This article explores moments of transmission of allergens through kissing, sexual intercourse, and other interpersonal interactions. How are activities—which can be expressions of love, desire, boredom, custom, and duty among others—interpreted when a thorough interrogation of potential allergens can precede these activities? For example, one lover to another: "Tell me about the pasta you had for lunch, did it have a garnish? Are you sure the sauce was only tomato based? What about anchovies? Did it taste fishy?" This hypothetical moment of dialogue samples the multiple ways when a kiss for allergic individuals—and those in proximity—is never just a kiss. And while kisses rarely are just kisses, as meaning is embedded in many expressions and moments of affection, kisses themselves blend boundaries as saliva, allergens, germs, and other matter get passed back and forth between participants.


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pp. 184-205
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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