I’m a long time blogger for Discover Mag, but brand new to Tumblr. So far, I’m impressed with how easy it is to navigate and share. For those not already familiar with my work, I’m a biologist turned science writer. My first book Unscientific America (co-authored by Chris Mooney) came out last year and The Science of Kissing debuts early in January. As the publication date gets closer, I’ll be using this site to share material from the book-including some details that didn’t make it into the manuscript!
SoK is a look at this near universal behavior from many lenses of science. I consider why humans got started and how our bodies respond to the experience. I even bring readers into a neuroscience laboratory to see what we might discover about kissing and the brain.
This site will feature related updates and events, as well as photo submissions from readers. Anyone interested in contributing to the growing gallery of kisses from across time, space, and species should email me at email@example.com.
Thanks for your interest and I hope you enjoy The Science of Kissing!
With a month and a half before The Science of Kissing’s debut, Ayana Byrd at Redbook interviewed me for a fun article in their December issue called The Kissing Project. The piece explores why we kiss and I’m quoted:
“Research suggests that men may have an unconscious tendency to swap lots of spit because they transfer testosterone (which raises libido over time) to their mate through saliva.”
“Whether a couple has been together for four months or 40 years, kissing promotes feelings of intimacy and security.”
Of course, that’s just a hint of what’s in the actual book: I spend a chapter exploring gender differences and several more on the hormones and neurotransmitters involved. While I don’t want to give too much away yet, it’s neat to see a nod to The Science of Kissing in print!
More will be revealed over the coming weeks…
You would expect that with the virtual world at our fingertips, it should be relatively easy to locate an ideally suited partner. Yet in reality, the Internet has made navigating the dating landscape more challenging than ever. As I spent the past two years composing “The Science of Kissing,” I learned a great deal about what attracts two people together. It turns out that real chemistry involves many nonverbal signals that are impossible to detect when searching for love from behind a laptop.
My latest article in The Statesman. Read on…
Made Man: What things should a guy keep in mind when he’s going in for the kiss?
Sheril Kirshenbaum: Women, when they’re deciding if they want to kiss someone, tend to pay a lot more attention to the breath and teeth of a partner. It’s something that men don’t seem to notice or take very seriously when they’re deciding to kiss a woman. So obviously personal hygiene and taking care of yourself is pretty important.
MM: What else?
SK: Women also often complain about too much tongue, whereas that’s something men seem to have a strong preference for. It actually has to do with the small amount of the male sex hormone, testosterone, in a guy’s saliva. It’s actually to men’s advantage to open-mouth kiss the same woman over weeks and months, because all that testosterone can build up and actually serve to enhance her libido, making it more likely that things might go a little further.
MM:Does kissing during sex enhance the experience?
SK: I would definitely recommend it because the lips are packed with sensitive nerve endings. They’re actually our most exposed erogenous zone [read on..]
It’s tradition, compulsion, festive duty. An excuse to make a bold move with someone new, a reason to be anxious about finding a date or a chance to celebrate with a longtime love. And there’s pressure to get it right.
Whom you kiss can set the course for a good year. Really. It’s not magic – it’s chemistry and neuroscience.