For the project World Kiss Day (on Sunday July 6th), a friend asked me to write a blog about what a kiss means to me. Other people are contributing in their own way, to stop and think about kissing for kissing’s sake. If you are taking part in the Kissing Mob in Rotterdam at the Pathe Schouwburgplein today at noon, or if you are participating in any other way, be sure to use the hashtags: #KSSNG, #SignOfLove & #WorldKissDay on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram.
Now I have to say that, until he approached me for this, I had never even heard about an international day dedicated to bring awareness to.. kissing! 🙂 In light of this day, I’ve created a YouTube playlist with songs about kissing. If you want to listen to it, just click here. The title of this blog post by the way, is taken from a Gilbert O’Sullivan song called “What’s in a kiss”.
Of course there are many types of kisses, and many situations in which people kiss each other. Let me list a few of the most common kisses for you below.
- There are cheek kisses; which you usually give to acquaintances and friends.
- A quick peck on the lips; often given in many different situations (by parents to their kids, by friends or by lovers).
- Forehead kisses; usually given out of affection from one friend to another or from a parent to a child.
- French kisses (a.k.a. Tonsil Hockey); the type of kisses you give your love (or lust) interest.
- Air kisses; the ones you blow to someone from the palm of your hand, or the ones you place just next to someone’s cheek in the air, so you won’t ruin your lipstick, or so you don’t leave a lipstick mark on their cheek.
- Hand kisses; a gesture of courtesy or admiration, mostly given by a man to a woman.
- The Eskimo kiss; where friends, or family members, rub noses against each other.
- Butterfly kisses; where you blink your eye lashes very quickly – like butterfly wings – against a loved one’s cheek.
- Sloppy kiss; a wet and slobbering kind of kiss.
- Ass kissing; (figuratively speaking) 🙂 a way of kissing up to someone, to get in their favor in order to get a promotion or for other reasons.
I feel that it’s a natural desire for people to caress something (or someone) they are fond of with their lips, to show their affection and happiness. That explains why it’s so hard not kiss a cute baby when you are holding one in your arms. They are so sweet and lovely, that you simply feel the need to express those loving feelings by planting tiny kisses on their cute, soft, chubby baby cheeks. Or how about when your sports team won a gold cup or medal and you are so outrageously happy, that you kiss the object of your success?
When it comes to greeting someone and optionally giving (or receiving) cheek kisses, I have often experienced some awkward-ish situations. Either because:
- of cultural differences when it is or is not appropriate to give a cheek kiss,
- because you’re not sure if the other person will or will not reciprocate the kisses,
- or because the amount of cheek kisses are different, depending on where you are from.
For instance: in The Netherlands people are accustomed to share three cheek kisses (starting with the right cheek and ending on the right cheek) when greeting a friend or relative hello or goodbye. In Arab countries (I’ve been told) they share four cheek kisses, and it’s not strange for men to exchange cheek kisses with each other. In the UK, France and Spain they usually give two cheek kisses. And in the US I think it’s just one kiss on the cheek. The awkwardness arises (as you can probably guess by now), when you extend your cheek for another kiss, while the other person has already stopped kissing. So you are left hanging mid kiss, as it were. It makes for some funny conversations about the differences per country though, and I often just joke about it and laugh it off. 🙂
I think the way you have been raised, and your culture, largely determines how you feel about kissing in general. For me personally for instance, a quick peck on the lips is not the way I choose to kiss my kids. I know many people who do kiss their kids on the lips, and that’s totally up to them to decide, but for me that’s not the way I choose to express my love to them. In my opinion, a kiss on the lips is more of an exchange of love between two people in a romantic relationship.
I am aware that there are quite some people ‘out there’ who also have no problem French kissing someone they do not have any romantic involvement with. Especially for instance when they are out partying and drinking and when acting on impulse hence is a given. Once again, from my perspective (which is what this blog post is about anyway) I feel that French kissing someone is a very personal thing, and it’s not something that should take place without having some kind of a connection with someone.
Now, am I old fashioned for feeling this way? To a lot of people the answer to this question probably is: YES! But do I really care if I am considered old fashioned? My answer to that is: NOPE! 🙂 Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my upbringing or maybe it’s just my life experience in general so far, but I feel that it’s not just the act of kissing as much as the intensity and feeling you also put into it. When you French kiss someone, you should do so from the heart, and because it’s so intimate, you should definitely choose carefully who you wish to share this with.
To me kissing is a natural and intimate sign of love and the best feeling in the world is when someone knows not just how to kiss your lips, but how to kiss your soul. ❤