Pro- or anti-PDA?

01:02, Jul 18 2012

Surprise! Today's post isn't written by me (Moata). Instead Chris Philpott and I have swapped blogs for the day. I'll be writing a TV-related post over at On the Box, while I've given Chris permission to "get his ranty-pants on" over here. Normal transmission returns tomorrow. 

I am not a fan of PDAs. I don't mean those little electronic diaries that were all the rage in the early 2000s (though I'm not really a fan of those either) but the other, sexier definition of PDA: Public Displays of Affection.

It seems the subject of PDAs has been following me around lately. It started last week when I caught part of an episode of The Talk in which Julie Chen and Sharon Osbourne interviewed sex therapist Laura Berman, PhD*. It continued this week when comedian/TV host Rose Matafeo tweeted "Is it horrible to be kind of weirded out when you see two homeless people make out on the street?" You're right to be weirded out, Rose - even if a street-level love story is kinda touching.

Even the Obamas are getting in on the act, spotted smooching on that most American of non-sports-related sports traditions, the Kiss Cam. You're all right, Pres, but we didn't need to see that.

Anyway, according to Berman, who is apparently well known as the author of Loving Sex: The Book of Joy & Passion, PDAs are more popular among men: 41 per cent of men surveyed admitting to enjoying PDAs, compared to just 31 per cent of women.

I have no idea where these stats came from or who was surveyed. It may have been The Talk's live studio audience. But there it is - and I, for one, am completely surprised. I mean, I don't want to reinforce stereotypes or make vast generalisations, but doesn't it seem as though it would be girls that are more interested in that kind of lovey-dovey behaviour?

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Julie Chen was just as surprised as I was, and Berman explained that men enjoy PDAs more when they really love their partner and see it as a matter of pride, like a caveman marking his territory to make sure that his domain is well known.

You can count me among the 59 per cent of men who don't enjoy PDAs. I mean, I'll hold hands with my girlfriend if we're out walking, and I won't kick up a fuss about a hug or a wee peck on the cheek. But that's not really what I'm thinking of when someone says PDA: to me, it means something more than just a little kiss. If you don't know what I mean, I invite you to check out The Strand in Whangarei, where dry-humping teenagers are a regular (and always disturbing) occurrence.

I'm not a caveman marking out my territory, and I don't need to refuel my pride with public debauchery, so PDAs aren't my thing. I'm not paying rent every week so I can do private things in public. However, while it hasn't really come up in our relationship - neither of us has had the sudden urge to get it on in a public toilet or anything like that (yet) - I get the feeling my girlfriend is a little more pro-PDA than I am. To find out if I was right, I sent her a text message:

Me: "How would you react if we were in the bakery section at New World and I pressed you up against some focaccia and started pashing you?"
Her: "Hahaha. It would be on. [explicit part that I've removed]"
Me: "So you wouldn't be bothered by the sheer audacity of my public display?"
Her: "Nah. A supermarket doesn't bother me. If it were filled with kids it might."
Me: "So pashing you against the slide at Chipmunks is a no-no?"

We'll stop there - you get the idea: my girlfriend is pro-PDA, I'm not. Also, I still use the word "pash" because my kissing-related vocabulary hasn't been upgraded since fourth form. And, to be honest, this is the way I would expect it to work. In my experience, girls are more about the PDAs than the guys, and to suggest otherwise just doesn't seem logical to me.

So are you pro-PDA or anti-PDA? Do you find that men are often bigger fans of public displays of affection than women? And will you ever be able to buy focaccia bread again without thinking of this blog post?

(*) What was I doing watching The Talk, you might ask? I was flicking around while my daughter was on holiday from school. I have no excuse for watching enough to glean this much information. Also, it's not lost on me that, given the chance to guest on Blog Idle and write about anything my heart desires, I picked something I saw on TV.

You can follow Chris on Twitter or visit On The Box, if you like.