In 1989, Mike Domitrz’s sister was raped and it tore his worldview apart. After listening to a speech about sexual assault, he realized that he wanted to make a difference by educating people about this very sensitive and important topic. He became an expert on sexual assault and started a presentation about healthy dating behavior called “Can I Kiss You?” It has been presented worldwide. In 2003, the acclaimed show led to an organization, The Date Safe Project. He has worked on books, DVDs, and other media to educate people about sexual assault. The proceeds also benefit sexual assault awareness organizations.
His first book “May I Kiss You?” was first published in 2003. The 117–page book, now in a special edition fifth printing, provides a condensed discussion of how people, especially adolescents, can rethink their dating practices, protect themselves from sexual assault, and even prevent themselves from committing a sexual assault. One of his major points is that many people unwittingly engage in coercive dating or sexual behavior, even if they do not consider themselves the type of person who would sexually assault another person. This is often the result of ineffectual communication and bad assumptions.
Domitrz points out that reading body language is mostly guesswork and easily misinterpreted. He goes on to discuss why asking for an intimate act even as light as a kiss is better than “going for it” without asking. In arguments, scenarios, and exercises, he emphasizes how easy it is to engage in sexual contact without consent and why it’s wrong even when your partner is conscious and gives no verbal or physical resistance.
While he acknowledges the horror of sexual assault, the book generally stays away from vivid descriptions, focusing on logical arguments, easy–to–consider scenarios, and how to positively deal with this difficult issue. The latest edition also refers to bonus material on the Web for students, parents, and teachers to learn more. While the scenarios are geared toward young heterosexual couples, he points out how the material is relevant to all people.
“May I Kiss You?” is a thoughtful, caring look at romantic and sexual relationships and the issue of sexual assault. The arguments do get didactic and rather heavy, but the book will definitely make you think twice about your dating behavior and how to respect your partner.
Author: Michael J. Domitrz. Book: May I Kiss You? A Candid Look at Dating, Communication, Respect, & Sexual Assault Awareness. Edition: Fifth Printing, Special Edition. Place of publication: Greenfield, Wisconsin. Publisher: Awareness Publications. Date: 2008.