Why We Kiss

An Explanation

Comments

1
You're right. The bad kissers I've kissed have turned out to be pretty unpleasant people.
2
Uh, the bad kisser reveals "his" or "her" soul, not "their" soul. Jessus Christ on a crutch, Charles, this error is throughout the essay. Have you not heard of pronoun agreement?
3
You're right. Kissing rocks is fantastic. Thank you for spreading the word.
4
Carnivorous chicken: A lot of literate people use "their" instead of "his or "her" because it fixes a sexist problem in language without resorting to clunkiness. Charles or his copy editors have made a deliberate if imperfect choice.

The meaning of "their" needs to be formally expanded to formalize this sensible accommodation.
5
A small article about the genderless pronoun...

http://articles.latimes.com/2007/feb/19/…
6
@4: It's not sexist if you write "his or her." "Their" isn't imperfect, it's plural, it's "clunkier," and it's incorrect. "Grammar nazi" accusations begin... now!
7
Are people who worry about pronoun agreement bad kissers?
8
They're singularly fantastic!
9
carnivorous chicken, puty is correct. this was a decision made by me and the copy editor, jesse. Indeed, it was jesse who won me over.
10
I knew there was a reason why I don't trust germophobes.
11
Language changes and grammatical rules follow, not the other way around. Or, the mouth leads and the rest follows.
12
The grammar nazis need to do a little more kissing with their theirfriends and a little less worrying about pronoun agreement!!!
13
"Bad kissers reveal their souls. They are bad people."

Terrible, gramatically incorrect "solution" to "sexist" speech avoided.
14
@2 and 13, Please let me know what authority determines what is grammatically correct, the source of their authority, and how I might petition them to make a change.

Until then I am going to stick with my view that grammar is simply a groups consensus on how to do things and therefor subject to change by consensus. Since the consensus seems to be that using they as a singular gender neutral pronoun is cool I'm going to use it.
15
You seem to be following your own authority as far as spelling, possessives, and comma rules, so go for it.
16
@15 Ha!
17
Nice grammar discussion, little kissing here. I prefer the latter, especially now that I learned to really put my mouth to good use.

I find it true: kissing is an act of trust. The eyes are the window to the soul. The mouth is the door.

I never consider myself or was ever considered a bad kisser --as far as I know. However, now I know what was I missing, how much mistrust filled my heart, how much trust fills it now.

Today I have a new perspective in my mouth, my kisses and my capacity to love. Don't worry, bad kissers: after all, there might be redemption for some.
18
I would rather have read an article about the evolutionary roots of kissing. Maybe like the one that Charles briefly mentions but does not even for a moment discuss.
19
This was a beautifully written piece, combining science and the magic of love and trust. @18 if you want just the facts, read Wikipedia.
21
@2: Charles is equally unaware that "it's" is a contraction meaning "it is". This guy needs a different job.
23
WOWSA! Quite an original conclusion disconnected from a discernible argument; and moreso, blithely unconcerned with a connection to the case, or truth. That this is featured is a testament to the possibility of the american dream. Don't piss on the american dream, 21...like a metaphor for neoliberalism, that, too, would inevitably lead to a nuclear meltdown. Frenching a rock is great practice for godfather reenactments,"I know it was you, Kimberlite. You broke my heart..."
24
This sheds some interesting light on why my miserable germophobe acquaintance may be unable to maintain a healthy relationship.
26
Wow, I'm amazed: a post by Mudede that was actually pleasant to read!
27
I love kissing. I've always found that if a woman is an erotic kisser, she's almost certainly going to be the same way in bed.
28
@2, 6, 21. Y'all calm down. Grammar nazie's are like nazies of grammer.

@6. Nobody would be calling you a grammar nazi if you weren't acting like a grammar nazi.

@21. I suppose you blog as much as Mudede and you have never maked a mistaked? And I'm sure you have no misconceptions about the English language either. Please come off your boringhighhorse.
29
Mr. Mudede,

I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to read in the language, time and place where your collection of these words exist. Thank you for writing them!

The placing of the monkey's finger in the other monkey's eye socket was enough to make me drop the paper in a public place and back away from the words softly crying, 'no.'

When I returned to your words, I found that my interaction with everything had changed. That instead of protective fear for the eyes in my head, I had a wonder for the trust that living organisms give to each other in so many ways.

Thank you for lending voice to the potential for vulnerability which each of us can give, which should never be forced from us. i so appreciate this insight, which years of enjoyable kissing might never have yielded without your reflective assistance...

Lily
30
As a linguist I find it extremely annoying that some people think that keeping the language static is somehow the right thing to do. Language must and will evolve no matter how much you resist the change. It is not "destruction" or "corruption"; it is a natural process that can't be stopped. "They" as a singular pronoun is already part of the language whether you want it or not; even if you go out of their way to avoid it, it will still remain part of the language. There's simply no way to make people stop using it, so get over it already.
31

The "Teeth" reference makes me sad. What you are saying is blow jobs are about trust but having vaginal sex is not? REALLY? So many layers of wrong...

Trust vs. Power over an individual being the largest fallacy here, and the inference that men will have vaginal sex with a woman they don't trust but oral sex only with one they do?

And,if the author is correct, then what does the woman trust, gain from trusting?

Sorry. Can't go there. F the semantics, I don't care much about grammar, but the logic is not only just as far off as it can get, its stereotypical and damaging.
32
I bet @31 is a women's studies major.
33
Actually, kissing originated with the process by which adults fed children prior to the invention of baby food. Adult chews food, kisses child, transfers food into mouth.

Kissing symbolizes a willingness to nurture.
34
Very interesting and nicely written article. I agree with 31 that the vagina with teeth comparison was not very well thought out -- and maybe even sexist. But I enjoyed the animal behavior part a lot.
35
Kissing is so easily (and often) reduced to what it symbolizes - in which case, the act of kissing originates from a cognitive (rather than sensory/emotional) place. Many people kiss in search for the emotion - to arouse the emotion.

To read up on kissing technique, for example, is to seek a script - this is one example of how a sex culture that is not based upon personal exploration but that is obsessed with sexual imagery restricts rather than expands the experience of kissing – kissing being one ancient aspect of what it is to be a human being.

I think the worst thing that can happen is engaging in a kiss with another person who imposes a technique (an idea) and, further, thinks that because the technique is “good,” they are a good kisser. Kissing isn't about identity - it's about experience. And, just like any heightened, exquisite experience, good kisses happen between two people who approach with curiosity and trust their sensations and instincts as revealed in the moment.
36
The "Singular They" is grammatically correct and well established in the english language: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_th…
37
GREAT piece! Very interesting perspective. Though the levels of affection that humans practice with one another which includes kissing, hugging, and making love are viewed very different across cultures as well as gender. Who are we to judge what's good, what looks attractive, etc. We only say that based on our own perspective and experiences.
39
Yep, get over the singular "they", which has only been around since before Shakespeare (although he used it too).

Are we going to complain about splitting infinitives next? (Hint: English has a two-part infinitive, so we CAN split it.)
40
i loved this article
41
The vagina dentata is a standard (and old, old) folklore motif. Charles didn't make it up, and neither did the filmmakers.