Apparently, according to Donald Richie, kissing (touching lips) in Japan and China may have happened in private. But in public, never. That  became the ‘invisible kiss. But here in the West there was nothing invisible about it. (

The kiss of Peace and Friendship, The kiss-and-make up kiss. My mom made my brother kiss and make up. It was a long time in coming but it happened. A quick peck on the cheek and done.  This was also used after signing treaties as a peck on the cheek.  Sometimes done after combat or forgiveness, after baptism, marriage, confession. Everyone kissing each other because they are happy…it’s over or something special happened or just plain glad to see ya.

Kiss of Affection, and Greeting  The ‘hello-how-are-you, goo-to-see-you’ kiss. The one grandma plants on all grandchildren, hopefully with fresh lipstick.  But do not mistake it for the ‘Judas Kiss’ as the one Jesus received. I would also call that one the Godfather Kiss.

Ritual and Respect Kiss that all religions share. AS well as historical leaders and kings. See Rome

Sexual and Romantic kiss  We’ve gone over this with Balder and mistletoe as well as histories laws and customs since the caveman.

But what about the

MOVIE KISS  We all know that one isn’t real. It’s fake.   The first romantic kiss on screen was in the American silent film, 1896, The Kiss. 30 seconds and a firestorm of dissent blew up around the world. “How dare they!”

According to Louis Black, American movie brought what was supposed to be that ‘invisible kiss’ “ out of the Dark Ages “and onto the screen.  But not easily. It was met with hostility, public defenders, horror to the point of calling the police.  

Rudolph Valentino, (he sounds Roman) began his romantic scenes with a kiss first to her hand, traveling up her arm, to the back of her neck and voila.  And actresses like Greta Garbo enjoyed it, only to become screen idols. Thus copied by young viewers.

Then in 1934  A production code was established by the film industry. Overseen by Will hays and supported by the church.. that ‘excessive and lustful kissing, lustful embraces, suggestive posture and gestures, are not to be shown.  The camera must cut away. Actors must keep their feet on the grown, be standing or sitting. Nothing more. I remember television shows in the master bed room with twin beds.

During the 1930s and 40s and  the Golden Age of Hollywood, body language was added to the kiss especially the eyes. Men were perceived as the kisser and the woman the receiver. No, the other way around! Or she was a ‘vamp’. 

The films seen with the most romantic kisses  of the time were in Gone with the Wind, From here to Eternity, Casablanca, and To Have and Have not. During the 1930, romantic plots were the number one bestseller. I’d say times have changed a slight bit. But love and kissing I don’t think is gonna stop any time soon.

So, enjoy kissing. But, do so carefully. It can be dangerous because as you can see. It’s been powerful all through history. 

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