Sure you do. Hugs are good for you and they’re free. Make sure you deliver the proper hug. Depending on the hug-ee, you must adjust your strategy. Females need not be as concerned as males.
If you are male and the receiver is …
- your lover: This one’s simple. You can get away with almost anything here, depending on your audience and what you’ve done to piss her off lately.
- your best male friend: Unless you just won the World Series, this needs to be a handshake hug where only your right shoulders meet. It’s OK to add a quick back tap or two. If your stubbly cheeks meet, there’s a problem, unless you’re both Italian.
- an exceptionally attractive server who is twenty years your junior: Keep in mind which of the two of you is intoxicated. You can push the limit here if you’re a 20% tipper. Still, if you double clutch her butt and lift her like in the movies, you’ll probably be kneed in the kerbangers and banned for life.
- a person who is seated: This person does not want to hug you. Smile and wave instead.
- a female coworker at a company event: This is dangerous territory. The safest thing to do is to follow her lead. Extend both of your arms to show your willingness, and turn your head slightly to the left (as to not give the impression you’re about to do something completely freaky, like kiss her on the lips). Then, just do what she does.
- a first date you met online, who looks nothing like her pictures: She probably won’t appreciate the high-five, so be nice and shake hands. This too shall pass.
- a first date you met online, who looks better than her pictures: Congratulations on finding a unicorn. Be careful not to scare it away. Definitely go in for the full-body hug, tell her how lovely she is, and alert the media.
- an uncle: Unless you’re fed up with women and he’s a priest or coach at PSU, you shouldn’t be hugging him. Buy him a beer instead.
- a buddy’s wife: Best to be respectful here. You can embrace above the nipples but keep your hips twelve inches apart. If, by chance, your buddy took certain liberties in his hug with your woman, then one-up his ass by giving his girl a gorilla reach-around and an earlobe kiss. That’ll teach the ingrate.
- a high school senior cheerleader without proper identification: Nope.
- the bachelorette: That silly tiara, veil, and “I’m a cock gobbling slut monkey. Please show me your penis.” T-shirt she’s wearing give you permission to be as nasty as you want to be. The problem is her fullback-sized bridesmaid will be doing her blocking and tackling, so you’ll probably need to show Lori Czonka some loving before you gain access to the idiot announcing to the world that she’s about to ruin her life by strutting down the aisle with a man her parents disapprove of.
- me: I don’t want to hug you unless you’re the current president, handing me the keys to a free Ferrari, or the agent who just signed me to a million-dollar book deal.