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I know some people are not too keen on the idea of public display of affection.
After all, public display of affection -- or better known as PDA -- is the reason the phrase "get a room" is so ingrained in our American lingo. Some people go overboard, that's for sure.
Personally, though, I love PDA.
If my Beloved can coyly manage to caress my breast or butt while we are meandering the aisle at Home Depot, more power to him. And I've yet to hear any complaints from him if I return affection in a similarly sly way.
I know I've already lost some of you because you are adamantly against PDA.
No worries. I'm not an exhibitionist. Far from it, in fact.
If you'll re-read the examples I just gave, you'll notice I included words like "coyly" and "sly." PDA that has strong sexual undertones definitely needs to be discreet. I mean, I love sex, but I don't want the clerk's imagination going wild at my expense.
What about PDA that doesn't have strong sexual undertones? Well, I like that PDA too.
I'm a big fan of PDA (obviously) -- and I really think it can help your relationship in ways you maybe haven't considered.
Frankly, I think PDA has gotten a bad rap because some husbands are not discreet, and their wife ends up feeling like a piece of meat.
Note to guys: If you slam her down on the $6,000 display bed in the middle of the mattress section at the furniture store, she probably isn't going to shoot you the "come hither" look. A little subtlety goes a long way.
A wife wants to feel treasured; not man-handled.
Some of you wives, though, are so resistant to PDA that you have pushed playfulness so far off the table that it isn't even in the same room as the table. It is tucked away in a dusty box in the attic with your old Air Supply albums and your high school yearbooks.
It wants to come out and play and no one will invite it to the party.
Note to wives: Your husband likely wants to know you value him for more than his ability to stand there patiently while you sort through 155 paint chips to find "the right color blue" for the guest bathroom that no one uses.
If he's approaching (or beyond) middle age, he probably wonders if you even still find him attractive. Do you? Show him.
Public display of affection -- given and received -- can endear spouses to one another and reinforce love in such a tender (and sometimes fun!) way.
3 Reasons I Like PDA:
1. It clearly communicates who holds the keys to my heart -- and my body.
I'm not too crazy about such strict boundaries around physical affection that they start to take a toll on the marriage.
I've known marriages where physical affection is confined to the four walls of the bedroom -- and sadly, I'm being generous in using the word "affection" to describe what's going on in many of these situations.
Ironically, when two people marry, they are making a public declaration of their oneness. They are saying "we" are one in a way that transcends all logical rationale -- physically, emotionally, spiritually.
Do I want my husband getting all hot and heavy with me in the middle of the mall or the movie theatre, with hands and tongue wandering crazily? No.
But do I want him to have the freedom to appropriately touch me and express that he is thrilled I am his wife? Yes.
And frankly, I want that freedom with him as well.
2. It shows my kids the depth of our love and commitment.
"Well, they know we love each other. We are married."
I know your kids may know you love each other, but a little PDA thrown in just for good measure certainly is a valid reinforcement.
When you and your husband kiss, hug, hold hands and generally express that you like each other's touch, your kids may very well roll their eyes or offer up sarcastic commentary. They may even tell you to "get a room."
But don't underestimate the power of your message when you and your husband lovingly touch each other. These non-verbals are teaching your kids about the sacredness of the covenant of marriage.
Your kids are learning how to be married -- by watching your marriage. Obviously, they shouldn't see you in the throes of passion. But it is good that they see you love each other -- and like each other. Very few couples can fake PDA. It is such an authentic expression of companionship between a husband and wife.
3. It can be fabulous foreplay.
All PDA is not created equal. We know that.
This is a blog about sex, though, so I want to say that public display of affection can be fun and sensuous -- and can help a husband and wife better understand the role touch plays in arousal.
Even touches that are not sexual in nature are lending themselves to creating an atmosphere where sex is more likely to be valued and nurtured.
The way we touch with our clothes on says a lot about the way we touch when our clothes are off.
I recognize that some married couples are just plain uncomfortable with PDA, even something as innocent as holding hands. No way, no how, are they going there.
I respect that.
It's not like I'm the PDA police, doling out reprimands for husbands and wives who refuse to touch in public.
But when I see a husband with an exasperated look on his face as his wife stares intently at the paint chip display, I feel a little sad.
It's a fleeting moment, though.
After all, I'm usually more focused on my own husband. He's usually wandering around in aisle 5, just waiting for his wife to lovingly catch him off guard with a little public display of affection.
I can be discreet. I don't always want to be. But I can.
Copyright 2012, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.