May 30, 2023 8:57 am

Amongst the numerous “firsts” we practical experience in our lives, a initial kiss is one particular of the most memorable.

In addition to becoming a novel practical experience, our brains get pleasure and facts from kissing. Our lips are the most exposed erogenous zones on our bodies, and a excellent, consensual kiss triggers hormones that give us a rush of need and appreciate.

Science communicator Sheril Kirschenbaum talks with host Anita Rao about these physical effects of a kiss and how they assist us measure compatibility with a possible companion. She also describes the cultural history of kissing, which includes how locking lips has enforced energy structures and how kissing is interpreted differently about the globe, all subjects discussed in her book “The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us.”

Kadar Little, a photographer, director and filmmaker primarily based in New York City, also joins the conversation to share the inspiration behind his photo series “PDA.” Kadar photographs moments of kissing and intimacy involving Black and brown queer people in public and at property, exploring what this type of connection appears like by means of his perform.

Anita also talks about the cultural milestone of a initial kiss with a group of existing and former WUNC youth reporters. Higher college students Parys Smith and Donna Diaz, along with college student Chris Williams, share the stories of their initial kiss, how they feel about boundaries and what constitutes a excellent kiss.

Thank you to Caroline, Jeanine, Caitlin, Kristin, Lawrence and Steven for sharing with us for this episode!

Remembering the Initially Kiss

How Old Have been You?

 A word bubble over the outline of lips that features these words: 7th grade, PreK, 8th grade, middle school, 17, 16, 15, 6, 13.

We gathered with each other stories of initial kisses from our listeners, guests, and colleagues … and we had such a wide variety of experiences!

What Was that Initially Kiss Like?

 A word bubble over the silhouette of two people kissing featuring the words: nothing special, making out, exciting, wet, 4 out of 10, awkward, gentle, clumsy, cringey, physically uncomfortable, inconsequential, anticipated, embarrassing, sweet, public, eager, unexpected, playful, nice, awkward, traumatic, simple, naive, biggest letdown of my life.

Who’s shocked that the most popular adjective is “awkward”?

What Can a Initially Kiss Teach Us? (from former/existing WUNC youth reporters)

“My initial kiss, there have been no boundaries. And even even though I was young, it produced me quite sturdy, in like, what I want and not letting individuals come into my space.”
-Parys Smith

“There does not will need to be tongue all that, like, it can just be sweet for a couple seconds.”
-Chris Williams

“It has to be the proper moment. Kissing in basic, I feel it should really just be energy”
-Donna Diaz

Why Do We Bear in mind Our Initially Kisses So Nicely?

“Novel experiences can spike all sorts of distinct neurotransmitters and hormones in our bodies … But we’re making use of that kiss to inform us extra about the scenario, how we’re feeling: Are we comfy? Are we stressed? So that memory is strong.”
-Sheril Kirschenbaum, author of “The Science of Kissing”