Primitive people licked each other to make up for the lack of salt in the body. But our immediate predecessors on the evolutionary ladder - monkeys - do not lick each other for this purpose, but collect the crystals of salt with their hands (just like looking for fleas).
On the other hand, it is the person in connection with the peculiarities of nutrition and the occurrence of speech that increases the significance of the oral zone. Its mucous membranes are more sensitive than the surface of the skin, and the nerve endings in them are much less protected. Here the oral zone is similar to the anal and vaginal - in the case of all three zones, the same sexual symbolism arises: closed "holes", voluntary penetration into which is an act of intimacy, "giving yourself," and leading to moral and social stigmatization. It is not for nothing that in the history of culture the vagina is often likened to a mouth that must "devour" a person; known medieval term "vagina dentata" - a toothy bosom.
The same importance of the oral zone explains the custom as a sign of respect for a person or shrine to touch them with lips and, conversely, compulsory kissing of what in this society is not kissed - which is almost equated with rape (remember the well-known demand of Till Eulenspiegel to kiss him "in those lips with which he does not speak Flemish "is an extreme degree of insult).
Let's try to figure out whether the role of the kiss in sexual interaction is also culturally symbolic or it is caused by some physiological reasons. In favor of the latter speaks a whole library of all sorts of guides, created at different times and among different peoples.
The tenth chapter of "Kama Sutra" is called "On the Difference of Kisses" and prescribes kissing "forehead, curls, cheeks, breasts, nipples, lips, the inside of the mouth ... The junction of the thighs, underarms, underbelly" - all this is done, " when the woman is not yet trusting and not embraced by the attraction ... To arouse attraction. "
The next two centuries completely deprive the kiss of the halo of holiness, it becomes exclusively a way to stimulate sexual arousal. "A kiss excites lust, a desire to merge two into one." The art of kissing in the Rococo era is not inferior to the sophistication of the Kama Sutra. Extensive literature treats of the "Florentine kiss" ("take a person for both ears and kiss"); "girlish" (consisting in kissing breasts and halos of nipples); wet (meaning that the kisser is "overwhelmed with desires"); and, finally, the famous "French", in which the languages come into contact - "women, inclined to love, prefer this kind of kiss."
Even more "straightened" the connection between the kiss and sexual intercourse the Chinese. Kisses that do not lead to further sexual actions up to orgasm, they considered an insult to Yin and Yang. The first Europeans, who began to settle in Shanghai, plunged the locals into bewilderment by welcoming each other with a kiss. If the husband kissed his wife, then following him, according to the Chinese, it was necessary to extract the "jasper stalk" and place it, in the "jade arbor". Already aimless sexual preparations seemed to the inhabitants of Heavenly kisses on the cheeks, which, for example, two Frenchmen rewarded each other at a meeting.
Proof of the "biological" nature of the kiss can be considered the mores of the mountain Arapeshes (New Guinea), described by an outstanding ethnographer Margaret Mead. Arapeshs do not have kisses, but from childhood they get used to playing with their lips. The child pulls the upper lip with the large, index and middle fingers and claps it; swells his cheeks and squeezes them with his fingers; he protrudes his lower lip with his tongue; Licking his hands and knees. Older children play with the younger lips, there are dozens of worked-out ways of playing with the mouth. These games are an expression of love, disposition and, according to Mead, lay the foundations of a satisfied sexual life in the future. The lips of the children are so used to the constant stimulation that when the boys undergo the initiation ritual (after which the games with the mouth are considered inappropriate), they replace the child habit by smoking or chewing betel.
Why, after all, is it just that the kiss is sweeter than myrrh and wine, and not, for example, the clicking of fingers or scratching in the ear? Recently, many results of measurements of physical parameters during a kiss have been published: the pulse is increasing, the work of the endocrine glands intensifies, the pupils dilate, and so on. Indeed, according to French researchers, in the area of the lips (especially the upper one) there are a lot of nerve endings, the impulses from which are sent directly to the brain department, the "head" of sexual reactions. At the same time, it should be recognized that the increase in heart rate, the activation of hormone production and other physiological manifestations is a common reaction to, for example, a date. However, no one will come to think of an apartment beloved or beloved "immanently erotic." The exciting role of the kiss is to a large extent due to the historically established tradition, upbringing, and learning. Since childhood, the kiss is semantizing as a substitute for coital activity (an example of this is the commandments like "do not give kisses without love"). The statement of many that the kiss of certain areas (for example, the nipples) "responds to the genitals," indicates rather that a certain signaling mechanism has been developed and fixed, rather than a real "biological" connection. If we were accustomed to thinking from childhood that the most intimate area of our body - the armpit and scratching it with the index finger is a sexual action - this action would respond in the genitals just like a kiss.
Finally, about safety. The era of AIDS has made adjustments to the technique of kissing. In HIV-infected the virus is contained in saliva, but in a small amount. To get infected, you need to swallow five liters of infected saliva, and with a mouth-to-mouth kiss, only about 10 mg of fluid is transmitted. However, if there is a bleeding wound in the mouth of each of the kissers, the transmission of the virus becomes quite probable. Recently, along with condoms and latte pants, covering the entire peritoneal area and not allowing direct contact, special films for kissing are also produced. They are made in the form of a flexible mask covering the mouth. Unexpected application of these masks found in the community of so-called "leather people" - adherents of the now fashionable games in sadomasochism. The role of the traditional for S / M gag now carries a protective dressing (called limen), which simultaneously does not allow the "victim" to scream, allows her to kiss and protect from infection. The ends of the limen'a are passed through the earrings in the ears, which allows simultaneously stimulating the earlobe with a kiss ...
And we recall that until now practical advice has not lost relevance: drinking or eating something that is sharp-smelling (for example, garlic) should be followed by all participants in "continuous kissing", if such is planned. And then someone will sing another song: "Come to me, I like you, kiss me, do not get poisoned," and someone in response will think: "How to know how to know ..."