A TikTok trend using a sound called « They Might Kiss x Promiscuous » is all about the tried and true teenage pastime of kissing your best friend, or at least pretending like you might. As you scroll through, you see mostly teenage flirtation that’s almost too awkward to look at directly. The sound that scores these clips includes dialogue, where one person in the pair says « two best friends in a room, they might kiss, » and the other says, « yes we will. » The two people feign surprise, and then as the song transitions into the hook of Nelly Furtado’s « Promiscuous, » they either kiss or they don’t.
Watching this happen between male and female best friend pairings can be hilarious, especially when it’s clear that the guy in question was pretty sure they were actually going to get a kiss. It’s also pretty funny when two teens kiss each other completely by accident.
It’s ultimately not all that different from party games like Spin the Bottle. But to play Spin the Bottle, all you need is a bottle to spin and people willing to kiss. « They Might Kiss » is more technological, and subject to the somewhat opaque popularity algorithm of a platform like TikTok. They’re also subject to moderation and, like we’ve seen in the past, TikTok seems to be censoring and deleting videos that feature LGBTQ+ pairings more often than it’s censoring heterosexual kisses.
In particular, videos of female best friends where they do actually kiss are ones that have been penalized by TikTok. In one case, TikTok user Maurena was temporarily suspended from TikTok for “multiple Community Guidelines violations.” The previous video on her feed is one where she kisses her female friend.
TikTok did not respond to request for comment.
TikTok should certainly not be banning or deleting videos in which clothed people make out with each other. Doing so speaks to society’s inherent sexualization of women kissing each other, and it casts LGBTQ+ relationships as somehow pornographic. The trend in general is going to make different people feel different ways, however. The trend allows for some of the experimentation that’s inherent in a game like Spin the Bottle, and can be an avenue for queer discovery. Kissing other women for the entertainment of men is also something that further compounds the idea that same sex relationships are a performance, which is homophobic.
It’s immediately obvious when looking at the comments of these videos that many, many men are watching them, and that they find these women attractive. It’s pretty gross, but also not surprising. These commenters also note that they remember searching for « girls kissing » on YouTube; this TikTok trend cuts out the middleman. Given the sexual nature of the comments, one could be forgiven for assuming these TikTokers are exploiting the platform’s equivalent of a hot tub meta. The thing is that they’re also just videos of non-nude women kissing each other. If that’s too sexual for TikTok because of the men who sexualize it, then what options does that give women who are kissing their female romantic partners?