Katy Guest: Spare us the public displays of tonsil hockey

Share
Related Topics

A friend once told me that there is nothing wrong with snogging on the Tube, since snogging is not officially a sexual act. It is if you're doing it right, I told him. He still, apparently, snogs on the Tube. I don't know whether any of his girlfriends has yet found it remotely sexual.

I thought of him last week when I heard about the latest restrictions in Dubai, where sexual acts in public places are already deeply frowned upon. Last year, Brits Michelle Palmer and Vince Acors were arrested for allegedly having sex in the glamorous resort of Jumeirah Beach. Now, Dubai's rulers have gone further. The Arabic-language newspaper Al Emarat Al Youm, which has close ties to the ruling family, announced the intention to ban miniskirts and skimpy shorts outside private areas; playing loud music in public; and kissing, holding hands and other unnecessary public displays of affection. Good for them.

Anyone who saw the photographs last week of Kate Moss chewing the face of her long-suffering boyfriend Jamie Hince will surely agree that this sort of behaviour should be left at home. Moss has form: she was seldom seen out with the grubby little weirdo Pete Doherty without most of his head disappearing into her mouth. Now Hince, too, appears not to be feeding her enough; she can't seem to stop sucking on his molars.

Moss is, of course, a glittering fashion model known for her excesses and is obliged to be recklessly outré in public. It is her moral duty to engage in disturbingly sexual behaviour in front of cameras; her responsibility to wear teeny-tiny hotpants that do nothing to conceal her bony arse. In the average office and omnibus, however, different standards of behaviour are expected, and anybody turning up to work in their underwear here ought to be introduced to a burqa.

Unfortunately, these facts were lost on the couple I encountered on the 185 to Lewisham the other day. Disembarking at their destination, the pair stopped dead in front of the bus steps, causing a pile-up of queasy passengers behind as they tickled each other's tonsils for minutes. I wouldn't have minded but, like Hince, the boyfriend wasn't even that hot. I'm sure I have been keener on a man on many occasions than she was on him at that moment at Lewisham bus station. But I resisted the urge to jump his bones; I wasn't dragged up.

Likewise the couples on the Tube most Friday mornings, mussing their bedhead with hangovers, the slightly uglier partner always dribbling in the ear of the slightly more embarrassed partner in a simian display to other passengers: I got laid last night, aren't I clever? They must fear that if they didn't hold hands so clammily, the better-looking one might perhaps get away in the mêlée.

One result of an excess of flesh, as any properly dressed person knows, is an inversely proportional decrease in eroticism. It is hard to find someone alluring when you can read the washing instructions on their knickers. The same rules apply to the public exhibition of sex.

One of the most erotic sights I ever saw happened to be in Dubai, over tea on a restaurant terrace, as a handsome English intellectual and a veiled local woman, so beautiful that she made men quite sick with desire, fell visibly and violently in love. In the course of an evening, having drinks and conversation with their friends, they moved imperceptibly closer until the tips of their little fingers touched. A sandstorm blew up. The air crackled. Nothing, except fingertips, happened.

Why can't Kate Moss learn to be similarly restrained?

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Natalie Bennett, Leanne Wood and Nicola Sturgeon embrace at the end of the debate  

General Election 2015: Female audacity has made the male leaders – all of them – look cowardly

Yasmin
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own