Why do kisses sometimes give you goose pimples?

Chemistry of love When Cupid's arrow hits


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When lovers kiss, it's not just the butterflies in their stomach that go crazy. Cupid's arrow turns our entire inner workings upside down. The result are symptoms like those of drug intoxication.

Status: 05.07.2018

1939 Clark Gable kisses Vivian Leigh in "Gone with the Wind" - a real classic among film kisses. However, the two preferred to keep their distance privately. Clark Gable reportedly had bad breath.

It sparked, just the thought of the other makes your heart pound up to your neck - and woe, you don't see the new flame for a long time: Then the pulling in your chest becomes almost unbearable. What happened? Cupid met - and thus set the biochemistry of love in motion.

Romeo and Juliet are similar - hormonally

Freshly in love, this state should last as long as possible, the new partner please stay forever. So that this doesn't go wrong from the outset, Romeo and Juliet align each other - at least in terms of hormones: In men, the amount of the male sex hormone testosterone drops sharply, in women it is exactly the opposite. The Italian scientist Donatella Marazziti from the University of Pisa stated this: "It seems as if nature wants to eliminate the differences between men and women, because at this stage it is more important to come together."

Pink glasses gone, hormonal everyday life is back

The researcher took a closer look at the blood of twelve men and women in love. In addition to the testosterone equalization, she found that the production of the stress hormone cortisol was significantly increased in both sexes in the first six months of the partnership. The two values ​​would only normalize again when the first exciting phase of being in love is over.

What obsessional neurotics and lovers have in common

July 6th - kiss day

The worldwide kiss day is intended to commemorate the pleasure of kissing. And of course he should call for a kiss. You don't have to beat the record kiss of 33 hours set on September 18, 2010. But you definitely have to exert an average of 38 facial muscles for an intense kiss to succeed.

The scientist Marazziti also surprised with the news that in lovers the serotonin level drops similarly to obsessive-compulsive neurotics. Her explanation: Similar to obsessional neurotics, lovers also spend hours busy with just one thing - the person they adore. In their test subjects, the level was on average 40 percent below normal. So falling in love, the psychiatrist concluded, might really make you a little "crazy". However, as soon as the romantic feelings of some test subjects subsided, their serotonin level also rose again.

When kissing, the body runs at full speed

Kissing is high performance and an injection of energy for our body at the same time.

But that was by no means all, in the blissful state of being in love things go haywire in the body: The "infatuation hormone" phenylethylamine triggers erotic interest and exhilaration: kiss, kiss, kiss and another kiss. Now the production of the cell fuel adenosine triphosphate is boosted vigorously - this provides the necessary energy so that the heart beats faster and the lips can pursue themselves. The breathing rate rises, the pulse is racing, the blood vessels dilate, the circulation gets going: For scientists, kissing is like an energy injection that strengthens the immune system and reduces stress.

And now please touch!

With gentle skin contact, the brain sends commands ...

It gets even more violent inside us when we come into contact with the skin: Then the lovers' brain sends commands to the muscles in the arteries: They relax, the blood flow increases, the bronchi widen, the breathing becomes shallow, the heart beats faster. Cooling down would be welcome now! Sweat and sebum glands promptly create small pearls on the skin. In doing so, they release sexual fragrances that turn the partner's head even more. And the adrenal cortex stimulates the body with even more adrenaline.

July 6th: International Kiss Day

That has to be love - but the reaction processes are very similar to fear or stress, for example in attack or escape situations. The testes and ovaries produce the pleasure-enhancing hormone testosterone. Now the whole organism is wide awake. At climax, the body releases opiates, especially the cuddle hormone oxytocin in women. A short but heavy drug frenzy.

In search of security

Once the first frenzy of love is over, there is a chance for a deeper bond. A change begins in the brains, thoughts and feelings synchronize and interlock. Love is important for emotional and physical balance. Our brain is therefore programmed in such a way that being alone hurts. As a result, unhappy relationships often last for years.

If you break up, your body reacts with severe side effects. To numb heartache, the brain now longs for substitute gratification. Once the grief phase is over, our basic need for closeness and security will prevail again: Then the chemistry of love mixes a new cocktail.

  • "The kiss - biology of a caress": on October 24, 2018 at 3:05 p.m., in radioWissen, Bavaria 2.
  • Kissing, purely scientific: on June 3, 2017 at 2.25 a.m., in Mind and Brain, ARD-alpha.
  • The chemistry of bonding - the messenger substance oxytocin: on January 18, 2017 at 3:05 p.m., in radioWissen in the afternoon, radioWissen, Bavaria 2.
  • The chemistry of bonding - the messenger substance oxytocin: on December 28, 2016 at 9:05 a.m., in radioWissen in the afternoon, radioWissen, Bavaria 2.
  • The Chemistry of Bonding - Oxytocin Research: on July 7, 2016 at 6:05 p.m., in IQ, Bavaria 2.
  • Love - a messy feeling: on September 16, 2015 at 3:05 p.m., radioWissen in the afternoon, Bavaria 2.
  • Kissing, purely scientific: on October 22, 2012 at 10.15 a.m., in Mind and Brain, ARD-alpha.
  • Day of the Kiss - Kiss researcher Tina Schmid from Neutraubling: on July 6, 2012 at 12:05 p.m., noon in Lower Bavaria and Upper Palatinate, Bavaria 1.