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Is it okay to make out at the movies?

A closer look at the etiquette of movie theatre intimacy.
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Jonathan Doyle, November 22, 2013 4:45:18 PM

In a recent editorial, Cinema Blend’s Mack Rawden tackled an important issue that is all-too-often overlooked: the etiquette of making out at the movies. Much like the site’s recent post about the etiquette of feet on movie theatre seats, this new editorial arrives at a series of useful guidelines that conscientious filmgoers can consult next time they’re tempted to be naughty at the movies. Rawden ignores the most obvious rules – for example, you probably shouldn’t kiss strangers – but considers all the important variables: duration and frequency of the kissing, location in the theatre, audience density, proximity to other filmgoers, and the movie itself.

While Rawden thinks the occasional peck is acceptable just about anywhere, he believes that sustained making out should only take place if the movie is poorly attended and you are not seated in anyone’s field of vision. He also argues that serious-minded dramas like 12 Years a Slave are inappropriate for making out, though you might be able to get away with it if your theatre is relatively empty. Of course, don’t be surprised if the sounds of human suffering kill the mood.

Rawden’s most intriguing rule deals with couples in long-term relationships. While he believes it’s acceptable (and even “kind of cute”) when married couples lock lips at the movies, he argues that it turns weird when this becomes a regular occurrence. He doesn’t explain how he arrived at this conclusion, but it might have something to do with the diminished appetite many couples have for making out over time. If you and your spouse of 20 years still want to make out at the movies every Friday night, it may irritate your friends (as Rawden suggests), but it probably bodes well for the health of your marriage. Sometimes when it feels right, the rules don’t apply.

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Jonathan Doyle

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