Hearts at Work

A Column by James Tipton

Kissing Can Slow the Aging Process


old-coupleAround the holidays I wrote a column about kissing, with a focus on famous movie kisses. That generated a lot of pleasant comments, and so with the romantic days of early summer upon us, I thought I would revisit that theme. Here’s what a few celebrities have to say about kissing:

“Orson Welles kissed me with his soul, never with his lips.”—Eartha Kitt

“I kissed my first woman and smoked my first cigarette on the same day.  I have never had time for tobacco since.”—Arturo Toscanini

“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.”—Ingrid Bergman

“Don’t have sex, man.  It leads to kissing, and pretty soon you have to talk to them.”—Steve Martin

Kissing a girl is like opening a jar of olives—hard to get the first one, but the rest come easy.—Anonymous

“I wasn’t kissing her.  I was whispering in her mouth.”—Chico Marx (replying to his wife, who caught him kissing a chorus girl)

“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”—Anonymous

“A man’s kiss is his signature.”—Mae West

And, of particular interest to those of us here at Lakeside, kissing can even slow the aging process. Kissing on the lips tones the muscles of the jaws and cheeks. French kissing, according to kiss connoisseur Andréa Demirjian in her book kissing, “is the most effective way to tighten the underlying face muscles. All that tongue tangoing requires the flexing of thirty-four facial muscles!”

Instead of snacks, Demirjian recommends more smooching, which itself can burn up “two to six calories a minute (as compared to eleven calories on a treadmill).”  Scientific tests also demonstrate, she says, that kissing is good for the skin, making it “shimmer like sequins.” 

Kissing can also reduce blood pressure and improve circulation as arteries and veins open up, and “good passionate kissing causes a norepinephrine, dopamine and phenylethylamine rush...creating feelings of delirium.”

She also gives this advice: “Keep your lips soft and moist at all times.  You never know when a kiss might present itself!”

Clearly we are talking about kisses on the lips, sometimes slightly open lips; and we are talking about that type of kiss possibly being complete in and of itself.  For some here at Lakeside, that means no more worries about revealing your naked body or about needing to take a double-dose of Viagra and then hoping it will work. The job at hand is now to kiss well. 

William Cane, in his book The Art of Kissing, surveyed thousands of people about their attitudes toward kissing and he discovered “that 91 percent of women and 80 percent of men are convinced a kiss can remain purely platonic. He also reported that women like longer kissing sessions than men do and that over 60% of the women said they find those long kissing sessions equal to or often more satisfying than sex itself. And who did he discover are the most sensual and sophisticated kissers? Older women. 

Well, it’s time for some of us to get together here at Lakeside and offer still another way to slow the aging process.



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