Aside from burning 6 calories per kiss (as Father Guido Sarducci used to say, “It adds up!), there are other health benefits from kissing. With over 30 muscles involved in producing the perfect kiss (more if you’re actually Italian), you can get quite a workout over the course of a passionate evening after some Prosecco, pasta carbonara and tiramisu.
The ancient Romans had three different kind of kisses: For relatives, there was the osculum, similar to the double-cheek kiss used today when greeting friends. Next, there was a more intimate kiss for close family, husbands and wives called bacio alla Romana. This kiss was a full mouth kiss, originally intended to find out whether the receiver of the kiss was drunk or not. For men there was also the savium, used only with prostitutes. In an effort to save our relationships, I’m not going to describe this one. The last type, the more intimate basium, was a Lover’s Kiss, somewhat like a French Kiss but with more subtle lip action combined with hands applied to each others’ face, neck or shoulders. With Italian lovers, it’s a more of a full body sport…
A firm tenderness with fingers on cheek, neck or gentle tug of hair while kissing.
Kissing often being part of a well planned, sensual meal.
Each kiss lasting a bit longer than you could hold your breath.
Open mouths resting while inhaling each others’ hot breaths.
Perhaps a leg or forearm embracing or intertwined during the kiss.
Occasional, intense eye to eye contact when moving in and out of kisses.