There’s a Reason Everyone on Earth Remembers Their First Kiss
For the record, it’s usually the female that initiates tongue contact, according to science
Does this sound familiar? Your heart is racing like never before. You are scared out of your mind. You are so excited that you could jump out of your own skin. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for, this is the moment your friends bragged about. You can feel the sweat pouring from your palms as you put your hand on her leg. She locks eyes with you before slowly closing them as she tilts her head. You lean towards her with your eyes. And then like a miracle, your lips touch, sending euphoria through your body. Your first kiss!
Your first experience might have played out slightly different. It might have been at a party or on a dare. Maybe it was at the movies or at the end of a first date. Either way, I guarantee that you remember that person’s full name and probably some other details. Despite the age or location of this monumental moment, it gets saved in a Do Not Delete folder in our brains.
To this day, it’s a scene that I love seeing in movies or on TV. It doesn’t matter if it’s set in the 1950’s, in the back of a Chevy or in the future in a spacecraft, it’s relatable. The feelings of angst and anticipation seem to be overwhelming. The juxtaposition of being a kid but doing something that is very much an adult thing. It’s a right of passage.
The magnitude of the moment and its lasting effect on the brain makes sense when you realize that it involves 100% of the five senses.
- Smell — Whether it was CK-1, Cool Water, or Axe Body Spray, the chances are that there was a lot of it.
- Sight — Your eyes might have been shut at the moment of impact, but you probably peeked a little that first time. As blood vessels open, allowing more oxygen to the brain, and the pupils dilate, which is why it’s believed that we close our eyes.
- Taste — Lip gloss or stale beer are both possibilities. I just hope it wasn’t cigarettes. No one deserves to taste that on their first time. Maybe your tongues touch. If so, more times than not, it’s the female that initiates contact, but either way, it sends the thousands of taste buds on the tongue into overdrive.
- Touch — Yes! Yes! Yes! With so many possible places to put your hands, it’s like the final frontier of opportunities.
- Hearing — The sound of your favorite song coming out of the car speakers or the new sounds of two mouths softly embracing, you remember everything.
All five senses are sending messages to the brain; tens of billions of nerves firing rapidly throughout the body. No wonder it felt like your body was going to explode in all the right ways. That iconic first kiss sends dopamine levels surging to an all time high. Speaking of high, the dopamine increase affects the same part of the brain as cocaine. That explains the urge to want more!
The feelings from that life-changing event are usually not physical. It’s this mess of emotions that range from love and lust to acceptance and belonging. As the dopamine levels start to return to normal levels, Oxytocin starts increasing. This chemical is responsible for promoting affection and attachment. It is commonly known as the “love hormone,” but also has one other important responsibility.
Oxytocin is also responsible for causing pleasurable female pelvic jolts during orgasms.
I tend to have a really good short term memory. If you need someone to rattle off sports stats or movie quotes, I am your guy! However, if you want to know my fourth grade teacher’s name, you’re out of luck. My wife is the complete opposite. She can vividly recall memories from her childhood but she won’t remember the restaurant that we went to last week. But we were able to give a play-by-play of our first kiss!
If you ever want to hear a great story that is usually very honest and always entertaining, ask your partner about their first kiss. For some reason, the recipients of first kisses seem to have the most terrible or memorable names like Misty Hyman or James Grossweiner. What was yours?