You are at a dinner with someone attractive. She suddenly kisses you. Or he unexpectedly leans across and caresses your thigh. Whatever. You know the kind of encounter and the range of possible responses. Consider the kiss. What does it mean, and how far can you go? Does kissing imply more, and if so how much? Does the brush of lips signal that your hands can wander? Does the touch of the tongue intimate a right to bite? And similarly, is the unannounced hand on your thigh necessarily a transgression? If you feel sick, if you lash out, if you later insult the character and malign the reputation of this inarticulately inquisitive individual do you make them suffer more than you? What if the lecherous male is your professor, your boss, your supervisor, and you have invited them to the dinner with designs on their networking skills, their influence, their friends? Such and similar questions of amorous ethics and erotic disquisition are central to our desiring practices, to our everyday intimate public lives and they are the lost object of the laws of love.

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