Amanda Teseo

The Silhouette

“Um…excuse me, can you take your tongue out of his mouth so I can watch this movie and not your extended foreplay?”

How many of us have been stuck in a situation where public displays of affection have put us in an awkward position? Although not many of us would shout the above statement in the middle of the movie theatre, I’m sure we have thought of doing much more – anything to prevent the acoustics of the room from echoing snogging sounds into our ears.

Okay, I get it. You’re turned on by something and God forbid you wet your pants with anticipation. Whether you’re tasting the appetizer before the entrée or you’re showing your special someone just how happy you are to be with them, there are definitely guidelines and boundaries for the type of affection the public should be exposed to.  Definitely steer clear of anything that might trigger nausea. Keep it classy, young lovers.

Speaking of young lovers, those of you who tuned in for the Royal Wedding have witnessed the quickest kiss in the history of the world. Let me break it down for those of you who didn’t catch the international broadcasting or who blinked at the wrong time and missed it. Royal couple Kate Middleton and Prince William touched lips for a total of 1.2 milliseconds. ”Kiss her again,” was what rang through the crowd immediately after the kiss.

The media’s response was a combination of over-analysis and disappointment. An English brewery company even created a beer named after the peck of the century called “Kiss Me, Kate” beer, and magazine covers all over the world featured headlines like “When it comes to kisses, it doesn’t get any more G-rated than this.”

The truth is, the royal couple rehearsed this formality countless times.  There was probably a Royal Commission involved with the eloquent delivery – angling, lighting, setting, etc. Can you imagine how people would respond if William and Kate had an intense make-out session on the balcony of Buckingham Palace? With a peck (or two), the kiss is kept elegant and scandal-free. This display of affection becomes categorized as classy and tasteful instead of over-the-top.

Although people would have been more satisfied if the kiss lasted longer than 1.2 milliseconds, the Royal family would have frowned upon any hint of tongue. There’s definitely a happy medium when it comes to PDA.

So, this brings us back to the ultimate question of what public displays of affection are acceptable. AskMen.com, one of my favourite tell-it-like-it-is websites, has named the “3 pillars of public displays of affection”: 1) hand-holding, 2) a kiss goodbye and 3) affectionate invasions of space. These pillars, within moderation, are expected to occur between couples.

Around the three pillars come a multitude of affectionate displays that either make the list of acceptable public activities or should be tucked away until you are in private. For example, handholding is completely acceptable; it shows your status as a couple without making people squeamish. Kissing, on the other hand, should be done within limits. To be safe, keep it brief and tongue-free.

Next, we have declarations of love, the iconic part of any chick flick. The fact is that this is an intimate moment for both of you and, if the love isn’t reciprocated, an audience could make things worse. For those bitter and out-of-love people out there, hearing the couple beside you whispering “I love you” back and forth may make you want to slap someone.

Finally, those cutesy things some couples do, like call each other pet names, can get annoying for the people around them and possibly offend someone. Choose the wrong pet name, boys, and her friends may transform into vigilante feminists before your eyes.

Overall, the three pillars of PDA are safe grounds, but anything that shouldn’t be done on the balcony of Buckingham Palace should be kept private, or at least in seclusion.

Most importantly, PDA should be something both you and your significant other are comfortable with. For example, slapping his ass in public could be something he would rather steer clear of.

If you use PDA to spice up your relationship, all the power to you.  We are all familiar with the dreaded loss of the “honeymoon phase” spark and excitement in a relationship. This is a free country and, ultimately, what you choose to display to the public is your choice.

Adam and Eve probably got down and dirty in the middle of the jungle, but we live among a much larger population. Don’t be surprised if the mother sitting across from you on the bus gives you a dirty look and covers her daughter’s eyes at the sight of your tongues intertwining. Don’t be angry when the old man beside you mumbles in disgust about “kids these days.”

Young love is blissful and is also between the two of you. Keep it G rated to avoid upsetting the people around you and possibly making your partner uncomfortable.

The next time you couples out there are at the movie theatre, remember that people around you paid for the movie, not the live action.

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