3 Reasons I Like Public Display of Affection

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.

Poor PDA.

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.

Absolutely 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.

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Copyright 2012, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

Never want to miss one of my posts?  Subscribe via email on this page.  And be sure to join my more than 9,000 followers on my Facebook page and 10,000 followers on Twitter.

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11 thoughts on “3 Reasons I Like Public Display of Affection

  1. Greg says:

    Like you mentioned briefly, others (not just your children) will also pick up on the health of relationships around them. From a strictly observational perspective, when a husband and wife are truly in love, it will show up in their body language. Tone of voice, facial expressions, eye contact, attentiveness, playfulness, etc. are all dead giveaways.

  2. J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) says:

    I LOVE this article, Julie! I think that sort of affectionate flirting is great between husband and wife. We are also discreet but playful in public. Our kids see our PDA as well and learn that married people really do have the best intimacy.

    My favorite PDA sighting is to be out somewhere and see an elderly couple holding hands, hugging, or giving each other googly eyes. I hope the hubster and I are like that well into our old age.

  3. Erin says:

    I am a fan of PDA, especially the less sexual variety. Having my husband hold my hand or put his arm around my shoulders in public makes me feel cherished an protected.

  4. Evie says:

    PDA with my husband happens a lot here! We love to show each other, and the world, that we are in love and are choosing to STAY in the place of love for each other. Growing up, I’m also glad that my parents touched, kissed, and were playful/chased each other; it gave me a sense of security knowing that my parents loved each other and were free to be known. I’ve seen so many people bound up inside themselves, afraid to give and receive love, even simple touches and it makes me sad. People who freely and appropriately touch are symbolically demonstrating PapaGod’s heart for us, and I think that is also very important. God, as a Father, is not distant, cold, or withholding from us. He freely and lovingly displays His affection. If we can learn to receive from others in relationship with us, we can also be open to receiving the love of God the Father. I say YES to all of that! 🙂

  5. Kim Perkins says:

    I too was raised with a lot of affection, and raised my own children with that affection. They are used to seeing my husband and I hug and kiss each other, and now they do the same with their own spouses (the ones that are married). I feel it is so important, and brings a sense of security and uninhibited love.

  6. Amanda says:

    I think it’s funny (sad) that when you’re dating, your friends and family expect some measure of PDA. But once you’re married, they apparently expect you to be grumpy and not touch each other? Hubs and I have taken a little flak at family gatherings because we still stand close together (arm around/bodies touching), hold hands, hug, snuggle, and kiss around our family and friends after 4 years of marriage. 4 YEARS IS NOT EVEN THAT LONG!!! And yet we still hear the whole knock-it-off or “get a room!” comments. Both of us came from pretty non-physical families, but we honestly *like* each other (lol) and it’s just natural to us. Whenever we’re told to get a room, I’m tempted to start saying “really? do you have one we could use for a while?” xD

  7. Ric Cage says:

    … 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… 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.

    Preaching by actions is more effective than words, especially for kids. Showing love and complicity and the fact that marriage is fun will promote marriage.

    I value very much chivalry towards my wife. And showing to others that I care for as she acknowledge my help is important to promote marriage as being a special bond that unites spouses.

  8. Kate says:

    Julie this is awesome! I think you wrote all my thoughts down about PDA in this one post. I have advocated for them in marriage many times in my posts. I feel they keep us connected and show each other as well as others, what we cherish most. Our marriage to our amazing spouse! I LOVE the home depot comment. LOL! 🙂 But like you said, why not-as long as no one notices! But when you are out and about, why not show others that you are love and cherish each other?
    I personally think PDA’s have gotten a bad rap, due to teenagers and their PDA’s while dating. Those dating, tend to be bold and a bit much. And so then we train ourselves to do the hands off (or very PDA ) approach and let that go into marriage. As I said in my last post, there is freedom in marriage. Not freedom to grose everyone out, but to enjoy one another.
    I am all for PDA too! Great post! Reposting right now! Blessings, Kate

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