‘Bennifer’ Booty Call Leads Hollywood’s Summer of PDA

·4 min read
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/Getty/Instagram
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/Getty/Instagram

Common sense suggests it’s never a good idea to get back with an ex, but if you must, be like Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, locking lips on a yacht on the French Riviera, using your public displays of affection (PDA) as a thinly veiled advertisement for J.Lo’s superhuman abs.

The pair, affectionately known as Bennifer, have been back together for months, but broke through the summer news doldrums to become Instagram official this weekend, which also happened to be J.Lo’s 52nd birthday.

Affleck was later snapped rubbing J.Lo’s bum while she lounged on a yacht. It was a tableau reminiscent of a scene from J.Lo’s “Jenny from the Block” music video, filmed in 2002.

They are far from the only couple back indulging in the time-honored celebrity ritual of PDA. After a year of presumably quarantined makeouts, the rich and famous are bravely back to sucking face. Hollywood, and its satellite locations like the south of France and the VIP section of the NBA final games, currently looks a lot like a high school prom night. Tongue kissing, everywhere.

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There are make out fiends like Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly, who just “can’t stop the PDA,” per a Page Six headline. He grabbed her breast backstage at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, and they sucked face after getting pulled over in LA for riding on a motorcycle with no helmets. Both of their Instagrams have become a deluge of face-licking photos, a genre of PDA they have pioneered.

“Loving him is like being in love with a tsunami or a forest fire,” Fox told Nylon, which sounds very stressful, but the best of luck to the happy couple.

They are in good—or at least enthusiastic—company: Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker are well acquainted with the tabloid descriptor “steamy” when it comes to their PDA. They were recently “too busy making out” to talk to fans who attempted to interrupt their beachside sweet nothings.

“Several wedding guests wanted a chance to talk to the couple, but the lovebirds looked happy and started to make out,” an “eyewitness” told E! news. “They exited the patio area they were in and held hands while walking toward the beach.”

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It’s all in a day’s work for the pair, who have also been spotted kissing at a UFC fight (romantic), in a recording studio, an outdoor concert, and in the middle of a desert. Barker’s ex Shana Moakler told People she thinks their PDA is “weird,” but you just can’t get in between these two. Barker celebrated Kardashian’s birthday by posting a video of her sucking his thumb, because romance is not dead!

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Even Zendaya and Tom Holland, who have skirted rumors of their coupling for years, were recently spotted making out in Holland’s Audi. Page Six, which first published the pictures, helpfully noted that Holland’s ride cost $125,000. Nothing like that new car smell to get you in the mood.

Rihanna, another celebrity fond of her privacy, also just went public with A$AP Rocky, spending a “kissing-filled night” last month at an arcade bar in New York. Rihanna wore a fluffy, baby pink bucket hat and matching slip dress, as one does, for the occasion.

And Morgan Brown, girlfriend of Gerard Butler, was scene straddling him on the beach while she rubbed his back. Meanwhile Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson—and Aaron’s positively insane abs–hung out in the sand nearby.

Of course, all of this falls in the shadows of Taika Waititi, Rita Ora, and Tessa Thompson’s well-documented threeway kiss/rendezvous, which seemed to officially kick off Hollywood’s celebratory, post-vaccine “Slutty Girl Summer.” When the novel coronavirus was first reported on Dec. 31, 2019, no one would have understood what the previous sentence meant. But here we are.

One noted abstainer: Katie Holmes, who was once dubbed the “queen of public makeouts” by Page Six, for her pandemic habit of smooching ex Emilio Vitolo Jr. at every possible moment. But the couple split up earlier this year, and the actress has enjoyed a solitary girl summer. She was recently spotted walking the New York streets in a cut-out skirt and toting an iced coffee on one occasion and buying herself flowers on another.

This month, The New York Times reported that the non-famous among us are also locking lips. “Starved for PDA, some are taking New York’s reopening as a cue to start ‘swallowing each other’s faces,’” the paper of record reported.

It makes sense: masks are off (for now) and the physical touch isn’t as outlawed as it used to be. This, of course, all as the ultra-contagious Delta variant surges in the United States and threatens our tepid “return to normal.” So potential smoochers everywhere, what are you waiting for? Make like Bennifer and get at it while you still can.

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