Why Is Kissing So Addictive? | 10 Scientific Reasons

The subtle signs of wanting to smooch after the first few dates or the romantic kisses of a long-term partner in the kitchen – kissing never seems to lose its charm. But why is that?

Kissing is addictive because of the way your body responds to it. It releases several feel-good hormones, such as dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin, and reduces your stress levels. It is a sign of mating, helps choose the right partner, and enhances bonding- all adding to the addiction.

The effects of kissing are like dominoes falling through your mind and body. Let us see how they come into play – making kissing one of the most addictive desires of interaction.

Reasons Why Kissing Is Addictive

We know for sure that kissing is addictive from experience and knowledge, but here’s what goes behind the scenes:

1. Activates the Brain’s Reward System

The science of kissing is all over the place. It is no surprise that kissing is addictive when it is known to release the same hormones as consuming cocaine: Dopamine.

In fact, dopamine comes into play with most addictive substances or behaviors. Dopamine is part of the brain’s reward system.

When you have something sweet, like chocolates, kiss, or fall in love: all of them light up signals in your mind that make you feel delight or ecstasy. The more of the feel-good you get, the more you want.

Activates the Brain's Reward System

2. Establishes a Strong Social Connection

One of the primary reasons you and your mind enjoy kissing so much is because it helps you bond better.

Lip-to-lip kisses between partners or pecking your kids on the cheeks – all help you break barriers and establish a loving relationship.

The idea of developing a connection, finding a potential mate, and keeping your relationship stable and healthy – all cater to a form of survival.

When you find a partner, you have added someone to your closest circle, someone to stand by you, protect you, and help you with your needs.

Kissing every single time reinforces that bond, making you want to do it throughout your time together, rather than just once.

3. Brings You Trust and Comfort

Kissing is an intimate act. Every time you kiss your partner, it establishes stronger levels of trust and a sense of comfort.

You feel safer and closer – a moment that is special to you and one you’d want to save for certain people.

Special things often have an aura of exclusivity attached to them, and most exclusive things also tend to be addictive.

Trust and comfort are also feelings that are pretty uncommon, especially when you are out there functioning in the real world. All of it makes kissing feel like a safe haven, similar to how you crave home.

4. Makes You Feel Desired

The act of kissing caters to several emotional and psychological needs – each entwined with one other. Thus, kissing also makes you feel desired on top of bonding better.

Whenever your partner comes to kiss you or kisses you back, it acts as a reassurance of love and attraction. The way you kiss is also an indication of desire.

This is why many people can catch if something’s wrong with their partners when they kiss them. At the end of the day, all of us want to be wanted.

And if given the opportunity to be told how important we are – we would take it every time.

5. Boosts Your Self-Esteem

Intimacy, desire, comfort – these feelings all tend to snowball into self-esteem needs. Everyone enjoys a self-esteem boost for one of those “feel-good” moments.

Thus, when you kiss, you don’t just feel better about your relationship but also feel better about yourself. Kissing is addictive because it reassures our worth and our sense of being.

6. Relaxes Your Nerves

Enough of what goes on in the mind; kissing also affects your body. Despite the fireworks skittering along your skin, what makes kissing so addictive is that it relaxes your nerves.

Throughout years of research, kissing has been proven to lower blood pressure, which in turn calms your nerves. Your body eases into the moment. Your muscles aren’t so stiff anymore.

You can suddenly breathe better – what a moment! One that you’d want to experience every once in a while in your hectic lifestyle.

7. Soothes Pain

Most emotional repercussions of kissing are interrelated and amplify each other, as do its physiological effects.

With relaxed nerves and lower body pressure, kissing also helps alleviate any physical pains or cramps that you are experiencing.

Kissing’s ability to soothe pain can make you seek it whenever you are in discomfort or associate more and more positive responses to the act.

Next time you find your partner hurt, leave behind a little kiss and make them fall in love with you just a little more each time.

Soothes Pain

8. Reduces Stress and Anxiety

In addition to increasing dopamine and oxytocin (the love hormone), kissing also leads to an increase in serotonin. Serotonin makes you happier and feel lighter.

A serotonin boost is exactly what you need when you have been feeling low for a long time.

But that’s not all. Kissing frequently or for an extended period, particularly with the same partner, is also associated with lower cortisol levels.

High levels of cortisol are the devils worsening several stress-related health problems. Kissing isn’t only making you happier. It’s making you healthier.

9. Heightens Awareness

Most people might not consider kissing a meditative act, and of course, it’s not a substitute for daily practices- we wish!

Still, kissing does make you more aware of it, and you feel extremely stimulated for a while.

With heightened sensations near the lips and activated nerves, most people submerge all their attention into the act.

You zero in on the moment so that it can feel like there is nothing outside the two of you for a moment.

What supplements this addiction through awareness is your desire to forget all the bad. Just the way many crave alcohol to zone out for just once, kissing can leave you feeling the same.

10. A Cue for Jumping Into Bed

Here’s the obvious part – kissing is addictive because it increases your prospects of mating. Intimate, lip-to-lip, passionate kisses turn you on and are one of the most direct cues that it’s time to make love.

It’s no surprise that we are biologically wired to be attracted to and addicted to activities that indicate taking the species forward.

Outside the survival jazz, and in layman’s terms, kissing is addictive because engaging in erotic activities is.

We all know how one thing leads to another, and for that to happen, you’ve got to get it going in the first place. How do you get it going? You kiss, simple as that.


Whether you’re kissing a romantic partner on the lips, or kissing your child on the cheeks, kissing anyone has a positive response. We love it, there’s no denying it.

We feel like we belong, have someone to love and be loved by, and we feel validated. But what makes kissing addictive can also clue you into what makes bad kissing experiences or bad relationships.

If it doesn’t make you happy or excited and make you want more – that’s something to think about.

Shashank Verma

A trained theatre actor and a STEM graduate who brings perspectives and methods from these worlds into dating and relationships. Also a big time Krav Maga enthusiast and practitioner.

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