The Art of Hugging

November 5, 2010 at 8:25 pm (Weapons of Mass Enjoyment)

Ah, it feels so good to be back in my hysterically not funny comedy roots. It’s almost like an old pair of pants you find in your dresser that you haven’t worn from 8th Grade. They remarkably fit, but then you just realize you were really fat in 8th Grade. Anyway, it’s been a couple of months if not years since I last did an “Art Of…” post, so without further ado here is a fact sheet if you will, for hugging…*Disclaimer-In case you’re new to the site and aren’t that familiar with my awkward sense of humor, this is a joke post, laugh, have fun, but remember, next time you’re hugging someone you won’t be able to get this post out of your head.

  • Keep It Simple Stupid-Listen, you don’t wanna be that guy that hugs for too long. If you’re in the classic full-frontal hug (more about that later), then don’t let the hug go past it’s expiration date. You’re not welcoming home the troops here, you’re just letting a friend know you missed them since yesterday at Lunch. You can’t be too short with a hug (because if you are than it’s technically not a hug, it’s just a ghost hug a.k.a. Pat N’ Go), and be sure you’re not too long with a hug, unless that’s what you’re into.
  • Different Rules for Different Huggers-Just as a general by rule, sometimes different people have different rules for hugging. Some are huge fans of hugging, others love to hold a hug for a long time, others are more of a fan of Pat N’ Gos. Unless ground rules are established, you follow my ground rules, it’s all common sense really. Basically, you just gotta know your hugger.
  • TYPES OF HUGS-The Full Frontal-Not much to explain here, it’s basically just your classical hug. You meet in the front, wrap the arms around, one hand is for grasping (onto the person’s back perv) and the other is for patting or rubbing on the back. If you’re not to the patting or rubbing stage with a person, don’t try it unless you’re absolutely sure. And dudes, yes, it is manly to do a full frontal hug. My full frontal hugs with men are some of the most manly experiences in my life.
  • The Side Hug-This hug seems more common from my own experiences, and seems to be like a mini hug, but with most of the same impact. As you might imagine it’s just the two hug-ees (please no diaper jokes) joining together at the side, only with one arm around each other, still with patting or what have you. It’s a quicker, half version of the true hug, but it’s not insulting by any means. Full Frontal Hugs are usually for the closest of friends or people that haven’t seen eachother in a while, side hugs are for those friends you see quite a bit or for more uncomfortable dudes. Or people that just smell bad.
  • The Bro Hug-Right next to the full frontal hug, this is one of my favorites, even if it is a little lesser known. You start out with a handshake, go in for a secret handshake type of thing where the two thumbs are directly next to eachother, and then you grapple in for a full hug, using your free arm to pat, or in many cases, slap your bro’s back. Reserved for only the most secure bromances, and to be honest it makes you feel better about yourself that you’re confident in your relationship with your bestest of bros.
  • The Air Hug-The hug on the go, this hug is a mix between a surprise hug and a full frontal. Let’s say you’re walking to class, driving in traffic, or checking your mailbox. If you see a good friend that you would usually hug, but you’re still in a rush, the air hug might be best for you. It’s basically just the motion of a hug from where you stand, apart from eachother. Mainly it’s for hipsters or people that like to think that planning out and executing complex hugs would be quicker than just hugging the darn person.
  • The Surprise/Improv Hug-This one can go one of two ways. It can either be A) A hug with a friend that you may be attracted to or surprised at how close of a friendship you have that you’re at hug status or B) A hug with someone that you don’t want to hug, often because they hug too hard, hug too often, or just smell ranky. If it evolves normally from the bro hug, you’re safe as long as you resist and keep it at the handshake. If the surprise hug usually originates as full frontals, you’re pretty much screwed. Just hope that you have a bar of Dove or Olay ready. Avoid the person long enough and they’ll get the message, or they’ll just build all that hug energy up for another day. Be on the lookout… Also known as the “Oh, you forgot to wear deoderant” hug…
  • The Bear Hug-This and the surprise hug usually go hand in hand as well, but sometimes the bear hug can be a fun ice breaker, or it can be the perfect start to a restraining order. Basically the bear hugger grabs the person (with no involvement on their part), and squeezes them like a tube of yogurt or squeezes them and hoists them into the air. It’s either really funny or really uncalled for. Plan ahead with the Bear Hug.
  • The Sneak Hug-I think JD from Scrubs puts it best-
  • KNOW YOUR HUGGER-Never, and I repeat never, forget the person you’re hugging and how they like to hug. Of course it’s a given that when you’re new to a person’s pre-set hugging conditions it’s impossible to know, but certain people have certain limits when it comes to hugging. Some are not fans of hugging, no mistake is worse than hugging someone full-frontal that doesn’t wanna be hugged. Some prefer the side-hug, some prefer the bro-hug, some people like me though, just enjoy any kind of hug. Most of the time it doesn’t matter, but if you screw the pooch on this one, and there shall be no more hugs from that person.
  • Use the Appropriate Hug/Plan Your Hugs-You don’t just go hugging every person you meet. You can be that type of person that’s awesome to be around and peppy and cheery, but don’t push the boundary into creepy ville.

In conclusion, enjoy all hugs, they’re meant to be enjoyed. Really it just comes down to the type of hug and planning your hugs appropriately. Hugs aren’t just to be thrown around, they can symbolize a reunion with a great friend or one of the purest moments of bro-atudeThey’re like tiny breaks from the threats of life literally holding another human being in any of the many style to choose from. Remember the rules, but don’t get too caught up in them, or you’ll miss out on one of the purest joys in life. Toss your germaphobia aside (although be cautious in sneak hugging the germaphobes) and give a big hug to the person next to you, and make the world a little bit better.

PS, Just so you all know, I want my funeral to be hug-oriented just like this-



  1. The James said,

    I want my funeral to be like that too…

    great post man.

  2. KingreX32 said,

    Grrr I hate hugs. Some people hug way to long and way too tight. Why cant I ever get hugged by a super hot female. Its always family and Friends of the family who are either guys, or old ladies. Grrr.

  3. earlman27 said,

    @James Thank you very much good sir, I have been inspired in part by your comedy-related-writings of humor

    @KingreX32 While lady hugging is nice, it often falls under the creepy side unless done perfectly. To be honest b/c of the risk-to-reward ratio, hugging dudes is sometimes better.

  4. KingreX32 said,

    I will take the risk.

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