When I was a kid, people used to say: “Don’t kiss and tell.” My young, non-confrontational self accepted this without questioning it, but I never understood it. Why should kissing be such a huge secret? I felt that if I was ever lucky enough to kiss another human being, I was going to shout it from the rooftops. I had a very naive idea of how magical kissing another person would be, but a surprising amount of awareness of how strongly I would feel about it.
Turns out, I really didn’t have to worry about it as much as I did in elementary and middle school. My first kiss wasn’t until I was a freshman in high school.
I was right, however. Almost seconds after my lips met Trevor’s (yes, my first kiss was with a boy named Trevor. Yes, my first kiss was with a boy), I was scrambling to find someone to tell about it. I needed to share my excitement. I needed to talk about it for as long as anyone could bear to put up with me talking about it because I was bubbling over with feelings. At the time, it was a life-changing moment, and I like to share life-changing moments with others.
So, what exactly is wrong with kissing and telling? Well, in my humble opinion: nothing. Why shouldn’t you be able to share your excitement about your intimate experience with other people?
There are two reasons that I think contribute to the existence of this “rule.” I think one of these is completely valid, but the other I do not agree with at all.
Let’s talk about the one I understand first. It can be inappropriate to talk about an intimate experience with another person if the person you have been intimate with does not want you to talk about it. If it makes your partner (in crime, sex, life, etc.) uncomfortable for other people to hear about the details of your make-out session or sexual encounter, that is perfectly okay. You have shared an intimate experience, and some people prefer for it to remain just that: intimate. To them, talking about it with others outside of the experience can remove any element of intimacy.
We gain a lot from exchanging tales of intimacy. We learn a lot from the experiences of others in general, and sexual experiences are just as educational as any other kind.
People have a natural tendency to want to share their life with others, so it is important to tell your partner if you are uncomfortable with them talking about your intimate time together. Conversely, if someone asks you to keep your intimate relations with them private, you should respect their wishes. It is also extremely important that you do not talk about an intimate moment to embarrass the person with whom you shared it. In addition, embellishing the experience is a definite no-no. It is not fair for you to take advantage of another’s vulnerability in this way. The most important thing to remember is to be respectful, always.
The other reason I think the phrase “don’t kiss and tell” exists, however, is because it is considered “inappropriate” to talk about your sex life. It is “not polite” to impose details of your intimate experiences on the ears of others, and it is most certainly not “lady-like.” It makes other people uncomfortable; therefore, you should not do it.
In case you couldn’t tell, I love talking about my sex life. Additionally, I love hearing about the sex lives of others. We gain a lot from exchanging tales of intimacy. We learn a lot from the experiences of others in general, and sexual experiences are just as educational as any other kind. When you don’t understand a math problem, you turn to someone who has experience with the type of math you are doing, right? It should be just as easy to turn to someone who has experience with the type of sexual experience you are having, in order to receive advice and support.
Finally, there is nothing shameful about sex. For a decent proportion of humanity, sex has been labelled as a shameful act. Times, they are a’changing my friends. We live in a time when no one should feel ashamed of having sex or talking about sex. Period.