Public Displays of Affection — When Does Cute Cross the Line to Cringe-Worthy?

Chai Steeves
4 min readApr 3, 2022
Photo by Nathan Walker on Unsplash

This is a line I have crossed. Repeatedly. As a younger man, I can remember not hesitating to tell that couple making out on the dance floor to ‘get a room.’ I was a conservative kid, and the idea of grinding up against someone — or, even worse, kissing — right out in public seemed unseemly.

Since then, I’ve changed a lot, and I am far less conservative. I’ve learned to be way less judging of other people and to — by and large — live and let live. And more importantly, I’ve come to feel that expressing emotions and feelings of love and closeness in public is healthy and beautiful.

Whereas I used to feel that anything more than a peck on the cheek was inappropriate, I now love it when someone gives their partner a deep kiss in a moment of spontaneous passion.

For me, it’s been like a blinding flash of the obvious. There is virtually nothing I value more than a solid and loving relationship. Psychological studies have found that,

“The single biggest predictor of human happiness is the quality of [a person’s] relationships.”

I firmly believe that, and I know that for myself, my happiness is inexorably tied to how happy I am with my wife, my kids, and the other intimate relationships in my life.

So, why would I not love to see people publicly celebrate that love and affection? As a result of this realization, I have totally flipped from the person I used to be. I love seeing when couples can’t keep their hands off one another.

But therein lies the problem. Because I now love these public celebrations of love and affection, I fear I have lost my bearings about what others in society feel is appropriate.

How much is too much?

Let’s break it down.

Making out and/or grinding on the dancefloor? We’ve all seen that couple who dirty dances, gropes, and makes out like they’re in their bedroom, halfway to the bed. They are almost having sex with their clothes — mostly — on. Well, I’m going to come out strongly in favor of this behavior. Upon reflection, I feel that dancing is, in and of itself, an intimate act. So when someone gets a little caught up in it and wants to express…



Chai Steeves

eclectic guy - likes sexuality, politics, business, relationships, celebrity trivia...