Not "Just" A Kiss

There's much more to kissing that just what meets the lips.

A first kiss can make - or break - an entire potential relationship says new research. A study by Albright University found that both 59 percent of males and 66 percent of females would end a relationship if the first kiss "left something to be desired."

Scientists speculate that this is because of the exchange of hormones that take place when you're up close and personal.

This may be even more true for women, who tend to use kissing as a way to gauge the relationship or assess the value of a partner.

A State University of New York study revealed what women everywhere already knew - that ladies see kissing as a way to assess the value of a potential partner or as a gauge of the relationship. And that men used kissing as means to increase the likelihood of sex.

"Most of the women in our survey wouldn't think of having sex with somebody without kissing them, but most of the males would be more than happy to skip the kissing and go straight to sex," says lead researcher Gordon Gallup (to the surprise of no one).

For women, at least, kissing is an important bonding mechanism.

"Females not only use kissing to assess prospective mates, but females who are in committed relationships use kissing to update the status of their relationship."

That's because you're sharing more than spit every time you lock lips.

"The exchange of complex information that occurs during a kiss, in terms of olfactory cues and chemical cues and tactile cues and postural judgment, may tap into primitive, evolved mechanisms that make a determination about instances of potential genetic incompatibility," Gallup says.

Which means, once you've determined you're kissing compatible, the more smooches, the better! Studies show that couples who kiss first thing in the morning have fewer car accidents, sleep better, suffer less stress, get sick less often and (surprise!) are just happier people.

All the more reason to pucker up.

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