Kissing seems universal, but not everyone around the world considers it foreplay.
It's something I had never really thought about, until I started talking to a woman from a village near New Delhi. The newlywed was trying hard to come to terms with her husband's peculiar habit of wanting to lock lips with her. "He says they do this in the cities," she said, shyly. "But I don't enjoy it..."
This might sound surprising to most of us who take kissing for granted and suppose it is a universal practice. But I have since learned that many men and women in the rural belts of India do not kiss each other. In fact, many of them find the idea of exchanging saliva quite repulsive. Sex is a straightforward affair for many of them, without much foreplay or fuss.
A little more reading on the subject revealed to me that Indian villages are not the only ones untouched by kissing. An article published in the Orlando Sentinel suggests that even as late as the early 1990s, there are several non-kissing communities, including: rural native tribes of South America, people in rural areas of Zaire, Nigeria and Kenya, some Polynesian cultures and Australian aborigines.
According to the New York Times, in 1990, an editorial in a Beijing newspaper urged Chinese citizens not to take up, among other things, the "vulgar practice" of kissing.
But according to some research, kissing can help us find the right partner and keep him or her.
Kissing provides vital sensory clues about your partner — taste, touch, smell, and the feeling that you fit together (or don't fit together). Does this mean that non-kissers have a higher chance of ending up with the wrong partner?
Perhaps there isn't a simple answer. But I do want to know why so many people on the planet prefer not to kiss, if it is supposed to be such a universal act.
It would be interesting to hear your thoughts.