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The Daily Dish Below Deck Mediterranean

Whether It's a "Love Tap" or a Slap, Just Don't Do It, Says One Expert

Below Deck Mediterranean deckhand Travis Michalzik whacked Anastasia Surmava on the side of the face.

By Marianne Garvey
Did Anastasia Surmava Want to Make Travis Michalzik Out to Be a Villain?

Where Travis Michalzik comes from, it’s a “love tap.” For Anastasia Surmava, it was a slap. 

How to Watch

Watch Below Deck Mediterranean on Mondays at 9/8c and next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Bravo app

When Below Deck Mediterranean deckhand Travis whacked Anastasia on the side of the face while she dozed at the dinner table, the crew was horrified. 

Hannah Ferrier said, "It is not acceptable to physically touch another crew member.” João Franco was triggered by it, saying, “I’ll never accept a man touching a woman. Ever.”

But Travis swears it’s just part of being friendly in his culture (Australia) and that if it had been someone who understood that on the other end of the love tap, all would have been OK. Perhaps Anastasia is just too sensitive, he concluded on the Below Deck Mediterranean After Show

While it seems obvious to most that you don’t walk up to a person and slap them, Personal Space called in national etiquette expert Diane Gottsman for her opinion. 

“That is called a slap,” she said of Travis’ love tap. “Regardless of the motive, or circumstances, there is no excuse, regardless of how many fingers used, location of the tap/slap, or explanations or justification based on culture or another person’s sensitivity.”

She explained it’s aggressive and just not right. 

“An aggressive physical gesture is inappropriate,” Gottsman added. “Even when attempting to deliver a tap in jest (which this one was not), you open yourself up to potential pushback in the form of a lawsuit, a retaliatory push back – even harder and more aggressive, or in some cases much worse.”

If you do pull a Travis, try apologizing. 

“Trying to justify the behavior only makes it worse,” she said. “Bottom line — keep your hands to yourself.”

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