sex, money, and miscellany: talking about what matters

kissing in parks

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2009 at 10:15 am

When I went to France in college, there was much kissing in the parks. Very much kissing in the parks. More kissing than in the parks at home, more kissing than in the halls of the dorm, more kissing even than in the corners under the bleachers of my high school. It was more public kissing than I’d ever seen anywhere.

I thought it was so .cool. Amazing. Relieving. I mean really, what could be wrong with kissing, or with seeing people kiss? And it got me thinking, as study abroad should do: what’s so wrong with public kisses, that all of America has to send it underground, into nightclub bathrooms and shadowed restaurant booths and behind closed doors?

I’ll tell you: it turns people on. And we don’t have any cultural space for turned-on-and-living-with-it. We have cultural space for getting turned on and doing something about it, but nothing–NOTHING–for how to just enjoy it while going about your day. Nothing for having pleasure in a quotidian context. Nothing for taking responsibility for it ourselves and not turning it into a source of blame for the person or people who drew it out of us.

It’s crazy. We need to have a way to be okay with sexual pleasure that starts and stops inside our skin, with sexuality that never imposes “need” on someone else. We have to be able to sit with that lovely, expansive, sweet feeling that makes us and the whole world sparkly; that has to be an end in itself. If it isn’t, we are likely to shut down our sexual responses in an effort to “be good” or we’ll do something nonconsensual and awful, or we’ll just be miserable and cranky.

Imagine that release, orgasm, ending are not the goal. Imagine that the goal is fully contained in the here, in the now, in the glance, in the moment. Imagine…this is it.


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