a kiss behind the barricades, or everywhere

i was thinking it would be weird to post pictures of other people kissing, then remembered i have a couple of great pictures of pax and i!

this is in part inspired by one of my favorite david rovics songs, which describes basically how i want to live–fiercely in love and always breaking this shit down–and in part by my enthusiasm for public displays of affection.  it is far too rare that we see a couple kissing in public, let alone full on making out.  whether a symptom of our unhealthy relationship to our sexuality or hangover puritanical norms, it is regularly saddening to me that we are not a more publicly affectionate culture.

for a girl who grew up ashamed of her sexuality, taught that it wasn’t lady like, it has been a delicious journey to reclaim my public affection.  and once you start it’s sooo wonderful.  you get scandalous looks, giggles, nods of appreciation and all manner of wild comments.  i am in the grips of a new romance and a wild honeymoon and have had several charming moments with strangers lately as they catch my lover and i making out pretty intensely in the middle of public spaces.  a week or so ago we stopped in the middle of an intersection (a rarely traveled intersection along another busy street) for a farewell kiss that turned hot and heavy and long.  just as we were beginning to pull apart another man walked into our intersection.  as evan walked away and passed the man, he told evan that we had left a fire behind us.  he was right.  and then just today we were making out again, in a parking lot.  we were on the sidewalk and had been locked in a kiss for a minute or two already when a car pulled into the parking space adjacent to our little patch of sidewalk.  i noticed and waited for the man to cut the engine and pulled just a little bit away from the kiss, fearing that the man in the car would feel trapped by our intimacy.  when he got out, the man, in what i’m sure he thought was an act of camaraderie, joked  with me that evan had “really been laying into me.”  without missing a beat, i looked back at him and told him that i was giving as good as i was getting.  trying to neutralize his inherently sexist commentary suggesting that my male partner was merely acting his sexuality upon me.

and i LOVE it.  i love getting to force this fierce and free expression of desire and love into people’s every day experiences.  and it is at this point that i need to draw out my heterosexual privilege (as it’s been pointed out to me before).  i get that it is so much easier for me to make out in public without the fear of being harassed or exoticized or shamed than it is for people of other sexualities.  and i would love to be working with folks on how to use that privilege to make public displays of affection equally accessible to all people who want to declare their love in that way.  and for now i also recognize that it is really very healing for me to be able to express myself this way.

theres a great scene with me and a former lover making out along the banks of the mississippi river, totally scandalizing a group of older women nearby.  there are many fond memories making out with my lover paxus in small town grocery stores, or in our favorite mexican restaurant where the waiters were slower to serve us.  and i try to encourage this proud and indulgent expression with others as well.  when my parents make out in my presence i taunt them with a tongue and cheek “ewwwwwwwwwwwww,” which almost always gets them to kiss longer.  and my favorite moment on the new jersey turnpike was when, stuck in the horrible traffic jam that is the turnpike, i noticed a vehicle parked in the shoulder.  as we passed we saw the young couple in the car had ditched the anger inducing traffic for a stolen make out session and i cheered them on.

i would love to see more people making out and holding hands and otherwise expressing their love fiercely, honestly and proudly in our culture.  so go on, try it the next time youre with someone youre crazy about.  add some new spark to that old romance or celebrate a new relationship by unashamedly declaring your love to the world.  i promise, you’ll love it.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. joyce
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 04:39:45

    My sweet niece…love this! yet I am a bit disturbed to hear you say that you grew up ashamed of your sexuality and that it wasn’t lady like….in fact it amazes me…lady like wtf is that all about? Sexuality – Lady Like, yikes disgusting…is that what they taught in school…? This is a real puzzle knowing your parents…and my parents (your grandparents) who I can’t imagine passing those feelings on to you. Wish I could wash all of your shame away…love aunt Joyce


    • Sara Tansey
      Mar 07, 2012 @ 14:38:12

      dear aunt joyce, i dont think it was so much the influence of my parents in the shaming of my sexuality, but the strong social indoctrination. which presents sexuality as something this man in the parking lot reinforced: a thing for boys to force upon girls. a thing to be done to me. not something i would initiate or celebrate. but dont worry, i am over that bullshit and waving the flag of my enthusiastic and healthy sexuality for anyone and everyone to see. and i take great, mischievous joy in the act!


  2. paxus
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 14:21:33

    Dear Ms. Tansey:

    It is clear that your advice here is imprudent. It will lead to more fender benders as otherwise innocent drivers are distracted from the important task of road safety while you are “performing” with your romantic partners in public places.

    Please consider the implications of the counsel you are providing your readers.


    E Shoecake Flywheel
    Director of Decency and Decorum
    Central Virginia Region


    • Sara Tansey
      Mar 07, 2012 @ 14:35:30

      Mr. Flywheel, i will take your counsel into grave consideration. In fact, it is being gravely considered as i type, you can tell by the very serious expression on my face. I think the next time i see you, i will be more considerate of the impact i’m having on others. No worries, no more wild make out sessions with you in front of anyone who would be scandalized or so distracted from their predictable lives. Thank you for making me a more conscious kisser!

      yours truly,
      sara the reformed


  3. Lesley
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 20:23:23

    When I was in San Diego on the max or whatever their public transit is called, my partner and I were hoppin’ the train without paying. The way that their transit works is the rail cops will pull one person off at each stop and ticket or arrest them for not paying their fair. Well, to get around this we decided authorities generally avoid make out kids, so we went for it, all but dry humping in our seats every time the rail stopped. Well, approaching one stop this well dressed man sitting across from us started saying, “Alright then! Go on with it!” and pointing and gathering attention saying, “Nah, that’s alright! That’s what we need right there! Keep that up!” It was non-offensive and pretty adorable.


  4. Michael Hobson
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 22:24:09

    Do you spend much time at Twin Oaks Community? Just wondering if the culture there has evolved any? I know that at one time, public displays of affection were socially unacceptable and highly discouraged.


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