Professor's House

Are Public Displays of Affection Really Necessary

PDA. The acronym for public displays of affection. Chances are you have not only seen public displays of affection, in public – but have also participated in it. There is nothing quite as wonderful as love in full bloom, but there IS most definitely an appropriate place and time for PDA. And far too often today, it seems that etiquette (and common sense) as it applies to PDA have become tossed to the wayside. When couples cross the line from a simple act of PDA to something that looks like it belongs in a rated X movie, it can make everyone around them feel a tad uncomfortable. Thus the phrase, “Get a room!”

Sadly, extreme PDA is not limited to passionate teenagers that are living on the cusp of their sexuality, or to the promiscuous after midnight bar scenes that cater to flamboyant 20 something’s. PDA is everywhere. So we ask you, is PDA really necessary? And when is affection in public, simply too much? In other words, now that we are living in 2012, where it seems that ‘anything goes,’ what are the rules of PDA?

Believe it or not, there is a PDA protocol. The protocol should be carried out by using common sense. Unfortunately, many folks who are so deeply in love have lost all aspects of their common sense and find there to be no problems making out (tongue down one another’s throats) at a McDonalds play land or dinner table inside a restaurant. So, for those of you that may not know when to get a room – here are the rules of the road!

Acceptable Forms of PDA

Notice that the first word above is acceptable. Acceptable PDA is such that it won’t offend the people in your presence (or make them insanely jealous). Acceptable PDA’s are those things that are considered okay to be carried out in public and in no way compromise the comfort levels of the people around you. One easy way to gauge what is an “acceptable” form of PDA, is to ascertain whether or not you would perform certain acts in front of your parents or grandparents. If the answer is no, then you probably shouldn’t engage in them around the general public.

  • Hand holding. Handholding is quite simply the most accepted form of PDA. Handholding is quite simply just that. Holding hands. And it is something that you see toddlers doing with their parents, as well as couples engaging in. Handholding shows people that the two of you are together without crossing the line that lets people know that you have a condom out of the wrapper, waiting to be used, in your pocket. (Hopefully). If you must touch your partner in public, feel free to hold their hand.
  • Kissing. This one is tricky. An acceptable kiss is a sweet kiss on the lips. It’s even okay if you want to prolong the kiss for just a little bit. Of course, kissing should also be done in good taste. In other words, if the two of you are slobbering all over one another, biting each other’s lips and engaged in some exasperated tongue action – you have gone way too far.
  • Hugs. There is nothing wrong with a nice hug, or walking with your arm around your partner. Unfortunately, if the hug turns into an exotic dance routine, or you cannot hug one another without sticking your hands inside each other’s clothes – then you should probably forego hugging altogether.
  • Dancing. Again, this one needs to be carried out in good taste. You don’t want to be in the middle of a park having a picnic with your date – dancing as a form of making love with your clothes on. If you are going to dance in public, you should first make sure that you are dancing in an appropriate venue, and you should leave a little to the imagination. In other words no groping or humping one another!

You might be disappointed to note that these are truly the only forms of acceptable PDA. If you cannot hold hands, kiss, hug or dance with your partner in public without getting downright ‘down and dirty,’ then your best bet is to wait and go out together after 10pm (when no children will be around) or to completely refrain from touching one another in public.

While you may feel that your elongated tongue kiss at the little outdoor bistro at lunchtime didn’t cross the line, the truth is that in the eyes of the general public it probably did. And sure, they might just be jealous because their relationship has fizzled to a completely unromantic state. But the truth is that no one really wants to see you and your partner so engaged with one another that it looks like you are about to rip one another clothes off at any second and do the deed smack dab in the middle of a public place. And, whenever you are in public – there are apt to be children and elderly people around who may not quite understand your needs to be so physically involved with your partner. Bottom line, it’s just rude – and when done in poor taste can truly change the way people think of you.

For some people, displaying excessive PDA is a turn on in and of itself. Maybe you like the attention (albeit negative) you get from others. Or maybe the little act of teasing your partner in public with extreme groping and foreplay is part of the excitement that is a precursor for sex. But that my friend is your problem – and you shouldn’t be so rude (or ignorant) as to place the burden of sensuality on your onlookers. Plus, depending on where you are – you should know that some jurisdictions have laws in place that strictly prohibit X-rated PDA. So keep your clothes on people, and if you just cannot wait – GET A ROOM!

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