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The Mass Media

Public Displays of Affection: Gross or Okay?


Is putting your love on display for everyone to see a human right or just annoying for everyone else?


By Davin Surin

Picture this: You’re innocently sitting on the train, minding your own business, when someone starts eating his or her significant other’s face as if they were at a luncheon party. Then the couple begins searching for lost change down the back of each others’ pants. It’s absolutely despicable. I understand that some may argue that it’s their own right to engage in such lustful expressions of romance, but there’s a time and place for that.

Before you criticize me, note that there are different tiers of public displays of affection (PDA). Holding hands is absolutely fine with me. Brushing your lips against theirs or a quick peck — okay, whatever. What bothers me are those epic long kisses, the ones that could win Academy Awards. As each person desperately tries to cut off each other’s oxygen supply, you glance away. Still, you can’t help wondering what you did to deserve this unwelcome public showing.

The problem arises when the display become sexual. What if there are children or nuns running around? While you think that the movie theatre or the beach are as private as you can get, think again.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not against PDA because I’m a lonely bastard with nothing better to do. Rather, I believe that we should respect one another as members of a functional society. We don’t run around nude or publicly masturbate, so please save the tongue flossing and groping for the bedroom. The French may be known for their glorious, passionate displays, but is it necessary to turn a public bus into a mobile lap dancing club?




By Christina Giannopoulos
I don’t think that a couple choosing to show public displays of affection is something that should bother other people. They are not hurting anyone by doing it, and if it is something that you don’t want to witness, just look away. No one is forcing you to stare.
I think that one of the main reasons people dislike PDA is because they themselves do not have a significant other to publicly show affection to. Of course people who are single are not going to look at the happy couple and think, “oh how cute.” They are going to say “Oh gross!” in order to hide their own insecurities about being single. Underneath it all you know they wish they weren’t alone, but what single person you know is going to freely admit to that?
In this sense, PDA is similar to Valentines Day. Everyone hates it when they are single, thinking that it is the dumbest holiday ever. Once they are not single and have someone they care about, all of a sudden Valentines Day is cute. It goes from being a “Hallmark holiday” to a special day when you can show your other half how much you really care about them.
When it comes to PDA, I understand that there are obviously things that are appropriate in public and other things that are not. A full on make-out session is not acceptable somewhere like the atrium. But then again, making out is not exactly PDA. PDA is holding someone’s hand, a kiss, an embrace. Touching is okay; groping is not.
Most people against PDA are just jealous, bitter single people, but many people are also including things that are beyond it as PDA. Really, people need to rethink their definitions of PDA.