02/13/2012 06:19 EST | Updated 02/13/2012 10:16 EST

The Best Kisses In Public: Real World Inspiration For Valentine's Day

Richard Lam/Getty Images

No matter how lovestruck a couple might be, there's an important divide that comes up rather quickly in a relationship -- to kiss in public, or keep all manner of touching private.

For some, kissing and even holding hands is not for public consumption, while others will make out at the faintest hint of romance, not caring what the rest of the world thinks (or more cynically, making sure they're on display for all to see).

But throughout history, there have been liplocking moments that draw in everyone around them, captured on film for all to see and defining a time in a way that nothing else can.

Is it the voyeuristic thrill of watching someone else's intimacy that draws us in? Is it the suggestive nature of four lips meeting? Or is it just the inherent joy expressed in a kiss that makes it so memorable? Whatever the reason, when you see a truly monumental kiss, it leaves its mark for a long time.

SEE: The best public kisses captured on film:

Photo gallery Historical Kisses See Gallery