Wednesday, 28 May 2008


During my travels this week I was waiting for my train to come into Norwich when a couple RIGHT in front of me started to eat each other’s faces off. This unexpected voyeuristic experience left me feeling annoyed, then jealous and finally shameful. You see my annoyance stemmed less from the blatant 'Public Display of Affection' (as Wikipedia labels it), and more at my cowardice for having never similarly snogged Arthur's (Chris also wanted a nom de plume) face off in public (well at least at a train-station) [other nauseous terms include gobble-gobble kissing or to suck face]. Generally, if Arthur and I are seeing each off, we'll give each other a big bear hug, yet there is I feel, still something awkward in our farewells - which to some extent is my own fault for giving a damn what others think.

There will be some who say 'I don't want to see anyone kissing - whether they're straight, gay or a transgenderqueer boydyke'. And certainly I agree that there should be a limit concerning the amount of bodily fluid one passes in public, but I do think that this kind of opinion misses the point. Clearly same-sex pashing/pulling will probably garner more attention and perhaps even aggression from passer-by’s than two heterosexuals kissing... Indeed, even two men/two women holding hands in a provincial town, is I think, a pretty brave act.

But also – why is a bit of kissing considered so offensive? I have a suspicion that those who find this SO objectionable are the same kind of prudes who would grumble about public breast-feeding or naturalist swimming groups.

Anyway, I'm determined in future to care less what people might think! Let the heavy petting begin!


Tim said...

I saw once two guys in Boston kissing briefly but in a manner that seemed so beautiful as to recall the Rodin. They were unnoticed by the crowd passing in every direction around them, but I couldn't help gaze in wonder at this Revelation. Such a natural act, never seen in repressed Ohio, was utterly uninteresting to the rest of society... their unreaction being the perfect manifestation of tolerance.

Ash said...

I had to sit next to a couple on my 8-hour flight from Brisbane to Singapore recently, and it annoyed the hell out of me that they kept kissing each other. To be honest, this was probably due to:

1. The length of time I was next to them.
2. The fact I hadn't seen my boyfriend for 3 months
3. The fact that they kept SLURPING when they did it!

In general, I think it's fine to kiss in public, particularly if it's a hello/goodbye kiss, but I would tend to keep it short and sweet. A big hug and a little kiss on the lips is fine by my standards - personally it wouldn't matter to me if a couple behaving in this way were gay or straight (obviously!) and wish that this were the case in general.

As a related point, in the past, my boyfriend was quite offended one day when a girl looked scandalised because he gave me the most chaste of goodbye kisses in the middle of Devonshire House. In her case, I have to agree that she was perhaps as jealous and prudish as you suggest! But to the slurpy face-suckers, I say: NOT when a stranger is being forced to sit right next to you for 8 hours!

Matt said...

Ash - I quite agree. Slurpy face-sucking is not good (indeed it's up there with chin-dribbling or tongue-ripping). 8 hours of slurping would drive anyone insane.

I think that in this instance, in such a confined space (and for such a long time), those kissing/pashing should be aware of those around them!