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The Dos and Don’ts of PDAs

We’ve all been there. Smack-bang in the middle of a sensational make out session that we’re not actually a part of.

Out at a bar recently, my table was treated to some free entertainment courtesy of a young couple pressed against the wall next to us.

They weren’t just kissing.

The Etiquette of Public Displays of Affection

They were engaged in a no-holds-barred pash fest. From where we sat, it looked like he was mauling her. She didn’t seem to be minding it (I’m sure a Pimms or two had helped with that) but we were all cringing at the sloppiness of the whole sordid affair.

As the passionate gentleman disentangled himself to go and fetch another drink, one of my friends grabbed the girl by the wrist as she walked past.

“You’re not going home with him, are you?” he asked. “Look at how drunk he is, he’s all over you. It’s not going to end well!”

She stared him down: “That’s my husband,” she retorted and dashed back to her group of friends, where she and her betrothed spent the rest of the evening pashing while the rest of her group tried in vain to act like nothing unusual was going on in their midst.

While I applaud any married couple who still have that kind of drive for each other, there is a time and a place for such behaviour.

Oh sure, everyone has a dabble in teenage years at a bit of PDA but after a certain age, you become aware of how uncomfortable you’re making everyone else.

Instead of thinking you’re rebelling against ‘The Man’, you suddenly realise you’re just being rude.

Of course, a bit of PDA here and there is condoned by most people.

However, everyone has their own personal line in the sand of what constitutes gross-out territory.

For most people, that line is – unequivocally – tongue.

From my online research, I found that hugging is “awwww-ed” at by most.

Chaste cheek kisses and lip-pecks? Fine. Maybe even a prolonged, closed-mouth kiss. So long as no spit is swapped.

A cute butt-pinch can be okay – so long as there’s no grabbing or groping involved.

But French kissing? Apparently, not okay with anybody. Except maybe enthusiast romantic D, who proudly says: “Hey, when the moment hits… the moment hits!”

I’ve decided it’s not so much the activity, but the proximity to other people when doing it.

Lip-pecks are great, until you’re repeatedly doing it across the dinner table from me.

If you’re tens of metres away from anyone in across a park, then go ahead, slip some tongue in.

Others are divided: “I don’t know, intimacy just doesn’t seem that intimate in public,” observes J.

If nothing else, it’s a matter of social etiquette. Next time you go for the public pash, stop and do the Grandma Test. If it’s too risqué to do in front of your dear old Granny, it’s too risqué to do in public. Full stop.

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Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.

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