Is kissing universal? Nope!

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Marissa D

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morngnstar

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The conclusion seems like a bit of a stretch from the methods. I wonder whether it exists in some cultures but is considered taboo or private. After all in our own culture, kissing anywhere but the face (maybe the hands) is not considered proper in public.
 

The Otter

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The conclusion seems like a bit of a stretch from the methods. I wonder whether it exists in some cultures but is considered taboo or private. After all in our own culture, kissing anywhere but the face (maybe the hands) is not considered proper in public.

Yeah, that was my thought too. Though it's true that a lot of behaviors we assume to be universal really aren't. When building cultures in fantasy novels, it is useful to contemplate other ways that people could express affection and intimacy.

"The Mehinaku, who live in Brazil, for example, are known to nibble at eyebrows during sex."

That's...interesting. Ear-nibbling seems pretty common, but that's the first time I've heard of eyebrows being eroticized.
 
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Jan74

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interesting article
 

morngnstar

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Yeah, that was my thought too. Though it's true that a lot of behaviors we assume to be universal really aren't. When building cultures in fantasy novels, it is useful to contemplate other ways that people could express affection and intimacy.

"The Mehinaku, who live in Brazil, for example, are known to nibble at eyebrows during sex."

That's...interesting. Ear-nibbling seems pretty common, but that's the first time I've heard of eyebrows being eroticized.

I just figure when it comes to sex, everything is universal, unless it's specifically taboo. I'm sure western people kiss on the eyebrows sometimes. I guess the point is it doesn't have any special significance. And for other cultures kissing lip to lip might be done but have no special significance.

I still think the methods of the study are weak proof of that.
 

Marissa D

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Though it's true that a lot of behaviors we assume to be universal really aren't. When building cultures in fantasy novels, it is useful to contemplate other ways that people could express affection and intimacy.

Ummm...that was kind of the point of posting this here in the Romance forum, not in Non-fiction. ..
 

writerfrenzy

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Yes, agreed. I know for a fact that people in the middle east/pakistan don't kiss.
 

cool pop

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These things are not universal even in the same country. Everyone is different and likes or dislikes different things. I'm American and kissing disgusts me. It's gross. LOL! A kiss on the cheek or a peck is fine but French kissing? Ugh. I never could stand that and I hear a lot of people say the same. Nope, I am not a fan of swapping spit and everything else with someone. I don't care how much I love them. Some people just don't like kissing no matter where they are from.
 
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tesda

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Interesting perspective. Coming from a conservative Asian country, I think kissing is mostly in private and in the confines of a room where no other people can see you kiss.
 

MaeZe

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Re the OP: That's fantastic information.

Related: Smiles are also not universal across cultures despite the fact I used to believe they were and only now found out they are not.
Wiki: While smiling is perceived as a positive emotion most of the time, there are many cultures that perceive smiling as a negative expression and consider it unwelcoming. Too much smiling can be viewed as a sign of shallowness or dishonesty.[9] In some parts of Asia, people may smile when they are embarrassed or in emotional pain. Some people may smile at others to indicate a friendly greeting. A smile may be reserved for close friends and family members. Many people in the former Soviet Union area consider smiling at strangers in public to be unusual and even suspicious behavior. [10]
Though I do believe all newborns smile.
 
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Chris P

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When I lived in Uganda, kissing in public was considered scandalous. It was "introduced by Hollywood."

As for its relation to writing, I thknk it's a good example of keeping the audience in mind. Art is nothing without the observer and the effect it has, which of course is tempered by culture.
 

Fallen

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These things are not universal even in the same country. Everyone is different and likes or dislikes different things. I'm American and kissing disgusts me. It's gross. LOL! A kiss on the cheek or a peck is fine but French kissing? Ugh. I never could stand that and I hear a lot of people say the same. Nope, I am not a fan of swapping spit and everything else with someone. I don't care how much I love them. Some people just don't like kissing no matter where they are from.

Ooh, same here! :snoopy:I haven't kissed my husband for 20 years. We've beeen together for... 20 years lol. Nah, it's just a swapping of bacteria in my eyes. But I do like reading about kissing, although I don't write about it too much kissing either. There's always other, more private shows of affection: the hand on the small of the back as they're out shopping etc.
 
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