I wanted to start a discussion specifically about hugs and how they're viewed and utilized (or not utilized) by the modern man.
Personally, I shy away from real hugs with almost everyone except my mother on occasion and a girlfriend if I have one. I rarely hug my father or brother and never my best male friends (of which there are two). Of course I do the one armed thing with guys as a greeting sometimes if the situation calls for it. But beyond that I don't ask for hugs, though I will give them out if someone needs one (specifically a girl...). I have hugged my best friend once when we left for college for the first time. It was quite awkward and was fast; not a 'true' hug.
I guess I shy away from hugs because I fear I'll be perceived as weak and unable to handle myself emotionally if I'm always reaching out for them. However, I'd love to get more hugs than I'm getting now, which is about 0 on any given day, but I don't want to ask anyone, a guy or girl, for a hug. I guess there's a stigma attached to guys always getting hugs- but is that stigma justified or not?
So what do you guys do about hugs? Do you ever reach out for them? Or do you ignore hugs until the situation calls for it- be it comforting a girl, expressing affection in a relationship, or hugging a family member?
Should guys continue to shy away from hugs or should we embrace them? (Pun fully intended) What is the manly thing to do? How should men handle hugs?
My dad grew up in a jewish/italian/hunky neighborhood, so he has always been a hugger. This has rubbed off on me, but not quite as much. I do hug most of my close guy friends when I see them (which is rarely) and all my girl friends. Hugging family members is a given, but I try to avoid them slobbering all over me too, because the kissing habit was also picked up. That isn't one I am a fan of.
I attended seminary in Europe. 6 years everyone hugged and I have to say that I enjoyed and keep that for my friends and family. As an eastern rite Priest I was kissed all the time by everyone. I can't say that I relished the custom every time but I never regretted ever and many times it felt very nice. Always a fan of physical connection in it's many forms.