For anyone who is anticipating doing some “mistletoe-ing” this holiday season, Caesandra Seawell has got some lip-smacking news for you. Caesandra is the creator and curator of The Kissing Museum; a concept that revolves around taking the kiss to an entirely different level. While still keeping the kiss intimate, she has figured out how to ignite the passionate pluck in a more open and public environment. I have a feeling that we’re going to be hearing a lot from Caesandra from this day forward, as we lead up to one of the most significant kissing days of the year – Valentine’s Day. If you’re a fan of a romantic lip lock, read the following and then look for The Kissing Museum’s upcoming public events, including one called “MISTLETOE-ing”… coming to Bidwell Park on Saturday, December 29th at 4pm.
3 questions with Caesandra:
“But isn’t every kiss the same?!” That is the most common question I’m asked when I tell people I’m building a museum about kissing. In fact, each kiss can be very different. The average kiss lasts only 20 seconds–think about how many tiny half-second chicken pecks you’ve experienced compared to the 1-5 second volley of peppery kisses along your throat compared to the deep, soul probing that still lasts only half a minute. The physical contact is relatively brief, but the memory of the kiss–good or bad–can last a lifetime. When I first thought of the idea of collecting kisses, I struggled with capturing them–what is there to see? How do you display a sensation that doesn’t leave evidence? As a result, I developed the Kiss-n-Tell series which treats a kiss like a butterfly specimen pinned under glass, but with a tag that lets the butterfly tell you where it’s traveled.
“What makes a kiss good?” There are a lot of factors like context, technique, or chemistry. I’ve been collecting kisses for more than a decade, so I know that even if two people are attracted to each other, they experience that same kiss differently. For instance, are they sneaking around so his parents won’t be upset? Does one partner feel they are breaking a taboo by kissing a much younger person, a married person or is that the fourth person they’ve kissed that night? Has the couple just survived a blind date or are they in the hospital about to deliver their second child? Some people need the seclusion of the car, a dark alcove or a bedroom to focus their intimacy. Others enjoy the exhibitionism of a bumpy carriage seat or picnicking in the woods or at the top of a ferris wheel. The physical details are often as significant as the history of the relationship or the mental state of each partner. Technique can be re-learned or tweaked with each partner. Mutual sincerity is the most difficult element to find … and maintain. Not every kiss is a toe-tingler, but there is magic when both people really really seek a connection other person at the end of their cupids bow (that the name of lip part–not the cherub).
“What kiss is the favorite of your collection?” I have hundreds of kisses and there are several I enjoy for different reasons. However, the stories mean the most to me because they are personal and were entrusted to me to archive. In some cases, I may be the only other person outside of the kissers who ever heard the story. As a collector–even the kissing fiascos are worth keeping. Many of my photographs will be antiques in the next show including several stereoscope cards and one glass negative. I have a couple kissing on water skis and another of a cowboy lassoing his partner, and one of a 60s housewife kissing two teenage boys on her couch! I am always looking for diversity, so feel free to donate any kissing photos you have; each month I give facebook fans a homework assignment to try and round out themes in my collection–there are thousands of kisses I don’t have yet.
Caesandra - Curator, The Kissing Museum – Facebook
Details for the next few Kissing Museum events:
MISTLETOE-ing! is Saturday, December 29th at 4pm in Bidwell Park (the side closer to Aroma) - Facebook event
Free to anyone with functioning LIPS. Once the crowd has assembled there will be some basic instruction/introduction and then people will be permitted to kiss anyone and everyone that mutually consents. Buffalo YarnBombers Anonymous have graciously provided over 35 sprigs of mistletoe and we will hang the sprigs in the trees just before the event. At 4pm the public will find half a dozen or so trees FULL of mistletoe that they can smooch under. There may be some loosely designated spots for COUPLES or SEEKING, but there will be at least one tree designated MARATHON. Those kissing under that tree will be competing for a small gift from the museum and the honor of kissing the longest without breaking lip contact.
WARM LIPS MELT SNOW is Saturday, January 12th at The Foundry, 298 Northampton St. from NOON-5pm. The Kissing Museum will feature images from the collection which include any images of kissing which occurred while sledding, skiing, sleighing or generally romping in snow. – Facebook event
The public is encouraged to go out and document their own kisses and submit them for the museum’s official collection.
The RULZ: Two humans, not blood-related, making lip-to-lip contact
SMOOCH-A-THON is Saturday, February 8th at The Foundry, 298 Northampton St. from NOON-5pm. The Kissing Museum will feature VIDEO from the public of their longest, most impressive lip locks. We will also display still images from the good ole days when kissing contests were more popular. – Facebook event
The public is encouraged to go out and document their own kisses and submit them for the museum’s official collection; all video should be at least 60sec to be considered.
Photo: The Kissing Museum