Pecking, smooching, Frenching, and playing tonsil-hockey—there are as many names for kissing as there are ways to do it. Whether we use it as an informal greeting or an intensely romantic gesture, kissing is one of those ingrained human behaviors that seems to defy explanation. Its many purposes—a blow and peck for good luck on dice, lips to ground after a rocky boat ride, kisses in the air to an acquaintance, and the long slow smooches of Hollywood—have different meanings yet are similar in nature. So why is it that we love to pucker up?
A Kiss Isn’t Just a Kiss
Philematologists, the scientists who study kissing, aren’t exactly sure why humans started locking lips in the first place. The most likely theory is that it stems from primate mothers passing along chewed food to their toothless babies. The lip-to-lip contact may have been passed on through evolution, not only as a necessary means of survival, but also as a general way to promote social bonding and as an expression of love.
But something’s obviously happened to kissing since the time of the chewed-food pass. Now, it’s believed that kissing helps transfer critical information, rather than just meat bits. The kissing we associate with romantic courtship may help us to choose a good mate, send chemical signals, and foster long-term relationships. All of this is important in evolution’s ultimate goal—successful procreation.
Kissing allows us to get close enough to a mate to assess essential characteristics about them, none of which we’re consciously processing. Part of this information exchange is most likely facilitated by pheromones, chemical signals that are passed between animals to help send messages. We know that animals use pheromones to alert their peers of things like mating, food sources, and danger, and researchers hypothesize that pheromones can play a role in human behavior as well. Although the vomeronasal organs, which are responsible for pheromone detection and brain function in animals, are thought to be vestigial and inactive in humans, research indicates we do communicate with chemicals.
Penelope Cruz is pregnant!
A rep for the Oscar-winning actress, 36, has confirmed that she is four-and-a-half months pregnant.
Wearing a flowing top, Cruz sported a baby bump recently on the Puerto Rican set of her upcoming movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
In July, she wed Spanish actor Javier Bardem, 41, in a hush-hush wedding in the Bahamas. The two costarred in the Woody Allen comedy Vicky Cristina Barcelona, for which Cruz won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2009.
Bardem’s sister Monica recently said a baby will likely be on the way for the newlyweds.
“They have shown the world they are in love,” she told Hola!, “and it would be only normal and natural to have children.”
Following TMZ’s report that she failed a drug test — which she initially denied — the star wrote a confession on Twitter late Friday.
Lohan, 24, wrote: “Regrettably, I did in fact fail my most recent drug test and if I am asked, I am prepared to appear before judge Fox next week as a result.”
In late August, Judge Elden Fox prescribed the strict terms of supervised probation for Lohan after her release from court-mandated rehab — which included random drug testing in addition to intensive psychotherapy sessions, 12-step meetings and regular chats with a “chemical dependency mentor”. At the time, Judge Fox warned Lohan she would face 30 days in jail for any positive drug test.
“Substance abuse is a disease, which unfortunately doesn’t go away over night. I am working hard to overcome it and am taking positive steps forward every day. I am testing every single day and doing what I must do to prevent any mishaps in the future. This was certainly a setback for me but I am taking responsibility for my actions and I’m prepared to face the consequences.”
On Friday, authorities in the courts and the sheriff’s department weren’t yet aware of Lohan’s test results.
“I am so thankful for the support of my fans, loved ones and immediate family, who understand that i am trying hard, but also that I am a work in progress, just as anyone else. I am keeping my faith, and I am hopeful,” Lohan concluded. “Thank you all!!!”
Lohan’s rehab stay at UCLA Medical Center ended Aug. 24 after 23 days; earlier that month, she spent just 13 days in jail out of a 90 day sentence. (Her rehab and jail stints were related to probation violations stemming from 2007 DUI arrest.)
Lohan was spotted partying until the wee hours at NYC’s Boom Boom Room on Sept. 11. A witness said: “It looked like she didn’t want to be noticed.”