on sexual habits/customs outside of America, which sort of devolved into a bunch of people making generalizations about sex in various countries based on the one, two, or at best handful of people they’ve slept with from that country, which isn’t really valid for a myriad of reasons, fine. [But, I’m not going to lie, it DOES make me want to hook up with more international people…in a way that doesn’t bear any resemblance to sex tourism, though.]
But one major theme that developed in the thread was the significance of kissing. Evidently, in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, kissing is often considered to be at the same “level” as having sex. So, like, at the end of a date that has gone well, there is often no expectation of a goodnight kiss, according to lots of European Redditors. An attempt at a goodnight kiss might, in fact, be met with rejection, shock, and horror, as a kiss at the front door is more often an invitation to come inside than a goodbye across the pond. There were even some commenters from Eastern Europe who said that they find kissing to be MORE INTIMATE than having sex, and that they had on occasion had sex with people they hadn’t kissed, because sex can be just about the orgasms but the pleasure one derives from kissing is more psychological than physiological.
My initial reaction was like, MIND=BLOWN with a tad bit of “White folks be cray” thrown in for good measure. Maybe the gene(s) that controsl lip sensitivity is more dominant in the Western Hemisphere or something, because kissing is near the top of my favorite recreational activities list. If I think you’re a cool person or/and I think you’re attractive [I say or/and because it really doesn’t need to be both, lol] and the opportunity for some casual kissing presents itself, hell yeah I’m probably going to take that opportunity. Kissing is fun. Idk what you’re doing, Europe. And THEN the entire concept of sex without kissing was like, almost too much for me to handle. I thought that was some shit Pretty Woman made up because it sounded like a rule a sex worker could have if you know nothing about sex work. Nothing in my understanding of how sex happens can figure out how one skips from being to people hanging out fully clothed to mashing genitals without making a pit stop at kissing. For me, kissing is like, a raw embodiment of lust–it’s the thing that says I want you, or at the very least, I want to explore you. You can either gradually build up to it such that the actual kissing is like a release or it can take you by surprise, and either way you can throw your whole self into it pretty much regardless of where you are. That moment when I’ve been making out with a guy and he brings my hand down to feel that I have his, uh, full attention without fail makes me want to lose the rest of my clothes then and there…
…which brings me to my next realization: that I don’t really find anything strange about the “Well, if we’re making out, we might as well have sex!” idea. Since I have become a person who has sex outside of relationships, when I start making out with a person for the first time, I’m always at least entertaining the idea of turning out makeout session into a full-fledged hookup, though I would be perfectly content to just make out. It has thus far in my life always been true that if I’m fine with you pushing me up against the wall and kissing me like you mean it, then I’d be fine with taking you back to my place and fucking your brains out. The latter hasn’t always happened, but it was definitely on the table for me.
I only see it working in terms of hookups, though. In terms of relationships that develop over time spans of more than a few hours, I feel like it would be strange to have a really good date or two and not kiss my date goodnight. And while I’m certainly not against first or second date sex, I’m also not unequivocally for it. I have swallowed a cultural notion that when it comes to Relationships, it should take Time to progress to various levels of sexytime, and making out and sex are definitely not at the same level.
This double-standard intrigues me. Part of me wants to say that in Relationships, I feel like I should take time to explore and get to know my partner so that sexytimes can have meaning or at least emotion. The rest of me thinks anything that I express using the phrase “I feel like I should…” is highly likely to be euphemism for some patriarchal bullshit.