A few years ago I wrote about the intimacy of a kiss, inspired by two very devoted Christian actors who not only decided to forgo “sex scenes” in in their movie roles, but also vowed to do no more on-screen lip-locks (unless that person they’re kissing is their wife). Some may wonder why just kissing someone is such a big deal, especially if its only acting. My explanation:
The body has a language and we must speak it truthfully. Even “just a kiss” is an extremely intimate act, especially between a man and a woman, meant to express affection, love and devotion.
Recently Anthony Buono, president of Ave Maria Singles and regular TOB columnist at Catholic Exchange, discussed the subject non-marital kissing in response to a young lady who wants to keep her virginity before marriage, but wonders “what is considered appropriate as far as kissing goes?” Said Buono:
How we conduct ourselves is a reflection of our interior life. Therefore, the way we speak, the way we dress, the way we behave, etc., all bear witness to what is in our mind, heart, and spiritual life.
Kissing is not just something we do. It is an expression of the interior. Let’s be clear that it is a good thing. But there are different types of kissing, and each have their place. The most common three are the peck on the cheek, the pressing of lips, and the more passionate expression of kissing that is known as “French kissing,” where the tongue is involved.
Though he finds nothing wrong with cheek kisses, Buono does think that a relaxed attitude about the intimacy of even the closed mouth pressing of the lips has is related or can lead to a more relaxed attitude about the intimacy of the sexual union. A valid point, I think. Read the rest of his response (disclaimer: while I agree that men are typically more physical and women more emotional when it comes to sexual activity, I do not agree with his overly callous view of the male sex, especially regarding their response to the ending of a relationship. I’ve known many men to be heartbroken after parting ways with a significant other)
For those who really have to ask the question “how far can I go without crossing the line?”, here is my general rule of thumb: Sex and, therefore, sexual arousal (not to be confused with mere sexual attraction), are meant only for marriage. Any place or action that you have even the slightest feeling will or could potentially lead to either prior to marriage should probably be avoided if possible (yes, sometimes even french-kissing). You and your kiss are worth the wait; a worthy suitor/suitette(?) will respect this. The key is to always desire to love and please God above all else and uphold both your own dignity and the dignity of your partner. Regular time for prayer both alone and together as a couple will help with this.