I don’t really have a question, I just want to vent, sorry. I feel like I would never want sex, or snogging. But while I don’t mind normal kissing, cuddles and hand holding, I really don’t like doing these things in public – only small gestures like touching knees under the table etc. And I feel that’s where most of my problem lies – while I’ve seen aces who don’t want sex or snogging, most people don’t find PDA uncomfortable – I just want to know if there are people like me, really. Thanks



There are a lot of people, asexual and not asexual, who do not enjoy public displays of affection. I’m not comfortable with it being directed at me, and I feel awkward sometimes when I’m around it. I know plenty of people who are not asexual who have very different preferences and comfort levels re: public displays of affection. Nothing wrong with that. 

I have issues with doing a lot of things normally classed as PDA in public even when I’m fine with the same things in private, and I think part of it is the ‘is there something reserved for when it’s just us alone’ effect regarding intimacy. I’m sex-repulsed, so I hit my ‘never will I ever’ limit well before society thinks I should be allowed to.

The one that really gets me is the ‘perform for the camera’ couple photo phenomenon. There exist photos from before my spouse and I figured out we are both asexual where my dad did the couple photo thing (it was about a year after we started dating and we dated a decade before becoming engaged, for reference) and I visibly become less and less comfortable as the sequence progresses. At some point I just cross my arms over my chest and stay like that until it’s over.

This pair of aces were barely more frisky by societal standards in private on their wedding night than in those photos taken outside with witnesses, thanks to the ‘but you have to be okay with this, you’re dating’ expectations. And those photos are tame. We’re talking ‘Christian Side Hug’ levels of tame. My high school would have considered that perfectly reasonable locker break PDA even when the powers that be were still enforcing the rules against any PDA.

A significant part of our wedding planning was making sure we could weasel out of Now Kiss and have backup if anyone objected to us just hugging.

No one of any orientation should be expected to put the most intimate things that they do or are willing to do with a romantic or sexual partner on public display.

The ‘uncomfortable observing other people’s PDA’ issue is a different problem, but I think in some cases it may be related and there needs to be an understanding that looking away (‘I am uncomfortable being a bystander to this’) is different from telling people they have to stop (‘I don’t want you doing this anywhere that there are any bystanders’). I’ve seen the two conflated far too often.

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