You might have sensed this intuitively already, but kissing is not only good for you, it’s also good for your relationship. For some, the act of kissing can even feel more intense than the actual act of sex — and with good reason.
A new study found that kissing is a good barometer of overall relationship health (lack of it is a warning sign), and additionally, that there is also a link between the frequency of kissing and sexual satisfaction — for women especially.
The study, published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, found that whether slow and relaxed, or heated and intense, during sex or not, kissing of all types plays a strong role in intimacy and closeness with our partner(s).
How the kissing study was conducted
Researchers surveyed 878 participants (433 men and 445 women) who were in a relationship for six months or more, and asked them to share two things:
- How consistently they kissed on the mouth during sex (what the researchers termed “specific kissing”)
- How consistently they kissed their partner when they were not having sex (what they termed “global kissing”)
The participants were then asked to share:
- How frequently they had sex with their partner
- How often they orgasmed during sex
- How satisfied overall they were with their relationship sex life
- How satisfied overall they were with their relationship
What researchers found out about kissing
The responses suggest that both men and women who kissed more during sex had more sex with their partners than those who didn’t. Crucially, women who reported a lot of kissing during sex also reported having more orgasms during sex. The researchers posit that kissing not only improved the quantity of sex, but the quality of it as well — for women especially.
While the frequency of kissing didn’t seem to play a role in how often the men orgasmed during sex, one possible explanation for this difference between men and women is that while men may be more stimulated by different types of arousal (touch, penetrative sex), for women, kissing may signal more emotional closeness during sex, which can play a role in arousal. Perhaps even more importantly, kissing during sex may also be an indication of a pace that is slower and that includes more foreplay, which could be specifically more beneficial for women.
Global kissing — kissing during other times outside of sex — was also a good indicator of how satisfied participants were with their overall relationship, meaning the lack of kissing may be one of those signs that a relationship is headed south.
Worth noting is that the study did not note the sexual orientation of the participants, or how many were in non-heteronormative relationships.