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Ok, so apparently we need to find some time to start watching 2NE1 TV. For this week’s TL;DR, the top rated question was:

In an episode of 2NE1 TV, 2NE1 went to London, and when Park Bom saw a couple holding hands and kissing in public, she seemed surprised that they could do that so openly (and wished she could live there). Is PDA uncommon or looked down upon in Korea?

The simple answer to this is, yes, PDA (Personal Displays of Affection) is uncommon in Korea. In Korea, it’s called “skinship” which we think means friendship + skin = skinship, but that is actually a guess.

We touched upon the idea briefly in our post on What Korean Students Think of North Americans, when we were told that South Korean people supposedly think that North Americans are skanky. Skinship isn’t really common here between dating couples, and since it’s more common in North America, then it means we get around more. Ha! No, but really: we find it a bit odd, because we see a lot of people dating in Korea. All the time. Go to a coffee shop at night, and you’ll see tons of guys sitting across from girls and looking at each other, chatting, talking. They’re dating. We know it, but we only know it because we’ve been here for a while.

Korean Hand Holding

To us, holding hands meant dating. Now, we don't know...

Dating couples don’t often really physically show that they’re dating besides wearing matching clothing or sometimes holding hands. Hand holding exists here, yes, be that’s about the most we see to know someone is dating, and the reason why that isn’t that exciting to us is because friends in Korea, of all ages, hold hands freely. We’re not just talking about children or sisters, we’re talking about two guys, not dating, but good friends and 25 years old, holding hands. At first, we were a bit surprised because in North America once you’re an teenager/adult you don’t really hold hands for an extended period of time without dating that person, but we learned that in Korea, close friends hold hands.

That’s why we find it hard to tell the couples and the friends apart, because holding hands can mean closeness but not dating, while in North America, we have other clear displays of PDA to separate friends and daters. For example, in Korea we don’t really see a lot of skin touching, like girls snuggling up to guys when it’s cold. In fact, we think we can say that we’ve never actually seen people kiss in public in Korea. Trying to think back on it now, yeah…we can’t remember seeing it happen. Except once and it blew our minds. A young couple in a partially empty coffee shop, around 1 am. They were making out for something like half an hour. Oblivious to the world. Making out so hard that when we walked passed them to get to the washroom we stopped beside them, looked, and nothing. They wouldn’t stop. AWESOME! Other than that glorious moment, we haven’t seen people kiss in Korea.

Awkward Drama Hug is Awkward

Awkward Drama Hug is Awkward

We hope this lack of PDA should clarify why Korean dramas have some of the worst kissing scenes that we’ve ever seen. Are you kissing or just pressing your lips emotionlessly against each other? You call that a hug? Her arms are pinned at her sides!!! Really Goo Jun Pyo? You haven’t seen Jandi for 2 years, you just proposed and you don’t even KISS HER!!!!??? WHAT’S GOING ON!!!?? I’M SO STRESSED OUT!!!! AGHHHHH!!! *Martina leaves the room screaming and searches frantically for Coffee Prince, the only drama with decent passionate kissing*

*ahem*

Now we know that not everyone is like this, of course there will be couples PDAing it up in Korea, but it is really rare (unless you’re in the youthful club/dance floor/drinking zones) especially considering what we’re used to in North America, which is more like, “Hey, I just paid 20 bucks to see this movie, not to see you make out.”

We wonder, though, how affectionate people in Korea are in private. Not that we want to know all the details, of course, or not that we’re suggesting that Korean people are loveless. Nor can we fairly assume that all people will act the same way, just based on the examples of a few people. We’re just curious. K Dramas aren’t really the most reliable source material, you know? The two of us, for example, are really affectionate around each other in private, and feel like we can’t really be that affectionate in public because it might be viewed as inappropriate. Some of you might know about our Bobo rule (we said it in our Korean Masks Bloopers video), in which whenever one person says Bobo (Korean for “kiss”) the other person has to kiss them, no matter how stressed out or angry or tired or busy or whatever. Are other people as affectionate? Bah! Forget it. That’s an impossible question to answer.

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  1. This explains so much about kdramas. It’s weird with Heirs or inheritors, because between with Ester Lee, Rachel’s mom, and Secretary Yoon Jae Ho it was full make out like crazy in that episode when they first kissed, but when Cha Eun Sang and Kim Tan kiss it is that “dead” kiss. It could be that the mom and secretary haven’t seen each other for a long time and where getting it on, while the Tan just up and surprised Eun Sang with that kiss=”dead”, but still. Give me some passion!!

  2. OH!!! thank God for this Video!!! I was extremely confused about, the slow motion hugs…in the kdramas
    Or the shocking phase ‘I like you’. I seriously couldn’t understand, why an episode would end with a
    suspenseful Hug, or kiss and the other person is acting like they are traumatized by any form of
    affectionate actions…

  3. Just so you know skinship literally just means a lot of skin to skin contact. Its not two words in one or anything and might i add some k dramas like Secret Garden or City Hunter have some not so stiff/childish kissing scenes lol

  4. Watch the kisses scenes from operation proposal, love rain & me too flower. Just one decent kiss for drama… Please somebody tell me why it’s so different the PDA scene in dramas from the movies???? And sex thing?!

  5. Here in the states I’ve heard that Korean people think all the girls are sluts bc Americans are more openly affectionate. This isn’t necessarily true. Just because for me being a hetero male in the United States i absolutely love being affectionate with my gf doesn’t make her a slut. Plus girls rock! That doesn’t mean we’ve had sex yet. Just that we like being affectionate & enjoy each other’s company. I mean come on who doesn’t like kissing with someone your in love with or with someone you really like? I do think there is a fine line of being affectionate and basically groping each other. Be wary & be courteous to other people not everyone wants to see it. Yet here in America giving your GF or BF some lovin by kissing and hugging imo it’s a nice thing. Honestly what’s so offensive with showing you love your partner?

  6. People should be allowed to express their feelings in any freedom. We live in the 21 century after all. As long as they dont go overboard to inapropriate touching and frenching in front of kids for example then i should be fine. Anything else is should be allowed according to personal freedom of action, Also cinema is art and art shouldnt be conformed to some ridiculous medieval laws. If the director feels there should be a love scene then there should be one. If a show shows people hugging and kissing it should be for all ages (not 15+!!) and if there is love-making and more then put it 16+ for example. This is how the normal standart should be. Otherwise how will children ever learn about how physical affection shows your real affection. I watch a lot of korean dramas but all those ridiculous obligations in them ruin an otherwise perfectly great series. I love the cuteness and sweetness of gestures etc which we dont see in amercan television but koreans shouldnt be affraid of exploring other human emotions too. They sure have no problems with hitting people in anger all the time in the dramas, so to be realistic what’s the issue with kissing and making love? Is it a sin? No its not. Its a normal human thing to do. And we’re all humans arent we.

  7. this is going to be hard for me and my fiance as we often make out in public, hold hands, hug each other and say sweet nothings to each other. we’re going there for him to meet my family, and we don’t know how they are going to react, seeing two of us together, and also – seeing how he’s white and i’m korean, they will judge me and won’t like the idea. i’m freaking out about all the racial slurs, and all kinds of nasty comments i or my fiance might get, just for being ourselves. it was already so hard dealing with all the racism crap in CANADA by korean/asian folks judging ME for “selling out” bullshit. but all that aside… being raised in korean culture, i can attest to seeing only rare occasion of my parents’ PDA – namely, my parents holding hands when they go out, WHEN THEY WERE DRUNK, or when my mom kissed my dad on his cheek for his birthday on a dare. i don’t get it. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH A LITTLE EXPRESSION OF LOVE? Oh well.. to each his or her own!

  8. Hey! I love all of your videos especially the video on how to make ramen and BB cream in Korea.. Awesome Videos… and your videos are the best!! P.S: I’m from Malaysia TEEHEE… I’m living in South East Asia so it’s hard for me to go to Korea… and THAT’S HOW I FOUND YOUR YT VIDS!!! :D Okay.. You guys rock so badly… and I have 1 question though…

    Who is your favourite Korean actor/actress/singer?? Please tell me… THANKS!!

  9. “i need romance isnt too bad ;)

  10. Okay *bumping an extremely old blog* so what does the Korean public think about those kpop idol groups that hug and kiss each other on performances/TV? I understand a lot of it is fan-service but since you did say that  even men who are close friends can comfortably hold hands does that extend to hugs and kisses as well? I mean in some cultures kisses shared between those of the same gender is totally normal but I didn’t think Asian was one of those cultures… I’m Chinese American and my dad and brothers aren’t the touchy-feely type so it wasn’t until I got out and made guy friends who hugged each other a lot that I was like “Oh wow, guys hug too”; kissing, however, is extremely rare between those of the same sex.

  11. Alright, I’m not sure if this question will even be answered, but, I was talking to a native Korean, and I asked her about skinship, here’s the gist of what she said: “Skinship between the same sex doesn’t happen here, it’s between couples, most of us find it disgusting, but 100% of the time it is only between couples.” I’m getting mixed messages here :|

  12. Alright, so I don’t know when this was written, but I’m glad someone explained. I’m a Nigerian fan of Korean dramas and it always frustrated me when the girls don’t hug back! I do have to say it has changed in recent dramas though. A Gentleman’s Dignity, a new drama had great kissing scenes… and hugs. Flower boy ramyun shop had some kissing too… but this was very helpful in explaining some cultural differences in KD. Plus now I know what “skinship” means! LOL!

  13. here in Brazil girls can do this, hold hands, hug, sit in eachothers laps, i do this everyday with my friends, but boys, hum, nope XD but is really good to know that in korea the things are like that for the boy x boy relation^^

  14. talking about sitting in each other’s laps: i’m in an all-girls’ school and me and my friend did that once (okay, more often than once) and we got called to the teacher’s office. XD

  15. err… ok…. so now i know that boy-to-boy/girl-to-girl holding hands can just mean friendship in korea… i don’t know since when but i’m very into holding hands with my girl friends and i love skinship with them XD yes people look at us weird because that ain’t korea. how i wish i live in korea. 

  16. I love the Bobo rule!  <3 You guys are just too cute :D

  17. I think the make-out session PDA stuff is a bit much. However, I dont see anything wrong with a hug. I’m an American and have been with a Korean girl for years. The cultural differences are kinda hard to deal with sometimes. For example, if I haven’t seen my girlfriend for a while, and I arrive in Seoul, the first thing on my mind is giving the absolute love of my life a big, loving embrace when I see her. I find it hard to believe that people who are deeply in love, no matter where they’re from, dont at least feel this same urge. (Dont believe me? Any of you guys shocked to see what you’re missing after you give your Korean girl a teddy bear?) But of course it always ends up as a one-way thing, her arms at her side, making me feel like some undesirable creep. I know it’s just culture, but I just think it’s kinda sad and it’s certainly unsatisfying. Societal pressure in Korea is too much in my opinion.

  18. That’s how it is in the Philippines, like Korean’s display of affection. So when I went back here in the states and people wanted to know those kind of stuff they were creeped out by my stories.  HAHAHA. :D

  19. whoaa!! this is amusing! and i can’t agree more… its so frustrating sometimes when you watch a korean drama wherein the lead actors haven’t seen each other for a long time longing to be with each other, then when they come face-to-face, they’ll just stare and embrace lightly.. and the girl’s hands dropped straight without feelings at all…poof!  all the passion is gone!  i was disgusted at first when i watched some kissing scenes in korean dramas… Kissing is an art particularly when you have to portray this on the big or small screen. it is an expression of one’s love and desire with the person you love whom you want to be with..  i had observed that most of the korean actresses don’t know know how to kiss!   with the exception of Son Ye Jin.  but its worst when you see it from male actors who were suppose to initiate the ‘kiss’ in a kissing scene,  please don’t get me wrong.. but when you go to acting, then, by all means, you should act….it will also depend on the directors how they would evoke that emotion from their actors…   I was in Korea for for  two years, and i’d been oriented on the culture as well… so I thought, they’re a little bit “conservative” so i have to be careful too.. but one Sunday afternoon, I had to meet a friend in one of Lotte’s burger shop… while waiting for my friend, I glanced on a young korean couple, two tables apart from where I sat, passionately kissing without let-up!!  I was the one who got the shock of my life!! hahahaha!!  i was dumbfounded!  … and I thought, maybe they were a mix-bred of korean and the west…  other koreans watched with surprised as well… that was the first time i saw a korean couple displayed their affection publicly..  And yes, you are right, friends can hold hands in Korea, girl-to-girl or boy-to-boy… having this understanding, it was easy for me to distinguish between who is in friendship and who is dating.  my korean colleague shared to me that in earlier days, it would even take 2 years before a guy could hold the hand of his girlfriend!! whew!!!  

  20. I am a girl and recently I was out with my female friend, and after she had a little too much to drink I was holding her hand so she wouldn’t wander into the street (she almost did…twice). Anyway because we are in the states, people were making a huge deal out of it! Guys were yelling at us and others were being creepy…I wish skinship wasn’t so strange here. I seriously just didn’t want her to get hit by a car..thats all.

  21. Actually, I live near Insadong and I’ve seen so many couples PDA-ing on the streets at night. The most common ones are in the subway where couples are hugging each other to death and affectionately touching each other…especially at night. Therefore, my impression of Koreans here are actually the opposite – where the men are not afraid to show how much they love their women in public – and it’s great!

  22. Oh… Now I suddenly get why every time I go to my favorite bar, one of the bartenders always says “Bobo”… I thought that was just something he did. Hmph. Now I don’t feel so special. ^_^

    Anywho, I live in another university area, Konkuk University, and I see a lot of affection on display. Maybe it’s just in college areas or something. Often when I’m sitting in a coffee shop in the afternoon, I’ll see couples cuddling up together. Or just walking down the street with the guy’s arm around the girl. Very non-friend like and more couple-like. And the guys I’ve dated have never shied away from giving me a peck in public or putting their arm around me.

    But I will say that it wasn’t always like this. I’ve been here for about four years and when I first got here, I didn’t see a lot of PDA. So, I guess it’s changing.

  23. Oh… Now I suddenly get why every time I go to my favorite bar, one of the bartenders always says “Bobo”… I thought that was just something he did. Hmph. Now I don’t feel so special. ^_^

    Anywho, I live in another university area, Konkuk University, and I see a lot of affection on display. Maybe it’s just in college areas or something. Often when I’m sitting in a coffee shop in the afternoon, I’ll see couples cuddling up together. Or just walking down the street with the guy’s arm around the girl. Very non-friend like and more couple-like. And the guys I’ve dated have never shied away from giving me a peck in public or putting their arm around me.

    But I will say that it wasn’t always like this. I’ve been here for about four years and when I first got here, I didn’t see a lot of PDA. So, I guess it’s changing.

  24. PARK BOM PROBABLY WASN’T SURPRISED BECAUSE IT WAS UNFAMILIAR TO HER!

    She was more like happy in the sense that that’s the kind of affection she’s familiar with. That’s why she said she fits in London. SHE PRETTY MUCH GREW UP IN THE STATES. I don’t think Park Bom’s all that conservative like most Korean girls :) 

    I enjoyed this one Simon and Martina :)

    BTW…I have a question? Is it just me but it seems like watching K-dramas and reality shows made me a bit more conservative cause I think that it’s cute how Koreans romancicize (there’s no such word pretty much invented it LOL) and I think it’s helped me.

    How about you guys do you think your POV about things has changed because of living in Korea?

    • No, you didn’t invent it: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/romanticize

    • I agree completely with that! I’ve been watching Kdramas and have been finding it so utterly adorable that I find PDA in the States a little disgusting (like making-out—honestly it would do everyone a favor if people did that behind closed doors). What I’m trying to say is, I’m almost beginning to prefer that sort of public affection, well not as extreme as Korea, rather than what I’m seeing in the States.

  25. I find this to be interesting because I see couples being affectionate all the time in Daegu.  They are not making out in public (which to be honest is a little uncomfortable for others to watch).  But they constantly have their arms around each other in ways that are very different when they are with their friends.  I have even seen older married couples who are like this when they are on dates (i.e. no kids).  I have heard that Daegu is supposed to be a  more conservative city but when it comes to PDAs Daegu sounds more progressive than Seoul.  Actually I had some older Korean friends tell me that holding hands is for friends, but a woman holding a man’s elbow that means you are a couple.  I guess it is just the opposite from traditional English/American displays of affection.

  26. indie-the_demented-pixie

    omg i do that too at kdramas!! i once sat there like AAAARGH WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT! THATS NOT A HUG/KISS!!

    but the holding hands part sounds good because im used to doing that, but not everyone in england is comfortable with that :/ boo :(

  27. when i saw the Awkward Drama Hug is Awkward,, I knew you guys know some things that piss me off in the Korean Drama..

  28. First of all, yes I guess here in Arabic countries we do like in Korea. It like you are talking of the life here EXCEPT that it is VERY common fro the couples to hold hands here..
    Then, I gotta say, you guys make me ROLF all the time,thank you, Whenever there is something sexy or hot, I hear Junus’s Intoxication music and cry laughing.. you are so funny.  I wish you can just do on EYK and make us ROLF more..

  29. Hmm, I live in Sinchon, which is pretty close to Hongdae and is also a well-known university area, and there are lots of couples! In fact, I would say I see more hand-holding here than in the US. AND if you go to a club (especially in Hongdae) you can see VERY public displays of… I suppose you could call it affection but many would just call it sex. Though, maybe that’s just an experience unique to me.

  30. That’s Something I actualy realy like about the korean culture :)
    Srsly some ppl in america need to get a freakin room

  31. I like your idea about saying bbobbo.

  32. A Korean who is flirting or romantically involved with you will tend to turn into you as you both walk down the street, bumping you and lightly touching as if attempting to run you off the road.

  33. Hello again!

    I think your video sums it up nicely but I do think that this is another thing that is starting to change in Korea (just like bare arms/sleeve-less shirts). I live in Deagu, which is well known for being a very conservative city, and I feel like I see TONS of couples holding hands and even some couples kissing each other on the subway and in coffee shops. I agree with you though, it’s no where NEAR the level of PDA in North America. However, it’s not so unusual here in Deagu that I feel uncomfortable holding hands with my guy or even kissing goodbye.

  34. Hello again!

    I think your video sums it up nicely but I do think that this is another thing that is starting to change in Korea (just like bare arms/sleeve-less shirts). I live in Deagu, which is well known for being a very conservative city, and I feel like I see TONS of couples holding hands and even some couples kissing each other on the subway and in coffee shops. I agree with you though, it’s no where NEAR the level of PDA in North America. However, it’s not so unusual here in Deagu that I feel uncomfortable holding hands with my guy or even kissing goodbye.

  35. This has to be the dumbest blog I’ve ever seen.  Of all the things one could focus on in the world, these two pathetic excuses for human beings have chosen to blog about the most mundane and stupid details of Korean society.  Just look at the bloggers anyways.  The guy looks like a complete washout loser and the girl is fugly as hell, she just hides it by spraypainting 29 layers of makeup on her face.  Christ, this is what the world is coming to.  Two pathetic jackasses running a blog about how koreans take a shit.

    Hey, to the two idiots that run the show here: I wish you all the best.  I hope your blog evolves into a tv series and you find fame and fortune and a wonderful life.

    Unfortunately some of us have more important things to do than to keep up with your stupidity.

    • well if you don’t like them, then why are you watching their videos that is just ridiculus… you say you have more important things to do but you loose like 5 minutes of your life commenting that you have other things to do… just go get a life please

  36. Oh gosh! I didn’t know about the ‘bobo rule’! So funny..and I’m so gonna impose that rule from now on :)

  37. why park bom surprised with the kissing?i tot her also from overseas tho?

  38. I’m pretty sure someone’s head would explode in Korea if they watched True Blood, haha

    • True Blood is on TV in Korea. I remember laughing when it was advertised as a “hardcore-uh sex-uh vampire show”

      • They edit it soo heavily that it is nearly unrecognizable.  I’m not just talking about the sex scenes, but anything with more than a minute amount of blood and large amounts of dialog in scenes involving LaFayette.  

  39. i totally agree with your views about when you are watching these k-dramas and they give this petty kiss where they just touch each other’s lips or a little smack! (O_o) what type of kiss is that?! and when they hug each other and the other person is all stiff and not hugging back…is that really a hug? it looks like that person doesnt want you touching them! (=_=) it is quite frustrating to watch those romantic scenes, where my heart hurts because of it…i get sexual frustration just from watching it! (>_>)

  40. Wow my girlfriend @abilucy:twitter  and I are moving out to Korea next week and we are totally disgusting with our PDA’s. We even say “puke” to each other when we’re being especially bad but then just carry on! People of Jinju watch out ^_^

  41. omg park bommies eyes would fall out if she went to Mexico where as long as your a friend (or acquaintance) everyone hugs and kisses on the cheek when saying hello n bye. I am not kissy-huggy type but here on the mexican u.s. border it is very common to do such things =)

  42. omg park bommies eyes would fall out if she went to Mexico where as long as your a friend (or acquaintance) everyone hugs and kisses on the cheek when saying hello n bye. I am not kissy-huggy type but here on the mexican u.s. border it is very common to do such things =)

  43. I studied in an all-girls school and I can say that we pretty much do the same.

    We intertwine our hands, sit on each others’ laps, hug for ages, and maybe peck on each others’ lips for some without any malice.

    Can someone point out dramas that have great kissing scenes? :))

  44. It’s still uncomfortable for Asian people to perform any passionate act upon someone we love [boyfriend, girlfriend] in public. Well, but doing something more intimate with friends is acceptable and comfortable [no lovey-dovey intended, but we all see those as lovey-dovey scenes]. Like: “Q: Why do you hug & kiss him? A: Why can I? We just friends, nothing funny intended.”
    That’s what I thought, just try to look from different point of view. (^0^)

  45. It’s still uncomfortable for Asian people to perform any passionate act upon someone we love [boyfriend, girlfriend] in public. Well, but doing something more intimate with friends is acceptable and comfortable [no lovey-dovey intended, but we all see those as lovey-dovey scenes]. Like: “Q: Why do you hug & kiss him? A: Why can I? We just friends, nothing funny intended.”
    That’s what I thought, just try to look from different point of view. (^0^)

  46. I can’t never watch a drama or movie with kissing when my parents are near me.. we change the channel or look away.. And thats not only with my parents we just every time look away..

  47. Thank you for answering my question tho it wasn’t mine… well you get me. Am I loosing it or Simon got his hair a shade clearer???

  48. Thank you for answering my question tho it wasn’t mine… well you get me. Am I loosing it or Simon got his hair a shade clearer???

  49. Lol You missed if it was uncommon to ”make a love baby” in public lol

  50. Lol You missed if it was uncommon to ”make a love baby” in public lol

  51. Don’t forget SECRET GARDEN! Their kissing was so passionate it made me look away. Um yeah, sorry but I still feel funny seeing people do real kissing. xD

    • Hi DIra, I’ve watched SG 4 times, I love that show, but it doesn’t have even 1 passionate kiss, lol. All their kisses ara just pecks.

  52. You are picked ase a pretty person in korea 
    http://www.6theory.com/forum/index.php/topic/47152-prettiesthandsomest-foreigners-in-korea/
    scrool down a bit to see

  53. I knew about this already but since I’ve been here, I see young couples being affectionate quite often. Seriously! Not like in N.America like you said, but I’ve seen tons of hand holding and couples cozying up to each other on the metro, etc. 

    I can definitely say that the same-sex affection thing weirded me out at first, but not like “omg are you gay?” sort way, just the “huh…well that’s strange” kind of way. I, too, have male students who have sat on each other’s laps before but I soon realized it was just a friend thing. I’ve even had a female Korean friend link arms with me when we were walking about town.Anyway, interesting video, guys!

  54. It’s ok baby please don’t cry. Make out with ALL OF THE GUUUYS~!

  55. In Heartstrings, did anyone find it really weird when Yonghwa was kissing Park Shin Hye, WHILST STARING AT HER.
    Like I understand how she has her eyes open coz she was surprised but seriously dude. It’s rude to stare whilst kissing.

    • did he? I didn’t notice. i’ll watch that episode again. I watched yong hwa and the girl from snsd on WGM. there was definitely no skinship between them. I was surprised that during the “fake wedding picture taking”; it was so hard for yong hwa to kiss the girl on the forehead. It’s like he feels that he is violating her or something.

  56. Um, I don’t know where you guys got the idea that Korean guys hold hand?, or snuggle? or oh my god SIT ON EACH OTHER LAP!?, but no matter how close they are we NEVER EVER do those. I am 24-years-old ordinary Korean guy and it’s just unthinkable. I mean I’ve seen few guys holding hands but I don’t think they are straight. We are not still that open to homosexuality so you don’t see people telling everyone that they are homosexuals. They are usually secretive. So please, correct this or your viewers who thought these stuff was ok and try might get treated as homosexuals or worse and anyone who watched this DON’T TRY THIS IN KOREA!!!

  57. I once had to endure a 45 minute bus ride sitting behind a teenaged couple who spent the ENTIRE time with their tongues down each others throats. I was actually disgustingly uncomfortable and no matter what I did I could not find any where to avert my eyes. I was like watching a accident… it’s horrible but you can’t seem to look away….

    I am okay with a peck on the cheek or an embrace but anything more than that is a little bit much in my opinion

  58. I once had to endure a 45 minute bus ride sitting behind a teenaged couple who spent the ENTIRE time with their tongues down each others throats. I was actually disgustingly uncomfortable and no matter what I did I could not find any where to avert my eyes. I was like watching a accident… it’s horrible but you can’t seem to look away….

    I am okay with a peck on the cheek or an embrace but anything more than that is a little bit much in my opinion

  59. I’m half n half on PDA. I think it’s great that it’s so open in the US but sometime I just wanna say geez please go get a room. But if it was totally absent I’d be sad. I love holding hands and snuggling up with my bf. Happy medium would be best.

    Wouldn’t it feel like a step backwards if you held hands as friends but never did it as bf n gf.

  60. I’m in India at the moment. The same thing applies to the males  here, holding hands,hugging,etc.

  61. I’m in India at the moment. The same thing applies to the males  here, holding hands,hugging,etc.

  62. I’m in India at the moment. The same thing applies to the males  here, holding hands,hugging,etc.

  63. Lol, I think it’s better if there were no couples making out in public. It’s just something the public wants to see. I prefer that in kdramas couples aren’t always so touchy feely. We don’t need to see them kiss every 5 minutes to see that they love each other, it should show through the actors awesome ability to act. I think another problem is that a lot of people don’t understand Korean and are always focused on subtitles that takes away a lot of the meaning of the words. Same for Korean lyrics, I would want to show my friend a Korean song that’s super meaningful and sweet but when translated to English it just isn’t the same.

    • YES! I feel really comfortable watching K-Dramas in front of my parents because they don’t have those kissing scenes where it looks like they’re trying to eat each other… really like Glee. I love that show but seriously, there’s just too much show of kissing. >_> Whereas in K-dramas, the sweet fluffy moments are the ones that make us go “aaaww” and it also shows how much they love each other. ^^

      • What is wrong with kissing should they be chopping their heads off instead pulling out the beating hearts mutilating corpses? Isn’t that more offensive? Kissing is natural human affection. It’s fun it feels good it rocks. It’s not sex. If you don’t want to watch kissing i suggest you join a nunnery. How sad and depressing would this world be without love and affection? The people who are the most vocal about the act of love being locked up and treated as this ugly thing are generally the people who are the ones who are sex or porn addicts. Just look at American politicians who try to go on these rants about keeping the family pure. Then a month later we see them giving a press conference stepping down from his position in politics because he got caught in a motel with 4 hookers and pound of cocaine. It’s because they repress their natural human feelings. This is me paying devils advocate btw.

    • YES! I feel really comfortable watching K-Dramas in front of my parents because they don’t have those kissing scenes where it looks like they’re trying to eat each other… really like Glee. I love that show but seriously, there’s just too much show of kissing. >_> Whereas in K-dramas, the sweet fluffy moments are the ones that make us go “aaaww” and it also shows how much they love each other. ^^

  64. when i went to south korea with my aunty, she introduced me to her friend and her friend’s daughter.  the daughter was really friendly and we went shopping together once and she grabbed my hand and held it while walking around.  that was really weird for me, especially since i just met her too.  i might link arms with my best friend but now hold her hand.  but even at home i see the japanese- and korean-born ppl holding hands all the time.  i guess just something to get used to if i ever moved to east asia.

  65. When I used to visit in the summer as a kid, I never saw any kinds of PDA from any Koreans, young or old.  But these days I see it all the time here.  Of course mostly from the younger generation and I can tell you that even from my “westernized” point of view a lot of these kids need to get a room already.  

  66. Have you seen Lie To Me yet? THAT has legit kissing!!! But I’ve always kind of respected Korea for it’s thoughts about PDA and hand holding. It can get seriously awkward when you see two people all over each other in public, especially if they just don’t care that there are kids around. And I love that friends can hand-hold. I held my best friend’s hand once in the lunch room at school, but that quickly stopped cause of the weird looks we got. I say GO Korea for openness with friendships, and respect of others around you in public

  67. I have seen all the dramas that whenever there is a kissing scene, given a “peak”Is it really so? They don’t kiss normal? haha

  68. lol! tat was d best article i’v read! so cute! i watched tat epi w/ Bom stating her surprise 8 d PDA shown in London. it was pretty cute of her sayin she wud luv 2 stay der after tat. haha…whn u said bout d holdin hands b2ween 2 guys, it reminds me of tis scene in IS2 whrby Kim Sooro held Jay’s hand once dey’v finished their performance. n tat wasnt d 1st time cuz Moon Hee-joon oso held Jay’s hand after Jay won in a round. bt i din think much bck den cuz i tot it was reli cute like a big bro holdin d hands of his lil bro. i hv 2 admit i dun reli like Coffee Prince except 4 tat vry last epi. now tat was epic. i love!

  69. HM, interesting song Simon… hahahahaha~

  70. It’s so true about Coffee Prince!!! That was the first Kdrama I watched and after that I was like, “Where’s the passion???”

  71. Annyeong!! The thing what i like about korean people is, like you said you can’t see they’re kissing on street or things like that. Maybe i look a cold person when i talk like this but, if you show everywhere your love and  act too much closely, you can faster do wrong things then when you don’t act like that.
    When you do everything outside with your boy/girlfriend outside you’ll be bored faster then else.. you can look to other people. You can love more then one person (you think you love the one but no! the other kisses better) and i think they’re awkward in dramas but if they don’t do that then it doesn’t going to look normal to people. Once in a Turkish drama they kissed every episode and did things like that i was on street and it was soooo normal for people now they can do that also.. The Tv has a big impression on people..

    (i’m very sorry about my poor english i hope everyone can understand me)

  72. Annyeong!! The thing what i like about korean people is, like you said you can’t see they’re kissing on street or things like that. Maybe i look a cold person when i talk like this but, if you show everywhere your love and  act too much closely, you can faster do wrong things then when you don’t act like that.
    When you do everything outside with your boy/girlfriend outside you’ll be bored faster then else.. you can look to other people. You can love more then one person (you think you love the one but no! the other kisses better) and i think they’re awkward in dramas but if they don’t do that then it doesn’t going to look normal to people. Once in a Turkish drama they kissed every episode and did things like that i was on street and it was soooo normal for people now they can do that also.. The Tv has a big impression on people..

    (i’m very sorry about my poor english i hope everyone can understand me)

  73. I was JUST complaining about the awkward hug and kiss thing because I just finished Heartstrings (You’ve Fallen For Me). You know what drama directors?? Don’t even have them kiss or hug if you’re going to be half-assed about it. If it’s awkward I don’t even want it. It just makes me cringe. haha!

    Ahhh and Coffee Prince. My most favoritest drama ever. Some other good dramas for REAL kisses are Lie to Me, Mary Stayed Out All Night and Personal Taste (although I wanted to punch Lee Minho in the face… actually in every drama I’ve seen him in I want to punch him in the face. Why is he always an a-hole in dramas?? I digress…).

    • Make sure he doesn’t have a spoon near him when you punch him in the face.

    • This is old but… I’ve just watched Mary Stayed Out All Night. Do you really mean that`s one of the dramas with REAL kiss? :/ I’m sure theres’s no kdrama with a real kiss then. :/

    • Oh God, I know what you mean about the half-assed kisses especially in Heartstrings. They were both basically his face pushed up against hers and thats it. Also Shin Hye creepily keeps her eyes open as he kisses her. It freaks me out so much.

  74. I have to say, when I hugged one of my mom’s cousins before leaving his restaurant, I could tell it was kind of, “Oh. Oh! Hey… sure! *hug*” This was kind of weird to me (and apparently to him), despite being aware of the non-PDA way in Korea, because we’re family. My step-dad and my mom’s other cousin didn’t have any problems jumping into hugs with me, so that kinda added to me being a little confused. Still, I get both sides of this due to each man’s cultural experiences and understanding.

  75. Heartstrings was the the epitimy of awful PDA. Park Shinhye looked like a fish whenever Yonghwa kissed her….and the hugs were no different haha.
    I wish she would wipe that “OH MY GOODNESS  WHAT IS HAPPENING!? CANNOT COMPUTE CANNOT COMPUTE” face off of her during kiss scenes.
    Haha but I agree the Yoo Eunhye is a great emotional kisser in all her dramas :)

  76. I actually think that Yoon Eun Hye’s dramas have the best kissing scenes!! Oh yeah, I remember your Bobo game! I found it so cute *-*

  77. I actually think that Yoon Eun Hye’s dramas have the best kissing scenes!! Oh yeah, I remember your Bobo game! I found it so cute *-*

  78. I actually think that Yoon Eun Hye’s dramas have the best kissing scenes!! Oh yeah, I remember your Bobo game! I found it so cute *-*

  79. I actually think that Yoon Eun Hye’s dramas have the best kissing scenes!! Oh yeah, I remember your Bobo game! I found it so cute *-*

  80. Here’s my question for TLDR:
    Martina, how many dramas have you watched and which are your favorites? And does Simon enjoy watching dramas too?

  81. Martina, any time that Yoon Eun Hye is in a drama, she has amazing chemistry with the leads and they tend to do wonderful kiss scenes. It’s kind of amusing because I always forget that she’s just that good. Whether Goong, Coffee Prince, or even Lie to Me, she’s just that good. I agree through, most of the hugs bother me when the girl doesn’t hug back. I always get really happy when the girl unbends and does hug the guy, though. 

  82. Martina, any time that Yoon Eun Hye is in a drama, she has amazing chemistry with the leads and they tend to do wonderful kiss scenes. It’s kind of amusing because I always forget that she’s just that good. Whether Goong, Coffee Prince, or even Lie to Me, she’s just that good. I agree through, most of the hugs bother me when the girl doesn’t hug back. I always get really happy when the girl unbends and does hug the guy, though. 

  83. Martina, any time that Yoon Eun Hye is in a drama, she has amazing chemistry with the leads and they tend to do wonderful kiss scenes. It’s kind of amusing because I always forget that she’s just that good. Whether Goong, Coffee Prince, or even Lie to Me, she’s just that good. I agree through, most of the hugs bother me when the girl doesn’t hug back. I always get really happy when the girl unbends and does hug the guy, though. 

  84. i think people should show there affection. so simon and martina kiss infront of people when you feel like it!! THEY CANT STOP YOUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!

    ooooooooo a piece of candy… oooooo a piece of candy

  85. I actually don’t mind this. Personally, I REALLY hate PDA, because it just makes me uncomfortable, so I can get where they’re coming from….

  86. I need romance is pretty good on kissing scene and some light bed scene.. hehehhe also soulmate.. I’m really pissed when the moment is calling for a passionate kiss but instead they just stare at each other longingly. ahhh 

  87. if you want to see 2ne1 tv then go to http://www.yg-life.com and then you can see 2ne1 tv for free…except it take a while till it comes out! so 2ne1 tv does at tuesday and friday so if you wanna watch a friday vi then watch it on tuesday and if you want to watch a tuesday then watch on friday…i hope you know what i mean:P

  88. I’m surprised that Park Bom was surprised by public displays of affection considering that she immigrated to the US when she was 8 years old. She must have been brought up in a very insulated Korean fashion.
    She explains a bit of her life in the program Strong heart that was broadcast I think last year.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLDR3_PW-ew  Part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAzjr6WzvxU Part 2

    I also think that if you ask older generation they will be shocked at the younger generation.

  89. I’m surprised that Park Bom was surprised by public displays of affection considering that she immigrated to the US when she was 8 years old. She must have been brought up in a very insulated Korean fashion.
    She explains a bit of her life in the program Strong heart that was broadcast I think last year.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLDR3_PW-ew  Part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAzjr6WzvxU Part 2

    I also think that if you ask older generation they will be shocked at the younger generation.

    • I think she live in a place where there are more koreans than other nationalities. And her circle of friends arre mostly korean. So her upbringing is still conservative just like in korea. My sister-in-law migrated here in US when she was just 6 or 7 and she’s 23 or 24 now but still no boyfriend since birth eventhough there are a lot of guys courting her.. It depends on how your parents raise you. I guess.

  90. I always thought PDA stood for Public Display of Affection…

  91. These pitiful examples of making out, getting all hot and bothered in K-dramas is not doing much for the declining Korean birthrate! They’ve got to do a better job of getting young people worked up and in the mood for love . Oh, and if you want to see a few dramas where people actually look like they know what lips are for, check out any Kim Sun-ah drama (Kim Samsoon, City Hall, et al) because not only does she know how to kiss, her costars do too and they all look like they enjoy the ‘effort’! I would also point out Coffee House, because Kang Ji-hwan and Park Shi-yeon look very convincing and Que Sera Sera with Eric. (You can tell he spent quality time in the States!)

  92. I live in Canada and almost all East Asian girls I know care a lot about the double eyelid thing!

  93. Really? Well that explains why in dramas IF they every kiss its just like kissing a fish. It drives me nuts! Just because your lips touch doesn’t mean its a kiss. Also, thank you for explaining the same gender pda thing. I have a lot of asian friends and i noticed they do this a lot, at first it made me feel uncomfortable but now i see what they meant when they said it means “sisterhood”.

  94. Really? Well that explains why in dramas IF they every kiss its just like kissing a fish. It drives me nuts! Just because your lips touch doesn’t mean its a kiss. Also, thank you for explaining the same gender pda thing. I have a lot of asian friends and i noticed they do this a lot, at first it made me feel uncomfortable but now i see what they meant when they said it means “sisterhood”.

  95. Really? Well that explains why in dramas IF they every kiss its just like kissing a fish. It drives me nuts! Just because your lips touch doesn’t mean its a kiss. Also, thank you for explaining the same gender pda thing. I have a lot of asian friends and i noticed they do this a lot, at first it made me feel uncomfortable but now i see what they meant when they said it means “sisterhood”.

  96. Hrm… can you guys see this comment? 

    I swear I just posted on here and I don’t see it now… I was saying I answered geoduck too but after looking a bit I see a billion others did too lol. I can’t find that post though and I just made a post that has disappeared too…?

  97. Im a Swedish girl living in Korea with a Korean boyfriend. We make people super uncomfortable all the time because we hug, kiss and hold hands in public all the time ㅋㅋㅋ

  98. I argued with my friend that Kdramas have horrible kissing scenes, she said, “What?!? No they don’t”….it’s 2 lips pressing against each other, not a real kiss xD

  99. Question: How do Korean people feel about tattoos and gauges. I plan on staying for about 2 months with some friends, but i’m unsure if I should work hard to cover them up and take out the gauges or just wear them. Help!

  100. the girl from coffee prince is in “Lie to Me” I think.  the kissing in that drama is much better than most ;)
    I am coming to the conclusion I could get myself in a lot of trouble in Korea or they would shake their head at the crazy american who touches people :)

    • Yes, Yoon EunHye dramas have very good kissing scenes [Coffee Prince, Goong, Lie to Me, Take Care of the Young Lady,etc]  also Rain and Shin Minah in “A Love to Kill” their kiss was O_o whew! 
      But other than them…we’re pretty disappointed with kisses in dramas. hehe.

  101. Loving this week topic ^^ Can’t wait for next week TL;DR.. LOL at Simon last part!

  102. dont forget goong and lie to me also have pretty good kisses. hey! all 3 of those are yoon eun hye dramas! it must be in her contract they have to have hot kisses. 

  103. dont forget goong and lie to me also have pretty good kisses. hey! all 3 of those are yoon eun hye dramas! it must be in her contract they have to have hot kisses. 

  104. Hahaha same here!  Honestly it’s one of the reasons I like Coffee Prince so much, because a lame kissing scene can totally ruin a drama for me.

  105. Haha great video, and something that is really noticeably different about Korea and Canada.  I do remember the early days of living here and seeing two thirty-something dudes walking down the street hand in hand and thinking (as a Canadian), “Oh wow, Koreans are really open-minded about homosexuality!”  Aaaaand then I found out that I could not have been more wrong.  *sigh*

  106. i think you both brought a very sensitive issues here. because this PDA thing in Korea, the eldest (and the government) really care about this thing. this is like comparisons of culture between countries. most Asian countries are really care and sensitive about PDA. like mine, Malaysia. we do really care about PDA and what u saw in Korea, same in Malaysia. u will not see couples kissing (not a cute kiss like cheek-kiss/hand/forehead-kiss) each other in complex or something like that. u can see the banning of songs issue in Korea really get us crazy but that’s how the eldest want to reserve the traditional culture which, no PDA at all to respect each other. well,what i don’t understand about korea is, they do love to see cute-girly-looking guys dressing up as a girl. a lot. huhuhuhu. skinship between guys, in Malaysia+Korea+Japan+China = brotherhood.  

  107. omg thank you for bringing up the kissing problem in k-dramas hahah!!!

    cannot begin to explain how many times I’ve been let down by a drama simply because of what I call the “dead-fish kiss” :D

  108. zomg Martina you just solved the problem for PDA in Korea .. hand kissing!!!!  couples can get their skinship on by pressing their fingertips together and making dah smooches *insert sound effect here*.  Wonder if I could get my hubby to try that with me *sigh* .. maybe once I get him trained enough not to hide his head in shame when my kpop is blaring out the car windows when we pull into a gas station …

  109. I FINALLY UNDERSTOOD WHAT PDA MEANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (^\\^)/
    (yeah, I’m really trully happy with that…!!)

    xDDDDD

  110. ??? Don’t North Americans of same sex hold hands together and kiss even though they’re not homosexual? I’ve seen many North American movies and dramas… and it seemed like they’re more affectionate(among same sex) compared to that of Koreans… please correct me if I’m wrong… i’ve never visited America before….

    • You might see it sometimes with girls who are friends .. but NOT with guys .. guys holding hands pretty much means only one thing :) .. they’re playing red rover .. or they are dating.

    • Yeah, it is more or less girls you will see holding hands with other girls. And if they kiss, its usually on the cheek and I don’t even think doing that is that common. Usually that is just between relatives, at least it is in my experience.

      • I think girls that hold hands when they’re moving somewhere (like through a crowd or puling somewhere), but they don’t stay holding hands while they stroll down the street. If I saw that in Canada I would think they were dating.

  111. ??? Don’t North Americans of same sex hold hands together and kiss even though they’re not homosexual? I’ve seen many North American movies and dramas… and it seemed like they’re more affectionate(among same sex) compared to that of Koreans… please correct me if I’m wrong… i’ve never visited America before….

  112. Also, I thought skinship was skin + relationship, since a lot of it is in the context of dating couples. Like “oh, she touched his cheek! skinshippppp~!” I also think it only counts when skin actually touches skin. (But I’m not an expert, lol :P)

  113. In the Philippines, guy friends tend to be a lot more touchy than in NA, but we never would hold hands or anything. Just hugging and like arm-around-ing and stuff. Not that I don’t do that with my guy friends in NA, but just not as much. Like, it would be kinda weird sometimes, but in the Philippines and other Asian countries I guess it would be normal.

  114. Maybe it’s because of how homosexuality is viewed in Korea. Not sure exactly how it is, but in NA, it’s reasonable to assume they may be a couple since they are doing what couples do. But since homosexual couples are not common in Korea, they just assume they’re friends. It’s like that in places like India too. 

    But i dunno, nowadays i see a lot of same-sex friends acting affectionate too.

  115. My Princess has decent passionate kissing and i actually felt uncomfortable watching because im used to the worst kissing scenes  ever .:P(i watch too much Korean dramas)-ireland is  like North America  with holding hands.

  116. My Princess has decent passionate kissing and i actually felt uncomfortable watching because im used to the worst kissing scenes  ever .:P(i watch too much Korean dramas)-ireland is  like North America  with holding hands.

  117. My Princess has decent passionate kissing and i actually felt uncomfortable watching because im used to the worst kissing scenes  ever .:P(i watch too much Korean dramas)-ireland is  like North America  with holding hands.

  118. Is it the same for family members of the opposite sex… I have a younger brother and I often travel so when we are with each other we are very affectionate like kiss on the cheek and constant hugs and clinginess well but that is normal where I am from? Is that looked down upon also?

    • Koreans these days are open minded when it comes to “culture differences” … people could look at you when you kiss your brother but, they will just accept it thinking that it’s just a part of a culture that you are grown up with. People will not look down upon it…

  119. Definitely true for same-sex couples. My boss (and friend) is very touchy-feely by my standards, but I understand where he’s coming from.

  120. South America is kinda mixed. Guys don’t hold hands, but we hug or kiss on each other’s cheeks (if we are very close, or family, or Italian, lol). Girls can hold hands, hug and kiss as friends. It’s perfectly acceptable for guys and girls to kiss on each other’s cheeks as a greeting or as a sign of affection.

    Holding hands and further skinship between guys and girls means dating or very close friendship or unrequited love, and BOY is it unrequited love, mostly girls initiate it and guys are all like (whoa she likes me), but meh, only as a friend (caveat emptor!).

  121. Didn’t Park Bom grow up in America for a while? It shouldn’t be that strange if she has at least.

  122. you know the kissing in dramas is so horrible because of the “ministry of banning things” (official title). dramas aren’t allowed to have open mouth kissing or it will get censored. case in point: Iris. There was a slightly open mouthed kiss that occurred between TOP and a chick he later killed, and it got cut out because it was too much!!

  123. I also love how in the Korean dramas, when the girl is being kissed, she always looks so  bewildered/horrified.  She never looks like she wants to be kissed until the VERY end when they are officially together.

  124. so what’s the deal with the piggy back ride? (i’ve seen it in kdramas); isn’t that considered skinship? How about a kiss on the forehead?is that a big deal?

  125. How about guys holding the bags of their girlfriends? I think that’s also a sign of their affection towards each other.

  126. It is true that indians do really hold hands even though they’re of the same sex. LOL.

  127. I heard in India it’s common for heterosexual men to walk down the street holding hands.  It really does highlight how homophobic the US is when it comes to same sex affection.  But what do you expect from a country founded by puritans.

  128. I heard in India it’s common for heterosexual men to walk down the street holding hands.  It really does highlight how homophobic the US is when it comes to same sex affection.  But what do you expect from a country founded by puritans.

  129. I heard in India it’s common for heterosexual men to walk down the street holding hands.  It really does highlight how homophobic the US is when it comes to same sex affection.  But what do you expect from a country founded by puritans.

    • Its the same in Western-Europe. Though in some countries when friends of the same sex meet they kiss eachother. On the cheeks. I think its was in Spain and/or Italy.

    • I like to hold hands with my girlfriend to keep her close to me, it’s like a protective action, as if to say, “you’re safe with me honey, and I could never let you go”. However, I never ever hold hands with my male friends, just don’t have nearly the same feelings towards them. Plus their hands are big and rough, maybe even dirty/smelly ewww. I’m sure guys appreciate the confidence in their own ability to take care of themselves. I dont think it’s as much homophobia as you might think.

      • Actually, this sounds exactly like homophobia. Down to the eww.

        • Woah…i think you missed my point…i’m only suggesting that the reason you don’t see men holding hands in the US is not actually because we’re all homophobic puritans, as the previous poster implied, but perhaps we’re just repulsed by each other.

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