Sexual kissing could have been a way that was passed down from gestures that were used to recognize those who aren’t kin.
The term for it is relic gesture.
[..] What are the origins of kissing?
In early human societies, it is believed mothers weaned their babies by chewing up their food and then passing it to their babies by lip-to-lip contact. Evolutionary biologists suggest that erotic kissing is a so-called relic gesture, passed down through cultures from these early practices of the mother’s deep kissing and the infant’s searching tongue movements.
“If young lovers exploring each other’s mouths with their tongues feel the ancient comfort of parental mouth feeding, this may help them to increase their mutual trust and thereby their pair-bonding,” writes Desmond Morris in his classic book on human behaviour, Manwatching.[..]
Desmond Morris’ Manwatching is an excellent read.
Based on... what exactly? Have you spent significant time studying ancient cultures in this regard? By what process did you rule out other explanations? Why, precisely, do you people enjoy it? What does it mean, physically, to enjoy something?
This oversimplified brand of logic is what led people to believe that the sun travels around the earth. Often times things aren't as simple as they seem. Good thing some people decided to take a closer look at what seemed obvious to everyone else.
Edit: Not to be that dude, but for the downvote, explaining better how/why this feeding explanation makes sense would be nice. I thought my comment advanced the conversation somewhat.
The oversimplified brand of logic is just you generalizig my disagreement to support your brand of over analysis.
Please, take as much closer look as you want but do look at the whole picture,not just the booky part. Ask yourself why you enjoy it first,ask why others enjoy it and start there and stop when you have enough to adequately explain it.
I stand by my statement, a psychological need for intimacy is the root of the desire. It could be licking each others ear lobes or something that would now sound weird, the act is merely an expression of intimacy which is to know and to be known.
I would even say your conclusion can be viewed as an "oversimplified brand of logic" as you put it since you are not explaining why feeding chewed food is tied to sexual expression of affection and why it is prevalent strictly in a sexual relationship and why parents don't make out with children or between close friends and siblings,when adopted why did it become sexual? And to be clear a peck on the surface is not what we are talking about here since that is not exclusive to lips (forehead,etc...)
The evolutionary biology approach provides pretty deep insight into human behaviour. Making out is a dissociative state where each person uses their highly developed talking muscles to physically interact with each other. No other body part even makes physical sense. Your ear lobe isn't dexterous - that would be one way interaction.
>Please, take as much closer look as you want but do look at the whole picture,not just the booky part. Ask yourself why you enjoy it first,ask why others enjoy it and start there and stop when you have enough to adequately explain it.
How is your inward facing perspective as "the whole picture"? Evolutionary biology is the whole picture.
And how dare I question it or anything outside of it right? Sounds very smart and sciency,I will leave you to it then.
Oh,and I meant introspection, actually asking people, psychological examination of the subject are part of the evidence picture before you come to a conclusion. Apparently,anything short of an explanation involving an "evolutionary" need to exchange chewed food (even though many cultures don't do intimate kissing -- I suppose your claim is those humans evolved differently and have adopted it in the last century against their evolutionary need?) is offensive to your line of thinking.
Insight obtained from introspection or evolution in the 100 year scale will be mostly psychological/cultural. If you want to understand the big picture including physical justification you need to look at the large time scale perspective because it takes much longer for those changes, psychological and cultural justifications are dependant on the physical. Maybe that's too "booky or sciency" of a perspective, but I don't think so.
It's interesting that our two closest primate relatives are Bonobos and Chimpanzees. Bonobos are highly sexual and their sex habits match the full range of human sexual behaviors. Chimpanzees practice tribal warfare can be horrific murderers. Humans exceed both our relative species in both of these areas.
I think not. But matching a basic subset perhaps.
E.g. I don't think you'll find many bonobos jerking off to internet porn.
I would argue jerking off to Internet porn and jerking off to a fantasy are both exhibiting the same behavior, just like a polar explorer from the 19th century and a lunar explorer from the 20th century are exhibiting the same behavior.
I'm not saying humans 200 years ago were incapable of such things.
What I'm saying is that bonobos don't read or write Kama Sutra.
In any case bonobos would not write Kama Sutra even in 20,000 years. Your timescale and argument is way off.
Downvoters: I've no more apples for you.
Now this is interesting. I live in the US where kissing is a big part of the culture, but I've never personally liked it. I like women and romance, I enjoy sex obviously, but I never "got" kissing. Ever since my first kiss at ~15 years old, I always assumed something was wrong with me.
I chalked it up to growing up in a household where intimacy wasn't on display at all, there was barely ever any hugging even. My parents kept all displays of physical affection behind closed doors.
Sex is fun, but all the other stuff feels completely awkward and unnatural to me.
Were you raised in an environment where adults kissed often?
That said I happen to know a person who finds all hugging awkward, and he basically told the same story as you - no hugging in his family.
By what age should a person give deep thought into shows of romantic affection in cultures they've previously not considered?
Should I look down on them for not knowing something about my culture? Or do we have different concerns in our lives in different parts of the world?
I'm not saying that being culturally aware is not good for a person. I'm saying it's not a sign of being better than others. It's essentially the same as me memorizing brain teasers when I was 12. Neat, but not the type of thing to brag about.
My own reaction to the article was surprise that anyone thought kissing was a human universal because it never occurred to me that it was. This was pre-reflective on my part (I had never given any thought to kissing at all). It wasn't an outcome of any exercise in cultural awareness, or thinking thereon.
I have no idea whether @throwaway41968's comment was intended in my way or was indeed 'smug' as you say. But you don't know either, and it's a disservice to conversation to assume the worst.
If I took your interpretive tack, then I would assume you chose the interpretation you did because you enjoy scrapping on the net and calling people 'smug' etc. Would that be justifiable or useful to the conversation? I think not.
I probably should have asked what his comment meant before I spoke.
As a complete aside, an indigenous Australian kid up in Cape York once asked me if we did much dugong hunting in London (where I lived at the time).
> Similarly, the authors state that “no ethnographer working with Sub-Saharan African, New Guinea, or Amazonian foragers or horticulturalists reported having witnessed any occasion in which their study populations engaged in a romantic–sexual kiss”
That doesn't mean they don't kiss, of course. Consider that an ethnographer studying people in Tehran would probably conclude their society simply doesn't have homosexual behaviour. If nothing else, I would imagine that, like with other forms of intimacy often viewed as deviant (for example, anal or oral sex), clever people frequently rediscover it, and some like it, and then practice it, even if in secret.
"The Tsonga people of Southern Africa are also openly disgusted by the practice: “Kissing was formerly entirely unknown… When they saw the custom adopted by the Europeans, they said laughingly: “Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other’s saliva and dirt!” Even a husband never kissed his wife"