|‘You don’t kiss each other?’: private goes public|
|Written by August Cassens, Columnist|
|Sunday, 24 February 2013 13:26|
About a year ago, TLC came out with the show “Virgin Diaries,” and one of the main attractions was the couple who was saving their first kiss for marriage.
True to TLC’s style, the couple was exploited and became more of a mockery than a depiction of purity that the couple was trying to achieve.
In this season’s Bachelor, it recently came out that the eligible Bachelor, Sean Lowe, is a “born again virgin,” and there were tabloid headlines of “awkward fantasy suite nights.”
The show leads to the Bachelor narrowing down his future wife to two candidates, and during that episode, they have over-night dates in the fantasy suite. It’s never explicitly stated, but we all know what they do in those luxurious rose petal-covered rooms.
While saving sex for marriage is quite a bit different than kissing, the abstinence from any sort of intimacy is always a source of intense interest in our media-driven society.
The media exploiting sex is, of course, not new, but what catches my interest is when I know real-life couples who choose to save kissing until engagement and marriage.
The most recent couple I know saved their first kiss and “I love you” for their engagement.
I did some research (thank goodness Google tells me everything), and I found that the reasons for saving such things for engagement and marriage is almost exclusively faith-based.
Couples who choose to do this say they “want the kiss to mean something” or they are proving their relationship will last because they are making the commitment to wait for each other.
This makes sense. If the couple abstains from signs of affection as natural and simple as kissing until engagement or marriage, then it truly means they care about each other and want to make their relationship last.
Not a bad lesson for the flash-in-the-pan marriages that fight against the notion that marriage is supposed to be a sacred, life-long commitment.
But saving kissing for marriage has its issues. Every couple functions and thrives differently, but when your “thing” turns into a public spectacle, it loses its intimacy.
Think about it. When you know a couple isn’t kissing, it means “oh then they definitely must be planning on getting married because why else would they wait?”
Then you think of the wedding. Instead of the decorations or the stories of engagement, the first kiss will be the topic of conversation before the ceremony.
Then you’ll be thinking about how the grandparents and parents will all be watching, and won’t that be weird?
And then what about the kiss? Will it be awkward or will they just clobber each other from pent-up emotion (think Virgin Diaries-style).
Then let’s face it, your mind wanders to their wedding night, and how the couple will be traveling from zero to 100 all in one day. It seems a bit overwhelming.
My point is, the thing that was supposed to be between the couple, which was supposed to be a pure, loving experience, turns into something the couple is defined as. They are the couple who hasn’t kissed.
As much as we love to hate TLC for their exploitation, the channel gets away with it because we allow it to happen. Society is infected with the need to see things that are different than us. We want to see the lifestyle and habits of the “other” and the media does everything in its power to make sure they are labeled as different.
But before this turns into a lecture, this process of othering can also be a way to create our own identity.
Through our differences from others, we create ourselves. It makes us aware of who we are, what we want, and what we value in life, our relationships and our actions.
And you get all that from a ridiculous TLC show. Imagine that.