The proper ways of hugging

June 26, 1991

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.

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