Besame Mucho

056 Besame MuchoDifferent gestures and body language are always of help when we would like to show our respect to someone, to greet somebody, to express our love and affection to the people we love. These sometimes secret signals vary from continent to continent, from country to country, from nation to nation. But there is no doubt that a kiss has always been that sign which has combined diverse feelings and emotions and has been widely spread out both in informal and formal situations ever since.

As our historic heritage (especially here, in Europe) is due to two great ancient civilizations, i.e. the Greek and Roman, here is what we have adopted from the authentic representatives of the Roman Empire.

They were aware of three types of kisses. Their classical love kiss was called basium and it was shared between lovers, i.e. him and her (and not only 😉 ) . It was a gentle and thrilling kiss full of emotions and feelings and the two partners always leaned their faces to the right as we do it nowadays, actually.

Then they recognized an osculum – the respectful and delicate kiss between relatives. In the very beginning it was the kiss of investigation. Surely, you will ask me why. Well, when a husband or any of the relatives gave an osculum to a woman, they always aimed at verifying whether she had drunk wine or not by “checking” and “controlling” her breathe. Hm! Today such kisses are not very common in our society. Don’t you think?

And finally, savium existed. It was the erotic and lascivious kiss between two partners when they were captured by Eros or when  they received the gifts of Venus influenced by Bacchus and Dionysus.  A proposito, this type of kiss was very common especially during ancient Roman fabulous parties when flirts started with a distant savium, i.e. a man had a sip and his lips touched the exact place of the glass from which his future lover had just drunk.

And what happens nowadays? Of course, we kiss one another on different occasions. We always exchange a certain number of kisses with our friends and relatives when we meet them after some time. Principally, the number depends on the country, region and even age. For example, in Italy young people kiss each other three times while older folks give only two kisses. And only one family kiss is given to the members of the family when they live together and meet every day.

As to the body parts where kisses are given to, well, the most common kiss is on the cheek, as we all know. The rule is just to touch the other person’s cheek without kissing it. I always break that rule myself since I am of the opinion that it’s not a kiss at all. It’s like a lip kiss without any touches of the lips (even if a lip kiss is between men, as the tradition is in some countries). And in the end, if we would like to avoid any too close kisses, we can just stick to hand-kissing.

Finally, my humble piece of advice is to practise kissing one another. It is very important especially for you, dear ladies, since a one-minute kiss will burn about 50 calories and you will avoid going to the gym or doing tedious exercises at home. Moreover, both of you will get a great satisfaction because when you kiss one another, you both produce “love hormone”, i.e. oxytocin.


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