Public Displays Of Affection

  • cityguy39

    Posts: 967

    Jun 27, 2007 4:29 AM GMT
    How do you guys feel about public displays of affection such as holding hands, kissing etc. Next question, how comfortable are you expressing your affections outside the comfort of your gay ghetto or your home.
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    Jun 27, 2007 8:53 AM GMT
    Totally uncomfortable with it. Wish it was different, but it ain`t.
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    Jun 27, 2007 12:21 PM GMT
    I'm completely comfortable with it. My first boyfriend and I used to hold hands while walking through the shopping mall in conservative Naples FL.
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    Jun 27, 2007 2:24 PM GMT
    Not comfortable. Not when other people start staring at us with disgusting look, that we are some sick animal that gonna go to hell when we die. Not in my country anyway. That why I just love to cross over to Thailand when thing are less conservative and more personal freedom are allow. Even in Thailand I only dare to do it in gay area only.

    The last time I was walking with my ex on the dark, moon less beach when there not a soul around , I was really nervous about holding his hand. I was afraid somebody might see us.

    I was arrest once , while making out(just kissing and hugging) in the public park. I manage to escape only after heavily bribing the policemen.
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    Jun 27, 2007 3:19 PM GMT
    I don't have a problem with it. And I am comfortable, doing it in my small midwestern town in Michigan, which we get lots of angry looks, but I don't care. The only way people will change is by seeing gay people out in public not caring what these other people think.
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    Jun 27, 2007 4:31 PM GMT
    There was a time when it made me extremely uncomfortable til I decided to live for myself, completely. Seeing as how many in society will reject us (queer people) due to their own bigotry alone, it matters little if I go in drag ("play straight") or camp it up. That said, if I'm with a guy and the sunshine is hitting our faces and he decides he wants to kiss me, HELL YES! After all, we only live once and there's nothing more wretched than regrets.

    The way I see it, society cannot deny gay people rights, condone violence against us, make fun of us (WTF is this new movie where the joke is that the guys are gay but not really?!), and ask us to pretend to "be straight" 24/7. I actually think it's better the more society sees gays being open and affectionate, then they might not be so shocked when they see those two men or women making out or holding hands.
  • cityguy39

    Posts: 967

    Jun 27, 2007 4:42 PM GMT
    Where my BF and I live in Chicago on the south side, it's cool. Most people realize we are a couple. On the other hand, the south part of the city isn't as gay friendly as the north, plus most of the time in our neighborhood we are in one or the other's car, and the only place we really walk to is the Target up the street and no we don't hold hands then. We save that for boys town and the northside. I think PDA's are a matter of your environment, comfort zone and that of your partner's. I have rarely found two guys alike in that vain, one is usually more daring in that regard then the other. In my case, because we live in a mostly black neighborhood, I have to think about what we do and how we do it because my BF is white, so it not only comes down a question of to hold hands or not, but also here are these two gay guys and one of them is white and they have the nerve to hold hands in public! Down here lol! We haven't had any problems, but I do get some pretty funky looks from black women sometimes lol.
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Jun 27, 2007 4:49 PM GMT
    Like you Cityguy I tend to change my behaviour to match which part of the city I am.

    I live in a fairly rough part of town, so wouldn't hold hands with my partner here, but certainly would in the centre of the city - which is like Boyztown.

    I love it when I see young Gay couples of all sexes being openly affectionate in public, sometimes even in not very nice areas. I however come from a slightly older generation when it wasn't so accepted.

    I feel very proud when guys like qemargie live how they have a right to live, without fear. I salut.

    Roll on the days when we can be open in our displays of affection anywhere. To quote a great man 'I have a dream...'

    Lozx
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    Jun 27, 2007 4:53 PM GMT
    It's an interesting thread. Two things are going on with me.

    First, I am Italian, and have a very affectionate disposition. It's part of my family's way of expressing emotion. So even if I were not gay, walking with arms around shoulders, hugging etc. in public would be second nature.

    But, second, when I love someone, I simply need to show it. Not in sappy displays, but holding hands, maybe sometimes discreetly, kissing in public (not necking, but kissing on the lips nonetheless) is something that is, for me, "person specific."

    I am very close to someone with whom an annual outing is an SF Symphony concert around New Years. It is a symbol of the closeness of our relationship/friendship/companionship that we ofen hold hands during the performance, or while we have a glass of champagne at the break and are sitting just people watching.

    Interesting that I came out late in life, and I am almost defiant in wanting to let the world know that we are close. He's been out forever, and is more circumspect about when/where to do this...but he always gives in, or initiates, because of the feelings of the moment.
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    Jun 27, 2007 5:26 PM GMT
    overall it's a moot point to me. I'm single, and so it's not really anything I have to worry about, but the one time I went on a date and we held hands on the way back to the car, a group of guys from ASU walked towards/past us - and when we got in the car my date said, "Wow, you didn't even flinch, or try to take your hand away." When it was brought to my attention I realized that I would have thought I would have drawn back - so it was revealing to me that I must not mind. That said, I think if I were in certain environments, I might be a bit more reserved.
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    Jun 27, 2007 5:56 PM GMT
    I'm single now, but i wouldn't have a problem with it no matter where i was: mall, movies, streets, parks, It bugs me that people think it's a disgusting thing, but not enough for me not to show affection for the person i love.
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    Jun 27, 2007 7:34 PM GMT
    i dont have a prob with people showing some affection but i think there is, at times and certian places, a level of too much. and im not just talking about gays; everyone, even straight people, need to keep it to a cartian level. i just get really uneasy when there are peoplke just sitting in the mall making out, not just kissing but i mean one step away from ripping off clothing. i personally dont like kissing all the time, my ex was always trying to kiss me to make people look. if we are at dinner or at a movie then yes ill give you a kiss but im not going to makeout with you, nor do i think straight people should. its just plain rude.
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Jun 27, 2007 7:45 PM GMT
    I only get uncomfortable with PDA in the same way that I get uncomfortable with a lunch companion spending time on his cell phone -- when it's being rude by disengaging with people around you. If I see people walking down the street making out, I could care no less. But I have a couple friends that, when I'm hanging out at their house, will retreat into that intimate relationship space, doing the cutesy-baby-talk thing with each other and I just kind of sit there, trying to pay attention to something else until they're done. It's pretty uncomfortable.

    But otherwise, I'm down with PDA. I guess I'd say I don't have a problem with expressing it myself, I'm not embarrassed or shy about it; my only reservations is when it's impolite or an imposition (i.e. I try to be quiet about it in movie theaters, I don't disengage with the world around me when I do it, etc.)

    OK, there's a line you can cross, too. I was at Six Flags in Massachusetts once several years ago waiting in line for the Batman roller coaster with a bunch of friends and some high school age girl was blatantly giving her boyfriend a reach-around handjob while standing in line, in plain view. We hollered at her with mockery ("What is WRONG with you?!") but she was totally shameless, just kept on going, didn't even look at us. Yikes.
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    Jun 27, 2007 7:57 PM GMT
    I think it's pretty unusual to see anyone, straight or gay, making really passionate displays in public. I think it would make most people uncomfortable. A casual kiss on greeting or parting seems innocuous.

    There do seem to be accepted "make-out" spots where it's more acceptable. Certain parks and beaches, for example. In fact, I recently had a work project near a popular make-out spot, and it was clear that I was making everyone ELSE uncomfortable by being there NOT making out.

    Several times, I have noticed guys out shopping or at a restaurant who weren't doing anything overt, but were clearly "a couple." Maybe it was just the comfortable way that they were sharing each other's space. I'm not sure. It intrigues me.
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    Jun 27, 2007 8:04 PM GMT
    I've always found public displays of affection a poor substitute for public sex.
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    Jun 27, 2007 8:21 PM GMT
    "Several times, I have noticed guys out shopping or at a restaurant who weren't doing anything overt, but were clearly "a couple." Maybe it was just the comfortable way that they were sharing each other's space. I'm not sure. It intrigues me."

    Two of my most annoying experiences with boyfriends in public happened at restaurants, where we were merely enjoying each other's company as a couple with no PDAs at all. One was three ladies at a restaurant who stared at us non-stop as if we were sideshow freaks, and one of them in a loud New York Jewish accent said, "I didn't know they had them down here." The other time was a woman who scowled at us with disapproval, yet she was completely charmed by her flamboyantly queer waiter.
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    Jun 27, 2007 8:24 PM GMT
    "I didn't know they had them down here."

    Maybe she meant that she didn't know there were such good looking guys down there, given the fact that most of the local straight guys were probably out of shape smokers.... :-)
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jun 29, 2007 12:51 AM GMT
    I'm fine with it...
    anywhere...
    I guess it's the activist in me
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    Jun 29, 2007 6:31 PM GMT
    In my culture it's very normal to see young people of the same sex to physically touch each other in public, even arms around shoulders while walking together. Between opposite sex this is taboo unless they're married.

    Personally I disapprove any gestures with sexual connotations, whether between same sex or opposite sex. In many cultures even kissing on the cheeks does not carry a sexual meaning. When the physical touching is non-sexual and only affectionate I'm totally ok with it.
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    Jul 01, 2007 10:31 PM GMT
    Depends upon the situation, place, and appropriatness for me.

    Both my parents family were very touchy feely. I am very touchy feely, especially with those that I am very comfortable with and I know their boundaries.

    However...there are limits and in some circumstances you have to know when to hold hands, when not to. When to kiss, when not to. Society's rules. Not mine.

  • cityguy39

    Posts: 967

    Jul 01, 2007 11:30 PM GMT
    Great point Chuck, I think it's very easy to hold hands and kiss outside on the street if you happen to live in a community that's tolerant of gay couples, i.e a gay ghetto. Outside of that bubble,it's very realative.
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    Jul 01, 2007 11:35 PM GMT
    Yeah, try walking around the Bronx holding hands.
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    Jul 02, 2007 2:54 PM GMT
    I have seen numerous heterosexual couples doing safe public displays of affection where I work (in retail). My philosophy is, if they can do it, they shouldn't be surprised or disgusted when I or other homosexual couples do it.

    I strongly feel that more homosexual couples need to hold hands in public; it would inspire younger generations and allow people to get used to seeing it.
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    Jul 02, 2007 3:16 PM GMT
    I never understood why this was such a big issue. The best answer I have been able to give myself is that some people just don't have a good enough sense of when and where it's appropriate.

    PDA simply is not something that can be defined in black and white terms, because regardless of sexual orientation, whether it is acceptable or not (and to what degree) will always depend on the location.

    Some light displays of affection are appropriate in many places.

    Unfortunately, it amazes me how many people (especially gay people) seem to disregard traditional manners (or just have no sense of public decency) and stand in the middle of a sidewalk, blocking traffic, playing tonsil hockey.

    I hate to sound like "Miss Manners," but quite frankly, stuff like this is rude regardless of sexual orientation. Do some straight people do this? Sure, but they are being obnoxious. It's really rude to single people, a person who might recently have suffered a break-up, etc. Polite people think of something more than themselves.

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    Jul 03, 2007 11:58 PM GMT
    I've often thought about this topic, and I really find everyone's opinion interesting and thought-provoking...even if one opinion is contradictory of another. I'm from a fairly conservative small town redneck area (but have escaped) and have had a partner for 37 years. I'm gay, but he's not...he only has a gay boyfriend. I would hold his hand in public, but I can't get that close. I'm delighted to see same sex couples holding hands, or arms around shoulders, and an occasional peck on the cheek/lips. I would like to do the same, but my boyfriend's much too old to change. I don't think make-out sessions are appropriate in public (get a room!), and hands inside clothes are very over-the-top...those are for the teasing porn sites or certainly require privacy. At an intimate restaurant/club, if the straights can hold hands/kiss, then so should we...and they should get used to it, and so should we!