When it comes to public displays of affection, how far will you go? Alex and I…
…had our very first kiss on the street. After our first date, he walked me home and we stood outside my apartment on busy Bleecker Street, as crowds of people swarmed by. He went in for a kiss, and a group of guys yelled, “Look at the lovers!” We just kept at it. Honestly, it felt totally normal.
I’m not sure about other places, but it’s funny how in NYC, you get so used to public displays of affection, since no one really looks. Nothing here is a spectacle. It’s not that all New Yorkers are exhibitionists, it’s that a) apartments are so small—and often packed with roommates—that the city becomes an extension of your living room, and you end up doing so many things (proposing, breaking up, arguing, crying, whatever) in public; and b) there’s also a funny anonymity in numbers. It’s sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s much less awkward to make out in a huge crowd than on a quiet street with only one other person walking by.
And it’s not just kissing: People do everything in public here, right? You sometimes spot guys peeing in public. Happily, it feels like a non-event to breastfeed in public. And the New York Times published a beautiful piece about crying in public. “If you live in New York, you’re bound to end up crying in public eventually,” wrote Melissa Febos. “There just aren’t enough private places…The apartment I share with my girlfriend is so small, it can be easier to find privacy outside.” People ignore you; they barely look at you; and, instead of feeling cold-hearted, it actually feels respectful.
Plus, don’t you love kissing outdoors? There’s something so romantic about kissing on the street, or kissing on a park bench, or kissing in the rain. One of my favorite kisses took place while sitting on a curb waiting for a table at a restaurant.
I’m curious to hear: How much PDA are you comfortable with? Holding hands? A kiss? A full-on make-out session? What’s the norm where you live? I’d love to hear your thoughts…Update: Your comments are awesome:) Laughing out loud at some of them. I love you guys!
P.S. How old were you when you had your first kiss, and would you wait to kiss until your wedding day? And how not to look like a tourist in NYC.
(Top photo by John Dolan. Bottom photo by Stanley Kubrick, New York, 1946.)