Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Kissing

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.
Song of Solomon 1:2

My blogging about Gay Mormon guidelines hasn't generated as much discussion as I had hoped. Perhaps I erred in picking relatively safe topics to begin with. So, let me try a more controversial topic - and one that seems to be on a lot of minds of late.

Some might argue that two guys kissing leads to temptation so it should, therefore, be avoided altogether. But, isn't that also true for heterosexual couples? By that argument, we should eliminate kissing and dating altogether and go back to having fathers picking husbands for their daughters (... although, being the father of two daughters, I think that idea has some merit, but ...)

In my way of thinking, I don't think the question is if you should kiss or not. I think the question is one of intent. In the picture on the left, even the most ardent George W. Bush haters would have to agree that it is unlikely he was having any erotic desires to jump into bed with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. His intent was to honor the local culture and customs. I think it is also worthwhile pointing out that he is a married man. This establishes that there are acceptable situations where it is OK for a guy to kiss another guy - and this is true even for married guys (although, the acceptable situations will be different than for single guys).

So, what are acceptable situations where it is OK for guys to kiss each other? When is it acceptable for married guys to kiss another guy?

Let the commenting begin ...


Note: I should point out that I, personally, have an aversion to kissing (male or female). So, I'm not looking for any validation, just trying to generate some discussion.

19 comments:

Scot said...

To me, the rule here would be the same I’d apply to any sort of romantic or sexual behavior: if you think it’s wrong, it will become wrong, even if it isn’t. If kissing a man makes that part of you that leads you to coupling feel good and whole, when, at the same time, you think that part of you is a temptation to sin, then such action should be avoided. Regardless of the moral idea being true or not, odd are the kisser and the kissee (?) will be emotionally harmed in such circumstances.

Now, if you’re just doing it to get into the guy’s oil reserves, well, that’s a whole other can of worms. ;-)

Brady said...

While I doubt that the diverse group of bloggers around these parts will ever come to an agreement about whether gay kissing is 'okay' or even 'appropriate' I'm grateful for the discussion that you've initiated.

My own curiosity lies more in the doctrine of it. Is it a sin for two guys to kiss? And are we talking a sin like sleeping in or a sin like you shouldn't go to the temple? Would there ever be any church discipline or worthiness issues if one were to participate in it?

playasinmar said...

I think it's important to remember that gay guys and straight couples want exactly the same things out of a relationship.

Both groups do the same things (like kiss) for the same reasons.

Both groups are subject to the same problems and pitfalls.

There's no reason the rules should be separate for the two groups.

Max Power said...

Kissing another guy is like a tiger from Siegfried and Roy's show. When handled well it is a beautiful and amazing thing, but a slight misstep and it will bite your neck off.

Kissing John was the coolest thing I have ever done in my life. But, it really stirred up my, um, emotions. I wouldn't say not to kiss other guys, but I would say be cautious. Keep in mind that if you don't have plans on coupling with another guy for the rest of your life it will be a very painful experience to release those emotions and then not be able to carry them any further. Very painful.

Kengo Biddles said...

I don't think that we're culturally equipped for that level of affection. Were we more aptly culturally equipped, I would see nothing wrong with giving the cheek-kiss like the French. If someone were like family and I were sure of myself not having emotional or physical attractions to them, I have no problem kissing them on the corner of the mouth. I do that to my father, I do that to Marko and Ginta.

But seeing as those I would want to kiss I'm generally at some level attracted to, I agree with Max and Nancy Reagan.

"Just Say No."

Sean said...

i find myself in agreement with Max and Kengo on this particular subject.

The NorAm culture is not equiped to handle this inclusion without some seeing sexual overtones.

Perhaps this may change over time.

In the end though, I am convinced there is not an iron clad rule that simply states "NO". one has to function by the Spirit. just be sure you know which spirit you are listening to.

Abelard Enigma said...

What I'm getting out of this discussion is that gay men who are unwilling to get involved with a gay relationship should avoid making out (or sucking face, tongue wrestling, or whatever your favorite euphemism).

Are there other occasions when it would be acceptable for gay men to kiss? Such as a kiss of greeting or goodbye?

Sean brings up a point that kissing in the North American culture most always has sexual overtones. But, how important is it that we submit to cultural norms? In a sense, we have our own sub-culture; so, can't we also have our own sub-cultural norms?

iwonder said...

I agree with Playasinmar, that there need not be seperate rules for hetero- and homosexuals. I find it insulting that just because I'm gay means that I am less able to control myself and ought not to be allowed to hold hands, hug, kiss, etc. someone I like/love who also happens to be a man and who may or may not be gay.

Also, I believe that by submitting to cultural norms, we in effect give up any chance of changing these norms. Some norms are good, but some are not. I think that the prohibition against men showing affection to other men is not only silly but also possibly damaging. I think it can be emotionally detrimental to feel that any desire to express love to another man is labelled as gay.

But I also think that the norm only can be changed slowly, but if there is nothing pushing it to change, then it never will.

So, to summarise,

I think kissing is awesome.

Distinguishing Preoccupation said...

Is that and unedited photo of Bush kissing? Or is it another one of those goofy pics?
Did he really kiss him?

Tito said...

I realize a came a bit late to this discussion, but I've had a few thoughts I wanted to jump in with. Given the volume, though, I've posted them on Northern Lights

isakson said...

My comment may be unpopular but whatever. I think that probably in most cases it is wrong. My reasoning is that most people who kiss are trying to form a romantic relationship with one another. I would think that you would be kissing the person that you plan on developing something more with. As having a gay relationship is against the what the gospel teaches it would seem that kissing would only be leading down the wrong path. Take John and Max's experience for example - John was just about ready to leave the church after a relationship that lasted 2 weeks...and the romantic stuff only lasted about 3 days.

I know you can probably come up with tons of different circumstances where you might say its okay...maybe you're right, I don't know. But I know for me personally it could be really bad.

So there, I said the unpopular thing but I really do think the whole kissing thing is just playing with fire. If you all disagree and want to yell at me you can email me I guess...thats just how I feel about the whole thing.

Abelard Enigma said...

If you all disagree and want to yell at me you can email me

Gosh, I hope nobody emails you to yell at you for your opinion. If they do then just ignore it because they are being petty.

iwonder said...

Isakson,

HOW DARE YOU NOT COPY MY OPINION EXACTLY!!!!! YOU ARE SO NOT MY FRIEND ANYMORE, YOU UNPOPULAR PERSON, YOU!

Ok, so I'm just kidding. Also, when I said I think kissing is awesome (which I do), I was overstating my stance for dramatic effect..., I know, I'm a little silly (ok, so I'm a lot silly).

Anyway, I agree with you that if you start kissing someone, especially if he is gay too (if you can find a straight guy to kiss, let me know ASAP), then certain things are bound to happen. Feelings will likely develop, and both parties will be hurt, or they will both eventually choose to pursue the relationship further.

That is a decision for that person to make, but if someone is committed to staying in the church, then I agree that kissing, where there exists the chance for romantic feelings, is too dangerous.

Abelard Enigma said...

What I'm getting out of this discussion is that, for someone who is striving to remain active in the church, Making Out should be avoided because of the feelings it can evoke. Feelings which can lead to temptations that may be difficult to endure.

But, what about simple kisses? A peck on the cheek (or lips) sort of thing (perhaps when greeting or saying goodbye)? Or should kissing, in any form, simply be avoided at all costs?

Sean said...

i think the simple kiss as in greeting or good bye is probably ok. if it lingers then in may possibly hinder.

Chris said...

Sean brings up a point that kissing in the North American culture most always has sexual overtones.

I disagree with this. Social kissing, as a greeting or a farewell, is not at all unusual in the Northeast or parts of the Midwest. I grew up in Utah, and didn't discover this until I moved away. I thought it was a bit odd at first, but now I don't hesitate to kiss my friends, sometimes on the cheek, but sometimes on the lips, when I see them.

Sean said...

i agree with you Chris that cheek kissing is not sexual in nature nor is it preceived that way. However lip kissing in our culture is very much viewed as sexual regardless of the orientation of the people involved.

Beck said...

I know I'm late in this discussion and your blog has moved on, but since I have very strong and personal feelings about this one, I have to chime in...

Though I completely understand and agree with the romantic / sexual kiss as entering dangerous water, I completely concur with iwonder that there's got to be a place, a ground where a man can kiss another man and not be bound by social, cultural or religious standards dictating that such affection is inappropriate or somehow "wrong". I do not believe such affection is a sin whatsoever, and thus see it as neither "sleeping in" or "temple-recommend sinful behavior". I've seen it. I've done it. I want to do it more and more! The desire of one to kiss, even on the lips, cheek, neck, chin etc. in the spirit of brotherly love, friendship, closeness beyond the "norm" should be seen as a beautiful and amazing thing!

Chris said...

sean:

Context is everything. Lip kissing is not always viewed as sexual.