Everyone has seen that couple out in public. The ones that french kiss for so long on the curb, that by the time you pass them you’ve already memorised how many cavities they each have. Or the couple who feed each other at the restuarant every mouthful and you think they’re going to bust out “It’s an aeroplane!” any moment. So come on now, what is the deal with PDA? When is it cute, and when is it too much? Here are my dos and don’t of public displays of affection.

Public Displays of affection

Holding Hands

Let’s start off easy. Holding hands. I remember that holdings hands was the first big step when you’re on a date or seeing someone. That moment when you’re walking along and one of you reaches for the other’s hand, not knowing if they would take it or not. That first contact, the silent confirmation that yes, that person likes you, this could lead to something. I remember by first boyfriend Kai liked to rub my thumb with his thumb, and that was our special thing. Then my second boyfriend Dylan hated that and instead would occasionally squeeze my hand and I would squeeze it back and that became our thing. Holding hands can be very special. Not letting go when you’re on a narrow street and people want to walk past you however is impolite. Otherwise, hold hands away. You can also never get too old for holding hands. Seeing old couples hold hands always makes me smile.


Kissing is slightly shaky ground. Pecks on the cheek or lips can be seen as cute and sweet. They’re quick and non obtrusive. Tongues also aren’t really bad as long as you don’t do it for too long. However no one sets a timer when they start to french kiss and it’s a fine line between “That’s fine!” and  “Oh god they’re eating each other’s faces!” I generally try not to resort to making out in public places. However there are some places where it’s also fine, like in a park on a summer’s day. As long as you’re not in other people’s faces with your face eating it’s completely ok.


Groping is a hard one. I want to say “Don’t do it” but I do it all the time. I’m a bit of an exhibitionist like that though. For instance, sitting at the front the bus on the top deck and having my friend put his arm around my shoulders, then slipping his hand down my tank top for a sneaky squeeze? Very fun. A light bum spank here and there? Fun. Full on hands up skirt action? Not ok. I think it comes down to exactly how open you are about it. A sneaky grope here and there that doesn’t draw attention to yourself is ok, some people might catch it, but it’s just cheeky fun. A very obvious “we don’t care if you see or not” grope fest is not ok.

Feeding each other food

Letting the other person have a bite of your food is ok. I say this because I will always want a bit of your food. Feeding them every single bite they take might be taking it too far as well. I have also heard that people dislike it when couples sit on the same side as each other. I’ve never really seen that done, other than in groups of four or more. If there’s just two of you, then it would feel like you’re a judging panel surely? If there’s a group of you, sitting next to your partner seems fine. But you shouldn’t act like you’re alone on a date if you’re with other people.

Public Sex

I’ve done sex outside before, but certainly not in openly public places, or if I ever thought there were people watching. I would say if you’re in a very openly public place and there’s people around and it would be very hard to hide what you’re doing, don’t do it. It looks trashy. This goes for finger banging, blowjobs and full penetration. But I would never discourage a bit of skinny dipping in the lake at 3am, or a blowjob on the last train from London to Manchester when there’s only 4 people in the entire carriage.