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Forget the romance: 'The Science of Kissing' is a bit dry

February 14, 2011 |  1:29 pm

ScienceofkissingTo celebrate Valentine's Day, Jessica Gelt takes a look in our pages at the book "The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us" by Sheril Kirshenbaum. The conclusion, she finds, is that "despite its exalted status as one of the world's most passionate activities, the kiss has evolved for a single blind purpose: to get you into bed so you can propagate the species."

Gelt continues:

Although the information in part one about the kissing, sniffing and licking practices of our ancestors is interesting, it falls flat compared with part two.

It's when Kirshenbaum slogs through saliva, looking for clues to human attraction in tastes, hormones and smells, that she gets to third base....

When Kirshenbaum embraces the titillating subject matter with an earthy Henry Miller sense of sexual joie de vivre, "The Science of Kissing" shows flashes of greatness, but all too often she veers back into family friendly territory. And sadly, for such wet subject matter, the book reads a bit dry.

Read more about Kirshenbaum's scientific investigation of lip-locking romance in Gelt's review of "The Science of Kissing" here.

-- Carolyn Kellogg