This week is just full of news about the benefits of rubbing up against other humans. First we learned about the surprising connection between sex and stress levels, and now there's a new study on the myriad benefits of making out. Researchers have concluded that "long and passionate" kissing lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of stroke. And Scotland's Daily Record further reports that kissing is good for "keeping your face fit," since it exercises the facial muscles.
All well and good. Except that the same study also found that men and women -- at least, men and women in Germany and Austria, where the study was conducted -- have very different feelings about lip-lock. Apparently a majority of the men surveyed regard kissing as "more of a duty and obligation" than a pleasure. On the flip side, 60 percent of female particpants said kissing is "far more intimate and of a higher value than sex itself."
As Feministing's Samhita aptly puts it: "What? Who are these people having sex with?" Still, at least they're reducing their risk of stroke.
Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.