December 06, 2020, 01:26:01

Hugging Day

Started by dsanchez, January 21, 2019, 10:12:50

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dsanchez

Apparently 21st January is International Hugging Day!

QuoteHugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger. Go give someone a hug today


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj_gT6WKPQQ

A virtual hug from me to you cureheads :)
2019.06.08 Dublin
2019.07.04 Novi Sad
2019.07.17 Athens

Ulrich

If you say so... ;)
It's never enough...

SueC

Would you two guys hug?  Or only if your football team won?  In Australia, men generally only hug if their sports teams win.  I think this is so sad.  In Italy, everyone hugged, and I think that's great.  Why should oxytocin only be available to you if your sports team wins?

I'm actually wondering, is it oxytocin or endorphins?  Because the latter are "feel"-good hormones for social bonding and to make you do healthy things, while oxytocin is involved in orgasm and milk let-down.  But whatever!  ;)
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dsanchez

Quote from: SueC on September 15, 2019, 14:12:15Would you two guys hug?  Or only if your football team won?  In Australia, men generally only hug if their sports teams win

I can't believe that. There are universal situations when people two men hug each other and I don't think these are exceptions in Australia?:

- birthdays
- wedding
- job promotion
- birth
- graduation
- seeing someone after long time, etc.
2019.06.08 Dublin
2019.07.04 Novi Sad
2019.07.17 Athens

SueC

Your disbelief suggests things are different in your culture and you've not been to Australia! :)

In Australia, the most observable reason for men hugging remains sport - something I point out to them a lot to get them to think about it, and get interesting feedback from.  Mainstream Anglo background Australian males may not even hug at weddings, graduations, etc - some do, but many don't.  Australian males from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean backgrounds, conversely, are generally huggers both of women and other men, for all sorts of reasons, which is nice!  There are large Middle Eastern and Mediterranean immigrant populations in Sydney and Melbourne, so these guys don't generally get socialised out of hugging each other, but many learn not to hug Anglo men because of their discomfort with it.

When I was a high school student here, I never saw boys hugging each other, and had they tried it, they would have been accused by other boys of being homosexual - it was a very homophobic culture back then; thankfully that's improving. In over 15 years of teaching high schoolers, I never saw boys hug boys openly (not even over sport) - girls hugged all the time.  If I asked my classes about that, boys still said, "People will think I'm gay!" while girls thought boys were alien creatures from another planet.  Boys hugged girls if they could get away with it, but not each other.  Girls just hugged. I've mostly worked in Western Australia, which is a very Anglo-dominant culture, but this was also the case in the schools I taught at in Sydney, even though there were sizeable proportions of Middle Eastern / Mediterranean culture boys there - they weren't in the majority though, and they had learnt not to hug other boys at school for those same reasons.  But, if I went to a social function by Middle Eastern / Mediterranean families, there the men and boys hugged very freely, which was lovely. :)  I'm forever encouraging Anglos to follow suit, but they're very conditioned not to!  It's getting a little better with the younger generations there, but it's slow.

I'm married to an Anglo background man, and in his family, none of the males hugged other males.  They did hug their cats though!  At our wedding, the only man who went around hugging freely was from a Middle Eastern background; he was also the only guy apart from my own husband who came up and hugged me, that whole day!  Being female, and part-Italian at that, I went and hugged all and sundry; generally hugs aren't turned down if a bride offers (or women in general, although there are some people who simply don't like to hug, including females, and you can tell by the body language and don't impose when that happens).

Yesterday, on a hike, we randomly bumped into two good friends whom we'd not seen in over a year.  I hugged both of them, my husband hugged neither.  Mike is from NZ with links to very huggy and demonstrative Maori culture, and will immediately bear hug for all sorts of reasons, but could see the Anglo male present wasn't comfortable and didn't push it.

I met my husband's family half a year after we started going out with each other, and considering how stiff and don't-touch-me they were, including his mother (who took months to warm up to hugging and I had to be the one to offer), I asked him afterwards, "Don't you guys ever hug?"  and the answer was, "Rarely!"  It astonished me because he was very huggy with me, from the start, and is a lovely hugger too - he doesn't crush you, or just "air-hug" either, and he was the first to offer, when we were still just friends.  I said, "So what did you practice on?"  It was probably the cats - although he tells me he just had an innate ability waiting to come out.  :rofl  I ask him why he doesn't hug other people more often (he'll never hug men, including his male friends - I think for him to do that, they'd have to launch themselves at him sobbing after a death so then he couldn't refuse), and he says, "Icky!  No thanks, I'll just hug you."  Cultural conditioning...

As a kid coming from Europe, and especially from my time in Italy, I couldn't fail to notice this about mainstream Australia when I arrived.

Now @dsanchez, your list of "men may hug here" situations from your experience is encouraging, but still far removed from the extent of female hugging.  One day, perhaps, all men might hug as freely as women do, or Middle Easterners / Mediterranean cultures etc do... and not be restrained by their cultural gender conditioning... wouldn't that be nice? :)
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dsanchez

Quote from: SueC on September 15, 2019, 23:19:39Your disbelief suggests things are different in your culture and you've not been to Australia! :)

I have lived in 6 different countries and the list I quoted was valid in all of them: Peru, Belgium, Portugal, France, Spain and Slovakia. Really very weird that it does not happen in Australia, I thought the only people trying to keep distance were the Japanese.
2019.06.08 Dublin
2019.07.04 Novi Sad
2019.07.17 Athens

SueC

@word_on_a_wing, you live in Melbourne, right?  Did you grow up there?  You guys have the biggest proportion of "hug culture" immigrants in Australia, I'd love to know if your experience is more huggy than ours out West! :)  How do Melburnian men compare?

I worked in Portland for a while, but not in Melbourne - and Portland was very Anglo.

Tasmaniacs are very Anglo-dominated - from living there for a while!
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word_on_a_wing

...hmm I'm not sure.
I certainly don't see guys hugging frequently but I would agree with DSanchez when he said men would likely hug in these situations:
- birthdays
- wedding
- job promotion
- birth
- graduation
- seeing someone after long time, etc.

In the Melbourne area I would guess this would be true for most men (though I acknowledge my perspective may be biased by my work setting, where most men I encounter are "white collar" professionals working in counselling roles.  If I was spending time more with "blue collar" tradies it may perhaps be a different viewpoint.

My family is from Anglo background (born in Scotland). I have a brother who always hugs my dad whenever they meet-up (about once a month), and get a few drinks into them (not uncommon!) and there will be declarations of love too.  But I've noticed perhaps it may change depending on age. When my brother was a teen and in his 20s I don't think he was much of a hugger, and if another boy would have tried to hug him it likely would have been met with similar responses to what you describe, but I think he showed affection for his friends in other ways. Eg, he used to get into a lot of fights due sticking up for his friends (ahh how sweet?) ... but around his mid-30s he seemed to soften, perhaps maturing more as he realises my Dad is getting older and won't be around forever (he told me that), and also because he had a young family of his own so likely is more accustomed to hugging being part of daily life.
...anyway don't know if that answers it well, but that's some thoughts/ observations from me
"Where the flesh meets the spirit world,
Where the traffic is thin..."

SueC

Thankyou for that perspective, @word_on_a_wing! :)  I have no social experience in Melbourne, other than one work dinner ten years ago that was done by my husband's then-employer (he worked remote for head office in Melbourne and we went to a work dinner there once en route to Tassie).  That was ultra friendly, but no hugging.  Had the employer been Greek or Lebanese origin with a majority workforce from that background, I expect there would have been lots of hugging all around (every Mediterranean / Middle Eastern background social do I've been to involved loads of hugging, men most definitely part of it - as a "hug" person I really love that, but it's also my husband's worst nightmare :rofl ...and in his case, the social hug aversion is definitely not about homophobia, it's just not the done thing - and it is possible to be friendly without hugging, I have to concur).

Re counselling folk, people working in that area would hopefully have overcome any homophobia and non-constructive cultural habits - and the males I personally know in counselling are all "huggy", whether or not from an Anglo background - maybe it attracts the more demonstrative sorts.  :smth023

How lovely that you have a demonstrative family and a brother who has overcome the Australian mainstream conditioning on male hugging! :cool

My own family of origin is too much of an outlier to probably be relevant to Australian statistics, plus they're German culturally and only came to Australia in their 40s.  I don't think they're representative of Germans either.  Both men in the FOO never hugged other men or each other and are intensely and offensively homophobic using with relish all the very worst abusive terms that were ever invented around it, and very aggressive and "superior" about non-"standard" sexual orientations, and men in any way, shape of form deviating from very straightlaced gender roles.  Indeed, when I was 13 and started putting up musician and band posters on my bedroom wall, there was a really horrible incident around a poster where the muso wore make-up and a kaftan - I got punched in the face for putting it up, and ended up with a nosebleed and on the ground still getting punched - how dare I put up posters of such "poofters" and "perverts"... These days I would call that poster display a "BS filter" - shows you so much about the attitudes and personalities of the people viewing them.  I thought it was so amusing when I was reading the Cure coffee table book Brett got me for Christmas last year that Robert Smith's response to the way some people around him reacted to him experimenting with makeup as a teenager (getting chased by yobbos, threats of violence, actual violence etc) actually encouraged him to continue to do it.  That's the spirit! :)  I suppose he's wearing his BS filter.  It would really save you so much time figuring out the attitudes of people around you.  It would be really tempting I think, as a male in that kind of cultural environment.

For a laugh, one of my favourite scenes from the classic 1990s Seachange series which lampoons the more ocker attitudes of a recognisable type of Australian man, around touch, homosexuality, gender roles etc:


Superbly written and acted! Hahahaha!   :evil:   The attempted liberation of Heather is one of the funniest things about that series! :)
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Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on September 15, 2019, 14:12:15Would you two guys hug?

Well I'm a rather shy and hesitant person anyway, so I'd never go and hug someone "out of the blue". Ok, if I trust the person and know he/she wants to be hugged, then I'll do it.
It's never enough...

SueC

You know, this topic has somehow taken off on my "home forum" when I quizzed them about this topic, and they are proposing that there are hugging and non-hugging types, and that maybe it would be helpful to wear T-shirts with these signs:





Based on this discussion, I will now be offering a choice between a hug and a Japanese bow (guaranteed not to transfer pathogens...)
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Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on September 20, 2019, 12:47:39... maybe it would be helpful to wear T-shirts with these signs

No, that is way too "clear" and "straightforward" for me, I want people to wonder "is he a hugging type or not?" even days later... :-D  :lol:
It's never enough...

SueC

:rofl, @Ulrich!


With Snoopy, at least, you always know where you stand:

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Ulrich

Ok, I'll have to admit it now: I guess I am the hugging type (or at least people think I am)...

Weeks ago I went to see a band, which I'd seen the previous year - but at that show the singer had lost her voice, so it wasn't really good (I didn't mind, I'd gone for the support band), so I tried again this year when they happened to play nearby (this time they were good!), when I told their merch guy about it afterwards, he gave me a hug (with no warning at all)!  :1f631:

Last week I met two old mates (who used to play in a band, they often put me on the guest list), one of 'em I hadn't seen in years, when I went up to him it took him a few seconds to recognise me (I think he has slight problems with his eyesight), then he gave me a hug. So did his bandmate later. That was quite okay, as I know and like these guys.
When I went to their gig with their "new" band, the wife of one of 'em was there, who I hadn't seen in years. She gave me a very firm and long hug, which was mutual! Really lovely to see her again and it felt good to be hugged.

Thus, in short: I'm getting used to it!  ;)
It's never enough...

SueC

Maybe you look like a teddy bear, or give off teddy bear vibes, @Ulrich, and so people can't help themselves!  ;)

SueC is time travelling