From Brain Pickings:
by Maria Popova
Oxytocin, dopamine, and what the hineys of monkeys have to do with the faces of our lovers.
“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves,” Einstein allegedly smirked. “Like a bee that settles on the fragrant pistils of a flower, and sips in the nectar for honey, so should you sip in the nectar from between the lips of your love,”Hugh Morris counseled in The Art of Kissing, his entertaining 1936 guide for lovers. The first kiss in cinema both scandalized and tantalized audiences when it appeared on the silver screen in 1896. But why, exactly, do we like kissing so much?/.../
How Thomas Edison made the kiss Hollywood’s favorite audience-courting device.
Thomas Edison is responsible for some of the most significant technological innovations of modern history, and is even credited as theinventor of the movie industry itself. But besides his visionary take on technology, he also had a keen eye for what audiences wanted, from his YouTube-like 1984 boxing cats to his 1901 footage of legendary aerialist Charmion’s trapeze strip-tease. It comes as no surprise, then, that Edison is also responsible for the very first on-screen kiss in cinema, featuring Canadian actress May Irwin. A mere 23 seconds in length, it was filmed in his Black Maria studio in New Jersey in 1896., at a time when public kissing was greatly frowned upon by Victorian society. In that era, the act of kissing was referred to as “sparkin’” if it took place indoors, usually the parlor, or “spoonin’” when performed outdoors, in a secluded spot far from the public’s eye./.../