Kissing — it's a way to show affection, express love, or indulge in crazy hot passion. But even though the why behind lip-locking can vary from person to person, the things that happen to your brain when you kiss are the same across the board. All this time you thought it was just fun and games to be sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, never realizing there was some serious science happening in your noggin. While you're mouth-to-mouth with the object of your lust, your brain is sending and receiving all kinds of messages, and causing your body to react.
When you're in the middle of kissing, your brain is both firing up the feel good emotions and shutting down the negative ones, according to Women's Health magazine. This paves the way for all those tingly, warm sensations to take over and make you forget you ever had a care in the world. As if this wasn't enough to keep your brain busy, it's also revving up your primal instincts to slide into home, even though you're only on first base.
If you thought your brain was on autopilot while kissing, think again — because it's as busy as ever making these seven things happen while you enjoy the results.
1. It Gets A Case Of The Jitters
Your brain can start reacting to a kiss before you ever lock lips. In those intense moments leading up that smooch, the stress hormone norepinephrine can start to fire up in your brain, according to Shape magazine. As Sheril Kirshenbaum, author of The Science of Kissing told Shape, "this stress hormone explains the nervousness you experience as his eyes find yours and he starts to lean in."
2. It Recieves An Instant Oxygen Boost
You know it's a good kiss when your pulse races and your cheeks flush , but there is more than a great kisser causing these things to happen. In the heat of the moment your blood vessels dilate, which sends extra oxygen racing to the brain, according to Whole Living.
3. It Helps You Choose A Mate
If you've ever had a crush die fast after the first kiss, researchers may know why. As it turns out, when you're swapping all that spit, you're transferring your personal information. According to Wired, experts in the field believe that kissing helps you to assess potential mates, since almost all humans and many other species of mammals use some form of mouth-to-mouth contact.
4. It Has An Oxytocin Party
There's more than one reason kissing feels so good, and the biggest one is oxytocin. This powerhouse hormone, released when you kiss, is highly involved in pair bonding, according to Psychology Today. The more you kiss, the more oxytocin you make, which is why you might feel like you're walking on air after a solid make out sesh.
5. Its Dopamine Is Flowing
You're body can't seem to get enough of those feel good chemicals it produces when you're kissing. When that smooch is just right, your body makes a load of dopamine, a pleasure producing chemical that also boosts romantic feelings, according to Reader's Digest.
6. It Talks You Into Sex
Wanna know why kissing leads to sex? It all comes down to hormones. According to Psychology Today, more than saliva passes from your mouth when making out, and all those mucus membranes are absorbing the reproductive hormones of your make out partner. These hormones tell the brain it's time to reproduce, which is how a passionate kiss can turn into a romp in the sheets.
7. It Gets Hooked
Who can blame a person for being addicted to kissing? It feels great and makes you happy, which is the same reason people become addicted to drugs. As Sheril Kirshenbaum, author of The Science Of Kissing wrote in her article for CNN, the surge of dopamine to the brain when kissing, is the same type that people experience when using cocaine. So it's can be totally possible to be addicted to love.