What is it about smashing our lips together that makes our hearts race and minds rush? I still remember my first real kiss. It was my 7th grade year and I had walked my then girlfriend back to her apartment. As she was about to go inside we exchanged awkward goodbyes and then I went for it– a small peck on the lips. Success. As I rode my bicycle home I was beaming, I remember how cold it felt as a drizzle began but I also remember how little that bothered me– there were more exciting things at hand. But why? Does it serve some functional purpose to create a bond between the pair involved or is this a mere learned trait, causing a sense of excitement only because we know (or hope to know, rather) where kissing leads to in the end.
The jury (as well as the scientists and anthropologists), it appears, is still out on this decision. Some speculate that our affinity for smooching derives from our more primitive nomadic days in which mothers would pre-chew the rough tubers which made up the majority of out diet, feeding us through a kissing like practice for years into out childhood. This action, then, is adapted into our societies as a show of trust or affection. This theory, which seems to be the most prevalent around, is supported by the observation of Bonobos (our closest relative) which kiss much in the same way that we do– more openly even– and for the same before-stated reasons.
Be it due to some great ancestor feeding its child long ago or not, whoever started this fun past time has my gratitude.