New research shows that women prefer men with dissimilar histocompatibility, in other words a completely different genetic make-up to their own, and that a kiss is the first way that couples unknowingly (even if things go no further) test their immune systems’ ability to produce healthy offspring. And a Chinese inventor, inspired by being separated from his love during lockdown, has come up with a machine nicknamed the MUA – for the sound we make when kissing – that allows us to kiss long-distance. Relationships expert Lisa Holley Palmer explains the latest science
behind the sweet sensation of a loving kiss.
As the days gradually lengthen and temperatures begin to rise, the arrival of spring brings about a renewed sense of enthusiasm and optimism for many. This season can have a positive impact on single individuals who are dating, as the lighter evenings and warmer weather provide a more conducive environment for romance to bloom.
By contrast, autumn and winter can be more challenging times to date, with the looming pressure of what is known in old African-American usage as the “cuffing season”, where one would rather be “snuggled warm in bed with the love of my life” than actively going out to find that special person. As the days get shorter and colder, there is also the feeling of being unmotivated.
Fortunately, dating is becoming less complicated and technology is helping people to become more proactive in seeking romantic partners. Using a dating website or app also offers everyone a wider choice. However, it’s important to keep in mind that finding the right person may take time and effort. It’s essential to focus on different people and cut ties with those who won’t commit.
Instead, write down the qualities and attributes you want to attract in a partner and how you want your romantic relationship to feel. If the people you date don’t display those qualities, it’s best to walk away before becoming too emotionally invested.
In terms of taking care of oneself during this time of year, one small way to give yourself a pick-me-up after a long day is by taking flaxseed. Flaxseed is an amazing organic source of Vitamin D that provides a natural energy boost, and it’s a recommendation that I often make to my clients.
Moving on to the science of romance, when it comes to kissing, two things happen. First, a kiss can act as an aphrodisiac as male saliva contains trace amounts of testosterone that can boost sex drive. Additionally, women’s sense of taste and smell are especially attuned to something called the Major Histocompatibility Complex, or MHC.
This complex is responsible for our immune systems, and studies have shown that women prefer men whose MHC does not match their own. A genetic difference means less immune system overlap and a higher chance of healthier offspring, even if that’s the last thing on your mind as you lean in for that achingly romantic and longed-for first kiss.
Because a kiss puts two people in very close proximity, our sense of smell allows us to pick up subconscious clues about the other person’s DNA or reproductive status. Scientists believe that women can read a partner’s MHC in their saliva, making a bad first kiss a possible sign of a poor genetic match. However, it’s important to note that women who take the birth control pill exhibit the opposite preference!
So even though we may not be consciously aware of it, we use behaviours like kissing to judge whether to take a relationship further, based on genetic evidence. In this manner, it’s fair to say that the act of kissing serves as nature’s test pattern.
In the meantime, if you are hungry for physical affection but separated from your other half for any number of reasons, a Chinese start-up has created a new device that allows people to engage in long-distance kissing, but the concept has sparked some controversy. The inventor, Jing Zhiyuan, was inspired by the isolation and lack of physical intimacy experienced by many during lockdowns.
He named his kissing machine the Long Lost Touch and it has been making waves since its recent release. In the first fortnight after its release, the Long Lost Touch device, also known as the MUA for the sound we make when socially air-kissing, had already received over 20,000 orders.
The MUA resembles a mobile stand with realistic pursed lips protruding from the front. To use it, lovers must download an app onto their smartphones and pair their kissing machines, which they plug into the mobile charging port. They activate the device using the app, then when they kiss it, it kisses back. It also warms up slightly during kissing, making the experience more authentic.
However, some people are questioning the ethics of using such a device, as it may be seen as a form of cheating or a replacement for genuine human connection. What are your thoughts on this invention?
MUA is not the first remote kissing device. Researchers at Tokyo’s University of Electro-Communications invented a “kiss transmission machine” in 2011, and Malaysia’s Imagineering Institute made a similar gadget called The Kissinger in 2016.
Ultimately, when it comes to dating, one of the best things you can do is listen to your gut or soul when you first meet someone. If something doesn’t feel right, that feeling is there for a reason, and it’s best to trust your intuition and walk away.
As we enter this season of renewal, it’s important to keep our spirits up and take advantage of the renewed energy of springtime. So have fun, enjoy life, and keep an open mind when it comes to love.
Lisa Holley Palmer has worked with Royalty, the Rich, Famous, and on occasion Infamous!
She has spoken and appeared on all the major TV News and Entertainment channels in the UK.
She is the author of The Secrets to What Men Really Want and The D-Word. When He’s Got to Go, He’s Got to Go, a book about helping women exit and thrive beyond challenging relationships. Lisa’s latest work is as author of Snog Marry And Hide, a modern relationships guide. She also writes for the London Daily News & Imperium Luxury Magazine.
Lisa is the Cupid for Millionaires. Piers Morgan
Lisa truly is the Billionaire Matchmaker. Creator of The X-Factor and Big Brother
CEO Monthly Female CEO of the Year Awards 2022 – Dating and Relationships Expert Lisa
Winner International Businesswoman Awards 2022 – Lisa Palmer relationship expert.
Winner Lisa Palmer – Icon Awards 2023.