Sydney, Oct 6 : On the party scene, lip-to-lip kissing is fast replacing the air kiss as a form of greeting.
According to the Daily Telegraph, London Fashion Week and the GQ Men of the Year Awards were rife with the highly intimate kisses.
"On the party scene, air kissing - that horrible 'mwah, mwah' used by the kind of people who know your job title and dress size but forget your name - is out," the paper said.
"Instead, there's a far worse social plague doing the rounds: being kissed on the mouth," the paper added.
Australian body language expert Allan Pease, who has been lip-kissed by a stranger twice in recent weeks, said that the new trend was fast catching on.
"I don't know where it started but it's certainly catching on. It's big in Britain and it's filtering through here too," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Pease as saying.
Pease, who wrote The Definitive Book Of Body Language with his wife Barbara, said: "We're definitely becoming more comfortable with our sexuality.
"While the origin of human mouth kissing was for force feeding your babies - whereby the mother would masticate her food and put it into her baby's mouth with her tongue - the primary purpose these days of kissing on the lips is to stimulate the genitals. Lip kissers might deny it, but it has to be sexual," he added.
However, British behavioural expert Judi James disagrees with Pease views.
"It's not a sexual thing: there is increasing evidence of it between parents and sons and daughters, as well as heterosexual men," she said.
"It's more about fast-tracking bonding and empathy," she added.
Australian social etiquette coach June Dally-Watkins is horrified with the latest fad
"No. No. No. I'm not for that," she said. "It's far too intimate. I think it's wrong. And I don't think it's healthy. My lips are special. Precious. Not even my children or grandchildren do I kiss on the lips. It should be reserved absolutely for that one special person."