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  • Paul Davidson

The State of the Male Hug

It seems as though the Male Hug continues to infest society and grow like a disease that just won’t stop.

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

You see, friends who I would normally greet with a handshake, would now pull me towards their chests as I shook their hands. Then, they would wrap their other arm around my back and pull me into a half-kind of weird hugging thing. It was disquieting back then, and today, it appears as if things are getting worse.

Now, everywhere I go, it seems as if guys have decided “it’s OK” to give another guy a hug. But it’s even worse than it used to be. Before, a simple handshake combined with a rough hit on your back with their other “free arm” was all it was. In and out real quick, not lasting more than about 1.2 seconds.

But lately, other elements have been added to the male hug that make it more like an “end of the night” hug rather than a “I just saw you last week, but since we’re grabbing some beers, I’ll say hi really really quick for just 1.2 seconds” hug. Now, instead of the quick in-and-out, there’s longer bits of holding. Sure, the handshake seems to be more forceful, and the free arm around your back seems to be caressing more these days than the rough “hit on the back” — but there’s something even worse than these two things combined.

The “hey, man” whisper.

First of all, I already said hello to you when I reached out my hand to shake your hand. Secondly, when you wrapped your arm around my back while you’re shaking my hand and rapped me on the back, that was a second hello. We’ve already said those words in no uncertain terms. There really is no need for you to (while in mid-male hug moment) whisper “hey man” to me while your head is almost nestling upon my shoulder.

Nope. Not gonna do it.

There are some out there who go even further than this. Mid shake, they remove their hand that was shaking your hand and give you a full-on two handed bear hug. This I’m not so keen of, either. But even worse than the half-handshake into full two handed bear-hug whisper greeting hello is the half-handshake into full two-handed bear-hug whisper with a giggle greeting.

Giggling is a huge no-no.

Trust me on this – I am not afraid of affection. I am not weird like that. But if you’re my buddy and you wanna shake my hand or give me a half hug of some kind, that’s fine. But when you start whispering and giggling and pulling me close…well… I’m just not gonna be okay with that.

Can you blame me?

In other news, here’s your official reminder that a week from Sunday (the 15th) marks the deadline for the I Took A Picture of ‘Consumer Joe’ In A Really Creative Location Somewhere In The World So I Could Try And Win A $40 Gift Cert To And A Signed First Edition Copy Of Said Referenced Book in The First Place contest. Sure, it’s wordy. But oh! Such rewards!

In other secondary news, tomorrow marks yet another “Words For Your Enjoyment” where you provide the idea, I steal it, and we keep our damn mouths shut. Take Paula Abdul’s advice and keep your damn mouth shut even if those crazy people from the media come calling!

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