Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth are allowed to kiss and front-hug as much as they like now that they’re husband and wife, but the couple’s PDA is starting to make some fans a bit uncomfortable.
Joy-Anna Duggar, 19, and Austin Forsyth, 23, tied the knot on May 26, which is also the day that they shared their first kiss. They both come from fundamentalist Christian families and have been taught that premarital sex is sinful, so they were forbidden from partaking in certain forms of physical contact before they got married. They were only allowed to side-hug until they tied the knot, and they couldn’t hold hands until they got engaged. Their entire courtship took place under the eyes of watchful chaperones whose constant presence was a reminder not to break any of these rules.
Now that Joy-Anna and Austin are married, some Duggar fans think that the young lovebirds are more than making up for the lack of physical contact during the first few months of their relationship. As OK! Magazine reports, the couple is being criticized for being overly affectionate on the Duggar family’s recent TLC special, Counting On: The After Show. During the sit down with Daphne Oz, Austin was filmed lying on the couch while Joy-Anna sat on his crotch.
The Duggar Family News: Life Is Not All Pickles And Hairspray Facebook page shared a screenshot of the couple’s PDA, served with a side of harsh criticism of their behavior.
“Who does this in public? She’s sitting on his little willy. Once the Duggars get married they get obscene. Do you think this pose is biblical?”
Pickles’ post sparked a debate over whether or not Joy-Anna and Austin’s PDA was inappropriate for Christians who tout their high modesty standards and preach about the importance of self-control. Some fans agreed that the couple’s behavior was not something they cared to see.
“There’s a time and place for affection with your spouse. This isn’t it. I’m no prude but I would be offended if I saw my daughter sitting on her husband this way. I’d tell her to find an appropriate chair, thank you very much,” wrote one commenter.
However, others saw nothing wrong with the couple’s behavior.
“I don’t see the big deal. They are adults and can sit however they prefer,” read one comment.
Some fans were okay with the PDA, but they thought that it was disrespectful for Austin to make himself at home on the Counting On set by stretching out on the couch. Others suggested that the Duggars’ strict courtship rules tempt the Duggar girls to marry the first guys who express an interest in them because they’re so starved for physical affection. Joy-Anna was never allowed to date around, and her father maintains most of the control over his daughters’ love lives. All potential suitors have to go through him, and he makes them fill out a lengthy questionnaire. If Jim Bob Duggar isn’t satisfied with their responses, they’ll never get to side-hug one of his girls.
“The real reason for marriage for the Duggars is physical contact. It’s not normal for these people to only physically connect when married. It’s absolutely absurd!”
Some fans believe that Joy-Anna’s parents are responsible for making her comfortable with PDA that might make other people uncomfortable. They pointed to an old 19 Kids and Counting episode that followed Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar as they went on a double date with Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald. The younger couple was still courting at the time, and Bustle criticized Jim Bob for taunting them with his “disturbing” behavior. He would get physically affectionate with his wife, then he would remind Jessa and Ben that they weren’t allowed to do the same. Joy-Anna and Austin weren’t subjected to a similar situation on Counting On, so they didn’t have to listen to Jim Bob talk about being turned on.
[Featured Image by Duggar Family/Facebook]