Public displays of affection (PDA)

An image of a couple seen from the back, and they are holding hands which counts as public displays of affection.

I am joining in with others – Mrs Jones and Marriage Sex and More – to answer Brigit Delaney’s 30 Dirty Questions. As Brigit said:

These questions will all be about sex in some way and will be the sorts of questions that get a the core of a person’s desires, fears, and experiences. The sorts of questions that could really help you get to know another person.

~ Brigit Delaney

I think these questions serves not only to let you get to know the other person, but also to get you to think about your own preferences, desires, and dislikes.


Question 2: How do you feel about PDA? (You can take this as far as “kinks in public,” too.)

At first I had to look up PDA, as I didn’t know what it meant, but when I saw ‘public displays of affection’, my first reaction was: I don’t have a problem with that. That was only for a moment, as I instantly realized there are some forms of public displays of affection I will find disconcerting.

What are forms of public displays of affection

There are several ways in which people display their affection for each other in public, such as (and not limited to) kissing, hugging, winking and holding hands. Also, on a warm day, lying together on a blanket somewhere in the park, faces close together, maybe talking, maybe kissing, but seemingly unaware of their surroundings.

Much of this, especially between heterosexual partners, is done without even thinking about it twice. For many couples it has become second nature to walk hand in hand, but sadly there are too many couples who can’t do something as simple as walking hand in hand, for fear of the problems they might get for it. I find this extremely sad, but this post is not about that.

We show our affection in public

Master T and I do engage in showing our affection for each other in public. Not always, but many times we do. When we are out to the shops, I will sometimes take his hand for a few moments and hold it. Sometimes this is because I just feel the love, other times because I see he needs a bit of physical support. Both of this look the same, but we know the difference.

When seated at our favorite restaurant, and having our conversations about whatever, we sometimes kiss. Just a quick kiss on the lips, and a loving smile to go with it, but it’s there for everyone to see. Sometimes, when we sit next to each other, I will briefly rest my head on his shoulder, and he will kiss the top of my head. The same way, I will take his hand and squeeze it, or he would tap my bottom when I stand up to go to the bathroom. These are all small displays of affection, and a way of us to connect in an environment where we are surrounded by others.

We have never gone further than just this, and I find this more than enough.

Acceptable and non-acceptable

What Master T and I do, I find acceptable. I know for some this will already be too much, but to me what we do, is acceptable. Not only for us, but also for other couples.

If I see another couple hug, it makes me smile. The same when there is a touch of a hand, or even if I caught onto something similar like a tap on the bottom. A kiss – a quick on the lips, or a peck on the cheek – that’s acceptable too. What will not be acceptable to me, and for which I always feel shame on their behalf, is when a couple engages in a intense, passionate kiss. That just makes me feel uncomfortable.

The same way a tap on the bottom is acceptable, but full-on squeezing a butt, or attempting to touch a breast or a crotch will definitely not get a smile from my side. Instead, I always feel like I am the one having been caught red-handed and I never know where to look.

That couple on the picnic blanket in the park? They will definitely get a smile from me while they lie their talking and just enjoying each other’s company, or even when kissing – no long kisses, just a kiss. But the moment it becomes more intimate than that, for instance they lie too close together and hands are roaming – it must be my dirty mind that always catch on to things like this – in other words when it gets just a bit too intimate, it makes me feel only irritation.

Kinky stuff in public

Now if a too-passionate kiss or trying-to-hide roaming of hands get me irritated, just imagine my reaction when kinky stuff happens in public. I am not innocent in this, as back when Master T and I just started seeing each other, he once fingered me on a bench in the middle of Rotterdam, and I am sure if someone had watched us then, they would’ve known what was happening.

Let’s say I grew up, and I understand that it’s actually quite rude to subject others to something too intimate. People may feel uncomfortable, and don’t know where to look, or be exposed to things they would rather not see. And what about the children? They should definitely not be subjected to any kinky displays in public. Of course here you can ask, but what about the kissing, the hugging, the holding hands that I do find acceptable in public? I don’t think children will be harmed to see a bit of love between people.

Yay or nay?

So, yay or nay to showing your affection in public? To me it’s a yay, as long as it’s not excessive and doesn’t have the potential to make others look away in shame.

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay


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11 thoughts on “Public displays of affection (PDA)

  1. yay with the same reluctance as you as it gets to others who are uncomfortable with it.
    But…. I like scavengerhunts.

  2. Yeah…PDA is one of those things that just doesn’t take the audience’s consent into consideration. I’ve always been pretty conservative about my own PDA, and others’ only bother me if they go too far. You know, when they prompt the expected “Get a room!” demands from people around them. This is why sex-in-public kinks are so problematic for me. I get that the risk of being caught can be a turn on, but the people who catch you shouldn’t have to deal with that…unless they want to. But then, we’re back to consent.

  3. We’re pretty conservative when it comes to PDAs. Don’t mind watching though, just know your audience if you are engaging… Glad to see you are joining in. I found the questions interesting for sure.

    1. I’m really enjoying the questions too. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  4. This was a fun read, Marie! Daddy and I engage in PDA. He knows my breasts are definitely off limits in public, but he will give my bottom a slap or a squeeze once in a while. When we are out, he almost always has a hand on me…whether we are holding hands, or he has an arm slung around me. I always feel very secure with him out in public <3

    1. I love seeing couples holding hands or hugging. That’s okay. It’s just when PDA makes me feel embarrassed on their behalf that I don’t like it anymore. But mostly people ‘behave’, so it’s fine 🙂

  5. I’m not a fan of PDA, generally speaking. I might sit close to someone, but any kind of hugging/touching/kissing — NO. I don’t do it and I don’t want to see it. In “adult-only” situations — where all the adults are consenting — that’s different. But in public? No.

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