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Student share opinions on platonic kissing

National Kissing Day has come and gone, and many celebrated with their significant others. However, the day does not prohibit family and friends from doing the same. 

Platonic kissing is defined as a kiss between two people who are not in a romantic relationship and do not have romantic feelings toward one another. As “kissing the homies” is normalized more within younger generations, students shared their opinions about getting more intimate with their friends. 

Clara Williams, a junior studying studio art, said a small kiss on the lips or cheek as a greeting is normal, but she does not think platonic kissing can exist between friends. 

“I believe if you’re making out with someone, you have some sort of attraction to them, which makes it not platonic,” Williams said in an email. “Kissing is a romantic action, so treating it casually can make things confusing.”

Williams said there are stigmas between friends who kiss, especially with women.

“A lot of times, women kissing is seen as something hot and objectifying, which is very problematic,” Williams said. “This stigma with women kissing also invalidates actual lesbian relationships.” 

Deika Ahmed, a junior studying marketing, said her version of platonic kissing is through kisses on the cheek as a greeting. Ahmed is Somali and said this greeting is common in her culture.

“I grew up greeting elders with kisses on the hand after a handshake and cheeks with female relatives,” Ahmed said in an email. “So kissing my ‘homies’ is literally so normal when I think of it from my Somali cultural upbringing.” 

While she uses platonic kissing in greetings, Ahmed said she does not kiss her American friends on the cheeks. She instead opts for hugs and only kisses the cheeks of her family members. 

Michael Kelly, a junior studying biological sciences, said his female friends occasionally kiss platonically but never his male friends. 

“I think my girl friends are more confident about their sexuality, and they do not really care about the stigma that comes behind it,” Kelly said. 

Kelly said there is a double standard between two men kissing or two women kissing, even if it is platonic. He said that many men find two girls a sexual turn-on and two guys kissing as weird. 

“If a bunch of guys are together in the friend group and two of them kiss each other, I think, just how society is, they are going to get, ‘Oh that is gay,’” Kelly said. “I think it (the stigma) boils down to people not being confident in their sexuality.” 

Williams also agreed there are stigmas between friends who kiss, especially with women.

“A lot of times, women kissing is seen as something hot and objectifying, which is very problematic,” Williams said. “This stigma with women kissing also invalidates actual lesbian relationships.” 

Ahmed said she has seen how certain men react to women kissing. She said it is common for them to comment on how “hot” it is for female friends to kiss in front of them. 

“It gives me the feeling that these men believe women are kissing for their entertainment, which is very sexist in my opinion,” Ahmed said. “We see it within our media how women are constantly sexualized for this.” 

Whether or not platonic kissing is right for everyone, Kelly thinks it varies from person to person. He said if he were in a romantic relationship with someone, he would only want that person to kiss him.

“If you have a significant other, I think that is something that you and your significant other should talk about and communicate about to see where each other stands with that,” Kelly said. “Sometimes, people might not be open to that.” 

Ahmed said some people might not believe in platonic kissing because it is not normal in many cultures. She also said many may be closed-minded to the idea of friends being that intimate. 

“I think it’s important to be open to the idea that people express love and respect differently,” Ahmed said. “Thinking it is not okay for you is fine, but judging others for their forms of expression is something I would advise others not to do.”

@hannahcmpbell 

hc895819@ohio.edu

 

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