The passionate public snog – and other kissing styles decoded

·5 min read
There was a feeling of inevitability about Harry Styles's latest liaison - getty
There was a feeling of inevitability about Harry Styles's latest liaison - getty

It’s quite fun playing the game of “So, who will Harry Styles pop up with next?” By “pop up with” we mean “be pictured with” – in a situation that leaves no one in any doubt that the people involved are more than just good friends. It’s now a few months since he and Olivia Wilde separated, so we have been poised for paparazzi shots (or, alternatively, sneaky video footage taken surreptitiously with a phone over the rim of a pocket/handbag) and this week we got it: our first confirmed sighting of Styles snogging a woman… none other than his boyhood crush Emily Ratajkowski.

Ratters is a model/actress most famous for appearing naked in the Blurred Lines video and for playing the mistress of Ben Affleck’s character in the film Gone Girl. A-list celebrities in the late 20-something/early 30-something category is a small fishbowl and ­Ratajkowski has already dated Pete Davidson, the other hot guy everyone wants a piece of, so there is a feeling of inevitability about this one, especially since Styles apparently had a poster of her on his bedroom wall.

Talking of posters on bedroom walls and adolescent crushes that blossom into real relationships in the fullness of time, it was always rumoured that the Princess of Wales had a picture of Prince William on her wall at St Andrews University. Do we believe that? Maybe.

But more importantly, do we believe that Meghan had no real awareness of Prince Harry before they were set up by a mutual friend, let alone a poster? Because if you have watched Yellowjackets, which tells the story of a female high school soccer team and is set in both the 1990s and 2020s, in the adult present, one of the women has a “Keep Calm and Marry Harry” poster on her wall. Just ­saying. That’s a scene-setter. The ­production team would not have gone out of their way to source an obscure British poster, referring to someone no ordinary American was aware of, to dress the set of a classic suburban noughties house, now would they?

Anyway, back to kissing and decoding the latest moves.

Decoding the different types of celebrity PDAs

The Passionate New-Style Kiss

Styles was photographed kissing Emily Ratajkowski in the street in Tokyo this week - Getty
Styles was photographed kissing Emily Ratajkowski in the street in Tokyo this week - Getty

This would be Styles and Ratajkowski kissing in the street in Tokyo this week, but we’re happy to say it’s passionate (leaning in) without there being any evidence of excavation, and the wandering hands are all Ratajkowski’s (so OK) and above the waist. Proof that you can have a passionate kiss in public without making everyone feel like they’ve stumbled into your bedroom. That Harry Styles, he can do no wrong. So far. Although that won’t be what Olivia Wilde is thinking.

The Cool, Committed Kiss

Jarvis Cocker and Kim Sion: a quality PDA between two confident and cool types - Getty
Jarvis Cocker and Kim Sion: a quality PDA between two confident and cool types - Getty

Jarvis Cocker and his girlfriend, photographer Kim Sion, were pictured embracing at her birthday party last week and the kiss was a fine example of a quality PDA between two confident and cool types. What made it so convincing was the no-holds-barred mouth lock (committed) plus a single supportive arm around each other’s shoulder (cool). You don’t want more contact than this in an ongoing adult relationship. You definitely want to avoid hands around the backs of necks or straying hipwards – or, God forbid, actual hip contact. As a general rule, handsiness of any sort in public is creepy. And – can’t believe we have to specify this but, post Love Island, we must – tongues on display are always wrong.

Another version of the CC public kiss is the hands-full kiss, which is a speciality of young married couple Justin and Hailey Bieber. These two don’t make a habit of lip-locking in public, but when they do they are generally shopping, so their hands are full of rare juices, fluffy designer bags and artisanal produce, meaning they lock lips, briefly, in a meaningful way, with zero hands or body contact. They give good, clean CCK.

The Expected, Not Desired, Kiss

 Hugh Grant and Jemima Khan dated in the mid-noughties - tDimitrios Kambouris
Hugh Grant and Jemima Khan dated in the mid-noughties - tDimitrios Kambouris

James Argent (he’s a Towie star) and his new girlfriend have recently been spotted in Venice (top celebrity PDA destination – you may remember Sienna Miller back in the day, Hugh Grant and Jemima Khan, James Norton more recently) and sorry to say Argent’s kiss – a sideways lip pucker – is textbook END. Not reading anything into it, he may be all kissed out, but generally the sideways lip pucker is one step away from the forehead peck at the breakfast table, before heading off to work. It’s not an early days’ kiss; it’s a much, much further down the line kiss.

The Tender Temple Kiss

Jamie Oliver's favoured temple kiss is a sign of love and affection - getty
Jamie Oliver's favoured temple kiss is a sign of love and affection - getty

When in public, Jamie Oliver is more likely to go for the temple kiss with his wife Jools than anything else and, tbh, it’s a kiss that demonstrates love and affection – especially if accompanied with a good squeeze – much better than the close pucker-up. The trouble with a close pucker-up is that it tends to look staged, especially if He keeps his hands in his pockets, as was the case with Ben Affleck and J-Lo at the premiere of his movie Air. But then we’re sort of on alert with these two these days. When he kisses her hair we’re supposed to imagine him murmuring “You’re the bomb baby”, but instead we wonder if he’s saying “Why do we do this stuff? Why are we here? Do we even like each other?”

That’s kisses for you.

More from Shane Watson: The many things you can’t get away with if you are a celebrity