The New Male Hug

I am vocal about my thoughts. I don’t really hold back for fear of sounding stupid or random. And so, recently, when I was hanging with some friends, I started questioning the new fad of “male hugs”.

For years all me and my buddies did upon running into each other was the strong handshake. No problem there. Some people had the weak, slimy handshake — but if you shook their hand hard enough it was the unspoken hint that they’d better start getting a hand-backbone. But recently, things have started to change.

Now, when I see friends or meet up with them, they approach me with one hand up in the air, wrapping the other one on my back. With a “pat” on the back, and a quick squeeze — they give me this weird half-hug. It’s been disturbing me lately, not because it’s a hug and I’m a homophobe (which I’m not) but because things have changed so quickly and the handshake has turned into the “half-hug”. So, I asked my friends who do this.

Me: So, uh, what’s with this hug thing now?

Friend: Hug thing? What do you mean?

Me: Well… We used to just shake hands… Now when you see me, you give me this weird half-hug thing that you never used to give me. Where’d that come from?

Friend: Dude, I’m just saying hello. It’s nothing, really.

Me: But it’s a hug.

Friend: A half hug.

Like I said before, no one is listening or paying attention.

I don’t know if it’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy or what, which has caused men in my world to abandon the handshake in lieu of the half-hug. I haven’t asked too many people yet because when you do, well, they try to convince themselves (while explaining it to you) that it’s all good. It’s the most masculine hug anyone could ever give, so why question it from an emotional standpoint.

It’s just a half-hug, and all.

In other news — I am starting to wonder why all my female friends have resorted to kissing me on the forehead.

16 comments on “The New Male Hug

  1. receptionista - March 16, 2004 at 2:27 pm -

    haven’t you heard the theory that the man-hug is really just and handshake now combined with some hitting as well? you get to keep the handshake, but now with the vigorous pat on the back, it’s like you’re letting them know you can kick their ass if you need to.

    are you short? maybe that’s why you get the forehead kisses! (i’m joking) personally, i kiss my boys on the cheek, then give them a little bite to let them know i mean business.

  2. Pauly D - March 16, 2004 at 2:33 pm -

    Can you elaborate more about this biting thing?

  3. Trish - March 16, 2004 at 4:20 pm -

    Hahahaaaaa… This is a great post! Funny because I’ve noticed the male-hugs too and I find it to be sensitive. I love when my guy-friends hug each other. Some even kiss each other. And I’ve also noticed all my girlfriends kiss on the mouth now! We all started with the half-hug… wonder if that’s where you guys are headed. Hm.

  4. grooveraccoon - March 16, 2004 at 5:08 pm -

    hmm. Kisses, hugs. Remember that old song, the funky cold medina? Either that or your new aftershave is working a treat!

  5. Jeff - March 16, 2004 at 5:11 pm -

    To Trish: NO!

    Pauly, I blame the French. Not sure why, but it seems to be all the fashion, so I’m going to place blame on them and their little cheek-to-cheek greetings. I was going to blame the men’s cologne industry, because I’m quite sure that in the days sans deodorant the handshake was the ONLY option. But then I remembered the French.

    BTW, I love the French. I have a French friend.

  6. Pauly D - March 16, 2004 at 5:22 pm -

    I blame the handshake industry, myself.

    As for having French friends, I once saw one on a train in Europe, but that was it. It ended there.

  7. Lena - March 16, 2004 at 9:25 pm -

    Now, I love the Queer Eye fellas, but this started way back and oddly, I want to say it was the rappers who I noticed doing it first. I would see them on award shows doing the half hug and it seemed so odd… all these ‘thug life” guys being all sweet and hugging each other.

  8. C(h)ristine - March 16, 2004 at 9:33 pm -

    On Howard Stern this morning — they discussed the new wave in male greeting. They’re saying all those “Hollywood Type” guys are greeting each other by kissing ON THE MOUTH.

    So watch where that half hug goes…

  9. laura - March 17, 2004 at 4:14 am -

    the half hug’s been around for ages and ages… there’s even one in the film Grease

  10. a.brain - March 17, 2004 at 9:34 am -

    I hate to show you this almost, but read it and recoil…

  11. Bakerina - March 17, 2004 at 10:14 am -

    receptionista is right. I remember some comic floating this idea on Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist. “I’m huggin’ ya…BUT I’m HITTIN’ ya!”

  12. Pauly D - March 17, 2004 at 10:23 am -

    Well, then — I guess I’m going to start having to HIT BACK.

  13. Mister P. - March 18, 2004 at 1:55 pm -

    Bob Costas did an interview with Larry David after an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. They came up with a better male bond than the handshake, without being as “intimate” as the hug/half-hug: Reach past the other person’s hand, and grab onto the forearm. There’s no sweaty palm contact, and it’s actually a firmer grasp than with the fingers.

  14. Pauly D - March 18, 2004 at 2:04 pm -

    Haha, gotta love Larry David.

  15. […] About a year ago I mentioned the “New Male Hug.” A custom that was starting to weird me out a little. […]

  16. michael - January 19, 2007 at 11:21 am -

    yall just tripping,,
    that’s just the way whe N*ggz greet your all homofhobe’s
    Why dont you just let uss what we do and RESPECT us disriminating punk

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