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     'Light Kissing' would typically be closed-mouth kissing that doesn't involve the tongue, or as they say, 'swapping spit' (how romantic!). 'Deep Kissing' is also known as 'French Kissing' and is done with the mouth slightly open and with the tongue reaching into the opposite mouth. There are several slang terms for it, including the aforementioned 'swapping spit' and also 'tonsil hockey'.

Negative Consequences:

     Even casual and light kissing carries some risk to it, simply because it puts you in close, intimate contact with another person (and all their germs), though this is not generally much of a deterrent unless you KNOW the other person is currently sick. Also, even light kissing carries a slight risk for catching Herpes and Scabies if kissing someone who has open sores or cuts immediately around their mouth. Before anyone completely panics about kissing ANYONE, as long as you don't kiss someone who is known to be sick (like the flu, or who has mono, etc.), and don't kiss someone with ugly, dripping, oozing, puss-filled sores right around their lips then light kissing is actually considered to be a safe behavior.

     Deep kissing carries the same risks as light kissing, plus the exchange of fluids (the aforementioned spit-swapping) increases those risks. It also allows for other sexually transmitted diseases to pass, such as Herpes Simplex Virus-2, Hepatitis B and Syphilis. The trick to dramatically lowering your risks is to really know your partner well, to know their sexual history, and to know their current health status (the couple who gets tested together doesn't get a disease together.... something like that).

Positive Consequences:

     Do we REALLY need to list the positive benefits of kissing?? Kissing and hugging are natural ways of showing love and affection between friends and family. Deep kissing is a natural way to show love and affection on a deeper and more personal level with a boyfriend or girlfriend, and is a natural stepping stone to more sexual behavior.

Specific Risks:

     Very few if you avoid kissing someone who is currently ill or has open sores around their mouth, and if you know your partner's sexual history.

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