Nervous AF

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

This year will be my first Renn Fayre. I didn't go to the big meeting, but all my friends keep talking about how it's a tradition to kiss a bunch of people. I've haven’t had my first kiss yet, and it might be cool to kiss people at a big party like this, but how do I do it? I know consent is important, but how do you do that if it's loud or awkward? And what about the actual kissing part? Or should I just wait until I decide to kiss someone I really like some other time?

Nervous AF

Dear Nervous AF,

Your first kiss will most likely be awkward no matter where or how it happens, but if you choose to have it during Renn Fayre, it will be less intimate and personal than if you wait to kiss someone you’re really into at another time. That doesn’t mean it’s not fun to kiss people during Thesis Parade, just that it depends on what sort of experience you’re looking for. Once you get to the celebrations, you can feel out the atmosphere and decide if you feel comfortable participating or not. Just remember, only kiss people during Thesis Parade if you really want to, not just because it’s a Reed tradition. Plenty of students don’t participate in the Renn Fayre make-out fest, opting for hugs and kisses on the cheek instead. Think about how you’ll respond to an offer before everything starts so you can more confidently celebrate without being caught off guard. That way, when someone asks to kiss you, you can smoothly turn them down or suggest an alternative such as, “On the cheek!” or “How about a hug instead?”

If you do choose to kiss people during Thesis Parade, be warned: it WILL be sloppy, and it might be awkward (one hallmark of Thesis Parade makeouts seems to be a lot of tongue). But that’s okay! Kissing someone for the first time can be clumsy no matter the circumstances, because you have to find your rhythm with the other person. What’s most important to remember is that consent is not just important, but mandatory—even if it feels awkward to ask to kiss someone. It will be loud, so you might have to repeat yourself, but don't worry: a Reedie shouting in someone’s ear during Thesis Parade with the request to kiss their friend or classmate is a common sight during the festivities, so don’t be afraid to be forward, go up to a friend, and simply ask “Can I kiss you?”

Good luck,
Miss Lonely Hearts