The Secret of Successful Kissing

It's in the drool, fool

Can drooling make you a better kisser? Scientific evidence suggests that wet, sloppy smooches pack a bigger biochemical punch than dry kisses and thus may be more likely to lead to sex and reproduction, says Rutgers University researcher Helen Fischer, who spoke today at the AAAS conference in Chicago.

Men are particularly prone to sloppy kissing, she notes, possibly because males tend to have a poor sense of smell and taste and aggressive face sucking may be an unconscious effort to gauge a partner’s estrogen levels and fertility cycle. It may also be an unwitting effort to transmit testosterone, which can be found in saliva and can increase sexual attraction. Alternatively, it may also be just plain gross. (That would be my unscientific conclusion.)

Fisher and other scientists who study “philematology,” the science of kissing, believe that the act evolved as a “mechanism for mate choice and selection.” It stimulates sex drive, romantic love and attachment, the latter two helping us tolerate people even when we’re not having sex with them, she says. Saliva is a powerful way to telegraph your chemical goods but be warned that extra drool could backfire if your prospective mate finds you biochemically incompatible. Hence, the term “kiss of death,” says Fischer. Good luck.