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

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

Recruitment Genius: Customer Accounts Executive

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Administrator / Secretary - South East

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time Administrator/Secreta...

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: a duchess by any other name is just wrong

Guy Keleny
A teenage girl uses her smartphone in bed.  

Remove smartphones from the hands of under-18s and maybe they will grow up to be less dumb

Janet Street-Porter
Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Today's pre-school child costs £35,000, according to Aviva. And that's but the tip of an iceberg, says DJ Taylor
Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US