The Science Behind Why Making Out Is So Fun

Looking for Prince Charming? Experts from Oxford University thinks Snow White might have been on to something

We always say, when in doubt, listen to Cher. Okay, we don’t. But she wasn’t wrong when she sang: “If you want to know, if he loves you so it’s in his kiss, that’s where it is!”

Researchers from Oxford University claim kissing is the key to finding your ideal partner and the main tool we use in order to select potential mates. After polling 900 adults about the importance of puckering up in both short-term and long-term relationships, the experts in the department of experimental psychology concluded the following:

  • Women considered kissing to be more important than men. (Shocker!)
  • In general, men and women who think of themselves as being attractive -- or who have a number of short-term encounters under their belt -- also rated the smooch as being high on their list.

And here’s the reason. Research suggests that kissing gives people the opportunity to size up a possible match “through taste or smell, picking up on biological cues for compatibility, genetic fitness or general health.” (Sorry, the study did not suggest which kissing techniques would render the best results.) Since women and serial daters are pickier when it comes to finding a mate, they value kissing (or testing) more.

See, on a primal level, females are more selective because they are instinctively aware of the time and energy it takes to have and care for a baby – so they want someone good who will stick around. The good-looking and extra-busy daters, on the other hand, feel they can be selective simply because their pickings are plenty -- so they are just kissing around looking for the best.

So, all you single ladies, stop bombarding your friends with dumb questions like: “Do you think he meant what he said?” “Think I can trust him?” “He doesn’t seem like a psycho, right?” It might be time to bring back the good old-fashioned kissing booth. Sure, these booths are usually found at carnivals, but finding Mr. Right is like roaming through a circus anyway -- one minute you’re in a fun house, the next a freak show. Why not gather everyone in one place and have them pucker up -- maybe it is the way to find the prize worth waiting for. 


Amy Capetta is a contributing writer for iVillage. Follow her on Twitter.

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