My title


February 26th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

At a very young age, I learned the difference between PDA (Public Displays of Affection) and PDI (Public Displays of Inappropriate).

In the 7th grade, me and this girl who I liked and who liked me back, for some reason, decided it would be a great idea to go make out in a park underneath some sort of tree in the middle of the afternoon. Now this wasn’t during school hours or at a time when we were doing something else. We were in 7th grade (well, actually, she was in 8th, and I was in 7th), no one really has plans in 7th grade, not when their hormones are running on 10, but I digress…

So this girl lays down on her back, underneath the tree, and I lay on top of her, and we’re just going at it. And when I say going at it, I mean, we’re just really kissing a lot. I really didn’t have any clue what I was doing and nor did she, I don’t think. We just kissed and kissed and kissed and kissed and kissed until…”JOZEN!”

Yep, there was only one woman who can say my name so loudly while pronouncing it correctly. My mom.

Both the girl and I jumped up off the grass, shook out our jeans which were covered in blades of grass, and tried to act like we didn’t just get caught doing something we shouldn’t have been doing. My mom grounds me, right in front of the girl, then looks at the girl and says we should both be ashamed of ourselves.

In retrospect, my mom was definitely right. We should have been ashamed of ourselves, making out in a public park underneath a tree, for the whole world to see. Like it was a free concert or something. That isn’t PDA. That is PDI.

As I got older, I saw less people making out in parks. As a matter of fact, I really haven’t seen it at all, which tells me just how indecent I was, but sadly, I have also seen less PDA in general.

I could be wrong, but when I was growing up, PDA, didn’t seem to be as much of a taboo as it seems now. Before I got caught doing it in the park way before dark, in 7th grade, I recall seeing, quite a few times, other couples making out in parks. And in my youthful naivete, I took to it like it was some sort of rights of passage. as though one cannot call a girl a girlfriend and a boy boyfriend until they are making out on some public plot of grass. Or maybe I thought it just looked fun and told myself I wanted to try it myself. Whatever the reason, making out with someone in public is never a good look. No one wants to see all that (tonguing and groping), nor do they want to hear all that (moaning and lip smacking).

If it’s going to be all that, yes, just get a room.

But for lesser acts — a simple kiss on the lips or the cheek, arm locking with a head on the shoulder, passionate hugs, or holding hands — what’s the problem if we do it in public? An even better question is, where did these people go? Maybe to a room? If so, come out. It’s all good. Kiss (don’t make out) in public. No one will say anything, at least they shouldn’t.

Now as a man, I know other men who read this might think I’m coming off as soft and other women who read this are going to assume this is my play to get a couple willing to do some PDI (PRIVATE Displays of Inappropriate), but it’s not. My point of view is not to appease women, because as we all know, there are plenty of women who are not in favor of PDA either. The reason I am making a case for PDA is simply because there’s no reason to be against it, at least not a legitimate one.

I have lived in New York City for six years. Not only have I built a high tolerance of shared public space and behavior best reserved for behind closed doors, I also get to people watch a lot. And in my completely unscientific study of watching people, it seems as though people who are together, in an attempt to appear decent and appropriate, have now entered into the realm of the absurd.

No one seems to be kissing anymore. The hell, they’re barely even holding hands. They want to appear too cool for one another, instead of happy with one another. All the while they really look like two unhappy people, who just so happen to be walking extremely close to one another, and just so happen to be going to the same destination at the same time.

One thing I never get tired of seeing is a couple who looks genuinely happy to be with one another and show their happiness through some physical act. Not to say I’m a voyeur, I’m just saying at least I know they’re happy and they’re getting some. If you ask me, I’d rather see two people kissing on the train than two people fighting, and I’m amazed more people don’t feel the same way.

Public displays of affection are usually met with the rolling of some eyes, and muttered suggestions to “get a room” or “save it for home”. Meanwhile, if a fight breaks out, these same haters of PDA will watch in awe as two young people are scrapping. What kind of asinine, backwards stuff is that?

A suggestion for all those whose tolerance of PDA is still low, how about you get a room or a person you like enough, then mind your business by yourself or with them? As long as no one is making out in parks underneath some trees (everyone should be grounded for that), a simple act between two people who are happy with one another should, at the least, be met with indifference. They’re happy right then and there, they want to show it a little bit. We don’t have to watch, but we definitely don’t have to hate either.

Categories: dating, guys, on something, women Tags:
  • Silent Scorpion

    My sentiments on PDA exactly! There’s PDA and then there is just plain nasty. I am all for showing how much I care (hugging, the occasional peck, rubbing shoulders and waist,) but I don’t need nor do I want people to get a visual of exactly what’s gonna happen once we get home.

    If you don’t like my PDA, turn around!

  • Love Is Dope

    “Doin it in the park/Doin it after dark/ Oh yeah, Rock Creek Park/Oh yeah, Rock Creek Park.” Old school, I see. I like! 🙂 I see PDA all the time in NYC, especially on the trains. Then again, some women get a bit more PDA-ish when other women are around, so perhaps my experiences are a little different than yours.

  • Sunkissed404

    Jozen, Jozen, Jozen (In my Marsha, Marsha Marsha voice)…U little ball of hormones, you. Call me square, but 7th grade??lol <– That takes alot of confidence. Sheesh! Anyways, you are right. Where did these ppl go. Nobody wants to show affection in public anymore. I hardly see any PDA in Atlanta. The most I've seen is the groping and the borderline hunching these knuckleheads and unfit mothers be doing at the Marta bus stops. But, you know what will make people go back to PDA? The Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Levert…(Real music) I'm 27 and I am soooo over the music today. I don't think music artist realize how much of an influence they have over people's attitudes towards certain things, like PDA..

  • Nadine

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Thanks for the laugh (7th grade story).

  • @NyceBryce

    I am a total supporter of the drunken bar make out as a result of many drunken house party make outs @ my suburban all white HS. Nowadays whenever I meet a girl I’m really attracted to I tell her I will hold her hand in the mall. That usually gets a big laugh and hopefully leads to a drunken make out in the bar which hopefully leads back to the room.

  • Sunkissed404

    Ieeew…(Okay, I’ll be nice). You shoulda signed up for “I Love of New York” back in tha day. Your type of PDA is definitely no sign of affection.

  • *inquiring mind**

    I’m not hating…hmph

  • NeeCee

    I love pda…there is nothing wrong with kissing and hugging and just being affectionate…when I see it…my heart melts…it makes me see that two people are really into there is a limit…like you said..PDI…ewwww take it to the room…Ive seen some of that and thats usually in a bar or club…barfff!!!

  • Ondrea

    I totally agree with this post! I love seeing people in love. I love it even more when it’s me (lol).

  • Assata

    I work near Queens Center Mall which doubles as an after-school hangout for MANY high school kids. There isn’t one day in the last 2 years I’ve worked in the area, that I haven’t seen a young couple groping each other in the train station. What I don’t understand is why these kids don’t have something better to do with their time. Maybe I should be happy that they’re doing it in public because the chances of them moving any further than kissing (read: sex), isn’t likely.

  • E-Dub

    (clapping hands to the tune of Hercules, Hercules) PDA! PDA!

  • Anike Love

    Glad to see a man who supports PDA! Whoop whoop! A guy who isn’t comfortable with PDA is an ABSOLUTE deal breaker for me. He’s getting cut forreal, not making it past the front door, or the zipper for that matter! Because if I’m into you, and you’re into me, whats wrong with holding hands or locking arms? Guy friends have given some lame excuses like, “it messes up my swag walk”, blah blah blah. I think if you’re not comfortable showing it than you’ve got some insecurities you need to work out. Don’t step to me until you’re ready lol.

  • Sunkissed404

    Girrrrlll..I’m witcha on that one. Couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂

  • Sunkissed404

    “Hollllaaaaa” (In my Frankie voice).

  • Brittany

    I wish I had read this back during my senior year of high school. My boyfriend use to live off one of the busiest streets in our town and we always made out in my care like 50 million cars weren’t on the side of the road waiting in traffic. I remember one time this guy in his car looked our way and turn his little mirror visor thing so he wouldn’t see us. I was sooo embarrassed. Then there was this one time I caught his 70+ year old neighbor watching us. Once again so embarrassing. The funny thing is that I’m not a big fan of PDA, but in my hormone clouded eyes I guess making out by a busy street didn’t count. ^_^

  • **inquiring mind**

    You know what… you just made me think about something (hate when that happens)- tho I’m NOT a fan of PDA, PDI, IPDA, DAIP etc etc… guys that don’t like PDA get a strong *side eye* from me. I guess not giving a sh!t kinda goes hand-in-hand with masculinity for me… Thank you for that AL!

  • Sunkissed404

    Girrrrlll. I was witcha until u said that they wouldn’t take it any further if they were in public. I only wish it was true. Come to Atlanta and try to watch a movie with these “Looney Tune” kids sitting in your peripheral doing something sketchy. I work for the WIC program. Trust me…some kinda way, they makin’ it happen. lol

  • Nix

    Wow . . .I don’t know what to say. I guess you gotta do what you gotta do! Apparently, that’s what YOU gotta do!

  • Anike Love

    ” I guess not giving a sh!t kinda goes hand-in-hand with masculinity for me…”


  • Nix

    @Anike – AGREED!

  • Nix

    I agree with a reasonable amount of PDA. I like, use it, and enjoy it. I think that it takes two people who are happy with one another and enjoy each other company (as Jozen said). I also believe that it takes a certain amount of confidence and security on an individual level. Not everyone has that.

  • Star

    I love seeing PDA.It makes me feel like love still exists in the world. It only gets weird when you see the same person show PDA with multiple people. I think that can be added to the PDI pile. It may not be over the top making out but still a sad think to watch.

  • Frankie1882

    I’m in 100% agreement with you Jozen. I love holding hands, locking my arm in his, even a little kiss. But that’s enough in public. Although I understand the comfort of putting your hand in your S.O’s back pocket, I hate seeing it.

    I’m really not big on kissing, until I’m really feeling a guy, but this one person who took me to dinner in Atlantic City, decided to try and slob me down afterwards, on the way back to the car. Right at a busy intersection. It was just so uncomfortable.

  • Sherell

    Love PDA! Wasinvolved in some just last week. Especially in the beginning of a relationship when things are hot heavy!!! I also get a kick out of looking at some others. If it is a nice couple.

  • Obi Okere

    I totally show PDA with my girl. I love her so I don’t care.

    Obi Okere

  • AS5

    PDA ROCKS!! If I don’t want to make out in public that typically means – I’m not that into him…
    Its the best when the attraction is so hot-that noone else matters besides me and him. Doesn’t happen often so when it does…please seize the moment! Life is short!

  • Carpe Diem

    PDI…Give me break. Sounds like a violation code from the Quaker’s guide to morality. Im not sure what the big deal is when it comes to kissing in public, whether one is under a tree, in a tree, cutting down a tree, dressed in a tree costume…Who cares. The problem is that certain members of our society have taken it upon themselves to guard all things “proper.” They criticize any and every action that could potentially undue the fabric of “societal decency”–whatever the hell that means; they convince people, usually at a very young age, that certain displays of affection are acceptable and others are not. I say, to hell with that. My goal is to maintain the uninhabited spontaneity of my youth. To kiss anywhere i have the urge. To grope, smack, rub, and god knows what else. If people dont like it, who cares. To allow society to put limitations on your affection is ridiculous. If youre uncomfortable with PDA, that’s one thing. You’re uncomfortable. But if you’re with your girl, and you WANT to kiss her passionately under a tree, and you DONT because your mom once said that such acts are shameful, then my friend, plan to lose plenty of opportunities. On a contradictory note, should i be blessed with a daughter, everything i just said is null and void. Carpe diem, unless we’re talking about my baby girl.

  • Scoop

    You’re right. At first I was like “My man Jozen went soft for the ladies” but you are right specifically with stating that people seem to just be walking in the same direction to the same destination.

    I’m not a big hand holder, but an interlocking arm, slight grasp around the waist or a arm placement over the shoulder doesn’t hurt. No need to make out, but a peck here and there isn’t bad either. Only if you truly love or like this person and they are or can be your SigO (significant other).

    Cardinal Rule on PDA though: Don’t go PDAing the jumpoff. Where They Do That At?

  • Ms. Minx

    Complete, total, utter, co-sign!
    I hate seeing people tonguing down in the middle of the street, but a peck on the lips to say goodbye, or a lingering hug and back-stroke (*pause*)is, I think, perfectly normal.
    Love this post so much, I almost wanna PDI it! lol

  • ksoul13

    So true, where are they? I have met alot of children in my day (mom owns a tutoring business) and majority have not seen their parents share a kiss, heard an I love you dear. Maybe I’m an ole school romantic, but I believe appropriate signs of affection is pertinent. Where is the love? We see so much hate, how about the love? We see videos of sex and the deviance of the acts, but people squirm when true affection is shown. What is wrong with us? Good topic as usual.

  • Mimi

    PDI makes me GAG! My grown ass was leaving the mall and seen this couple (teens) pull next to me. Put the seat down and just start making out! But they were prob like 18/19 or so. I was like WTFFFFFFFFFF. Who DOES that? At 19 I wasn’t even doing that. But at least they were kids.

    That ish is apalling to see. I feel like, get that shit out in private so you can conduct yourself like a mature adult when you and your sig other step out.

  • BoomShots

    I have done the drunken make-outs.
    So what??
    Whatcha you all gonna do about it!!
    Listen if you haven’t done it at least once you missing out. I am drunk, she is drunk and we just getting warmed up, I don’t like looking at it either but I don’t like seeing folks pissing in the street and I have done that too. Plus I never once made out publicly to entertain other folks, it was all in the moment.

  • Nix

    There is a such thing as “way too much for public!” However, I love your carefree spirit just the same.

  • Cupcake

    “Cardinal Rule on PDA though: Don’t go PDAing the jumpoff. Where They Do That At?” All is can say is WOW!