A video (called ‘First Kiss) by writer and director Tatia PIlieva, of complete strangers kissing each other, surfaced the internet a few months ago and was seen by as much as 86 million people (and counting). The concept of the video was to put sets of two people, who had never met each other before, into a room and in front of a camera, with the objective of having them (French) kiss each other. The video was so popular that (of course) it caused a number of parodies to be recorded and uploaded to YouTube. Like THIS “First Lick” parody from the Jimmy Fallon show, THIS “First Shit” parody one by Funny or Die, THIS “First Handjob” parody one by Pimms Girl and not to forget, THIS “First Blowjob” parody one by The Crazy Gorilla.
The video was viewed by many with an enormous amount of curiosity. It felt like legitimate voyeurism, since you as the viewer were sitting first row and watching them share an intimate sexual moment with a complete stranger. What made it more interesting was that this was not a scripted video and the people in the video were not actors, but they were real people, just like you and me.
When I learned about the concept, all sorts of questions entered my mind. What if they were not physically attracted the other person and it was completely not the type of person they would normally kiss? What if the other person had really bad breath? Could they still back out? I guess those cases probably ended on the cutting room floor.
The three and a half minute video was shot entirely in black and white, there was some romantic music playing in the background and you could watch them meet each other for the first time on camera. All this made you as the viewer aware of how uncomfortable they initially felt with the situation and I guess it makes you think how you would respond in the same situation. So to a certain extent it played on relatability for the awkward situation and your empathy for another person.
I remember when I first saw this on Facebook. One of my FB friends shared it and the narrative said something along the lines of this being a fun or special concept. That certainly influenced the way I looked at it a bit, because my initial response to it, without that person’s introduction, would probably have been more in the lines of: “What the *bleep*?”
So I sat down and watched the video with a preconceived idea in my mind, all the while doing my best to keep an open mind. A contradiction you say? Yeah, I know. 🙂
I noticed that, as the video progressed, I started losing sight of the fact that they were strangers, and I started watching it as though I was watching a movie with two actors kissing each other in a romantic scene. I guess the black and white feel of the video and the music/song made it feel more acceptable than under other circumstances. Seeing the people’s real time reaction in the video, during and after the kiss, pulled me back into the realization again of what this was all about.
So, how do I feel about this experiment? Do I think it’s kinda weird? Do I think it’s interesting to see how strangers can engage in something that most people consider to be very intimate and reserved only for those they love? A little bit of both actually. I don’t live in a bubble and I know that there are many people out there who have absolutely no problem with being intimate with someone they just met. I know that sex and intimacy do not mean the same thing to everyone, as everyone has their own set of values and standards. I think it’s not the type of experiment I would sign up for, but I do find it interesting to see how a human beings can instinctively respond to another human’s gentle touch and kisses, albeit with a complete stranger.
We are taught to behave a certain way from a young age and we are instructed what good and bad values are. I think everyone should figure out what fits them and their lifestyle best. Just because it’s not for you, does not mean it can’t be something someone else enjoys doing. As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, that’s completely their liberty to decide.
To take it up a notch Ms Pilieva recently released a new video, where two strangers do not just kiss each other. (In fact that’s not even how it starts.) Their task is to undress a complete stranger and have the stranger undress them. And after that they literally jump into bed with each other and they just see what happens next. If you thought the First Kiss video was unusual and special, I’m sure this new video will spark your interest too. 🙂
No virtual hugs or kisses from me this time; just a firm handshake. 🙂