You always knew kissing was important, but did you know a kiss can set the tone for a relationship and reveal whether you’re compatible with a partner? Author and scientist Sheril Kirshenbaum addresses the subject in her new book, “The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us.” In an interview with Made Man, Krishenbaum gave us some insight into the nature of the kiss, why it’s so important to a relationship and what to know before you go in to plant one on your favorite girl.


MADE MAN: What things should a guy keep in mind when he’s going in for the kiss?
SHERIL KIRSHENBAUM: men‘ class=’linkify’ target=’_blank’>Women, when they’re deciding if they want to kiss someone, tend to pay a lot more attention to the breath and teeth of a partner. It’s something that men don’t seem to notice or take very seriously when they’re deciding to kiss a woman. So obviously personal hygiene and taking care of yourself is pretty important.
MM: What else?
SK: Women also often complain about too much tongue, whereas that’s something men seem to have a strong preference for. It actually has to do with the small amount of the male sex hormone, testosterone, in a guy’s saliva. It’s actually to men’s advantage to open-mouth kiss the same woman over weeks and months, because all that testosterone can build up and actually serve to enhance her libido, making it more likely that things might go a little further.


MM: Does kissing during sex enhance the experience?
SK: I would definitely recommend it because the lips are packed with sensitive nerve endings. They’re actually our most exposed erogenous zone on the body, so the amount of our brains that is receptive to lip stimulation is enormous compared to other organs. Even a light brush on the lips is going to send a cascade of pleasurable sensations through a woman. During coitus it’s even better.


MM: How important is it for a new couple to get the first kiss right?
SK: There’s actually a lot riding on it. It’s not something we can always control, but 66 percent of women and 59 percent of men say that they’ve ended a budding relationship because of a bad first kiss. We can remember up to 90 percent of the details of a first kiss, so it provides a very powerful experience in our lifetime that we tend to remember; we tend to go back to and revisit and use that memory to decide whether this is something to continue. It also tells us a lot about compatibility, so it matters a great deal.

MM: What can men take away from your research?
SK: The average guy can learn a lot about both himself and his partner and maybe understand a little bit more about why kissing is so important in relationships, particularly to women, and what to pay attention to. When it comes to gender there’s a huge divide in terms of preferences and attitude. This book gives men a little big of insight into the female mind.

Pick up a copy of “The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us here.