If like us, you’ve always wondered why we close our eyes when kissing, then (well first of all, you probably need to get out more) your inquisitive mind’s about to be satisfied. Science to the rescue! According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, there’s a lot more to shutting our peppers than the weirdness of eyeballing someone at that proximity while your tongue finds its way around their mouth. It’s because our brain finds it rather difficult to focus on or enjoy a particularly sensory experience if we’re distracted by visual stimuli. We close our eyes so that we can really feel the kiss and experience all of its magic (or grossness, depending on who you’re kissing) which wouldn’t be possible if we were posed like a deer caught in headlights.
Psychologists Polly Dalton and Sandra Murphy arrived at this conclusion after setting a series of experiments in which participants were asked to try out various letter-searching tasks. As they carried out the experiment, a small vibration was applied to the participants’ hands. Interestingly, the researchers found that when their guinea pigs were hard at work on a difficult letter search, meaning their eyes were very busy, their awareness of the vibration on their hands was significantly reduced. Though we like to think we’re multi-tasking superheroes, the truth is when it comes to sensory experiences, our brains can really only focus on one thing at a time, to truly reap the benefits.
Conversely, what we want to know is whether or not you can also take someone keeping their eyes open as a sign that they’re just not into it. It’s certainly one way to go about putting you off, that’s for sure.