If you don’t make out on the regular, it’s time for a change. That’s right, I said to make out. Do it. Do it often. It is the most underrated act of affection, and I’m on a mission to change that. And what better time than now with Valentine’s Day right around the corner?!
That’s a fancy word for the study of kissing. Our lips are packed with nerve endings, making them extremely sensitive to touch. We become so overloaded by the tactile stimulation that our brains can’t handle additional stimulation. This is why it’s natural to close our eyes when kissing. All that stimulation sets off a surge of feel-good chemicals: oxytocin (responsible for bonding, it’s also released when breastfeeding), serotonin (promotes feelings of contentment and mood stability), and dopamine (makes us long for more pleasure). I like making out so much that I made it a New Year’s Resolution. Scientifically, my passion for passion makes sense, but here are some other perks I enjoy.
Kissing is a great way to maintain intimacy. It’s so easy to get stuck in the parenting routine: wake up, rush out the door to drop off kids and get to work, come home, handle homework, dinner, baths, and bedtime. Our days are exhausting and leave little time for intimacy, but we crave that connection. Meaningful kissing is the perfect way to fulfill that desire for closeness.
Mentally, a good make-out session reminds me of a simpler time before bills and kids. It takes me back to high school. Remember waiting with anticipation after a date for that kiss at the door? Remember going to the movies or the lakefront or wherever you used to make out? That risky sense of urgency made things exciting, and it’s fun to bring back those feelings.
Kissing: The Gateway Drug
My husband and I have been married for eight years. We are busy, working parents of two active little boys. Sex isn’t always the priority it should be, but I know that it’s important. Instead of the pressure of having sex, I prefer making intentional efforts to make out. Kissing seems simpler and faster and therefore doesn’t come with the same sense of obligation. Most of the time, however, things heat up, and all that smooching escalates to more (see above: dopamine).
In the immortal words of Rhett Butler,
“You should be kissed, and often. And by someone who knows how.”
So kiss the pitiful pecks goodbye. Lean in. Kiss with meaning. Kiss with intention. No more pathetic pucker-ups as you rush out the door. You have two whole bodies to involve; don’t let your lips be the single point of contact! And you can quit with the kisses on the cheek and the ass-out hugs.