PDA: How Much is Too Much?

I was at a popular gay West Hollywood bar a little while back with my girlfriend and some friends to celebrate not having to work on Monday. It was a mixed crowd of both men and women, although the number of men definitely outweighed the number of women. The set-up was a mix of both indoor and outdoor bars, so we decided to enjoy our beverages outside and get some fresh air.

We were chatting about all the latest lesbian gossip, like how Rosie is still crazy and how I recently saw Jackie Warner out on Friday night at a lesbian club making out with her ex, Mimi. Hadn't they broken up? Didn't Jackie have a different lover? We stood there, perplexed, trying to answer these intriguing questions when something caught our attention: two men next to us were playing quite an aggressive game of tongue tag amidst all the hustle and bustle of the bar.

After watching these two men makeout for a good 5 minutes, I was impressed. They were so into each other they didn't seem to have a care in the world. I, personally, am not a huge fan of public displays of affection, or PDA. I think hand-holding is fine and a quick kiss here and there, but I am not one to personally turn and shove my tongue down my girlfriends throat.

These two men were like a car-wreck; you wanted to turn your head away but you just couldn't help but stare in shock and awe. Then I noticed something; one of the men had his hand down the other mans pants, right in public! He was clearly looking for something down there and I'm pretty sure it wasn't his keys. As we stood there and watched this man give his lover/boyfriend/new friend a handjob, I also noticed that none of the other surrounding men seemed to notice, or care. I started to wonder, 'are these types of actions deemed normal with gay men?'

I have never witnessed two women going to second base in public, but then again I guess it's a little harder for two women to pull off the mechanics of it. Speaking of hard, it got to the point where one of the men was actually holding the other mans appendage outside his pants and stroking it ever so lovingly. Meanwhile, the other man had his hands shoved down the back of his make-out partner's pants; it was a full moon Sunday night and I don't mean in the sky.

During this whole spectacle, one thing was apparent; there was a lot of alcohol involved. A lot. I say this because I don't think either men were able to keep their eyes open for longer than 10 seconds at a time. Drunk or sober, I started to wonder: where is the line is drawn between appropriate PDA and the kind that borders dry humping? I think as a general rule of thumb, higher levels of PDA are tolerated in the gay community, particularly with gay men.

After Sunday nights rendition of Boogie Nights Gone Gay, I have to wonder...what does the gay community consider to be appropriate PDA? Does your standard of thinking change when you're in a predominantly straight setting as opposed to a predominantly gay setting? Should PDA be more acceptable when alcohol is involved?

These are the thoughts that plague my mind as I sit here at my 9-5'er, staring at this screen, ignoring the fact that I'm on a deadline because it's Monday and clearly my brain is still in weekend mode.