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The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us Hardcover – Jan 5 2011
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"What's the big deal? You pucker up, and there you are-right? Turns out there's a lot more to kissing than you might think. For instance, you never forget your first kiss isn't just a sappy sentiment; it's apparently quite literally true, and the fact that we remember more details about that first kiss than about our first sexual experience speaks volumes about the nature of memory. Men and women kiss differently; that's also true, but you might be surprised to learn why. Why is kissing important to some human societies, and unimportant-just plain foreign-to others? University of Texas research scientist and Discover magazine blogger Kirshenbaum draws on psychology, biology, history, and other disciplines in this highly engaging, highly informative book."―David Pitt, Booklist
"Shows flashes of greatness."―Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times
"[Kirshenbaum's] honesty, wit and creativity make reading this book a journey to treasure. Your desire to kiss will, happily, remain strong."―Catherine Ramsdell, Chattanooga Free Press
"A beautifully crafted book, answering many of the questions you have about kissing, and many you haven't thought of, but are none the less fascinating."―Vanessa Woods, PsychologyToday.com
"Like some memorable kisses, the book is short and sweet but teaches us something new."―Colette Bancroft, St. Petersburg Times
"Sheril Kirshenbaum wittily explores theories about the evolutionary beginnings of kissing. . . Science buffs and the everyday reader can enjoy Kirshenbaum's insightful commentary."―Laila Barakat, Sacramento News and Review
"Wonderful."―Adam Frank, NPR.org
"Playful yet comprehensive."―Michele Lent Hirsch, Psychology Today
"Borders on the super genius . . . an entertaining and informative read about a practice that we should all spend more time investigating."―Bret McCabe, Baltimore City Paper
"They say you never forget your first kiss-it sears itself into your memory. The Science of Kissing will no doubt do something similar. From the neurology of smooching to practical tips on locking lips, Sheril Kirshenbaum makes reading about this strange and fascinating practice almost as much fun as doing it."―Sam Kean, New York Times-bestselling author of The Disappearing Spoon
"Sheril Kirshenbaum gives you everything you wanted to know about this wonderful way we use our mouths. If you've ever wondered why we kiss under the mistletoe, or why two out of three people tilt their heads to the right when they zoom in for a kiss, Kirshenbaum will tell you, in a way that is witty, wise, and pucker-perfect."―Robin Marantz Henig, contributing writer, The New York Times Magazine
"If you fear that knowing the science of kissing will unweave the poetry of it, fear not. This engaging book, chock-a-block with eye-popping science and fun stories not only makes for great reading but plumps up the pleasure of a smooch itself. You'll never think of kissing-what e.e. cummings called 'a better fate than wisdom'-in the same way again."―Jennifer Ackerman, author of Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold and Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body
"This was the best science book I've read in a long time, offering a new level of understanding to an innate part of ourselves, and making it seem even more enchanting."―-Cosmos magazine
About the Author
Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist at The Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin . She blogs on Discover magazine's website, The Intersection, and contributes to a variety of blogs and science publications. Visit her website at www.sherilkirshenbaum.com.
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When I sat down to read it after Christmas, I had thought to thumb through 20 or 30 pages, but found myself anxiously turning beyond 50.... 100.... 200... until I was done. Couldn't wait to see what the next page would hold. As I read, I laughed (quoting "The Princess Bride" at the onset is a good way to do that), learned (did you know that humans generally remember their first trip to 1st base better than their first trip to home?), and cringed (eating apples from armpits - trust me. Ick!). The book even touched on "Twilight"-inspired "kissing" behaviors from a scientist's point of view (interesting).
The book was a fun cruise through the history and present status of kissing in different cultures, groups and species - in the context of scientific studies on what kissing does to us, and why me continue to do it.
Great for those of us who like to learn about new topics, from a scientist/historian's point-of-view - but also want a work that is engaging, and not dry. Definite 5 stars!
"A romantic kiss does nothing less than set off an avalanche of biological activity. During a passionate kiss, our blood vessels dilate; more oxygen is routed to the brain; our breathing quickens and becomes erratic; our cheeks flush; our pulse quickens; our pupils dilate; dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, oxytocin, and adrenaline levels spike, leaving our bodies awash in a chemical bath. In short, our biology seem to be hardwired to make kissing extremely pleasurable and, to some degree, addictive."
The Science of Kissing covers historical and cultural origins of kissing (do you know that there is a place in the Cook Islands where the men have an average of 1,000 orgasms a year yet do not engage in any form of romantic kissing?); the physiological and neurological, not to mention the emotional and psychological, responses when we kiss; kissing experiments; why we tilt our heads to the right when we kiss (nothing to do with being left or right-handed); a chapter on "cooties"; and much, much more.
But the education doesn't stop there; at the end, Kirshenbaum gives you 10 tips for better kissing. This isn't your average Cosmo article; these are tips from a scientist! Who's researched the field extensively! If for nothing else, you gotta read The Science of Kissing for this invaluable part.
I suggest carrying this book loosely in public areas. Starbucks is a great example! Order a coffee and have one of the hot baristas hand it to you while you are reading the book. Make light conversation, send a wink as the conversation ends, and as you leave thank her for the coffee and give her your receipt with your number on it. You will get a text later from her or another one of the hot baristas and boom Goes the dynamite.
if you decide to read the book you will find it enjoyable and learn theories why we kiss, how it started and different ways kisses are done all over the world. The subtle information you receive from kissing someone is actually interesting and you will never kiss someone the same again.
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