Young adults in Santiago weren’t shy when it came to kissing in public. I saw them kissing in the streets, on the buses and subway trains, and especially in the city parks. Young Santiaguinos kissed with such passion and for such remarkable lengths of time that you’d think they invented the activity.
On weekends the grassy areas of the city parks were populated by colonies of teens and twenty-somethings, all kissing like crazy. Many locked lips atop blankets, while others preferred nothing more than the grass beneath them. Their public displays of affection assumed every imaginable physical position. Young women lying on top of young men, faces shrouded in cascades of long, dark hair. Young men lying on top of young women, arms stretched out, fingers clasped and hands pressed into the ground. Bodies side-by-side, hands mutually exploring necks, backs, thighs, and buttocks. Lovers seated and facing each other, legs wrapped around waists to assure maximum contact. When lovers came up for breath, they engaged in soft conversation, their faces close and tender and smiling. This closeness led to more deep and lengthy bouts of face sucking.
Kissing wasn’t always just about pleasure. The University students at times used kissing as a form of protest. The rising cost of college tuition in Chile was and still is a big issue. University students believed that in an enlightened society, access to college should be assured for all high school graduates that want to further their studies. To protest escalating tuition costs, students held kiss-ins in front of government buildings.