Monday, November 15, 2010

Awkward to Ask First?

A few weeks ago I attended the “Can I Kiss You?” lecture led by a man named Mike Domitrz. The speech given by Mike was intended to raise awareness of premarital sexual relations and “date-rape”. I expected everything that he was going to talk about as something that I’ve heard from my parents numerous times. However, he discussed many topics that affected me on a much more personal level which gave me a better outlook on the things that occur very often in high school and in college.

When he got on stage he immediately lightened the mood to make the atmosphere much more lackadaisical. He had a few volunteers help him out on stage because it made it easier for the audience to relate to their fellow students. He asked the volunteers a few different questions about their intuitions when it comes to dating the tools that both men and women utilize in order to receive a first kiss or take things further in a relationship. I felt the awkwardness in the room, but Mike continued to joke and lighten the mood. After he received responses from the volunteers, he would ask the audience questions as well. The main question was whether or not the girls or boys in the room would ask if they could kiss someone that they liked. Basically the entire room replied with a simple “no”. Mike knew that this was going to be our response and explained that it should not be awkward to be turned down a kiss nor should it be awkward to ask for one. He even said that getting rejected after going in for a kiss could be a much worse experience than feeling awkward asking for one.

Mike continued to joke throughout the majority of his speech before things became much more serious. He shared a personal story of his that had occurred during his college career. He received a phone call from his parents about his sister previously being raped and that she wanted to talk to him. He said that the first thing that his sister asked him on the phone was “Mike, are you okay?” This seemed to be the turning point of the lecture and the McGuire Hall grew silent. He explained the heroism and bravery of his sister and the courage that it took for her to ask him if he was okay after the horrible thing happened to her. This personal story segued into the project that he began called “The Date Safe Project”. He wanted everyone in the crowd to “open the door” to friends and family by calling them and explaining the lecture. This was an extremely powerful moment as his lecture closed and I think that everyone was able to benefit from this speech.

Mike Dormirtz’s lecture “Can I Kiss You?” can be related to the short stories, “A Good Man is Hard to find” and “The Gilded Six-Bits”. “A Good Man is Hard to find” speaks about the idea of a person’s representation of being “good”. The grandmother in the story is selfish and felt like she was better than everyone else who was not on her standards. This was the opposite of the “good” that Mike’s sister represented. Even in one of the worst traumatizing experiences, she was more concerned about the well being of her brother, which truly makes her a “good” person. In “The Gilded Six-Bits”, Missie-May decided to have sexual relations with someone other than her husband. This showed that women could make the same mistakes that men make when it comes to relationship issues. Ultimately, Mike gave everyone in the room better insight on the importance of asking first before kissing someone, and raised awareness of the dangers of “date rape”.

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