In her new book ‘The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us’, author Sheril Kirshenbaum refers to esteemed Rutgers University anthropologist Helen Fisher, who believes that kissing evolved to fulfill three major needs: sex drive, romantic love, and attachment.
Romantic kissing is found in more than 90% of human cultures. Its role, according to Kirshenbaum, is to help humans “find partners, commit to one person and keep couples together long enough to have a child.”
Hindu’s Vedic Sanskrit texts don’t specifically use the word ‘kiss’ but do reference ‘licking’ and ‘drinking moisture of the lips’. The ‘Kama Sutra’ includes an entire chapter on the art of kissing. As a prelude to sexual union, no spot on the body of man or woman is not a kissing erogenous zone.
A Babylonian creation story, recorded in the seventh century BC, contains a wide variety of kisses for greeting and supplication.
Before the rise of Christianity, people had been kissing for thousands of years, with some restrictions. Herodotus wrote that Egyptians wouldn’t kiss Greeks on their mouths because the Greeks ate their sacred animal, the cow.
With the rise of Christianity, kissing fell out of favor. In their review of The Science of Kissing, the Daily Beast writes: