X Marks The Spot

I recently read a Tweet from @Wisteme that immediately drew me in – it leads to a post explaining why “x” stands for a kiss. I had no clue, yet I have left Post-Its around signed with an “x” many times.

So, why an “x”?

Well, it’s not because sex ends in an “x”. As Wisteme explains, literacy rates weren’t as high as they are today (and yet, the average literacy level in America is around 8th grade – we’ve come a long way, baby), and many people in Medieval Times couldn’t read or write. However, even if you couldn’t read a sentence an “x” was pretty easy to read, as well as to write. For many people, especially those who couldn’t write, an “x” was akin to a signature and it was also usual to kiss your signature. Signing a letter with an “x” was a way of binding and a sign of honesty. Wisteme also notes that the letter “x” is pronounced very similarly to the English word “kiss” (not sure if I believe this one as much, but I’ll go with it!). Do you use a kiss as a sign of your honesty?

Follow along with us on Twitter @mysexprofessor and find Holly, the author of this post, @ItsHollyAgain

About Holly Moyseenko

Holly Moyseenko is a sex educator living in Ohio. She is an advocate of positive and healthy sexuality. Holly currently works for a non-profit health organization as a health educator, and also teaches workshops that focus on many topics within the realm of healthy sexuality. In her spare time, she also is an advocate for survivors of sexual assault, gardens, reads anything within reach, drinks copious amounts of tea, and naps with her two dogs.