A recently commissioned study of 2,000 Brits who claimed to have found “The One” discovered the average woman kissed 15 people before she found her life partner. That number seems remarkably low! Some of the study’s other findings seem more accurate: people were cheated on once, cheated on another person once, and were in a long distance relationship once, because once is enough to figure out all of these things are terrible. But only kissing 15 people before you swear to kiss one single person for the rest of your life? That statistic actually depresses me.
Kissing is amazing. It is also deeply weird: you are basically mashing your lips against someone else’s lips, and also putting your tongue in their mouth, and scientists still aren’t entirely certain why we do it. So maybe the good single people of the world need to take it upon themselves to solve this mystery by kissing way, way more people.
I’ve kissed a lot of people! I’ve kissed plenty of my friends: sometimes it was silly and messy and platonic, sometimes it was so intensely intimate that we got spooked and never spoke of it again. I’ve kissed plenty of men after dates: sometimes the best part of the whole night is standing in the sidewalk kissing goodbye, knowing you’re that couple making people awkwardly walk around you and not caring at all. I’ve kissed plenty of strangers in bars and nightclubs and at music festivals, and sometimes they became my friend or my boyfriend and sometimes I never saw them again, and it didn’t ever matter.
Kissing someone isn’t like sleeping with them. Kissing doesn’t have any meaning in and of itself except “I want to kiss you,” while even the most casual sex is weighted with some implicit trust. And you can do it without getting naked, which is important. A kiss can mean I love you, or You’re my friend and I’ve had too many mojitos, or I want to sleep with you, or you’re gorgeous and I’m never going to see you again so why not?
The study averages out the experiences of 2,000 participants, so there are going to be some high-octane kissers balancing out the less kiss-happy participants. A extremely unscientific poll I did on my own found our estimates ranged from “more than 15” to “hundreds,” with most falling squarely in the 30 to 50 range. Obviously it is deeply uncool to pass judgement on other people’s sexual experiences and preferences, but I feel safe in saying that we should all be kissing more. Kiss everyone. Unless you’re in a relationship, then just kiss that person (and if you are in a relationship where it’s okay to kiss other people, you should be exercising that right). But if you aren’t, you must take up the mantle for the rest of us, and go forth into the world, and put your lips on other people’s lips. Take your Vitamin C, cause even cute people can give you a cold, and then kiss everyone.