Do Pheromones Work in Human Attraction?

Many people have learned that insects and other animals are driven by pheromones, and that perfumes and colognes are supposed to help in courtship, so they want a shortcut for successful romance. However, most scientists would say that there is little evidence that humans rely very much on pheromones as an attractant. Pheromones are special chemicals produced by animals that serve to direct behavior, including mating behavior. In mating, other animals rely on their sense of smell much more than humans do. It is argued that humans have virtually lost the ability to be attracted by pheromones and hence pheromones are only minimally important in human sexuality, if at all.

Nevertheless, some scientists contend that a tiny sense organ in our nasal cavity, the Vomeronasal Organ (VNO) which is sometimes called Jacobson’s Organ, is capable of detecting chemical sexual attractants passed unconsciously between people. The VNO is located in the vomer bone between the nose and the mouth. How it functions in human beings is disputed. But in animals, it is much clearer:

  • Mice use the VNO to detect pheromones—vital in mouse mating.
  • Cats use the VNO to detect nepetalactone. This is what gives them the high from catnip.
  • Snakes use the VNO to sense prey by sticking out their forked-tongue and withdrawing it—touching the VNO in the process.
  • Elephants stimulate themselves by transferring sensory-stimulating chemicals to their VNO via the tip of their trunks.

In humans, the VNO first appears during fetal development. Strangely enough, it then shrinks to almost nothing by the time of birth—we don’t know why this happens. In adults, a small pit can be found in the nasal septum of some people, but not in all. Again, we don’t know why. Some scientists think that this tiny remnant means that the VNO still can work—at least in some humans. But what the VNO can do is anyone’s guess.

50 Things You Didn’t Know About Kissing

Research reveals that kissing stimulates the same part of the brain as parachuting, bungee jumping and long distance running. Kissing is pleasurable in all sorts of ways.

Here are 50 things you may not know about kissing:

  1. Philematology is the scientific study of kissing.
  2. Philemamania is the obsession with kissing.
  3. Philemaphobia is the fear of kissing.
  4. People who wake up to a kiss begin the day with a more positive attitude.
  5. People who kiss their partner every morning take fewer sick days from work, have fewer car accidents on their way to work and live about five years longer.
  6. A 1-minute kiss burns around 26 calories.
  7. An adult kiss lasts an average of 4.5 seconds.
  8. Kissing and firing a gun produce the same hormone in the body.
  9. When giving a passionate kiss, you use all of your facial muscles.
  10. Some scientists believe that kissing improves the skin, helps circulation, reduces blood pressure, relieves stress, alleviates headache pain, and makes us feel younger.
  11. It has been theorized by some scientists that our brain may be equipped with neurons that help us find the lips of our lover in the dark.
  12. Fifty per cent of all people kiss before the age of 14.
  13. The typical person spends 336 hours of their life kissing.
  14. Some scientists argue that infants who are kissed regularly usually develop a greater capacity in life for intelligence, artistic expression and critical thinking.
  15. Over 5 million bacteria pass between ‘kissers’ in just one passionate kiss.
  16. Infectious glandular fever (mononucleosis) and herpes are diseases that can be transferred during a kiss.
  17. Kissing can help fight tooth decay by stimulating the mouth to produce more saliva. Saliva helps cleanse the teeth of harmful bacteria.
  18. You’re more likely to catch a common cold by shaking hands than by kissing.
  19. Refusing to kiss someone under the mistletoe will not bring you bad luck.
  20. If a bride does not cry when the groom kisses her at the altar, the marriage will not necessarily be unhappy.
  21. If your nose itches, you will not necessarily be kissed by a fool.
  22. In early Rome, the wedding kiss represented a legal bond that sealed the marriage.
  23. Roman emperors used to rank a person’s importance by the area of the body he or she was allowed to kiss. Important people kissed the emperor’s lips, the less important kissed his hands and the least important kissed his feet.
  24. Kissing became an accepted sign of affection in Europe in the 6th century.
  25. Egyptians in ancient times kissed with their noses as do Inuit people (Eskimos) today.
  26. The Chinese didn’t kiss until they saw Westerners doing it.
  27. According to legend, any person who kisses the Blarney Stone in the 15th century Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland, will be endowed with the gift of eloquence and persuasive flattery.
  28. The tradition of kissing under mistletoe stems from the tradition of slaughtering an ox under mistletoe.
  29. Bonobo chimpanzees kiss to reduce stress.
  30. If a dolphin likes a human enough, it will kiss them.
  31. Sixty-three per cent of dog owners kiss their pooch regularly.
  32. A French kiss is one in which the two kissers touch tongues. But the French did not invent it.
  33. Men who kiss their wives goodbye in the morning earn much more money than those who don’t.
  34. The Ananga Ranga, a manual much like the Kama Sutra, suggests couples kiss in the midst of an argument so they forget what they were fighting about.
  35. Basketball kissing is a sport in which couples have to get as many balls through the hoops as possible while kissing. Who keeps score, you ask?
  36. The world famous Hershey’s Kisses have been produced by the Hershey’s chocolate company since 1907. ‘Kisses’ was the name given by the factory workers who noticed that the machine making the confectionary looked as if it was kissing the conveyor belt.
  37. Canadian porcupines kiss one another on the lips.
  38. In medieval Italy if a man and a woman were seen kissing and embracing in public they could be forced to marry!
  39. The first kiss ever shown on screen was in a movie called The Kiss in 1896.
  40. The most kisses in a single movie is 127. The film was the silent classic ‘Don Juan’ (1926) starring the great John Barrymore in the title role.
  41. Inupiak, Polynesians and Malaysians are among those people who rub noses instead of kissing.
  42. Ancient Romans kissed each other on the eyes or the mouth as a greeting.
  43. In pre-revolutionary Russia, the highest sign of recognition was a kiss from the Czar.
  44. Victorian etiquette required a man to kiss the back of a lady’s hand.
  45. A standard greeting in Europe is still a kiss on both cheeks. It could be two, four, six or whatever.
  46. Some African tribes pay homage to their chief by kissing the ground where he has walked.
  47. The longest underwater kiss was 2 minutes and 18 seconds and took place on 2 April 1980 in Tokyo.
  48. In the US state of Indiana it is illegal for a man with a moustache to ‘habitually kiss human beings’.
  49. In the US city of Hartford, Connecticut, it is illegal for a husband to kiss his wife on a Sunday.
  50. In the US city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, it is a crime to kiss a stranger.

Why Do We Feel Romantic Jealousy?

Romantic jealousy is one of our strongest and strangest emotions. It can break hearts, tear couples apart, destroy lives and even cause depression and result in suicide. No matter how solid your relationship, it is vulnerable to feelings of romantic jealousy.

We feel romantic jealousy when we perceive an external threat to a relationship that is important to us. The relationship’s importance may be due to either an emotional or a sexual bond or the self-esteem or social prestige boost we get from it. When we become romantically jealous, a physical reaction commonly follows. The heart may pound, the knees may shake and the emotional flood can take the form of rage, fear, sadness, depression, or a combination of any of these. Romantic jealousy involves three people. Two have the relationship and the third threatens that relationship. We frequently feel justified in our romantic jealousy. We feel our territory has been invaded and we feel rightfully entitled to react.

Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man (1871) claimed that romantic jealousy evolved to advance our species. Through romantic jealousy we ward off threats to our relationships and this helps ensure that our genes will be passed along to the next generation. Sigmund Freud theorized in his Introductory Lectures on Psycho-analysis (1922) that feelings of romantic jealousy first emerge during our early childhood from the Oedipus Complex (our desire not to be left out in the three-way mother–father–child relationship).

If you find that you are romantically jealous, you should ask yourself the following:

  1. What exactly am I feeling?
  2. Are my feelings truly relevant and justified in the present situation?
  3. What has triggered the romantic jealousy?

If you feel threatened in an existing relationship, you should discuss your emotions with your partner.

Can You Get A Food Allergy By Kissing Someone?

Apparently kissing can be a way of spreading a food allergy from one person to another. Researchers reviewed the cases of 379 people who were allergic to nuts or seeds. Twenty reported having an allergic reaction after kissing someone. Presumably this was after that person had eaten something to which the other person was allergic. The researchers report that in most cases the reaction was mild, causing just itching and swelling in the area kissed. But in four cases, the patient experienced wheezing. The most serious case was that of a 3-year-old boy whose mother kissed him on the cheek after she had merely tasted pea soup. The boy experienced such an allergic reaction that he had to be rushed to a hospital emergency ward.


Can You Prevent a Food Allergy By Kissing Someone?

Kissing can also prevent a food allergy or at least alleviate symptoms of allergies. When people are allergic to something, they produce up to 10 times more antibodies (IgE) than they would normally. Less IgE production means less allergic response with symptoms affected accordingly. In a study, 24 subjects with mild eczema and 24 subjects with allergic rhinitis (runny nose) kissed with lovers or spouses freely for 30 minutes while listening to soft music. When tested afterwards, their measured IgE was less. So it was concluded that kissing may alleviate allergic symptoms by a decrease in allergen-specific IgE production. Of course, it could have been the soft music.‌