by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Pentagon has spent roughly $700,000 on training designed to tell soldiers when it is appropriate to kiss a girl.
The “Can I Kiss You?” training was most recently deployed last week at the U.S. Army base in Fort Eustis, Va. Soldiers learned about “starting a conversation about relationships and intimacy.”
“The training event aimed to provide soldiers with skills to build respectful relationships and tools to apply effective communication with partners in support of April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” the Department of Defense said in a press release.
“Traditionally, this annual training is delivered through lectures and projected slides,” the department said. “This year Quenita Samuel, 93rd Signal Brigade SHARP victim advocate, said she wanted to break tradition for a more engaging conversation with Soldiers.”
“We want to make Soldiers feel more comfortable with starting a conversation about relationships and intimacy,” Samuel said. “I think they will be more receptive in a more engaging and interactive environment as opposed to a policy-driven lecture.”
“Can I Kiss You?” is a 60 to 90 minute training session taught by Mike Domitrz, an author and public speaker who travels the world teaching people about consent. A hallmark of the training is telling troops they must ask a woman before a kiss ending a date, no matter what.
At Fort Eustis, soldiers learned from Domitrz the “importance of healthy dating environments and a clearer understanding of consent.”
“Domitrz performed his one-man show titled, ‘Can I Kiss You?,’ a presentation that uses humor and personal anecdotes to create an open dialogue about respect, consent, and sexual assault prevention,” the department said.