate kiss, our blood vessels dilate; more oxygen is routed to the brain; our breathing quickens and becomes erratic; our cheeks flush; our pulse quickens; our pupils dilate; dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, oxytocin, and adrenaline levels spike, leaving our bodies awash in a chemical bath. In short, our biology seem to be hardwired to make kissing extremely pleasurable and, to some degree, addictive."
The Science of Kissing covers historical and cultural origins of kissing (do you know that there is a place in the Cook Islands where the men have an average of 1,000 orgasms a year yet do not engage in any form of romantic kissing?); the physiological and neurological, not to mention the emotional and psychological, responses when we kiss; kissing experiments; why we tilt our heads to the right when we kiss (nothing to do with being left or right-handed); a chapter on "cooties"; and much, much more.
But the education doesn't stop there; at the end, Kirshenbaum gives you 10 tips for better kissing. This isn't your average Cosmo article; these are tips from a scientist! Who's researched the field extensively! If for nothing else, you gotta read The Science of Kissing for this invaluable part.
So basically this quick little read (209 pages on the hardback edition) is an extension of a magazine article (or maybe it was a blog post?) the author wrote on this topic. It got so much feedback and so many questions were posted to her that she decided to get more in depth with it, not only looking at what modern scientists have to say on the subject of kissing & copulation, but also the topic as it's been addressed in historical texts. Kirshenbaum also looks at how our actions are mirrored by animals in the wild and what that might mean. In one instance, she focuses on a study done on bonobos, as research has shown that their DNA is a 98.7% match to humans. There are other topics covered that had me cringe-laughing, such as the bit on Gore-Tex implants (whaaa?!), A.I. robots being specifically designed with sexualized programming so that they can reply to you like an actual partner might -- you know, if you're just ready to throw in the towel with the human race altogether, lol -- and the real science behind the childhood idea of "cooties".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Intriguing title , more technical than I imagined , but good nonetheless . Great history lessons learned . Will keep it around the B&B for guests , nice short read . cheers lucienPublished 10 months ago by Lucien Boisvert
This book was such a joy to read! I learned so much about kissing and intimacy in general. It made me understand my own feelings and my own relationship so much more. Read morePublished 10 months ago by AliKay
Gave it has a gift. Haven't heard any feedback about it. I skimmed it and thought it was very interesting.Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
Ladies love when you tell them you read a book With this title. It is even better when you have it on the book shelf and your lady sees it and begins talking about kissing. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Eric Somogyi
Well written but disappointing lack of content. I wish we knew more; maybe this will spur more research.Published 17 months ago by Ivon Sage
Partly scientific and partly historical. Most of the scientific evidence presented is not conclusive. But I like the information on the role of hormones and neurotransmitters.Published 19 months ago by StacyW
I'm giving a talk on how to describe a kissing scene in a romance novel and found this title on Amazon. And I didn't have to look any further. Read morePublished 21 months ago by M. EE Winckler
Packed full of information for all types of people. From romance to analytical investigation.
It's a fun read something for everyone.