Affection or awkwardness

How do guys really feel about being affectionate in public? Writer Richard Scott crunches the numbers on PDA

4:17AM, Nov 29

In the wild, a little display of affection is perfectly natural. Tiger cubs nuzzle. Snails rub antennae. And bonobo apes are known to tongue-kiss, rump-rub and even fellate and lick each other's genitals. Homo erectus, however, can be a little less forthcoming than his randy animal cousins.

There's a definite disparity between the sexes. You lot seemingly can't get enough PDA, yet for men, outside the privacy of our bedrooms, they can often be much more awkward than affectionate.

"Prudes! How on earth are we supposed to know what are and what are not acceptable forms of public intimacy?" I hear you shriek. "If only we had some sort of comprehensive, scientific study of the human male's PDA habits."
 
Well, aren't you lucky that I conducted such a study for this very article? Here are my findings:

One hundred per cent of male participants viewed the following as acceptable in public: a peck on the cheek or lips and the occasional pat on the bottom. Cuddling scored well (70 per cent), although many said that it depended on whether they were with mates and where they were, for instance, "Lying in a park or on a beach, sure… shopping at Coles, no".

French kissing got a big "no" (70 per cent), yet many claimed a cheeky tonguing was perfectly acceptable, as are most things, "when drunk".
 
Exactly half approved of the use of nicknames, yet most participants pungently disapproved of any public declarations of love. One guy warned that excessive use of "'I love you', 'No, I love you more', 'No, I love you most'" banter would result in vomit.

Downright unacceptable? Dry humping (100 per cent), groping (60 per cent) and "frotteurism" (90 per cent). Given that the latter refers to rubbing one's genitals on another person in public, I'm concerned for 10 per cent of Australian males. Then again, considering I only surveyed 10 of my friends, I'm really only worried about my mate Gary.

So why does your man squirm? He doesn't find you repulsive, he just detests an audience. He feels the world's eyes on him - a horde of disapproving men, all shaking their heads in pity. Stripped of his manhood, he pictures his mother outside the school gates, his friends watching on. A tissue soaking up her saliva, advancing to his cheek. Argh, please make it stop!

Or perhaps that's just me. But do not feel discouraged, lady-reader. We like a kiss and a cuddle as much as you do. We like them so much, in fact, that we don't want to share them with anybody else but you, preferably unclothed and away from prying peepers.

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