Trains are often thought of as romantic places; in trains, beautiful humans have intrigues and kiss each other and cry and eat croissants or whatever. Subways, though, are different story. Subway travel is train travel's depraved little brother who owns The Wicker Man (Nic Cage version) on Blu-ray and pees in a Fanta bottle that he keeps under his bed because he's too lazy to get up and use the bathroom like a normal person.
Subway PDA, similarly, is gross. According to the BBC, Austrian transit company Wiener Linien has produced a short, educational film about things that one should not do on the subway, such as picking your nose, eating smelly food, pooping your basketball shorts (I made this example up but it's worth saying), and "kissing untamed."
"A kiss on the cheek is fine in public but a kiss on the lips, especially with the tongue, is not a correct behaviour because it is such an intimate act," says William Hanson, an etiquette and protocol consultant for the company. Ugh, fine, William. Weird that you would be so stodgy, seeing as you work for a company called Wiener Linien.
William does have a point, even though he sounds like the most boring man in the world. PDA is very rude when you are all squashed up in a metal container hurtling through a pile of rats and dirt. With that in mind, I've compiled a ranking of RUDE PDA, in order of ascending rudeness.
Subway PDA, Ranked from RUDE to VERY RUDE:
1. Doing lil' peck kisses. Those are cute! I bet people kiss their grandma like that. But I don't want strangers doing it near my face.
2. Having sex with yourself very, very covertly while eating a gyro Anna Breslaw did this, and it seems like the only person she pestered was herself.
3. Reading 50 Shades of Grey on a Kindle with the font set to extra large. This is a public sexual act because the person sitting next to you literally cannot help put read over your shoulder and is thus unfortunately subjected to a fictional character yelling "Crap!" while getting anally fisted, or whatever happens in that book. I know this is true because I have been the over-the-shoulder reader.
4. Making out. This is rude. No one wants to see your tongue dart around another person's mouth like a portly eel burrowing into a spit chasm.
5. Sneaky groping. There is no such thing as sneaky groping when you are packed into a tiny, underground mobile room dense with untold diseases and the weight of human misery. Sneaky groping is probably ruder than overt groping, because it implies that you think your fellow subway riders are stupid. WE DO NOT LIKE TO BE TAKEN FOR FOOLS.
6. Baby-birding chewed-up tuna salad into each other's mouths.
7. Over-the-pants-hand-job. Absolutely no one should be subjected to the sight of one person stroking another's flesh-weasel in a denim muumuu.
8. Regular hand job. The only thing worse than a flesh-weasel in a denim muumuu is a flesh-weasel who has the gall to remove its garment.
9. Doing a thing that's almost a BJ, but instead you pretend that your partner's penis is a baby and play peek-a-boo with it. UGH, so RUDE.
10. Having sex. Even if you keep most of your clothing on, like in this charming video, it is unbecoming to fornicate in public. Kate Middleton would never do it.
11. Having period sex.
12. Hanging from the straps upside down and having leopard slug-style sex lubricated by your menses.
13. Acting out an elaborate S&M role play, in which you are the Chili's social media intern who composed their brony tweet and your partner is the social media director whose task is to punish you. It probably would involve you eating jalapeno poppers off of the floor while your partner makes vicious neighing sounds, but I don't know. Whatever, you shouldn't do it.
Image by Sam Woolley