Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss by Antonio Canova Kristoffer Nyrop identified a number of types of kisses, including kisses of love, affection, peace, respect and friendship. He notes, however, that the categories are somewhat contrived and overlapping, and some cultures have more kinds, including the French with twenty and the Germans with thirty.
Yet in certain cultures, kissing was introduced only through European settlement, before which it was not a routine occurrence. Such cultures include certain indigenous peoples of Australia, the Tahitians, and many tribes in Africa. He adds that such kisses can be expressive of love "in the widest and most comprehensive meaning of the word, bringing a message of loyal affection, gratitude, compassion, sympathy, intense joy, and profound sorrow.
The family kiss was traditional with the Romans and kisses of affection are often mentioned by the early Greeks , as when Odysseus , on reaching his home, meets his faithful shepherds. When the Apostle Paul took leave of the elders of the congregation at Ephesus , "they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him" Acts Kisses can also be exchanged between total strangers, as when there is a profound sympathy with or the warmest interest in another person.
Nyrop notes the poetical stories of the "redeeming power of the kiss are to be found in the literature of many countries, especially, for example, in the Old French Arthurian romances Lancelot, Guiglain, Tirant le blanc in which the princess is changed by evil arts into a dreadful dragon, and can only resume her human shape in the case of a knight being brave enough to kiss her. In Genesis , it is written that when Jacob was dead, "Joseph fell upon his father's face and wept upon him and kissed him.
Nyrop writes that "the kiss is the last tender proof of love bestowed on one we have loved, and was believed, in ancient times, to follow mankind to the nether world. This move aims to express affection for a friend. Unlike kissing for love , a friendly kiss has no sexual connotation. The kiss on the lips is a practice that can be found in the time of Patriarchs Bible. These games serve as icebreakers at parties and may be some participants' first exposure to sexuality.
There are many such games, including Truth or Dare? The psychologist William Cane notes that kissing in Western society is often a romantic act and describes a few of its attributes: It's not hard to tell when two people are in love. Maybe they're trying to hide it from the world, still they cannot conceal their inner excitement.
Men will give themselves away by a certain excited trembling in the muscles of the lower jaw upon seeing their beloved. Women will often turn pale immediately of seeing their lover and then get slightly red in the face as their sweetheart draws near. This is the effect of physical closeness upon two people who are in love. In the Middle Ages it became a social gesture and was considered a sign of refinement of the upper classes. In China , for example, a similar expression of affection consists of rubbing one's nose against the cheek of another person.
In other Eastern cultures kissing is not common. In South East Asian countries the "sniff kiss" is the most common form of affection and Western mouth to mouth kissing is often reserved for sexual foreplay. In some tribal cultures the "equivalent for our 'kiss me' is 'smell me. In his book The Kiss and its History, Kristoffer Nyrop describes the kiss of love as an "exultant message of the longing of love, love eternally young, the burning prayer of hot desire, which is born on the lovers' lips, and 'rises,' as Charles Fuster has said, 'up to the blue sky from the green plains,' like a tender, trembling thank-offering.
No one can evade the omnipotence of the kiss Runeberg says that the angels rejoice over the first kiss exchanged by lovers," and can keep one feeling young: Nyrop gives a vivid example in the classic love story of Daphnis and Chloe.
As a reward "Chloe has bestowed a kiss on Daphnis—an innocent young-maid's kiss, but it has on him the effect of an electrical shock": Her lips are softer than the rose's leaf, her mouth is sweet as honey, and her kiss inflicts on me more pain than a bee's sting.
I have often kissed my kids, I have often kissed my lambs, but never have I known aught like this. My pulse is beating fast, my heart throbs, it is as if I were about to suffocate, yet, nevertheless, I want to have another kiss.
Has Chloe, I wonder, drunk some poisonous draught ere she kissed me? How comes it that she herself has not died of it? Romantic kissing "requires more than simple proximity," notes Cane. It also needs "some degree of intimacy or privacy, It appears as a ritual or symbol of religious devotion.
For example, in the case of kissing a temple floor, or a religious book or icon. Besides devotion, a kiss has also indicated subordination or, nowadays, respect. In modern times the practice continues, as in the case of a bride and groom kissing at the conclusion of a wedding ceremony or national leaders kissing each other in greeting, and in many other situations.
Religion[ edit ] A kiss in a religious context is common. In earlier periods of Christianity or Islam kissing became a ritual gesture, and is still treated as such in certain customs, as when "kissing In the early Church the baptized were kissed by the celebrant after the ceremony, and its use was even extended as a salute to saints and religious heroes, with Crawley adding, "Thus Joseph kissed Jacob, and his disciples kissed Paul.
Joseph kissed his dead father, and the custom was retained in our civilization", as the farewell kiss on dead relatives, although certain sects prohibit this today. Conybeare has stated that this act originated within the ancient Hebrew synagogue , and Philo , the ancient Jewish philosopher called it a "kiss of harmony", where, as Crawley explains, "the Word of God brings hostile things together in concord and the kiss of love.
Christ said, for instance, "Peace be with you, my peace I give you," and the members of Christ's Church gave each other peace symbolically through a kiss. St Paul repeatedly speaks of the "holy kiss," and, in his Epistle to the Romans, writes: During the Middle Ages , for example, Nyrop points out that it was the custom to "seal the reconciliation and pacification of enemies by a kiss. The holy kiss was also found in the ritual of the Church on solemn occasions, such as baptism, marriage, confession, ordination, or obsequies.
However, toward the end of the Middle Ages the kiss of peace disappears as the official token of reconciliation. He writes that "from the remotest times we find it applied to all that is holy, noble, and worshipful—to the gods, their statues, temples, and altars, as well as to kings and emperors; out of reverence, people even kissed the ground, and both sun and moon were greeted with kisses.
Cicero writes that the lips and beard of the famous statue of Hercules at Agrigentum were worn away by the kisses of devotees. In many countries it is required, on taking an oath, as the highest assertion that the witness would be speaking the truth. Nyrop notes that "as a last act of charity, the image of the Redeemer is handed to the dying or death-condemned to be kissed. Its use in ancient times was widespread, and Nyrop gives examples: The Roman slaves kissed the hands of their masters; pupils and soldiers those of their teachers and captains respectively.
Kiss of friendship[ edit ] The kiss is also commonly used in American and European culture as a salutation between friends or acquaintances. The friendly kiss until recent times usually occurred only between ladies, but today it is also common between men and women, especially if there is a great difference in age.
According to Nyrop, up until the 20th century, "it seldom or never takes place between men, with the exception, however, of royal personages," although he notes that in former times the "friendly kiss was very common with us between man and man as well as between persons of opposite sexes.
For example, in parts of Sudan it is believed that the mouth is the portal to the soul, so they do not want to invite death or have their spirit taken. South Asia[ edit ] On-screen lip-kissing was not a regular occurrence in Bollywood until the s, although it has been present from the time of the inception of Bollywood. In Iran , a man who kisses or touches a woman who is not his wife or relative can be punished. When lips are pressed together for an extended period, usually accompanied with an embrace , it is an expression of romantic and sexual desire.
The practice of kissing with an open mouth, to allow the other to suck their lips or move their tongue into their mouth, is called French kissing. People may kiss children on the forehead to comfort them or the cheek or lips to show affection. In modern Eastern culture , the etiquette vary depending on the region.
In West Asia, kissing on the lips between both men and women is a common form of greeting. In South and Eastern Asia, it might often be a greeting between women, however, between men, it is unusual.
Kissing a baby on the cheeks is a common form of affection. Most kisses between men and women are on the cheeks and not on the lips unless they are romantically involved. And sexual forms of kissing between lovers encompass the whole range of global practices.
Kissing in films[ edit ] The first romantic kiss on screen was in American silent films in , beginning with the film The Kiss. The kiss lasted 30 seconds and caused many to rail against decadence in the new medium of silent film. One critic proclaimed that "it is absolutely disgusting. Such things call for police interference. Valentino also began his romantic scenes with women by kissing her hand, traveling up her arm, and then kissing her on the back of her neck.
Female actresses were often turned into stars based on their screen portrayals of passion. Eventually the film industry was forced by law to follow the dictates of the Production Code established in , overseen by Will Hays and supported by the church.
According to the new code, "Excessive and lustful kissing, lustful embraces, suggestive postures and gestures, are not to be shown. Under the code, actors kissing had to keep their feet on the ground and had to be either standing or sitting. Author Lana Citron writes that "men were perceived as the kissers and women the receivers. Should the roles ever be reversed, women were regarded as vamps. In , a director slipped a kissing scene past the censor who was a friend , but when the film opened in a downtown Tokyo theater, the screening was stopped and the film confiscated.
During the American Occupation of Japan, in , an American censor required a film to include a kissing scene. One scholar says that the censor suggested "we believe that even Japanese do something like kissing when they love each other.
Why don't you include that in your films? Since Pearl Harbor, Americans had felt that the Japanese were "sneaky", claiming that "if Japanese kissed in private, they should do it in public too. Newlyweds usually kiss at the end of a wedding ceremony. Female friends and relations and close acquaintances commonly offer reciprocal kisses on the cheek as a greeting or farewell. In the United States, an air kiss is becoming more common.
This involves kissing in the air near the cheek, with the cheeks touching or not. A symbolic kiss is frequent in Western cultures. A kiss can be "blown" to another by kissing the fingertips and then blowing the fingertips, pointing them in the direction of the recipient. This is used to convey affection, usually when parting or when the partners are physically distant but can view each other.
Blown kisses are also used when a person wishes to convey affection to a large crowd or audience. The term flying kiss is used in India to describe a blown kiss.