I’m dealing with an emergency that had me up early this AM traveling to LI. I wrote this last night and I’m unleashing it via my mobile...
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-=[ The Kiss ]=-
-- Ward Elliot Hour
Have I ever told you how much I love to kiss? My favorite part of the kiss is the moment just before. I can kiss for hours, it seems. I like all kinds of kisses, but the kisses I love most are those savored slowly... I would like to think I am a good kisser and I believe some women would agree. Whatever the case, I can honestly say my kisses never lacked for passion.
You should be passionate about your kisses, wherever, however, or with whomever...
Strange as it may seem to us, the contact of the lips in a kiss is a cultural, if inspired, development of the Western world. The kiss was unknown in many parts of the world until colonizers, explorers, travelers, and missionaries carried the custom to the remote parts of our planet. Even today it is not the preferred form of intimate expression of love or affectionate greeting among most peoples of Asia, Africa, the Eskimo domains, Polynesia and other distant lands where traditional customs still hold.
Science tells us that the impulse to kiss is not natural to humankind; that it developed gradually in relation to the erotic. Anthropologists believed that the love-kiss developed from the primitive maternal kiss and from the nursing of the infant at the mother’s breast, which are customary even in cultures where the erotic kiss is unknown. Out of these maternal caresses grew the kiss of love and affection, of devotion and reverence, that we know today.
As in many other cultural idiosyncrasies, the development of the kiss demonstrates a curious contradiction in the pattern of human actions. Kissing as a demonstration of affection is believed to have been a rather late development. There is no trace of it as a form of affection in ancient times. For example, I am told that there is no word for “kiss” in the Celtic tongues. The custom of kissing appears to have been acquired by the Celts long after it became a habit among most other Europeans. Homer scarcely knew of it, and the Greek poets, avid chroniclers of the customs of their time, seldom mentioned it.
Curiously, actions resembling the kiss are found among many animals. Birds use their bills as a form of caress. Even snails and certain insects caress. The dog who licks his master is physically expressing something close to a kiss. Dogs also lick one another as a form greeting. Our closest relations in the animal world, the apes, are apparently addicted to kissing.
Anatomically, the kiss is an ideal mode of expression of love and affection, as the lips are an extremely sensitive erogenous zone, especially vulnerable to erotic stimulation. I once knew a woman who claimed she could climax from kissing alone. Of course, in order for a kiss to be an effective incentive for love it must possess fire and strength of fervor. As Byron, no stranger to the erotic arts himself, once wrote:
And beauty, all concentrating like rays
Into one focus kindled from above;
Such kisses as belong to early days,
Where heart and soul and sense in concert move,
And the blood's lava, and the pulse ablaze,
Each kiss is a heart-quake -- for kiss's strength,
I think it must be reckoned by its length.
There is strong evidence that the kiss as we know it in the West has ancient Hebraic origins, where the kiss of love held some influence, as expressed in the Song of Songs: “Let him kiss me with kisses of his mouth.” The kiss has special significance as a pledge of love -- a seal if you will. It has also been defined as a symbol of the union of souls. In the Eastern world, the kiss was associated with the sacred, accounting for its absence in the erotic sphere. The ancient Arabians, for example, made their devotions to the gods by a kiss.
Likewise, in ancient times the kiss indicated reverence and respect rather than love. The Romans, for whom the kiss had a sacramental meaning, influenced the early Christians. The kiss retains some of this meaning as evidenced by the practice of kissing the relics of saints, the foot of the Pope, and the hands of bishops. Kissing the hand or foot has been a mark of respect dating back from the earliest of times.
It is impossible to think of tender, consummate lovemaking without the rapture of the kiss. The kiss sets off the electrifying spark of sensation that reverberates to the innermost parts of our being. It is an essential part of love-play often leading to a sexual peak experience. However innocent a lover’s kiss, it is never truly without a sexual connotation and signifies the stage between desire and possession.
Surfaced by a tissue of full-blooded, sensitive membranes, moistened by dewy sweetness, shaped into a curvature that has been compared to Cupid’s bow, the lips appear to have been especially created by nature for their role as the gateway to labyrinths of love.
The kiss -- the incitement of the fruits of your lips -- is the most direct prelude to sexual fulfillment. It is for this reason (and many more) that I would caution restraint, for the real meaning and importance of the kiss is the sacredness of love’s passion. Its force may lure you unawares as a fly to a trap sticky-sweet with dew.