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In English informal speech, French kiss refers to an amorous kiss in which the participants' tongues extend to touch the other participant's lips or tongue. The implication is of a slow, passionate kiss which is considered intimate, romantic, erotic or sexual.
A "kiss with the tongue" stimulates the partner's lips, tongue and mouth, which are sensitive to the touch. The practice is usually considered a source of pleasure. The oral zone is one of the principal erogenous zones of the body.
Anthropologists are divided into two schools on the origins of kissing, one believing that it is instinctual and intuitive and the other that it evolved from what is known as kiss feeding, a process used by mothers to feed their infants by passing chewed food to their babies' mouths.
A French kiss is so-called because at the beginning of the 20th century, the French had a reputation for more adventurous and passionate sex practices. In France, it is referred to as un baiser amoureux ("a lover's kiss") or un baiser avec la langue ("a kiss with the tongue"), even if in past times it was also known as baiser florentin ("Florentine kiss"). The Petit Robert 2014 French dictionary, released on May 30, 2013, added the French verb "galocher"—to kiss with tongues—making it the first time a single word described the practice.
According to the biologist Thierry Lodé, tongue kisses, including the exchange of saliva, allows lovers to explore the immune system in order to avoid other people who have too much genetic relatedness. Indeed, from an evolutionary point of view, the sexual partner should be different to be attractive and to provide the genetic diversity that promote the health of the immune system progeniture. The Smell Identification salivary amended by the immune system can trigger desire, love, consent and finally the sexual act itself.
- The (Mostly) Blissful History of Kissing, NPR February 11, 2007
- . (1978. First published 1977), Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behaviour, St Albans, Hertsfordshire, UK: Triad/Panther Books, pp. 51–52, ISBN 0-586-04887-1 Reprinted 2002 by Vintage as Peoplewatching. ISBN 978-0-09-942978-4
- Lodé Thierry 2006. War of sexes in Animal Kingdom, la guerre des sexes chez les animaux. Eds O Jacob, Paris ISBN : 9782738119018
- Lodé Thierry 2011 La biodiversité amoureuse, sexe et evolution. Eds O jacob, Paris ISBN : 9782738126405
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