A Kiss That Speaks Volumes Is Seldom A First Edition—Clare Whiting

5 Jan

Kiss2003A scientist from the University of Texas today published a book called The Science of Kissing.

I must confess to being somewhat surprised by this, as scientists do not generally come to mind when considering “experts” in the romantic arts.  However, the author is of the female persuasion so perhaps there may be some valuable insights within the book’s pages.

I do have some objections, though, to one claim the book makes: that most people remember their first kiss “more vividly” than the loss of their virginity. (This is based on research done by a male psychologist, I feel compelled to point out.)

This is problematic for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I myself cannot remember “up to 90 percent of the details” of my “first romantic kiss.” To find myself outside of the majority is no new task for me (the cream always rises to the top, as they say); however, it is somewhat hurtful that I am so clearly deliberately being excluded, once again, from the scientific community.

Additionally, I feel the terminology is too vague. What exactly is a “romantic kiss“? I may have kissed Corey Frye in second grade, but it wasn’t until many years later that I first experienced any sense of romance (read: tongues). So does Corey count?  And what exactly are “vivid details”? I’m afraid I don’t remember 90% of the letters in the boy’s name, let alone the majority of the “details” of the very first time my lips touched another’s (I know it was Joey something). Was it just that our kiss wasn’t “romantic” enough to register in my memory? Finally, I need more specifics when it comes to the “loss of virginity” (note: if you’d like to send specifics, please put “Cherry Popping” in your email’s subject line). Defining virginity is a bit of a sticky wicket. Some teens have oral and anal sex but still see themselves as virgins (though I doubt that’s how the boys at their schools see them). I once spent a rather significant hour with a charming young man (come to think of it, I do believe it was Corey Frye’s uncle) and while the experience was extremely memorable (and illegal in Connorsville, Wisconsin), it did not feature the “marital embrace” so was I still a virgin when I stumbled out of that shed? I thought scientists were all about precision. For me to be convinced by this claim, the terms need to be much more explicit.

Over the course of my lifetime, I have had more kisses than I have had hot dinners.  No kiss is necessarily more memorable than any other.  Various factors (such as intensity of love, alcohol intake, length of infection, financial repercussions, etc) affect which kisses stay with us. If any of you reading this have gotten to first base with me, rest assured I recall all the relevant details. Which may explain why we haven’t spoken in years.

Pucker up, suckers!

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