The XX Factor

The Worst Trend Story in Ages: Girls Kissing Girls, Explained

Have you been racking your brain lately, trying to figure out why girls are kissing other girls just about everywhere you go? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Perhaps Time writer Jeffrey Kluger, who has dedicated 800-plus words to explaining this “trend,” has been listening to his favorite girl-kisser, Katy Perry, too much. Because besides some recent tongue-in-cheek smooches between starlets at award shows , there is nothing to suggest this is an actual, verifiable trend, save for this measly statistic: “In one national survey, fewer than 2% of women called themselves lesbian or bisexual, but fully 8% reported either feeling same-sex desire or engaging in some kind of same-sex act.” The affirmable 8 percent! Never mind it includes “feeling same-sex desire,” which many, many heterosexual women do. Or the fact that it’s impossible to discern how the 8 percent breaks down between feeling same-sex desire and acting on it.

But let’s not let pesky science stand in the way. Kluger goes on to indulge the notion, interviewing one female student, who offers a reason for girl-girl kissing straight out of Ariel Levy’s female chauvinist pig theory , saying, “[I]t’s usually done in order to turn guys on or to seek male attention in some way.” Not quite empowering, but there is a surprising upside to this rather unsettling heterosexual baiting. It helps real lesbians find themselves! Kluger writes:

For other girls-those on their way to coming out as lesbians, or just discovering their orientation themselves-girl-girl kissing, particularly in a party setting, provides a safe and comfortable glide path in what can often be a rocky transition. Tell yourself you’re kissing girls just to impress the boys, then begin to realize you like it, then finally embrace that there’s a deep and real reason for that.

Hear that ladies? Just tell yourself you’re kissing for the boys. There’s nothing wrong with a little girl-on-girl action to the tune of frat boy cheers. You might even find yourself.