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10 Things You Didn't Know about Kissing

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Kayda Norman: Forget sex. Kissing can be one of the most intimate, sensual, and just plain fun things you can do with another person. And as anyone who is sex-educated knows: the better the foreplay, the better the sex. Discover ten unusual kissing facts, and be grateful that locking lips no longer leads you to the guillotine.


10 Things You Didn't Know about Kissing

#1

According to anthropologists, 90 percent of people kiss. But that doesn't mean that kissing is the same for everyone. Kissing customs vary across the world.

For instance, certain African tribes literally kiss the ground of their leaders, while in many parts of Europe, it is not unusual for men to kiss each other. Kissing people on both cheeks as a form of greeting is another popular custom in many parts of the world, and both Eskimos and Egyptians "kiss" by rubbing noses, hence an "Eskimo kiss." Read: The Evolution of Kissing

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#2

PDA was strictly forbidden in old-school Italy. In 16th-century Naples, the punishment for kissing was the death penalty. We bet there were a lot of unhappy women. And a lot of hangings.

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#3

Be careful where you kiss. Though the punishment's not quite as harsh as our Italian predecessors, kissing is still illegal in some parts of the United States.

Those in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, are not allowed to kiss strangers, and women in Hartford, Conn., are not legally allowed to lock lips with their husbands on Sundays. And mustached Indiana men can forget about ever becoming "players." According to Indiana law, it is illegal for men who have a mustache to "habitually kiss human beings."

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#4

Let's talk science. Kissing generally uses one muscle, called the orbicularis oris, that is responsible for puckering your lips when you kiss. The science of kissing itself is called philematology.

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#5

Making out can be healthy for you. Kissing for one minute burns 26 calories. So enjoy that chocolate cake, and make up for it later with an extended make-out sesh with your partner.

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#6

It is considered good luck to kiss the Blarney Stone, but you may die trying. Kissing the Blarney Stone, located in Cork, Ireland, is no easy feat. One poor pilgrim even fell to his death trying to accomplish the task.

To kiss the stone, you have to sit with your back facing the stone while someone holds your feet. Then you lean backwards, hold on to the handrails, placed specifically there for this purpose, and lower yourself until you can reach the stone and kiss it. Sounds simple enough, right?

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#7

The world record for the longest kiss goes to Americans Rich Langley and Louisa Almedovar, for a session that lasted 30 hours and 59 minutes. No word on whether they got food and bathroom breaks.

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#8

On average, two-thirds of people tip their heads to the right when they pucker up. Some believe this tendency starts in the womb before you are even born. Or maybe you are just getting over the trauma that was your first kiss (you know, when you collided your nose into his and ended up kissing his ear instead of his mouth).

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#9

You may have signed XOXO on your high school crush's Valentine's Day card, but did you know what it meant? As many may know, the X in XOXO means kisses, and the O has come to mean hugs. This comes from the Middle Ages, when people would often sign their names with an X, as much of the population was illiterate. Afterwards, they would kiss the document.

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#10

Kissing can increase your life expectancy. Sure, sucking face has been blamed for the rise of mononucleosis, the spread of cold sores, and the general transmission of other unsavory diseases. But a study has shown that men live up to five years longer if they kiss their wife before going to work. So gentlemen, pucker up -- for health's sake.

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