PDA or Wow! Two posts in one day!

Due to my last post, I felt the need to tell the story about D, and our history with Public Displays of Affection (PDA).

For several weekends in the beginning of our relationship (we were long distance at that point), we stayed inside making love all day and night (this was before Big D visited with her). Then we decided we needed to get out into the world and see how we worked together outside of the bedroom. We found a little restaurant that we fell in love with and went to often. It was 2004, and there was a gay bar in the “city” I lived in. (I put quotes around city because if you knew this place you would laugh at that – but for our small state, that’s what it is.) It has since closed which sucks, but back then it was a thriving place. We went there whenever we could – which was at least one night a weekend. It was such a comfortable place, and D and I held hands, danced and made out furiously while there. We never felt threatened, even when a bunch of straight people came in. We figured if they were at a gay bar, then they knew they would see gay people together. We were told on several occasions we were such a cute couple, and on others we were told to “get a room!” 😉 I was happy she felt so comfortable with me.

So when she surprised me with a mid-week visit  6 months in, and we decided to walk around the “city”, I tried to hold her hand. She said no and I sort of freaked out a bit. You see, for the previous 4 and a 1/2 years, I was with a woman who was tightly in the closet – even though she was the butchest woman I had met. We always had to be careful of where we went and who saw us, and only once did we ever hold hands and steal a kiss in public. I once called her “hon” in front of her mother and almost had an anxiety attack after. It was tiring, scary and overwhelming. I said I would never date someone who was in the closet ever again.  So when D wouldn’t hold my hand, I got offended and scared that I would never get that (hand holding in public) – and it was something I always wanted to have. She told me that she was never the kind of person to do PDA, even when she was with a man. She doesn’t like it and thinks it’s gross when others do it. (The exception being when we have a little alcohol in us.) I told her I wasn’t trying to make out with her, I just wanted to hold her hand. She promised she would try to work on it, and we left it at that.

You have to remember that she was 33 when we met, and I am the only woman she has ever dated. Her family was fiercely homophobic, and she was scared of others’ reactions.  So I could kind of understand why she would be hesitant. Fast forward 9 1/2 years, and she still will not hold my hand in public (the exception being if she has had some whiskey – which only happens about once a year and always at night walking home when no one is around). It still makes her uneasy. When we first moved into our house, we were cautious for safety reasons. Our neighbors knew about us, but we were never in-your-face with anyone. I went to all of Big D’s school things, and we only told people when they asked out-right. Some people figured it out on their own, but even up until his senior year in high school, people were still confused about us. It used to bother me that no one really knew for sure, but I understand that for Big D’s sake we needed to be a little private.

It’s frustrating because it opens ourselves up to other things as well. What I mean is that men flirt with my wife in front of me. This is so uncomfortable for me, you cannot even imagine. Yes, my wife is beautiful, but she is MY wife. How do you say that to a male stranger who feels the need to hit on the love of your life? You never know if they will be furious, or turned on, or both!

I remember two instances in particular that really skeeved me out – but I sat there and did nothing because I know D is scared of others’ reactions. The first was one night several years ago. We stayed at a hotel for the night for a little romantic getaway close to home. They had karaoke going on downstairs, so we went to it to giggle and drink. We were sitting there, minding our own business, when a man (albeit a balding, middle aged, pot-bellied man) walked up to D and asked her to dance. She of course declined, but I was furious inside. He asked her if she was sure, and she said yes. I wanted to yell at him that she was mine! But I couldn’t, and I didn’t. As we were headed back to our room, she did hold my hand in the empty hallway. All of a sudden a drunk guy came out of another room down the hall behind us, saw us holding hands, and asked us to come have a drink with him. We said no, but he was insistent and started walking toward us, so we started running. We ran together all the way up the stairs  and back to the room, and locked the door tight behind us. It was scary and funny at the same time.

The next time was when D had to get a CT scan of her belly because they thought she had kidney stones. We had to get there like 3 hours ahead of time so she could drink this concoction so the scan would pick up on it. While she’s lying there on the gurney and I’m sitting right next to her, the guy in the next bed starts chatting her up! He was asking her if she lived in (the town we live in) and said he had seen her at the dump. He even knew which car she drove! I sat there, boiling inside, and I am sure my face was getting red. He got called into the back, so that relieved the situation, but I was so jealous!

Nowadays we are more apt to correct them when they do it, but there are times when we just keep walking and don’t say anything. I wish I could just hold her freaking hand, so that people would know without having to ask! It would also let these men know that they cannot hit on her. She is not available. Maybe someday she will do it, but I won’t hold my breath.

On the flip side, we are very affectionate together in our home. We kiss, hug, playfully grab each others bottoms, and play wrestle. We make sure we kiss when we wake up, go to bed, leave each other for the day, and come home. We hold hands in bed at night and caress each other. We are always telling each other how much we love one another and we respect each other very much. I think that is why I haven’t pushed the PDA thing so much, because I do get lots of affection at home. It saddens me to think I will never ever be able to show my love for her to the world, but like I said, I respect her. It’s one of those conflicting things: I want her to hold my hand so people know and so I can feel close to her when we are out and about, but knowing how uncomfortable she is with it, I don’t push it. It’s her body, and if she doesn’t want me touching it, I don’t. For now, I will just keep dreaming of the day where she will slip her hand into mine and proudly show the world who we are.


About thelesbiannextdoor

I am a 41 year old lesbian, living with her wife in a small town. I have a 23 year old step-son. Who knows, I could be your neighbor ;) (Unless you know for sure your neighbor is not a lesbian - then I'm probably not!)

Posted on August 14, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. crazybeautifulchronicles

    I could have written this. We have very minimal PDA, but are quite affectionate at home.

  2. Me too….being that we are in the midwest, I have always been cautious (maybe to a fault) about PDA. M will joke with me when in public, because I will turn and look at her, and she will say with a smile, “you want to kiss me!” but I never do in public. We are very affectionate at home, but I won’t hold her hand either. I too have been working on it but it is a process and self-protection (whether necessary or not) is important to me.

    • Yeah, I 100% get the safety factor. We live in a very liberal New England state with gay marriage and the works – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t haters out there. And our town is very small, so you just never know. Whenever D’s hand hits mine as we’re walking I always tease her and say, “Are you trying to hold my hand?”

      I also understand that it’s just not for everyone. Even though I wish she would, I know it’s not for her and makes her uncomfortable. Maybe someday when we’re 90! LOL!

  3. Just wanted to let you know that I thought this was very beautiful. I don’t mean to sound cheesy but it was moving, and I have tears in the corners of my eyes as I type this comment! I hope that someday we will live in a world where we can be free to express ourselves without the worry or stress that may come from icky reactions of those around us.

  4. My Sylvia is a bit like this. Now she will hold my hand in public and we will even exchange very quick kisses. However, if we are in an area where we don’t feel as safe, we won’t even hold hands. She is much more aware of it then I am. I do call her “baby” in public and on the phone when speaking to her. We don’t flaunt it, but I am glad that she is comfortable have some PDA.

    • I call her honey, baby or sweetie when we are out and about too. I guess it’s really the physical touch in public she doesn’t like. We don’t flaunt it, but I am not about to hide it either, and she knows and respects that. It’s all good and what really matters is that we love and respect each other to the fullest.

  5. I am new to this, I have only experienced what it’s like to walk down the street holding a girls hand for just over 6 months, prior I didn’t give a thought to showing affection to a partner, leaning in to talk quietly, holding hands, a kiss on the lips…. because no one would have really paid any attention, it’s just general couple behaviour, we see it around ourselves all the time.

    Now I am with a stunning woman and I feel that many people notice us. Mostly because of her – she once told me that she didn’t think men were attracted to her – they’re attracted to her alright, they just are terrified of having to measure their bodies against hers. Heavens knows I’m shitting myself most of the time. We’re two tall girls in their early thirties, often grinning like idiots. We are obviously in love if you are happy to see it that way. Many I am sure don’t, I sometimes experience strange quiet behaviour of people in stores and restaurants, but never open hostility.

    I hope me living as well as I can (and I admit I have no idea how to do that – I just started writing about it) makes others feel even more comfortable around the next gay person they meet. Because if I behave as if it’s shameful and to be hidden, I am scared of that reflection.

    I am so blessed to live where I do and to feel no fear in the street other than my own lack of confidence! I really feel for you and hope that your world changes quickly enough for you to enjoy being a couple on the street as you are at home.

    • Thank you for the comment Libby! You are lucky 🙂

      I want to be clear that just because we don’t hold hands, it doesn’t mean we are not mostly obvious that we are together. We lean in and whisper to each other and call each other honey or sweetie without a second thought (usually). We walk in perfect stride with one another and we walk close. She’s not ashamed of me or of us, but she just doesn’t like to be affectionate in public. I get it. She doesn’t like to do it or see it when other people do it. But I totally agree with you when you say that you want to make the world a better place for the next gay person by not being afraid to do those things. I 100% agree! There’s a fine balance for me between what I want and not making her uncomfortable. You know what they say, “Happy wife, happy life!” 🙂

      I want everyone to know I adore my wife with all that I am and she adores me too. I couldn’t ask for a better person to spend my life with. I’m willing to make that sacrifice if it means being with her 🙂

      Good luck on your journey!

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