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Middle-class problems: Kissing in public

By Robert Epstein

Now, hang on a second. Sure, it's the most normal thing in the… no, I'm not saying I'm a cold-blooded… I'm just saying that that video of 20 strangers kissing seriously weirded me out.

Did you see it? It went viral, which usually means everyone has, but if you haven't, take a second now and seek it out. Just search for "Oh my good lord, are they actually doing that?"

One of the participants asks if they can turn the lights off. No, silly, they can't – they're filming it, in black-and-white to make it classy, so give it a giggle and stick your tongue in there.

What's that? I'm making it sound gross? No more so than the concept itself. I mean, who goes around kissing someone they've never met before?

Of course we all know now it was a commercial enterprise (a clothes ad) parading as a twee social experiment, so has no basis in reality – and thank goodness for that. These guys almost get away with it because they're so darn good-looking: seriously, they're a bunch of slashes (actor/model/musician), and this isn't the first time they've made out on screen. But for people who aren't straight out of Hipsterville to do that?

Kissing is meant to be intimate – and intimate means closely acquainted. It also means private – and just as my middle-class ears blush at the wet-dog noises of a couple smooching on the bus, so my sensibilities are offended by the idea that we can just go round kissing whomsoever we please. Not only were we not brought up in a zoo; it just makes us jealous angry to think of all that ghastly permissiveness.