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Consent, Intent, & Boundaries: Kiss
Audio Clip

My Body is Your Body is Everybody is Nobody Performance 4: The Kiss
Verb: touching or pressing one’s lips against another person or object
Intent (duration, pressure, repetition, & location)
Loving, respecting, greeting, comforting,
healing, nurturing, subjugating, intimidating, passionate, affectionate,
When was the last time you were kissed?
Where on your body were you kissed? Your face?
Your shoulder?
Your hand?
Somewhere else?
Kissing as a topic invariably leads to discussions about sex, but I have found that most of the kisses I receive are not sexual in nature at all.
We are quick to forget all of the social kisses that our culture encourages. We kiss on the cheek to greet each other.
Formal greetings include a kiss on the hand.
A minor injury can be followed by a kiss from a loved one.
We kiss children’s and lover’s foreheads to check their temperature or offer a sense of security.
We kiss shoulders to show affection.
We kiss quickly and repeatedly to flirt.
A kiss can also signify a mark. Judas kissed Jesus as a form of betrayal. In the Godfather movies, a kiss on the cheek make you a marked man, destined for death.
Where were you kissed growing up? How many family gatherings began and ended with a gauntlet of kisses?
Did your cheeks ever sting?
Do you remember trying to wipe away all those kisses once you were safely in the car?
Our society puts a lot of emphasis on the ‘first kiss’. While we have been kissing and kissed for all of our lifetimes, it is the first kiss with sexual intent that we use as a milestone. It is a method for demarcating the transition to adolescence.
Society simultaneously fetishizes and condemns this moment. We route for the young lovers on TV and in the movies. But when it’s our own children, it can be too soon,
not the right person,
you must consider your reputation.
That is, of course, if you’re female.
The first kiss milestone is fraught for young femmes. It’s society’s sexual awakening of the innocent virgin. The moment that ignites a fire between the thighs.
Where as for young males or ‘tomboys’, it’s a right of passage. Proof of future virility.
The first conquest.
Kissing is a common way for lovers to explore their bodies. Lips, with their multitude of nerve endings, map the body in their own unique way. They sofly envelop a swath of skin, pressing flesh against flesh with a furnace between the folds.
Kissing remains one of the most persistent signs of love, affection, and care as we age. In addition to our lovers, we kiss our aging family members, new babies, even our pets. We kiss to stay connected as the years march on.
How will you approach the kiss?
Where on my body will you aim for?
Will it be a long kiss?
Will it be a series of short staccato kisses? Will you go for my forehead?
My cheek?
My shoulders? My lips?
My feet?
Will you kiss me and run off?
Will you linger?
Do you expect me to kiss you back?