There’s something thrilling about making a public claim on my wife. It’s like sticking my own personal imperial flag in the ground and shouting, “I claim this land in the name of the king!” Except that I get to be the flag-planter and the king, too! Public displays of affection (PDAs) offer me a way to clearly and emphatically stake this claim.
Richer Lands, Richer Claims
The more profound the spectacle, the more profound the claim, too. A held hand is sweet, but I can do that with my kids, so it’s not very specific to my wife. A hand on the small of her back is somewhat more intimate, but it’s nothing I don’t do with my sister. An arm around the waist speaks of possession, but not in a way I couldn’t have with my mom.
I feel the need to step it up a notch.
Types of Displays
To dig into this, we should explore the two major categories of public displays of affection.
First, we have the instantaneous displays. You do them, and they’re immediately over. These include the sweet and simple peck on the cheeks or the lips. A playful and flirty pat on the backside would certainly be instantaneous. Really, hugs could even fit into this category, given that extended hugs really aren’t hugs so much as cuddling.
Second, we have the continuous displays. Playing with my wife’s hair is a favorite. Rubbing her shoulders is a favorite of hers. Even something as innocuous as resting a hand on her thigh acts as a display that makes a claim and continues to do so over time.
The continuous displays are my go-to moves. There’s a deliberate claim being made, and the sweet playfulness of these displays of affection communicates my love for her to the outside world in a tangible way. That said, I never hesitate to use the instantaneous displays.
Dialing It Up
All of these displays, from the easy to hide instantaneous ones to the blatant continuous ones, can be dialed up, making a more pronounced claim. It’s like the difference between planting a flag that you’d find on a tiny wooden dowel in someone’s front yard on July 4 and the ridiculous house-sized behemoths roiling in the wind above car dealerships on the highway. Or something in between.
These enhanced claims aren’t as common. They require the right timing and situation. But they have their side benefits, too. Namely, usually seeding red cheeks from my wife. Perhaps a slap, even (delivered playfully or meaningfully, depending on her mood and how enhanced the display was). But if the opportunity and motive align, I go for it.
The instantaneous displays are straightforward enough. The kiss on her lips includes a slip of the tongue. The slap on her butt is replaced with a squeeze. And perhaps north of the equator rather than south. That sweet hug? It is now accompanied by hands on her backside if I’m hugging from in front. Or, alternatively, I just hug her from behind, pulling her by the hips into me.
On the continuous front, things can get fun in their own way. Playing with her hair sometimes includes a firm tug with a handful, which if done right whispers “I want you” in our own little language. The shoulder rub might include a finger trailing on her neck, ears, and lips. And that hand on her thigh is more on the inside of her thigh than on the top, and it might just begin with scooting the hem of her skirt up an inch or two.
Cranking It Up
Then, there’s the crank-it-up-to-eleven PDA. These are usually brief, and I only do it in one of two circumstances.
- Chances of being seen are minimal; or
- Those that could see are either strangers or are very close to us (either way, I don’t mind them noticing).
That instantaneous kiss ends with a nibble or a sucked lip. The slap-and-squeeze becomes a few seconds of caress. And that hug, which is probably not all that instantaneous anymore, includes my hands slipping into her clothes for a moment.
The injection of a hair tug while I play with her curls lasts a little longer while I pull her head back to nibble her neck. The shoulder rub moves its way onto her chest and into her bra. And that hand on her thigh isn’t satisfied with leg alone, particularly if she’s in a skirt. I’m going for the gold, even if it’s only for a split second before she slaps me.
My primary reservation on this kind of enhanced public display is small children. And to be more specific, other people’s children. Naturally, my own kids have gotten accustomed to seeing Dad get all handsy with Mom. But I don’t desire to subject other people’s children to anything like that since it’s not my place to make their parenting decisions. I happily teach my own children about the context of marriage and the boundaries it entails, but not everyone parents like me.
But apart from being clearly in the view and under the scrutiny of these young children, I’ve got no beef with displaying affection with my wife. Or with doing so aggressively.
So what if it makes the people around me (possibly including my wife) feel awkward about this grown-up guy acting like a teenage hornball? I’ve got a hot wife, and I love to show off my trophy.
Besides, what those horny teenagers do is different. With a ring and a vow, I’ve earned my privilege.