Kissing…no big deal?

There is often spirited debate among teens  when they are asked if kissing is a big deal.  The final answer is…it depends.  More girls than guys seem to think it “means something.”  And with regard to where it leads, well that seems to depend on what KIND of kissing.  Is it the kiss on the cheek at the end of a date, or the kind where you are rolling around on the sofa with lips locked and limbs entwined? It seems, according to teens, that one is a lot closer to sex than the other.

A blog by a friend, Dave McDowell, described some of the history of kissing this way:  “Up until the 18th century in Europe, everyone kissed everybody all the time–like shaking hands–but apparently it created a real problem between men and women. Still does. In 1837, an Englishman, Thomas Saverland, brought suit against Caroline Newton for biting his nose after he had jokingly tried to kiss her. The judge ruled in her favor. In Puritan New England, Boston’s Captain Kemble was forced to spend two hours in the stocks as a punishment for his “lewd and unseemly behavior” of kissing his wife in public on the Sabbath after three years at sea. My how things have changed!”

Both of my children at some point have made conscious decisions not to kiss in a dating relationship.  One of them managed to have two high school boyfriends, lasting more than 8 months each, without kissing. She had no regrets, and said that it enabled her to keep her commitment to abstinence.  To find out how kissing can affect the body, and the emotions, click here for some interesting facts.  Besides the fact that kissing causes elevated levels of oxytocin, the bonding hormone, this article points out new facts you might use to open up a conversation with your son or daughter.  Maybe you could start by asking them this question:  “Do your friends consider kissing a big deal?”  It might lead to an interesting conversation during which you can encourage them to consider holding off on this intimate behavior in the interest of  maintaining a clear head, an unscathed heart, and the ability to keep a relationship from going farther than planned.