Once you have decided to hug, here are some rules suggested in "The Hug Therapy Book" by Kathleen Keating (CompCare Publishers; $5.95):
* A just-friendly hug is always non-sexual and should remain so. It is meant to give support, not to seduce.
* Get permission before you hug, if you are not sure that the other person wants a hug.
* If you want a hug, ask for one.
There are also different types of hugs:
* The bear hug, an all-encompassing, sloppy hug.
* A-frame hug, where you wrap arms around each other's shoulders and touch faces but not bodies.
* Cheek hug, which is a gentle hug when people are seated.
* Sandwich hug, which involves three people.
* Group hug, which involves more than three people.
* Side-to-side hug, where people stand shoulder-to-shoulder and put their arms around each other.
* Heart-centered hug, a full-body embrace in which the two huggers know each other quite well.