Monday, December 29, 2008

Kissing spots on the face, and what they mean to me. I have considered the import of social kisses in the past, most notably in my extremely vital sociological research project. But now I would like to talk about the locations on my face that people aim for, and what I think of them. I have used a picture of Scarlett Johansson to illustrate the various spots.

1. Forehead
It always irritates me when people kiss me on the forehead. It comes across as very paternalistic, as if I were a small child being rewarded for being adorable. It also makes me feel physically small, because the people who do this are usually taller than me. Something else of this ilk is when someone grabs me by the chin. I understand that some people might regard this as a tender, intimate gesture, but apart from feeling absolutely fucking mortified when someone touches my chin, I can't help but remember how Mrs Allan, the mean Grade 3 teacher at my primary school, used to squish naughty children's chins in a fierce grip. (That shit would never fly in these paedophile-paranoid, anti-tactile times.)

2. Temple
I usually get the temple kiss when someone is coming to kiss me from behind and I have to turn my head to meet the kiss, making the temple the first point of contact. Sometimes the temple kiss is also part of a hug, either when the person is on their way to hug me, or when they're releasing me from the hug.

3. Cheek
This is the basic place for social kisses, and I've already written enough about it in previous blog posts. However I really think I might try proffering my left cheek rather than my right, to see how people respond.

4. Cheeko-Moutho
This tantalising spot is, as the name implies, too low to be the cheek yet is not quite on the mouth either. The best cheeko-moutho kisses graze the corner of the mouth. They are shy, ambiguous and elliptical. They are possibly my favourite kind of kisses.

5. Mouth
Apparently in the Olden Days a mouth-kiss between men was like a handshake is today, but I am still not used to being kissed on the mouth in a social situation. Its sexual connotation is inescapable, which is why I feel uncomfortable when someone who is not sexually available to me kisses me in this way. Also, remember that episode of Seinfeld where they debated the significance of the Open Lip Kiss?

6. Neck
I have been kissed on the neck a few times and I always felt that it was inadvertent; that the kisser was aiming for somewhere else and missed. But I do like the neck kiss. Even though it ought to be even more sexually overt than the mouth kiss, for some reason it isn't, perhaps because the other person's face is averted from mine.

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