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Health & Sex

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Kissing: The Hot Love Habit That Makes You Both Happier

We challenged five women to just kiss more. The results?

WebMD Feature from "Redbook" Magazine

By Ayana Byrd

Redbook Magazine Logo

Have you ever wondered why we kiss? It's actually a strange way to spend your time lips smooshed together, breath (good or bad) mingling, and let's not even get into the tongue action. Yet we love it. We cheer when movie characters seal their happily-ever-afters with a smooch. A bodies-pressed-together kiss can make you remember why you adore the man who was annoying you just a minute ago. Why is that? "For some women, kissing is even more intimate than intercourse," says Redbook contributing editor and ob/gyn Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., who devoted a whole chapter to the importance of kissing in her book What Your Mother Never Told You About S-E-X. "That deep level of connection you get when you lock lips and tongues is important." Hutcherson isn't just being a romantic there's science behind the power of kissing: It causes our bodies to release endorphins and oxytocin, hormones that help us feel happy and more attached.

So it worries Hutcherson and other experts that kissing is one of the first things to dwindle when couples hit the long-term. In a recent Redbook poll, 79 percent of readers said they don't kiss their husbands nearly as much as they'd like; 14 percent said they're lucky to do it once a day. Alise, a 41-year-old mother of two, admits that for months, "we were down to a peck in the morning, maybe not even that." It wasn't until she tried to figure out why the usual zing was missing from her marriage that she realized nothing had changed except that life had gotten in the way of their kissing.

Hutcherson often prescribes smooches to patients like Alise, who are having sexual or relationship problems. "Getting back into the daily habit of kissing can rekindle a couple's intimate connection," she says. We rounded up some women to test her theory; Alise's assignment was to plant a big fat one on her hubby at least once a day. "We'd been off it for so long that I was nervous about how he'd react," she says. But after a week of making out more than they had since the honeymoon, she reports, "I swear we're as giggly and as turned on as when we first met." Read on for five more experiments and get ready to relearn the power of a kiss.

58 percent of readers

Don't smooch their husbands as much as they used to

24 percent

Say they only kiss their partner as a lead-up to sex

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