I Make Out With My Husband In Public, And I Make No Apologies For It

by Elizabeth Broadbent
Originally Published: 
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Last week, my husband held me against the minivan in the middle of downtown, in broad daylight, and kissed me like it was the end of the world. For approximately 15 seconds, but they were a fairly intense 15 seconds — nothing X-rated, but lips-on-lips, against the car, more-than-a-peck-on-the-cheek kissing. The kind of kissing that says we at least want to have sex later, whether or not we get to it. Complete and unabashed PDA.

Totally not ashamed, totally would do it again, even if I knew my mom might walk around the corner and see us. (Sorry, Mom.)

I’m enough of an epicurean to think that if you enjoy something, you should fucking enjoy it, whether that thing is a piece of cake, a good bottle of wine, or your own damn husband. We seem to have this notion that spouses should confine their PDA to pecks on the cheek and occasional sweet hand-holding. I don’t understand this. I didn’t understand it when I was 18 and making out with my boyfriend in public (admittedly, a lot more intensely and publicly), and I don’t understand it now that I’m in my mid-30s and married with three kids.

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Why do we insist that people pretend they don’t want to kiss each other, or confine big kisses to enormous moments, like meeting your spouse at the airport after a deployment? Then we’re okay with it. We expect it. But try to give your husband a serious kiss for no particular reason, maybe just because you’re out for the evening and you had a good time, and you’re pretty in love with him and he’s pretty in love with you? The judgment rains down.

I get it: you don’t want to see it. But what, exactly, about our PDA don’t you want to see? Stop and think about that for a moment. What exactly offends you about two consenting adults displaying affection? Maybe that we aren’t 18. Maybe that we clearly have children. Maybe that we don’t look like supermodels or celebrities. Maybe all of these things in combination with the fact that we clearly want to have sex with each other. What a fucking revolutionary idea, a married couple who want to bang. If the simple fact that my husband and I engage in sexual intercourse offends you, you’ve been brainwashed by a puritanical society that thinks all evidence of sex is dirty and wrong and sinful.

Newsflash, America: Sex is normal. Sex is healthy. Married people have sex; people over 25 have sex; people with kids have sex. People who don’t look airbrushed have sex. People have sex with different genders and the same gender and in all kinds of combinations and rainbows, and all of that is normal and healthy as long as everyone consents. This isn’t the 1950s anymore and we don’t have to hide it.

So why bother? Why not engage in a little bit of innocent, not-even-PG-rated PDA if it makes you happy? This is nothing people haven’t seen at the end of a damn Disney wedding (except for the up against the minivan part). I know it’s not everyone’s thing. It doesn’t have to be. But if it’s yours, why hide it? Just make out for few seconds.

Carol’s clutching her pearls right now. What if the children see? Won’t someone think of the children?

The children probably should see some decent PDA.

PDA is healthy. It’s normal. And when kids see their parents actually kiss each other, by which I mean kiss more than a peck on the cheeks and/or the lips (only generally permitted when greeting each other), they see that their parents have a secure marriage. They see that their parents love each other. And, frankly, they see that their parents are physically attracted to each other, which normalizes sex in general. Yes, my kids have seen my husband and I do more than peck each other on the lips. They remain thus far unscarred.

Nor do I really care if my kids see PDA, i.e., strangers making out for 20 seconds against a minivan. I mean, it’s rude to stare, of course, the way it’s rude to stare at anyone. But hey, normal part of life. I’d be pissed if my kids saw people groping each other, obviously moaning, or horizontal, but making out like Princess Jasmine and Aladdin? Totally acceptable.

My husband and I engage in this kind of PDA all the time. No shame. We’ll do it again, Carol, thankyouverymuch. We’ll kiss. In public. Our lips will actually move and they will remain touching for more than two seconds and you will know we have probably had sex with each other and want to do so again in the future.

So sorry if it offends you.

Actually, not really.

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