Culture

We Asked And You Answered: Here’s What You Told Us About Your First Kiss Experiences

It’s the Summer and lately, we’ve been feeling a little romantic. It has us thinking about the sweltering heat, moonlit nights and someone special to spend it with. All this romantic energy has made us kinda nostalgic about our own love lives and those moments that made them memorable. Whether our first kiss was fun and casual or with the loves of our lives, they’re a part of who we are now. To celebrate these smooches, we asked Latinas to tell us about their first kiss.

Here’s what they had to say about these monumental first.

The kiss that was packed with a lot of peer pressure.

Teen Vogue

“For my first kiss, I was about 8 years old lol. My older cousin made me kiss a little boy while visiting our abuelo in Mexico. The little boy lived next door to my abuelo.

I apparently wasn’t ready to have my first kiss because I was super shy and I didn’t have a crush on the boy, I just felt a little pressured because my cousin was like, “Kiss him, kiss him.” So me and the little boy kissed in front of my cousin and his brother.

It was a little peck, but at that age it felt like I did something horrible. I remember later seeing my parents and going up to them and telling them right away that I kissed a boy because I felt so guilty. They told me that I was too young to be doing that. I, of course, didn’t rat out my cousin for pressuring me into it, but blamed myself more.

Eight years old… yup that’s way too young. Funny first kiss though lol. Now everytime I go visit my abuelo in Mexico, I look at the front of the house where I kissed the little boy and just laugh. ” — Jenny, Los Angeles

The kiss that started it all.

Girl’s Life

“I had my first kiss when I was 16 and it honestly felt like it would never come. I had a flirtation with a boy in my Algebra class so — on a whim — I invited him to a game night sponsored by one of our school’s clubs.

During the evening, he and I decided to take a walk together. It was nice but he kept stopping and staring at me. I’d later find out he was working up the nerve to kiss me but at the time I was a wreck! We didn’t kiss that night but I invited him to my house the following day. 

We were upstairs sitting side by side on the family room couch. It was so peaceful with just the two of us. Suddenly, my mom called us downstairs and totally ruined the mood! When we sat up, we turned to each other and both leaned in.

We kissed three times before nervously heading downstairs. I was totally in love! Seventeen years later, we’re married with three kids. I think my first kiss came exactly when it was meant to.” — Samantha, Houston

The kiss that was a playdate peck.

DailyMail

“I was 5 years old and he was my best friend. He was the son of my mom’s best friend, actually, and we were inseparable as little kids. One day, we were reading Sleeping Beauty and, in the end, they kiss and the princess wakes up. I don’t remember which one of us said it but we got the idea to try it. And we did!” — Irina

The kiss that was practice for the real thing.

Seventeen Magazine

“My first kiss was actually with a girl. My best friend and I had grown up together since we were 7 years old.

Because both of our parents worked we spent a lot of time over at each others houses being ‘watched’ by our older siblings or baby sisters. Most of the time that including the older caretakers flipping on the TV and having us watch it while it watched us for them. So, many of our hours in the summer were spent watching tv shows and movies that were romantic in nature.

When we 13 years old we watched ‘Wild Things’ and realized that we could practice for our first kisses on each other. TBH it was a sweet, non-sexual exchange between friends. And we still are to this day.” —Ana, Brooklyn

The kiss that was twenty years in the making.

Dailyhunt

“I had a crush on this boy for years in grade school who I had known since we were four. I was a very late bloomer when it came to sexual experiences because I grew up in a very sheltered household. So, by the time I was in college and 20 years old I was pretty convinced it would never happen to me.

Finally, I went out to a party with friends and saw my former crush from elementary school. We caught each other early on in the night and later in the evening after a few drinks saw each other again. While we were catching up outside of the party he kissed me.

It was such a relief at the time, but pretty heartbreaking later when I realized most people in college just go around kissing people for fun and it doesn’t mean anything! Haha!” — Gabby, Texas

The kiss that never should have happened.

VeryWellMind.com

“My first kiss was from an uncle who was a complete pervert. I don’t really like to talk about it and normally when people ask me this question I just say that it was from the second person who ever kissed me.” —Anonymous

The kiss that exceeded all the hype.

Mid-day.com

“I think by the time I got around to getting my first kiss, so many of my friends had assured me that it was no big deal, and it would be nothing special. I think that that’s why when it finally came around it felt truly special and intimate.

At the time, I was in a church group during the summer when I was 15 and had liked a boy in my class called Mateo. He told my friends during a break that he wanted to kiss me one week and I had been so scared, even though I liked him, that I just avoided him. My heart would beat so fast every time we were around each other.

Finally after what felt like years but was probably just a couple of weeks I told him that I liked him and wanted to kiss him too. He kissed me outside under a tree. It was very sweet.” — Veronica, Chicago

Are You A Victim Of Abuse? Use This Checklist To Help You Determine The Truth

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Are You A Victim Of Abuse? Use This Checklist To Help You Determine The Truth

ET / Twitter

If you feel that you are experiencing an abusive relationship, please seek help. Call The National Domestic Violence Hotline on 1800 799 7233 for assistance. Please take care if you feel that your internet or mobile phone device use is being monitored.

There are three ways that abuse can be identified. By the way your partner treats you physically, by the way they treat you emotionally, and by how you feel about the relationship. This checklist of twenty signs of abuse is one tool that you can use to see if you, or someone you know, is a victim of abuse. And remember, more resources for dealing with abuse can be found by calling The National Domestic Violence Hotline on 1800 799 7233.

1. They have grabbed you and refused to let go.

gabkaphoto / Instagram

This falls into the category of physical abuse. No-one should grab you to make you feel threatened and unsafe. No-one.

2. They have pulled your hair.

Instagram: @theerinblythedavis

This is another form of physical abuse. Sure, a bit of hair pulling in the act of passion is fine. But when it happens as part of an argument, or when your partner is deliberately trying to hurt you or make you feel threatened, that is abuse.

3. They have thrown things at you and/or destroyed your belongings.

Instagram: @beatfreak1996

One way your significant other may try to control you is through your belongings. Throwing things at you and destroying your belongings is designed to hurt you physically and emotionally. Threatening to do so also falls under this category of behavior, too.

4. They have left you with bruises, black eyes, bleeding, and/or broken bones.

Instagram: @veeegooose

While abuse doesn’t necessarily have to leave marks on your body, a sure sign of physical abuse in your relationship is when your partner does leave marks. Research shows that once it happens the first time, a “threshold” of sorts has been crossed, and an abuser is more likely to hurt their partner again.

5. They have threatened to hurt or kill you.

Instagram: @raquelitt

It may not seem like abuse, since there are no physical marks left from a threat to hurt or kill you. However, these threats are still part of the arsenal of tools that abusers use. How? Because these threats are designed to control your behavior, and make you feel powerless. Abuse in a relationship is about the abuser gaining and maintaining power, and death threats are a way of emotionally controlling you.

6. They have threatened to take your children away or harm them.

Instagram: @stephaniemaurasanchez

Even if you have children together, children shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip in your relationship. Even more importantly, your children’s safety is non-negotiable: no partner of yours should threaten it. By the way, this doesn’t just apply to children. Pets can also be used to manipulate and control you in a relationship.

7. They have forced you to have sex.

Instagram: @jennylikesjewellery

Sex is not a “duty” to be fulfilled in a loving, equal relationship. Nor should your partner guilt trip or manipulate you into participating in sex acts after you have refused sex. Consent needs to be freely given! It doesn’t matter how long the two of you have been together. Otherwise, it’s classed as sexual assault.

8. They try to control you and treat you like a child.

Instagram: @silvia_almanza

Abusive relationships are about control and power. Part of treating you like a child is making you feel like you don’t have any control in the relationship, or even your life, so that you continue to stay and endure the abuse.

9. They make you feel like you need permission to make decisions or go somewhere.

Instagram: @kreeturefeature

This applies when you feel like you have to text at every moment to update your partner about where you are. And when you can’t spend time with friends or family without getting permission from your partner. This is because abusers commonly try to isolate their partner from other, platonic relationships with other people.

10. They try to take complete control of the finances and how you spend money.

Instagram: @loudmouthbruja

Controlling how money is earned and spent is known as financial abuse. People suffering from this type of abuse are commonly denied access to money by partners for doing simple tasks like grocery shopping. Or, sometimes the abuser decides whether and when their partner is allowed to work.

11. They cannot admit to being wrong.

Instagram: @abs_ter

Part of being in a respectful and loving relationship is being able to say sorry and to admit fault. An abusive partner refuses to apologise, because doing so would threaten their position of power in their relationship.

12. They accuse you of things that you know are not true.

Instagram: @estephaniaabarca

This is about control, and manipulating you. After all, if you’re spending your time trying to prove your innocence, then you’re not going to spend your time planning to leave the relationship, are you?

13. They do not take responsibility for their behavior.

Instagram: @lu.pazmi

The reality is, it’s not too much to ask someone to take responsibility for their behavior – even more so when it’s someone you’re in a relationship with. However, your partner doesn’t take responsibility for their behavior because doing so would threaten their position of power in the relationship.

14. They use “The Silent Treatment” to get their way.

Instagram: @yappaririri

Chances are you may have experienced “The Silent Treatment” before, in elementary school. And that’s where that behavior should stay. An equal, loving relationship is not built on one person using silence to manipulate the other person into conceding a point.

15. They make subtle threats or negative remarks about you.

Instagram: @noshophotography

Of course, there’s always room for some friendly sledging in a loving, respectful relationship. But, it turns into abuse when your partner does this on a regular basis to frighten, or control you. It’s possible they may even pass it off as a “joke”, or say that you’re “overreacting”. But again, if you’re in a loving relationship, then your partner should respect the fact that you’re hurt by a “joke”. They should not continue to make these types of comments.

16. You feel scared about how your significant other will act.

Instagram: @erikakardol

Repeat after us: you should have no reason to fear your partner in a loving, respectful relationship. You should have no reason to fear your partner in a loving, respectful relationship.

17. You feel that you can help your partner to change their behavior.

Instagram: @amnesia.r

But, only if you have changed something about yourself first.

18. You watch your behavior carefully so that you do not start a conflict in your relationship.

Instagram: @cmirandads

An abuser does not abuse all of the time. They maintain a cycle of abuse in the relationship. Things go from being tense, where you feel like you have to watch your own actions, to an incident which involves verbal, emotional, financial and physical abuse. Then, your partner attempts reconciliation or denies the abuse occurred, and the relationship goes into a calm stage. However, tensions will begin to build before long, starting the cycle once again.

19. You stay with your partner because you are afraid of what they would do if you broke up.

Instagram: @msstefniv

In other words, you feel trapped in your relationship because of your partner’s current, or potential, behavior. This can range from hurting you, your kids, your pets, your friends, and your family. Or, destroying your belongings, compromising access to your finances, or hurting themselves.

20. They don’t pass “The No Test”

Instagram: @kaitlyn_laurido

“The No Test” is pretty simple. Observe what happens the next time you tell your partner “no”. This could be in response to being asked out on a date, or maybe doing them a simple favor. Disappointment is a normal response to being told “no.”  However, pure outrage, violence, and/or emotional manipulation is not a reasonable response, and may indicate an abusive relationship.

If you feel that you are experiencing an abusive relationship, please seek help. Call The National Domestic Violence Hotline on 1800 799 7233 for assistance. Please take care if you feel that your internet or mobile phone device use is being monitored.

Women Share What It’s Really Like Growing Up With A Single Mom

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Women Share What It’s Really Like Growing Up With A Single Mom

Netflix

If you’ve had the unique, and very very special, experience of being raised by a single mother, you know that it comes with all kinds of lessons. Amidst the struggles of single parenthood, you learn at a young age what true strength and perseverance mean. And above all, you learn from la jefa de jefas what it means to not only run a household but be a leader.

Recently we asked Latinas on Instagram to share what they valued most from their years being under a single-parent roof run by their mother. The responses proved to be touching, reflective and all at once unique.

The woman who helped raise eachother.

“My mom was a single mom, but my grandma raised me and my Nina influenced me. My grandma was a single mom too, so it came naturally for her to raise me herself. She’s the strongest woman I know💕 she always made sure I had food to eat and clothes on my back, she took me everywhere she could. Our weekends were filled with “browsing” and we’d be out from sunup to sundown no más en la calle 😁 she would start conversations with everyone anywhere. She was able to be a grandma to my baby and the only person I could fully rely on 100% to help me raise my own. There will never be words to say how much that meant to me. She’s turning 94 this year and still my heroe.” – moneekers

The mom who never let her children be home alone.

jasminasb / Instagram

“One thing I learned to appreciate as I became an adult is that my mom never let my sister and I be home alone; she made us play every sport offered at school so that she could be out of work and waiting in the parking lot when we got out of practice.” –just_phdcounselored

The woman raised by Wonder Woman herself.

sofiasaraiyt / Instagram

“My mother is Wonder Woman in the flesh and it is an honor to be her child my mother is the most amazing pain in my ass but absolutely best person in my life. I love her so much and value her for all her sacrifices and that she still stands by my side and my sisters through thick and thin. Proud to say I am my mother’s daughter. Single moms are warriors.” – ladycinnamon_90

The mama who had something to say.

pdromi_fotografia / Instagram

“I was a single mom to my oldest who is now 28. For the most part of her life. I have been single to my youngest now 14 for the last 11 years. I’ve had decent relationships with their fathers. I never stopped to think about how, as a single mother I helped to shape their world. I see myself in the comments on here as a single mama. Single moms just it it done!” –mimarria

The mom who found a way to give everything when she didn’t have a lot herself.

“My mom raised me and my 2 siblings since we were under the age of 5. She always made sure we had everything, even when we didn’t have a lot. Her hard work and dedication have made me the resilient woman I am today.” – gaby_armenta23