People often engage in kissing for a variety of reasons depending on the situation. Kissing has many benefits for your mood and overall well-being.

Kissing can be integral to romantic relationships and increase your bond with your romantic partner. Many people enjoy the closeness and intimacy of sharing a kiss with someone you love. Some people enjoy kissing, and others don’t.

If you love kissing, you’re not alone. There are many psychological and health benefits to a good kiss. It also feels really good, which can improve your mood.

Why does kissing feel so good? A kiss can release endorphins such as oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. The release of these endorphins can cause kissing to feel good, according to a 2019 study.

The authors suggest that kissing can feel very good because the release of oxytocin is often known as the “love hormone,” and oxytocin can aid in social bonding.

Kissing can also reduce stress, as it can decrease the stress hormone known as cortisol. Research from 2022 suggests that affectionate touch, such as kissing, can improve your well-being, as greater kissing frequency can:

  • reduce stress
  • increase life satisfaction
  • give a positive perception of your relationship

There are many reasons why people choose to kiss. The purpose can depend on the situation, but the common reasons are listed below.

To show affection

Kissing is an activity many people engage in to show affection toward someone. Sometimes, it’s used to show love toward romantic partners.

One 2023 study found that physical affection displays, including kissing, were strongly correlated with love and satisfaction of physical affection within relationships.

Kissing is often used to express fondness for a romantic partner and can increase your connection with a partner.

For sexual pleasure or to express desire

Kissing is often used as part of sexual activities, and the frequency and quality of kissing behaviors can be associated with relationship and sexual satisfaction. A 2020 study found that the frequency of kissing was associated positively with recent sexual experiences.

The authors indicate that arousal levels, orgasms, and event-specific sexual satisfaction all increased with a higher frequency of kissing. Kissing can help you feel more sexually satisfied and more connected with your partner(s).

To increase emotional connection

Kissing can improve your emotional connection with your significant other. The release of oxytocin when you kiss someone can increase your level of attachment and affection with another person, therefore increasing the emotional bond.

Older research from a 2013 study identifies increased attachment within pair-bonded individuals as one of the primary functions of kissing. The authors found that higher frequencies of kissing were linked with relationship satisfaction and higher importance in long-term relationships.

To determine the suitability of a partner

Kissing can help you choose a lifelong partner, especially in the courtship phase of a relationship. Research suggests that kissing during the courtship phase helps influence attraction.

The authors also suggest that the quality and frequency of kissing are linked to relationship satisfaction. If you have a partner who’s a good kisser, the same study found that this predicts relationship quality more than sexual satisfaction.

Cultural greetings

Outside of romantic kisses, kissing is a common practice in some cultures to greet each other. Research suggests that kissing as a greeting ritual is common in Spain, France, and Italy, where kisses on both cheeks to say hello are expected.

The authors suggest this is also true of Mediterranean countries and part of the cultural norms. These small gestures to greet each other are often viewed positively.

People kiss for various reasons, and it feels good because it releases several endorphins. Your relationship and sexual satisfaction can improve the more you kiss a romantic partner.

Kissing has many benefits for mental and physical health. Decreasing stress is one of the many benefits of engaging in kissing behavior. If you enjoy kissing, doing more of it can have lasting positive benefits for your health.