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Article written by Maya Vukovska

Gay, straight, or otherwise, when it comes to showing signs of intimacy towards your partner in public, opinions differ as to what extent is socially acceptable. Holding hands, exchanging subtle touches, and kissing in a public setting have become commonplace. But in a world where heteronormativity still rules, it takes bravery in some places to be an out gay and engage in PDAs without concerns about negative reactions. If you are in a fresh relationship and you simply cannot take your hands off your boyfriend but you wonder if it’s appropriate to show your affection in public, here are some thoughts on the subject matter.

“Touch me, touch me, I wanna feel your body…”

This is what thе huge pop star from the 80s Samantha Fox once sang, and every guy back then who was into lots of hair volume and denim dreamed of being touched by her. But how much touching is permissible according to the gay PDA etiquette? Fixing a collar or straightening a tie are gestures that can be interpreted as a pretty unobtrusive but at the same time intimate and cute sign of affection.

Holding hands is totally normal but only if you are in an environment that is enough safe for you to be doing that in public. Needless to say, in some countries and cultures, such behavior is not only unacceptable but can be also illegal! But even in the most prejudice-free countries, it is far from OK to touch anyone’s private parts when on a train, in an elevator, at a restaurant, or any other public place, really. Not without a reason we call them “private,” you see.

Playing footsie

Don’t you enjoy the scene in a movie when, during a formal dinner, a sexy blonde gives the guy sitting sitting across from them a little foot job under the table? You, too, should try it. But don’t go straight to massaging his package with your foot. Start simple instead. Rubbing ankles, for example, can be a discrete, yet great form of sexual foreplay. Doing something naughty with your toes to his calf while everyone else at the table is engaged in a heated political debate can speak volumes for your feelings. It tells him that you find him hot, that you are madly in love with him, and you can’t wait to take him someplace more private. NB! Make sure you are toeing the right calf! Also, long table cloths are essential if you want to be sneaky!

Messing with his hair

Some people hate it when they’ve spent half an hour fixing and stylizing their hair, and then aunt Joslin shows up and in a spontaneous display of affection ruffles it with a wrinkled hand. Fixing his hair, although it doesn’t need it, on the other hand, is a wonderful gesture that tells you’re a considerate man who looks out for him.


Even if you two are in a gay bar and you’re super excited, grabbing his johnson is bad manners. Your mom must have taught you that rubbing your penis through pants in public is wrong, and doing it to someone else is even worse. Even in the most gay-friendly environment, guys who do that are given the get-a-room look. Unlesss.. can I watch?

Broadcasting your love

One needs to be extra careful when posting intimately personal messages or images on social media. Before uploading a selfie of you two cuddling in bed, first, you have to make sure your partner is OK with that. Communicating content of intimate nature in public forums without having the other part’s consent can embarrass them big time. So, you’d better keep the rabbit in the hat…


Two men exchanging quick kisses to say hello will rarely draw attention. Especially in Spain, Greece, or France! Nose pecks or “butterfly” kisses may seem silly and innocent, but they display intimacy on a high level. A passionate kiss is a different kettle of fish. Not only can a French kiss make onlookers feel uneasy, but it can even scandalize them. If you don’t have a problem declaring your love for your partner in public, though, any type of kiss is OK.

Being in love is fantastic and you may want to shout it out for the whole world to know. Just keep in mind that subtle touches or expressions of closeness can be much more romantic and less embarrassing than exhibiting R-rated behavior.

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