philematology

Havelock Ellis has this to say about kissing:

the sexual kiss is a comparatively modern discovery. There was no word for kiss in any of the early Celtic languages. Even in Europe in medieval days, kissing was not widely known as an expression of sexual love, and it would seem to have been a refinement only practised by the more cultivated classes. In the old ballad of Glasgergion, the lady suspected that her secret visitor was only a churl, and not the knight he pretended to be, because when he came to spend the evening with her, he kissed her neither coming or going, but simply got her with child.”

There are many strange laws regarding kissing that are still on the books. In Indiana, it is illegal for a man with a moustache to “habitually kiss human beings”. And in Hartford, CT, it is illegal for a man to kiss his wife on a Sunday. In Minnesota it is illegal for a man to have sex with his wife if his breath smells of garlic or sardines, and a wife can legally demand that her husband brushes his teeth before kissing her.

Kissing involves the swapping of saliva so let’s talk about another oral activity – spitting. In ancient times spit was considered an offering to the gods because it emerged from the mouth and was thought to contain a small part of the spitter’s soul. By offering up his spit a man could enlist the aid of his supernatural protectors. The danger in this was that if his enemies could collect some of the fallen spittle, they could bewitch the spitter with hostile magic. For this reason some great tribal leaders employed a full-time spittle burier, whose task was to follow the Great One everywhere with a portable spittoon and bury its contents in a secret place.

technically this is not a spittoon but it’s a far more interesting image than the real thing

 

Published in: on October 4, 2008 at 8:45 am  Comments (24)  

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  1. A good old passionate snog is fabulous….. oh those poor folk in times gone by didn’t know what they’d missed ….

    that mask is slightly unsettling!!!

  2. I was astonished to read that sex didn’t always involve kissing, it just seems so natural doesn’t it?

    (hey 70s sorry I can’t comment at your site tonight. Blogger is experiencing a glitch and not accepting wordpress sign-ins. at first I thought it was just me but archie is having the same problem)

  3. There’s a law against kissing pussies in public … but you can kiss doggies all you want. Not fair!

  4. I can’t kiss anything that slobbers…..

  5. having recently discovered the joys of the half-hour make-out session, i concur that snogging is big damn fun! hard to do with that mask on, i suppose

    (RE: blogger comment problems – just sign in with “name/url” instead of “wordpress”)

  6. I bow to the ingenuity of the man who invented that urinal mask. For if necessity is the mother of invention, perversion is its creepy uncle.

    (ooh, that’s a great precious encouragement. I’m using that.)

  7. minnesota is beginning to impress me. this whole thing about not kissing when one has garlic- or sardine-breath makes sense. basically, no kissing if you smell like any kind of meat or tobacco.
    no kissing me unless your breath is sweet or neutral.
    that’s why the ancients didn’t kiss. before toothbrushes were invented, people could only swish their mouths with alcohol to tone down the breathage.
    which describes why margaritas are still sexy in today’s world.

  8. If i think about the mechanics of kissing too much I start to question why we all do it. It feels good, so I let it end there without any further analysis.

    Can a non-smoker kiss a smoker? It depends on how hot she is…

  9. Osculation rules ……….

  10. NM ~ there is a lot of oddity’s going on in internet land …. not susssed why yet!!

    yep kissing is soooo important 😡

  11. judging by daisyfae’s recent rediscovery I think she agrees wholeheartedly with you 🙂

  12. No fun getting screwed without a kiss. Sometimes all I need to get to heaven is some really good kissing Guys who don’t kiss or are bad kissers are anathema.

  13. I hesitate to admit this but my first husband had a heavy moustache he trimmed regularly so it had the same texture as an outdoor broom. towards the end of the relationship I couldn’t bear to kiss him at all as it was like kissing a hedgehog

    so until I met stephen I went for years without experiencing the bliss of prolonged kissing.

  14. not crazy about the facial hair (well, the “broomy” kind) either… but stubble? Grrr… My ex went through a “Grizzly Adams” phase with a big bushy beard/mustache. I couldn’t stand to be in the bed with it – sometimes i could smell Doritos on it, and i’d nearly scream!

  15. What no facial hair allowed? Hmmm so my Pumpkins screams are not of passion then?

  16. In Indiana, it is illegal for a man with a moustache to “habitually kiss human beings”

    As it should be worldwide.

  17. Daisyfae: stubble….yummmmmm…

    Vapour: see above 🙂

    Anaglyph: you could have been a lawyer as well as the composer, musician and artist that you are

  18. Once I made a drawing of all the energy flows that happen between two people when they kiss. It is in my journals somewhere.

    I loved the kissing skeletons!

  19. can you scan it on to your blog? I’d like to see it.

  20. “In Indiana, it is illegal for a man with a moustache to “habitually kiss human beings”

    I’m seeing a large loophole for all those moustached blokes who like to kiss mongooses…

  21. I vaguely remember reading in “The Naked Ape” that we humans – through the miracle of selective breeding – turned the outer rims of our mouths a little inside out to form what are known as ‘lips’ (no other primate has lips like we have) primarily so that males would be sexually attracted by what was essentially a vulval display smack dab on the face of a potential female mate.

    Every time he looked at her, he’d be thinking labia. The pricey kind.

    Now, why on Earth would we selectively breed (Mexican: “intelligently design”) our species to have womenfolk with vulvas on their faces if not for kissing?

    What other possible reason could there be?

    Of course, the enlarged breasts (compared with other primates) of the female human are supposed – in the same authoritative text – to have been selectively bred into the species’ physiognomy as they reminded menfolk of the arse, an important sexual feature back in them doggying days. It was important to have a decoy arse on the front of the women so that the sexing could take place face-to-face, thus imprinting the face (with decoy vulva) of the woman in the man’s mind. This was so that he would recognise her the next time he saw her, remember the great sexing, and therefore deign to help raise her incredibly expensive kid.

    So maybe mounting all that penis bait onto the front of their women means that kissing wasn’t the first thing they had in mind after all, them clever cavedudes…

  22. I love your interpretation of desmond morris 🙂

  23. After all this, I feel I must defend the hairy dudes. The ex had a mustache. He wasn’t good for much but sex, but he was good at that. The Boyo has a full, (very full at this moment) beard. I’ve learned to enjoy it during osculation. And it tickles my boobs, too. Y’all can have the clean-shaven. I like at least a little bit of face hair. Men going au naturel in the facial department. So to speak.

  24. I like body hair on men – don’t wax for me boys 🙂


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