PDA

Feb. 12th, 2015 11:52 pm
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I think this is going to one of these swirly posts where I ramble about a bunch of stuff that's been on my mind for a few weeks, and I'm not sure if it'll all come together. I'm thinking about the ethics and choices around expressing affection, including sexual affection, in public or at least in front of onlookers.

Partly it's that it's Valentine's Day coming up, and I've seen any number of opinion pieces pro and contra posting about soppy coupley stuff on social media. So I suppose this is mine, but I can really see both sides of the issue. And I happened to see a Tweet from a friend complaining that it's annoying when people go on all the time about how they've found love and acceptance, and I knew perfectly well it wasn't subtweeted at me, but it tied in to stuff I've been thinking about whether I'm getting the balance right when it comes to talking about feeling loved. And then I have a friend with whom I tend to be very snuggly and physical, and although we're not a couple in any sense, I imagine we don't look much different from a couple to a random passer-by, so I feel like we ought to keep to the same etiquette standards I'd expect of a couple out in public; my friend feels my understanding of such standards is conservative, which is probably true.

On the one hand I do think it's pretty important to be able to express joy in connections and talk about people important to you. A big theme of this journal is that I love my friends, and I'm not embarrassed by that. At the same time I don't want to be smug, I don't want to in any way add to the pain of people who are lonely and wish they had more friends.

That goes even more for romantic connections, of course. There's a really big social pressure on people to be in a certain shape of romantic relationship, and people who are unwillingly single or dealing with relationships going wrong can be really unhappy to be reminded of other people having good luck that they don't. That's especially bad on Valentine's Day; quite a few friends who are generally well-balanced and not unhealthily fixated on the idea of finding a partner have mentioned that being single on VD makes them feel as if they've failed at life. And I think a lot of that is the relentless advertising most of the way through January and February, not people mentioning on FB that they had a nice date with their sweetie. But still, it does seem worth thinking about being sensitive.

I do think there's real positive value in talking in public about relationships, making love visible in all its forms, way beyond what you see represented in the media. I don't mean only relationships that are overtly Queer or otherwise hugely outside social norms, and anyway I don't want to set up a hierarchy of transgressivness. I mean, people who aren't especially pretty (especially in the narrow definition where pretty means young, white and thin) being visibly lovable and loved. I mean, relationships with age differences, gender-egalitarian as well as same-sex and gender-nonconforming relationships, relationships explicitly within religious frameworks, non-monogamous relationships, living apart, committed couples who aren't married, blended families and childless or childfree relationships, all of those are hugely underrepresented, so just seeing other options for what love can look like is important. But still, too much of this can make an already unequal situation worse for people whose key relationships aren't romantic.

And all this is even more acute when it comes to being not just romantic, but sexual, in public. I'm really torn about this issue. I mean, I remember being a teenager and finding it agonizingly embarrassing and lonely if I happened to catch sight of a couple snogging, and I remember promising myself I'd never do that, and I have thoroughly broken that promise. Partly because I discovered that it's lots of fun to be gently cuddly and smoochy with someone I feel that way about; a friend once literally threw water over me and my then partner for being too coupley in public... And partly because I got political about being more overtly sex-positive than much of my culture was growing up. I don't wish to treat sexuality as this naughty / dirty taboo thing, it's a normal part of life. Not public sex, that is a taboo, and I believe it is in quite a wide range of different cultural contexts, but just small affectionate gestures that fall towards the mild end of the spectrum of things to do with sex. If I think of lonely miserable teenaged me hating the sight of people being sexual because it evoked feelings I didn't really understand and because I thought I'd be forever left out of exploring them, I also think of teenaged me literally never setting eyes on two women kissing until I was twenty, and just how much that meant to me.

And again, I don't want to say that straight and normative couples are just being gratuitous whereas Queer couples are being political in public kissing. It's more like, the idea that sex-related things can be fun, not just a way of making babies or inherently sinful, can itself be subversive, in many circumstances. And maybe none of this matters, cos there's the internet now and no kid is going to grow up like I did literally not knowing whether being attracted to their own gender is possible. Let alone any more obscure sexual preferences or orientations than that.

Another thing I wanted to bring into this is this really quite odd Captain Awkard post about sex positivity. I mean, sure, we all understand that plenty of boundary-pushing jerks pretend to be "sex positive" in order to try to manipulate people into doing what the jerks want sexually and not in any way respecting the other person's preferences. But it feels like some of the people in the discussion are assuming that sex positive really does mean being relentlessly positive about sex all the time, even in the presence of other people who don't want to talk about sex, let alone witness it, at all! That's not at all what I understand by the term when I call myself sex positive, and yes, I have seen reasonable critiques of something that looks more like what I do think sex positivity is supposed to be. I like Emily Nagoski's definition: the radical, all-inclusive belief that each person’s body belongs to that person. But certainly being sex positive is supposed to include consent. (Yes, this does risk the Scotsman fallacy, it's not fair to define anyone whose politics I disagree with as not properly sex positive! Still, I'm pretty sure that the situation described in the CA letter isn't in fact anything to do with sex positivity.)

Anyway, one thing I wanted to pull out of that discussion is some of the ideas about different ways that people can experience asexuality or anything on that sort of spectrum, demi-sexuality, low sex drive etc. The thread includes mentions of the terms sex-repulsed and sex-averse. So I do want to take into account that people may object to seeing reminders of sexuality for reasons beyond feeling lonely, or thinking of sex as a bad thing. And it's not just sex-repulsed aces, either, for far too many people references to sex are also potentially references to trauma. There are lots of reasons why I can't just blithely say, PDA and discussions of sex should be more socially accepted.

So although I have made a political decision that I want to talk openly about sex in this journal, I do make a point of labelling such posts clearly and cutting them. I don't want to be like the jerk in the CA letter, forcing my sexuality on other people! And it's for that reason that I'm somewhat conservative, if you like, about snogging and other physical affection in public, because even where I know that it's entirely non-sexual, I don't think that's very visible to bystanders. Let alone when it actually is a way of doing something in a small way sexual which is at least somewhat acceptable in some public contexts. But I don't completely rule it out, because apart from anything else I don't want to hide my affection for people I love as if it were something shameful.

Right, I have a bit more to say specifically about discussing kink, but it's midnight so I think I'll leave that for another time.

What do you think, people? How do you balance these things? (Possibly by erring on the side of not talking about them on the internet, in which case you probably won't be in a position to comment!) But I'm working this stuff through in my mind and would appreciate some input. Feel free to contact me offline if you prefer.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 01:01 am (UTC)
lilysea: Serious (Default)
From: [personal profile] lilysea
Many years ago, I was in a lot of emotional pain after a bad breakup. I went to a party, where a friend and her partner were VERY affectionate and cuddly all evening, constantly holding, touching, caressing. It was VERY painful to watch. But, the friend had just had a miscarriage, was in a lot of physical pain, and had lost a desperately-wanted pregnancy. Their affection wasn't about me, and it would have been unfair, unreasonable (and cruel) to ask that they not support each other in any way that they could.

When I'm affectionate to my SO in public
...it's transgressive because I'm a wheelchair user (and wheelchair users are often assumed to be asexual and unlovable);
...it comforts and reassures both of us (I have chronic pain, and lots of studies show hugs and touch help pain, and it also helps his Anxiety/Depression)
...it might give lonely people a twinge. I hope that it doesn't, but it might.

But to say, "ok, you shouldn't hug/hold hands/rub their shoulder because it might make someone else lonely" - the world is full of lots of suffering, and denying small comforts seems wrong.

If I avoid slightly increasing someone's loneliness at the cost of significantly increasing my physical pain, or my SO's Anxiety/Depression, is that really a worthwhile trade?

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 03:47 am (UTC)
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] staranise
I don't want to in any way add to the pain of people who are lonely and wish they had more friends.

I don't think that's an option for you. I think at some point you have to accept that a lot of people out there are hurting, and that pain is exacerbated by people doing absolutely normal and necessary things. You are never going to be able to fully control what people think about you; if someone's loneliness or pain is intense enough, they can use you to self-flagellate no matter what. I know there are people who think that if everyone behaved like X, their own pain would be lessened and that would be a good thing; but what they don't see are the people who would be harmed by X. If you're not too demonstrative, then you're not demonstrative enough. No amount of proper behaviour can absolve you from the pain of other people.

I do think there's a need for sexual boundaries between onesself and strangers, but that's to do with the stranger's ability to decide when and how to interact with your sexuality. If you're walking down the street holding hands, all they have to do is look away; if you're naked and hugging everyone you meet, they have to avert their eyes from your naked body (which is rather harder than not looking at someone's hand), physically dodge you, and put up with social implications of refusing the gesture. Cuddling your partner when you're walking together through an empty park is different than remaining entwined when you stop and speak to someone who wants to ask for directions. But it's about giving them the choice to avoid you, if that makes sense.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 04:07 am (UTC)
rysmiel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rysmiel
This post seems to me to be partaking of an assumption that floats around behind much discussion of this topic and that I don't think I have ever seen addressed; why the assumption that you are more likely to encounter people who will be upset or hurt by public displays of affection involving other folk, than the people for whom other folk doing public displays of unselfconscious affection is an affirmation that there can be joy in life after all and a really important way of countering loneliness ?

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 10:48 am (UTC)
green_knight: (daring)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
(You wrote this before I could organise my thoughts on this.)

'Why are they shoving their happiness in my face' is depression talking; happy people usually aren't happy *at* someone, they're just happy. And expressing it, by smiling, bouncing, laughing, being silly, alone and in company. I think it's incredibly heartwarming to see people interacting positively - snuggling up against each other on the tube, smiling goofily, kissing... - it normalises healthy, happy relationships. (Given how many unhealthy images we're bombarded with all the time in all media, the reminder that This Is A Thing is a useful calibrator.)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 12:38 pm (UTC)
withagreatlove: (Default)
From: [personal profile] withagreatlove
I so agree with this!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 05:02 am (UTC)
spaceoperadiva: little jellical cat in a sink (Default)
From: [personal profile] spaceoperadiva
I realized a while ago that the people who really annoy me on social media with the PDAs are the ones who post PDAs constantly, relentlessly, unendingly. It begins to feel like either over the top bragging or "doth protest too much" attempts to convince us and themselves that things are much more lovely than they actually are.

Occasional PDAs are uplifting. I like knowing that my friends are happy. The all PDA broadcast all the time, however seems artificial and manipulative. People who are in brand new relationships get a temporary pass, though.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 03:00 pm (UTC)
spaceoperadiva: little jellical cat in a sink (Default)
From: [personal profile] spaceoperadiva
It certainly can be a dog-whistle for homophobia. Similarly, "what about the children" and "others may be uncomfortable" is often code for "Don't challenge Judeo-Christian social norms." We become more vulnerable to the concern trolls as we attempt to care about other people's comfort in more than just an abstract way.

In a related tangent:
The other flag that constant relationship bragging throws up for me is that it can be a mask for domestic violence. I'd be stuck in some pretty severe cognitive dissonance if I were worrying that my lesbian friends were posting what I considered to be too much "I LOVE MY GAL/WIFE", both because they tend to be more circumspect (probably because of the very things that you are discussing) and also because although I know intellectually that domestic violence does happen to anyone regardless of gender, my prejudice is that women are less likely to abuse their intimate partners. But just because they're less likely (and I think they still are, statistically, though I haven't looked it up recently) doesn't mean I shouldn't apply the same metric of close reading to worrisome things, regardless. And if OTT relationship bragging is a covert way of signaling for help, it's one more thing that queer people don't have access to because of our current societal norms.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-17 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoti.livejournal.com
Yes! Having a close family member who describes *being in the same room as your same sex partner* as flaunting, I find I very much have to squash the tendency to be less physical with same sex partners than opposite sex. I go 'oh, there are children around, I should step further away in case their parents object.... because otherwise they might learn that I am a person. Oh wait.'

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-23 12:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoti.livejournal.com
Yes. It's a thing I have to remember is ridiculous, rather than a thing I know is ridiculous. Like, I never even think about whether this is a good place to feed the baby or not, I just do it, and I should be the same about showing affection. I think I just need practice.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 08:52 am (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
I have to say, it may be my inner curmudgeon but I always mentally translate "sex positive" as "someone who wants to tell me I'm doing my life wrong, and won't bloody shut up when I tell them I'm wombling along quite nicely, thank you." Or a bit like one of those very exuberant dogs that insists on bouncing up at you with muddy paws.* So I had more sympathy with some of the CA commenters than perhaps you did.

I think it's a particularly difficult thing when you mix asexuality or demisexuality into the issue of "sex positivity" because those are comparatively new kids on the block in terms of sexual identities. That was brought home to me a few years ago when someone was organising a fic exchange which was intended to celebrate virginity. "Woo-hoo!" I thought, having a number of characters in mind for whom my headcanon is that they're ace, and then was brought up short by an apparent conflation between "asexual" and "sex negative" (details here for anyone interested).

See also "enthusiastic consent". It's the mental image of little cheerleaders with pom-poms on the bed-head.


*It also occurs to me that there's a generational issue, in that for someone like me who was a sexually active adult before the AIDS crisis hit, the term "positive" used in a sexual context is tainted on a pretty much visceral level.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 11:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] woodpijn.livejournal.com
This reminded me of this post by Ozy Frantz about how sex-positivity should include being affirming about all forms of sexual expression including things like celibacy and asexuality.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 11:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] woodpijn.livejournal.com
(Hmm, I put in a proper hyperlink but Dreamwidth seems to have changed it to that format - possibly some kind of anti-spam measure?)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] woodpijn.livejournal.com
Thanks!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-14 08:51 pm (UTC)
cjwatson: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cjwatson
Nice, somebody evidently thought to do that kind of processing when rendering the page rather than mangling the content in the database. I like that kind of good design. :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-16 11:49 pm (UTC)
cjwatson: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cjwatson
Well, what I mean here is that when you post a comment DW will insert that into its database. It knows at that point whether the posting user is authenticated via OpenID and the access relationships, and so it's possible to imagine an implementation where it modifies the links at that point on the basis that those are the only things the link modification depends on. There'd even be some small performance justification for that, because a given comment is generally viewed more often than it's posted/edited so the viewing case has more performance pressure. But it's wrong to do it that way because the database contents should be in a canonical form, and this is a good illustration of why.

Having said all this I can't think of a specific example from a similar domain of a site getting this wrong, but it's the sort of layering mistake that crops up in other ways. I will try to think of a decent example when I've had more sleep :-)
Edited Date: 2015-02-16 11:56 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 07:33 pm (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
Ah! Now, that's interesting -- I nearly mentioned The Ferrett as an example of what I meant when I talked about that sort of being sex positive. And, for that matter, the Open Source Boob Project as something which really flipped all my negative feelings about that sort of sex positivity. I really can hardly think about it even at so many years remove without getting utterly and completely infuriated by all the basic assumptions behind it, and, especially, the idea that people at the convention where they did it didn't get to opt out (and I don't mean that they didn't get to say no if asked; they didn't get the option of not being asked.)

And now -- while he seems to have repented the OSBP -- he's doing exactly the same thing writing about polyamory.

It's something about his tone, I think.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-17 07:25 am (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
Well for what it's worth I'd say you were already differentiating yourself massively by being sex-positive but not insisting on saying "This is what sex-positivity looks like, this is awesome, here are how you can be more like MEEEE!!!"

Which is what gets up my nose not merely in the case of the Ferrett, but a number of other writers who adopt a similar style -- even Captain Awkward, from time to time. I suspect being averse to it -- the attitude, I mean -- probably is encoded on British DNA, like not talking to fellow passengers on a train unless it's stuck in a snowdrift or about to crash.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 08:04 pm (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
Sherlock Holmes in ACD is probably ace, though one has only Watson's information to go on (he does claim that Holmes regards anything akin to romance as grit in the fine mechanism that is his brain).

With respect to the Doctor, it's been producing wank for decades. The first doctor had a granddaughter so one presumes a daughter and one presumes a partner. However, he was old, so the issue of his current sex life was moot. But, because it was a big BBC worry that people would think the subsequent Doctors were sleeping with the subsequent companions who were running around in miniskirts because they were "something for the Dads" the various Doctors were directed not to show any flicker of interest in them. So I don't know that he was written as an ace character in a coherent way.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-17 02:22 pm (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
I believe people who identified as asexual, whether they did or did not use that term, got very protective of the Doctor's asexual identity because there was a shortage of such characters in popular media, which I can certainly understand. However, I don't see why one can't assume sexual identity changes between regenerations, so I felt part of the outcry when New Who (well Ten, in particular, and Eleven) seemed to be a much more obviously sexual being was very much misplaced.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 09:02 pm (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
I think part of the problem is that women are expected (or have been expected, historically) to fake sexual behaviour that comes very close to demi-sexuality to be seen as respectable/good girls. So naturally anyone who actually is, gets resented as faking it.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 09:36 am (UTC)
simont: (Default)
From: [personal profile] simont
That's not at all what I understand by the term when I call myself sex positive, and yes, I have seen reasonable critiques of something that looks more like what I do think sex positivity is supposed to be. I like Emily Nagoski's definition: "the radical, all-inclusive belief that each person’s body belongs to that person".

That sounds like a jolly good concept to me, but it's hard to see how it goes with the phrase "sex-positive". It seems to me neither positive nor negative – it's saying, have sex if you want to, and don't if you don't want to, and far be it from me to tell you which. It's precisely sex-neutral! Surely any non-confusing definition of sex-positivity ought to at least include some kind of a hint, however circumscribed with ifs and buts and exceptions and careful attention to consent and so forth, that perhaps sex is on balance a good thing.
jack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jack
To me it feels like "why feminism is called feminism if it's supposed to advocate for equal rights". That against a background of constantly being shamed and harmed for having a sex drive, saying "maybe sex is neutral, good if you enjoy it, not if you don't want to" was significantly pro-sex.

And lots of the anti-sex people retreated to statements like "ok, gay/unmarried/kinky sex isn't unethical but it's really squicky can we never talk about it in public ever ever" which had much the same effect, and invited counters of "no, sex is awesome".

At which point, we end up with "sex-positive" meaning "sex-neutral" because" sex-neutral" ends up meaning "status-quo", even though it shouldn't. And then "sex is awesome" sentiment spills over into shaming people who are actually completely ok with it but actually just don't want it, and another cycle starts :(

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 02:47 pm (UTC)
simont: (Default)
From: [personal profile] simont
Now my inner[1] mathematician wants to call it 'sex non-negative' :-)

[1] (ok, not very inner)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 03:22 pm (UTC)
jack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jack
That would sort of make sense! :)

(ok, not very inner)

LOL!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 10:50 am (UTC)
naath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naath
I think that it is utterly impossible to go through life never making anyone even the tiniest bit unhappy. Because choice A will upset some people but !A will upset a different set of people; A will make some people happy, !A will make other people happy (and maybe "refusing to make other people happy" is equivalent to "making people sad"?).

Almost anything one could possibly write about is going to make some people unhappy or remind them of trauma (and the bigger your audience the more likely that some of those people will be in it); I don't think that's a good reason never to write anything. I think it is a good reason to adequately label writing so people can choose not to read it.

I think that policing what you do in public "because other people might not want to see that" is silly. You'll never please 'em all, and besides if they don't want to see they should look the other way. Plus it would be very unhappy-making for me to not be able to touch/hug/kiss people (who like being touched by me of course) in public.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 12:22 pm (UTC)
naath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naath
It's not just my person happiness that is reduced by my not-snogging people though - maybe there are other strangers out there who are actively cheered by my snogging people where they can see them (or at least by some people doing so). Perhaps out of a generalised "yay, the world has happiness in it" or perhaps a more specific "people like me can have affection! wow, I'd thought that impossible" (if they share a marginalised characteristic with me or my partner). I don't think you can know what proportion of strangers who might see you kissing will have which reaction; of course if a friend has *specifically asked* you not to kiss in front of them then you have more information about the situation and can make more reasonable choices.

I am also I think negatively biased against people whose reaction to their "yuck, kissing" reaction is to complain; given the frequency with which such complaints seem to really be about wanting marginalised people to not have (or at least not publicly have) loving relationships. Of course "I am single and sad, and these happy non-single people make me more sad" are not doing that, and maybe I should give them more consideration.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 12:34 pm (UTC)
withagreatlove: (Default)
From: [personal profile] withagreatlove
First of all: this stuff is hugely cultural and contextual. I came of age in a culture/context where PDA's were not only very much socially accepted but also seen as status-enhancing (in an obnoxious way, to be sure). When I moved cultural context, it took some observation, thinking and adjusting to a more reserved culture.

Having said that, I really believe it's a give-and-take. A moral, upstanding, considerate human being will show some restraint with regards to PDA, and a moral, upstanding, considerate audience will tolerate mild PDA on the understanding that you want to rejoice in other people's happiness, even if it might not reflect your own emotional reality. I remember being 'that teen' also and I think envy is a normal human response but resentment is not.

I'm a big believer in 'impulse control' on both sides of the equation and although I will kiss my heteronormative spouse in public, I won't snog. The only exception I make is when I'm leaving on an international flight and bidding him goodbye at the airport. There's an element of danger in such a journey, and I'd hate to think I never kissed my husband goodbye properly. But I think 'airport etiquette' is a bit more lenient in any case!

Sorry to have equally rambly thoughts... hoping it's somewhat helpful? :)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 01:24 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I am a person who is single and quite happy being single.

I don't mind seeing your non-sexual PDAs at all. You can hold hands or walk with your arms around each other's waist or shoulder massage until you're blue in the face.
I don't mind your sexual PDAs if they're not In My Face - if you're sat on the grass at the park, or you're alone in the snug/secluded corner in a pub, or you're standing on the street I'm walking down (or airport departure gate I'm walking past).

I do mind if you're standing in the middle of the train platform I'm waiting on, or in the seats across the aisle from me (and I'll probably move, if I can). I also tune-out of the snogging/sex scenes in, for example, films I'm watching.

I'd say it's a bit like eating hot strongly scented food in someone's face. I was quietly reading their book or something and now I have a head full of images of pizza and instead of just going home and eating any old food I'm going to have to go via the supermarket and buy a pizza, else I'm going to have pizza on the brain for the rest of the evening. And that's going to mean I'm not getting done what I had planned, and I can't concentrate on this book any more because I'm thinking about my pizza (and it's going to cost me more than the leftovers I was going eat). And it's not that I won't enjoy my pizza, but, well, I just wasn't going to bother. Although it would be fine if I was already going for pizza that evening...

So I'm not asexual or sex-repulsed or traumatised; and I'm not bitter or frustrated or otherwise unhappy about not being in a sexual relationship, but when sex (including snogging) is pushed in my face I can't avoid a physical reaction which is mostly a frustration and an inconvenience (but might not be if I were going to go home and have sex anyway).

Which is not to say that I think you should decide whether or not to snog your partner based on these feelings, but just to add the data point of what and why (although I'm simplifying and these are not the only feelings/responses I have to sexual displays in public)

Personally, I don't generally eat pizza in a small waiting room or something (and I've seen ... buses? somewhere who don't object to you eating, but do make a point about not bringing smelly food on).

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 03:10 pm (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidgillon
As someone not in a relationship, I always find Valentines uncomfortable, as it seems to other people who aren't couples. And the 'How many Valentines did you get?' was always awkward, I had a workmate who wasn't above asking that specifically because she knew it was awkward for me.

OTOH just because I'm not in a relationship doesn't mean other people should be constrained in theirs, and in fact couples hand in hand always push my smile button. Clearly there's a line to be drawn somewhere - 'No penetrative sex on the High Street please, we're British', but that line needs to be as permissive as possible because it does seem that when many people rail against public displays of affection, what they particularly have in mind is anything remotely non-straight.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-14 11:42 pm (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
I don't know how much it will help, but it seems embarrassment is an expected thing for expression of affection in public. My Significant Other doesn't want any public expression, and has specifically said they want this because they don't want other people staring or commenting on it. I think it's odd, but I also want to respect their wishes. So my opinions on the matter are primarily about the comfort level of the person being affected at.

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