Katy: You Kissed A Girl. We Get That. But Why?

So, have you ever broken up with someone, and sworn to stay friends with him or her? Have you ever fallen out of touch with that someone, and decided to catch up on his or her life by looking at Flickr? When you found that person’s Flickr, did you happen to see several drugged-up hipster burlesque girls licking each others’ necks?
No? That’s what makes my exes special.
When I saw that my former beau was posting pictures of sexually adventurous Brooklynites, I had to call him up.
“Those ladies sure do like to lick each other,” I said. “Why is that? Are they tasty? Are they all covered in nacho cheese?”
“Girls do this,” he said. “Every time I get out the camera, they start making out with each other. I take picture one, they’re friends, picture two, they’re friends, picture three, they’re sucking face. I just stand there, like, ‘I didn’t ask for this! This is all on you two!'”
Kissing girls, to be honest, is trendy. Right now, one of the biggest songs out there is called “I Kissed A Girl.” It’s by Katy Perry, and it’s got all the right props: drinking (“I got so brave, drink in hand”), a Lolita vibe of horny-yet-so-far-untouched experimentation (“It’s not what, I’m used to / Just wanna try you on / I’m curious for you”), and, most depressingly, a boyfriend lurking just out of sight, reassuring us that this girl isn’t really a lesbian (“I kissed a girl just to try it / I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it”).
These things may be familiar to you from, oh, every girl-on-girl porn film ever. (The video doesn’t exactly shy away from that association.) Like those movies, the goal of the song is to present both girls as femme (“soft skin, red lips, so kissable”) and desirable to men, while also suggesting that sex between girls isn’t really sex at all (“ain’t no big deal, it’s innocent”) and that what these two kids need is a dude to occupy the center of their silicone sandwich.
See, here’s the thing: I’ve kissed girls. I’ve kissed boys. I’ve liked both experiences, because I just plain like kissing. I think it comes down to the Kinsey Scale and the vagaries of human nature – even my Midwestern pastor-in-training mom thinks “everyone’s bisexual,” so that’s no big earth-shaking statement. It also comes down to my mad-scientist-in-training approach toward sex in general: you don’t know what you’ll enjoy until you try it, so why not try everything that looks good?
It’s also about the fact that people change over time. Someone might live as a Kinsey 2 (“predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual”) for years, then go up to a 5 (“exclusively homosexual”). I’ve gone back and forth between 3 (equal interest in both genders) and 0 (exclusively straight people have the lowest score on this scale – and I’m not going to make any jokes about that, no matter how much I want to). Once, in the months following a particularly bad breakup, I was X (“asexual”) – I tried making out with people, cute and funny and nice people, and found that it was about as fun as putting a live slug in my mouth.
So, given this, I don’t know why I’m so disappointed in the Katy Perry song. I think it comes down to the fact that, no matter how much she may get off on making out with her girl, or on bragging about how naughty she is, she is not really going to open up her mind to what that might mean. “It felt so right,” she sings, “don’t mean I’m in love tonight.” Her boyfriend, after all, might mind that. It’s safer if it “ain’t no big deal.” No matter how much fun she’s having with that girl, she’s going to stay straight. That seems like a pretty sure-fire way to avoid learning about yourself, and – in the long run – to make yourself very unhappy.
As for my friend, our conversation moved on to other photos from the same party, including one in which a boy and girl were kissing.
“It’s really beautiful, actually,” I said. “He looks so into her.”
“Yeah. He’s gay, though,” my ex said. “I was like, ‘oh, an ironic makeout.’ But after a while, I wasn’t so sure.”
[By the way, if you’d like to hear a really fun song about all this, click here. For a smart and realistic song, click here. Don’t say I never did you any favors.]
[Photo courtesy of www.flickr.com/photos/katyperry]

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