November 13, 2006
Hugging is one of the best gifts that you could give anyone. It could be a stranger, a friend, a family member, a girl you like, a guy you like, or someone you respect. A hug is very important. I believe that a hug is just as intimate as a kiss. You don’t think so? Think about the last time you kissed someone. You embraced them, didn’t you? I mean really kissed someone. They were in your arms. So, a hug is very important. But, they’re fun because you can give them to anyone—not just your significant other.
I want you to realize, though, that there are rules to hugging. The reason I started thinking about hugging was because of my friends Aubrey and Jill. Aubrey and I hit it off quick. We became great friends our sophomore year at Adrian College and really made each other better people. A few months after knowing her, she introduced me to Jill. While all three of us were walking and talking one day, Aubrey made a comment to Jill that since she was having a down day, she needed a “Lewis hug.” She looked a little uneasy, but Aubrey explained that I am a great hugger. So Jill gave in and hugged me. To me, this was strange. But, I gave Jill a hug anyway. I really wanted to give her a hug. I liked her as a person; nice, funny, caring, and as a bonus she was a cutie. Jill said, “Wow, you are a good hugger!” At first, I thought this was strange. I was hugging a person I had just met. But then, I looked into Jill’s eyes and saw them twinkling a bit. She had a smile from ear to ear. This was the first time I thought hard and long about why I am a “good hugger.” Jill, by no means, was attracted to me. It didn’t make her day because she liked me and, “Oh my gosh, that guy just hugged me (insert ninth grade girl who just got winked at by the starting quarterback of the high school football team giggle here).” So, I knew she was happy just because I hugged her and in that hug was the unspoken, “I think you are cool. Here is to your day getting better and to the future of our friendship.” It was not sexual or creepy. It was just a friendly, affectionate hug. Anyway, I thought long and hard about hugs that day and I came up with these ideas. I converted them to rules. I think you should follow them, too.
1) Never give a hug unless you mean it. This one-armed thing is not going to cut it. People want to feel your warmth and your love. You move your arms out of the way and put them around one another so your hearts are close to one another. A one-armed hug is only ok from fathers to sons, although they should really hug each other better. No one can understand but a father and son what it means to pass on a legacy.
2) No patting the opposite sex—ever! A pat means that the hug is one of two things; a formal good-bye to a relative, or a hug that you really didn’t care to give. This goes against rule number 1. Usually you don’t want to hug a relative good-bye. You want them to stay, or you just don’t want to hug them period. Again, see number one. As for the opposite sex, a hug that doesn’t come from confidence suggests awkwardness. For a guy, if you hug a girl, embrace her. Really give her a hug. Let her know that she is loved even if you don’t know her. You aren’t a creep; you are just giving someone a sign of love. A gesture that says, “Hey, whether or not I am attracted to you is of no consequence. You are a human and I love and respect you as part of our race.” If you are a girl, do not pat the guy. If you do it and then have a cute little red face, it makes the guy think you are now flirting. He will want to kiss you. If he leans forward for a kiss, kiss him back. He deserves it—you just patted him. If you pat him and don’t giggle and turn red-faced, it means you think negatively of him (creepy, weird, or you are so involved in yourself you think he likes you for some reason other than you just being a nice human, how dare you be so selfish?!?).
3) A true hug is an embrace, not a grope. Your hands should be placed in one of 2 ways. (A) One person should have an arm over the shoulder and around the waste. The other should have arm under the shoulder and over the arm around the waste. Or, (B) the girl should put both arms around the guys’ neck and the guy around the girls’ middle-lower back. Pick her up and pull her close (this is a bonus). MEN, IF YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO THE GIRL, you may smell her neck. Do this subtly so she is not sure if you did it or not. Again, embrace her. Do not sniff her neck—smell. Do not touch or grab her butt, keep your arms around her back, low enough to say we are not just friends but high enough to say, “I’m not just grabbing at your ass.” Even if you don’t think so, the girl will like it. It is a compliment if done correctly. Women love smoothness and chivalry. That does not mean you should be a wuss (see David DeAngelo and his publications to learn how to NOT be a wuss), it simply means be confident and funny in your words, but romantic and chivalrous in your actions.
4) It is fine to double hug. If the first hug is so good that you both release, but hold onto one another’s arms and look into each others eyes, another hug and a slight laugh/giggle is ok. This means that you share some passion, love, and a hint of playfulness. Note: This does not necessarily mean in a sexual manner.
5) Variable hugging is good too! What I mean by this is hugging while lying down (see spooning) and hugging from behind. Spooning can be friendly or sexual. You must state the intentions before the spooning occurs. For arguments sake, we will say the guy is the big spoon. However, it is ok for a guy to be the little spoon. Sometimes, it makes the guy feel loved and secure—deal with it, ok? If you do not state that the spooning is just for coziness, this will indicate to the guy you are comfortable with him. He will, if he is like me, whisper in your ear and be playful. He will then reach his hand around, lightly touch your cheek, pull your face around to his, and kiss you passionately. Ladies, if he does this, and you turn your head, you will be kissed. Kiss back. You indicated you wanted to be kissed by following his hints. You knew what he wanted. Don’t act like you didn’t.
Hugging from behind is a risky endeavor. Usually as soon as she is touched, the girl will turn around. If she doesn’t, the same rules apply. This is not nasty. This is a hug with your arms around the waste. A guy should only do this to a girl. Girls, if you come up to a guy and hug him from behind, it means pick me up and give me a piggy-back ride. Guys, you must be careful. This time too high or too low means, “Damn, I might be going to jail.” Keep your hands around the waste. If she puts her hands on your arms and leans back and you can see her smile, you may smell her and whisper in her hear. Be a gentleman! Nothing dirty stated in her ear—just soft talking about anything. You do not need to be romantic here. Just whisper a friendly, “Hello, darlin’.” Something about a whisper in the ear is a huge turn-on. Do this subtly. Do not make it obvious. Also, smell her lightly. DO NOT sniff like a pervert. The most crucial rule for variable hugging: an erection is never initially allowed.
6) Same sex hugging is a necessity. When two females hug, they shall embrace one another and scream like baby banshees. When two males hug, they will shake with the right hand, hold it in front of them, move close to one another and throw the left arm around the shoulders of one another. You may pat here because it is a macho open-hand punch rather than an uncomfortable “God don’t touch me any longer” smack. Men may embrace one another if they are at a funeral or time of despair. However, you either do hug (A) or one man has two arms around the guys shoulder and the other has his under the shoulder grabbing from behind with an open hand each shoulder (only the man crying can do this hug)—or they are gay (which is ok, too!).
So this is my take on hugging people. For the most part, I am directing these rules to the men. However, there are some additives that the women must follow. They are indicated within the text. These rules are for friendships or relationships (hetero or homo; just realize if you are homosexual, indicate which one is the “male” and which is the “female.” That way you know which role you are for the hugs). I hope you all follow these rules. As always, with every post Casey and I shall do, we want comments, feedback, and ideas. If they are good, they may be added to another post or we may just give you a shout out and tell you we think you understand life.
Still growing up…