This Video Where People Consensually Slap Each Other In The Face Is Strangely Compulsive

The viral video is a follow up to that one where strangers kissed each other


by Sophie Cullinane |
Published on

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or within an self-imposed social media ban – in which case we applaud your self restraint), you’re probably one of the 84,840,773 people who watched the First Kiss video. It was probably one of the most successful viral videos ever to have appeared on the internet – certainly in the last year – and by now there are so many parodies and dopplegangers of the video that ‘First Kiss Videos’ have almost become a sub-genre of the internet in their own right.

But this new video called The Slap – Point of Impact which was posted on YouTube yesterday, is the first one that’s got us talking again in a long while. It’s been produced by a user called Uptomyknees and features a mixed group of men and women who all proceed to slap each other in the face.

You’d be forgiven for alerting the authorities after reading that description, but the video doesn’t actually portray violence in the typical sense, because everyone in the video is being slapped ‘consensually’ after agreeing to take part in the video.

As Uptomyknees explains: ‘I decided to define violence as “nonconsensual physical interference”. Wordy, I know, but it lent itself to a wider idea. Something as simple as someone grabbing your butt or hugging you a little too long or too tight can feel violent; granted, not as painful as a knife to the gut or a bullet to the head, but still, violent.


‘But what if we took the non-consensual part out of it? What if you agreed, in some small way, to a measure of pain, and in doing so, earned the opportunity to inflict a little of your own, free of consequence, divorced from the more traditional contexts of a fight or anger or rough sex, and hit someone in the face?’

His mission became to find out – with the acknowledgment he’d probably get a bit of flak for it along the way. ‘Granted, it’s just a stupid internet video, but what isn’t, these days? The theory was: a slap, robbed of its violating context, is more intimate than a kiss.’

We can kind of see the video maker’s point – and the video is oddly compulsive and actually doesn’t feel at all as difficult to watch as you might think. It helps that you know the people have consented to the slap and that – according to the maker, they are all doing it of their own free will rather than being paid.

But then there’s the bit when a woman is asked whether this is the first time she’s been slapped and she answers: ‘Oh no, I’ve been slapped loads?’ and you kinda start to wonder whether there’s some dark point being made about how watchable this violence has become. We’ll see...

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophiecullinane

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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