The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Sunday, December 16, 2007

How Much For A KIss?

The recent discussion about reproductive sex and whether it represents a different emotional threshold than oral, manual, or anal sex raised another question in my mind. What about kissing? If selling sex is prostitution, what about kisses? If you weren't married or in a relationship, how much would a reasonably attractive stranger have to pay you for a good, juicy kiss, no strings attached? (Say that he said: "My hobby is collecting kisses from lovely ladies. I'd love to add yours to my collection. Under what circumstances might that be possible?" Or some such.) Be amusing to have both guys and girls answer this one. If you're really feeling frisky, might as well answer it for both a male and female stranger!

Just wondering...


suzanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

not only would I
(pending somekind of attraction scenario)
in fact
I have
given strangers kisses
while in a relationship

my kisses are not the possession
of anyone but me
and who I decide to give them to)


Anonymous said...

There is no price tag that would make it worth it for me to kiss someone I didn't want to kiss. My time is of value, my personal space is of value. I'm not going to give a good kiss to someone I'm not attracted to and life is too short for bad kisses. That said, I'm all for a good kiss. Kisses don't have to be seductive (that's nice too, though) they can be friendly and flirty and teasing and a celebration. If you can dance it, you can kiss it. Yum. I think a kiss collector would have to be exceptionally charming to get away with such a cornball line, but it could happen-- if they didn't offer me money. The money part would be a definite turn-off.

On the other matter, hell yes, I'd love to see Will Smith or Denzel Washington in real love scenes. These are strong, sexy men well worth a bit of my fantasy life. But I'm not necessarily left out of the breeding game if they're let in; I'm a girl. The part where they are strangers who are married to other people and I'm married to another person is far more of a hinderance to my fantasizing about them than the difference in our skin tones.

I doubt that people with strong, conscious or unconscious, biases against black men are going to be reading and commenting on this blog. The audience here is gathering because we are fans or friends of at least one black man. I grew up on Sesame Street and United Colors of Benneton ads with an integrated family in an integrated neighborhood with integrated schools. For the first half of my life I really believed that racism was a sad page in history, purely past-tense. I'm not so blissfully ignorant now. I don't think that the comments you'll get here will be an accurate cross-section of our country. But that's my opinion, for what it's worth.

Steven Barnes said...

Hey, Crix--

it's a damned fine opinion! And I agree that readers here have LESS of this particular problem than people in general. That was so self-evident to me that I may have neglected saying it. But even those other folks? Most of them are nice, decent people who would be perfectly polite to me, if I was polite to them. Great to have as neighbors or employees or even employers. Nothing against them at all.

Steven Barnes said...

So if I have a character who collects kisses, he shouldn't use a "corny line" like I mentioned. What WOULD be a good approach for him to use? Let's assume he's going to be honest, and not lie about doing a book on the "100 Best Kisses in America" or something. Unless, of course, he actually is. What would be his approach. No PERSONAL interest in the answer to these questions, of course...

Unknown said...

Once, decades ago, early 80s, back before I was married, I was at a Renaissance Fair in the SF Bay Area. They had a booth where you could, in effect, buy a kiss; it was called "Drench a Wench" or "Soak a Bloke," and was supplied with both wenches and blokes to kiss, if you paid your fee and succeeded in getting them wet.

There had been a rumor in the local gay community that that day was a sort of "gay day" for the Ren Fair, and I was in the company of several gay men, so we had a little speculation on whether same sex kiss buying would be allowed. I volunteered to be the test case, approached, and offered my money to drench a wench. I was politely but firmly directed to the blokes.

At this point in my life, I don't think I'd be willing to either sell or buy kisses. But on the other hand, you know, if I had the talent and skill and opportunity to get some really great acting job, it's not as if I'd turn it down because it involved kissing someone I wouldn't otherwise kiss. While I can't think of any job opportunity that could possibly be good enough for me to be willing to actually have sex with someone I didn't want to have sex with. So, there is definitely a distinction there, for me, in the two kinds of intimacy.

Josh Jasper said...

It depends on to whom. Prostitutes are no different than any other performance artists in that they should have the right to decide whom they want to sell services to, or they're slaves.

How much? Depends on who's asking how broke I am, and what kind of mood I'm in.

Daniel Keys Moran said...

"Prostitutes are no different than any other performance artists"

Nicely put.

Steven Barnes said...

I think that hookers are playing with some pretty basic human wiring: baby-making/pair bonding. I would guess that drugs and alcohol are such a common part of that world because of the pressure of trying to stay balanced. A temple prostitute has an entire culture supporting her divine right/obligation to do what she does. A call girl is alone, and I doubt many little girls grow up thinking "I wanna screw strangers for money when I grow up!" They're playing with emotional dynamite. I've equated Strippers and Bouncers before: both are playing with core energies (sex and survival) for a price. Hookers and Prize-fighters, maybe? Both selling something that is ordinarily reserved for special occasions or relationships?

At any rate, I DO think there is more at stake. And that cultural morays reflect that cost rather than merely create them.