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Why Guinness discontinued the ‘longest kiss world’ record

The longest kiss ever lasted 58 hours 35 minutes, achieved by Thai couple Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat.

The superlative smooch took place at an event organised by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Pattaya, Thailand, beginning on 12 February 2013 and ending two days later, on Valentine’s Day.

Nine couples entered the annual competition, including one in their 70s (who only lasted one hour 38 minutes due to the husband’s inability to stand any longer).

Four couples remained when the previous record of 50 hours 25 minutes (set one year earlier by two Thai men) was broken.

Ekkachai and Laksana – who had set the record once before in 2011 – ultimately won the contest, scooping the grand prize of 100,000 Thai Baht ($3,300; £2,131) and two diamond rings worth 100,000 Baht.

However, soon after, Guinness World Records deactivated the record category. “We did this because the competition had become too dangerous, and some of the rules conflicted with our current, updated policies,” GWR says.

Here were the rules of the record, which all challengers were required to follow:

  • The kiss must be continuous and the lips must be touching at all times. If the lips part, the couple are immediately disqualified.
  • Contestants may consume liquids via a straw during the attempt, but again, the lips must not part.
  • The couple must be awake at all times.
  • The contestants must stand during the attempt and cannot be propped together by any aids.
  • No rest breaks are allowed.
  • Adult nappies/diapers or incontinence pads are not allowed to be worn.
  • Couples were allowed to use the toilet, however, they were required to remain kissing while doing so. They were kept under the watchful eye of an accompanying referee to ensure there was no cheating.

As the record to beat became longer and longer, and because rest breaks were not permitted, participants were prone to succumbing to the dangers associated with sleep deprivation, such as psychosis.

There had already been several instances of kissing-contest competitors suffering ill effects during previous record attempts.

For example, the record holders in 1999, Karmit Tzubera and Dror Orpaz (Israel) were barely conscious after kissing for 30 hours 45 minutes. They almost fainted after winning the contest and were promptly rushed to the hospital, where they were treated for fatigue. Their prize for winning was a trip around the world and $2,500 (£1,525) in cash.

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In 2004, 37-year-old Andrea Sarti (Italy) had to be resuscitated with oxygen after kissing his girlfriend, Anna Chen (Thailand), for 31 hours 18 minutes. He suffered muscle cramps during the attempt and needed Anna to massage him to alleviate the pain.

One woman, participating in a contest in 2011, passed out after just 30 minutes.

Although GWR no longer monitors the longest kiss record, they have replaced it with something else: the longest kissing marathon.

“The crucial difference, as with all our ‘longest marathon’ records, is that challengers are permitted rest breaks. After every continuous hour of kissing, challengers earn five minutes of rest, which can be accumulated if not used.

“Challengers are allowed to sleep, eat, and separate their lips during these rest breaks, mitigating the risk of passing out, suffering psychosis, or requiring resuscitation,” GWR explains.

There is no current record holder for the longest kissing marathon. Could you be the first?

History of the longest kiss world record
March 1998: Mark and Roberta Griswold of Michigan, USA, kissed continuously for 29 hours at the ‘Breath Savers Longest Kiss Challenge’ in New York City, winning a one-week trip to Paris. The competing couples qualified by winning regional kissing contests which were held all around the USA.

April 1999: Israeli couple Karmit Tzubera and Dror Orpaz were the winners of a kissing contest held in Tel-Aviv, Israel, after kissing for 30 hours 45 minutes. As previously mentioned, they were rushed to hospital afterwards, and won a trip around the world as well as $2,500 in cash.

December 2001: American couple Louisa Almedovar, 19, and Rich Langley, 22, locked lips for 30 hours 59 minutes at the television studios of the Ricki Lake talk show in New York City.

February 2004: Italian lorry driver Andrea Sarti, 37, and his girlfriend Anna Chen, 26, of Thailand, kissed for 31 hours 18 minutes, winning a contest held in Vincenza, Italy.

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July 2005: English couple James Belshaw and Sophia Severin kissed continuously for 31 hours 30 minutes at the Plaza Shopping Centre in London. During the second day of their attempt, the tragic 7 July bombings occurred, including one blast on a bus less than a mile away at Tavistock Place.

February 2009: Nikola Matovic and Kristina Reinhart of Germany kissed for 32 hours 7 minutes at the Hamburger Hof Shopping Centre in Hamburg, Germany.

February 2011: Married Thai couple Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat kissed for 46 hours 24 minutes at an event hosted by Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks in Pattaya, Thailand. They won a diamond ring worth 50,000 Thai Baht and a 100,000 Baht cash prize.

February 2012: The only gay couple to hold this record, Nonthawat Charoenkaesornsin and Thanakorn Sitthiamthong, kissed for 50 hours 25 minutes at an event organised by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Pattaya, Thailand. They were awarded two diamond rings; 100,000 Baht; and a gift voucher for a five-star hotel in Phuket.

February 2013: Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat won back the record, along with the aforementioned prizes, after kissing for 58 hours 35 minutes, becoming the final holders of this record before its deactivation.

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