Life Jun 7, 2017 at 11:51 am


Hey Dan - add John Lydon to your list of those who do not accept unsolicited hugs from strangers.

Now about the unsolicited blowjob thing...
As an acupuncturist I'm very clear about boundaries (even though I am a hugger, myself). If it seems like a hug is appropriate, I stand in a neutral (arms at my sides) position and ask "is it ok if I give you a hug?" I think huggers need to acknowledge that lots of people are not ok with hugs - it's a bit like extroverts not understanding an introvert's need to leave a party early...

No means no, whether it's about a hug or anything else.
What I want to know is if Dan is comfortable giving hugs after a blowjob.

Huggers need to say: "Can I give you a hug?"
And then accept No. (or even hesitation...which=No) gracefully.
Perhaps just offer the intended-huggee a complement instead.
@4 - He already implied the answer to that question. See the bit about "special guest stars".
If only more people on the internet had the courage to share their peeves.
The affirmative consent crowd has long ago addressed this issue, Dan. They're with Jerry.
@ 1 - The question is, who in the world would want to give him one?
I'm an unrepentant hugger amongst friends but feel weird doing so to celebs or people I otherwise admire.
@9: I enjoy PIL and Leftfield/Lydon. I can see fans trying to touch him, even today.
Are fist bumps okay in lieu of a hug?
Handshakes, handshakes, handshakes. They work. They have even a little bit of intimacy. They are never offensive (well, almost never; no Nazis. Oh, and then there are Hasidic men and some Islamist men who don't touch women; their loss).

There's that guy in the jockstrap wandering around Greenlake with a "Free Hugs" sign. That should settle it.
I think the issue here is not that he rejected an offer to hug but that he was an asshole about it. I totally get not wanting to hug a random but you don't need to be rude. I bet if Kesha was an underaged girl, Jerry would have been just fine with a hug.
@15: I don't think grown men usually want to hug unknown underaged girls.
A hug should be reserved for people who are very close. Period. I love being hugged by those I love and appreciate. You see a lot of hugs on TV talk shows, and I can always tell when they are sincere and when they aren't. Don't fuck up your authenticity by hugging people you don't know, or worse, can't stand. In that case, a handshake is completely the right thing to do.
I work with homeless people both on the street and in shelters. Almost all of them really, really appreciate a kind, warm, and sincere hug, and appreciate being given such a human gesture. How wonderful for those who don't feel that lack and can dismiss acts of human connection.
#20, thank you for the work you do, and for reaching out to people in need. However, the snide remark at the end is unwarranted. One person's lack is sad but does not mean all people must appreciate that thing, especially if it makes them uncomfortable. It makes about as much sense as forcing a lactose intolerant person to drink a glass of milk because some people can't afford milk.
I don't want to be hugged by strangers, nor would I ever ask a stranger for a hug. That being said, context is key. They were at some type of red carpet event -- for the David Lynch foundation, from the looks of the backdrop -- where all the schmoozing celebrities are also invited guests. It also sounded like she tried to introduce herself as she walked up to him, so their encounter wasn't quite the same as Dan being accosted by a stranger on the street. Jerry was still completely entitled to say no, of course, but he was a bit of a dick about it. Laughing at her with the interviewer as she walked away, for instance, was mean.
@14 The Greek Lake jockstrap guy has a special interest in attending churches where there is a custom of people hugging each other, judging from his web site. As of 8/24/15 apparently the Church of Christ on Queen Anne was a hug-friendly zone, so Dan might want to stay away from there (presumably not much of an inconvenience). They have probably told jockstrap guy to get lost by now.
@15: "No thank you" isn't being an asshole, it's stating your boundaries clearly like a fucking adult. Cyntient and Amanda also need a little remedial training in how to behave like respectful adults.
I work with little kids, and we definitely teach kids that consent is needed for hugs.

With kids who aren't verbal yet, you go for nonverbal cues that your hug is welcome or unwelcome, and with kids who can understand, you say "Do you want a hug?" "Do you want a cuddle?". We also teach them gently that we want them to ask us before touching our bodies - that takes longer and must be done gently because you don't want a child who is coming to you for comfort to feel rebuffed, but respect for other people's bodily autonomy is both modeled and taught outright. Even less affectionate physical contact is, whenever possible, framed as something to be consented to - "Are you going to come, or do I have to help you?" said with the right amount of firmness.

I suspect a lot of the people who move in for unasked-for hugs have themselves never really had their autonomy respected, and they don't understand the concept. I'm a pretty cuddly person, but I can't imagine going in for a second try after an offer of a hug is rebuffed - who does that?
@20 Homeless people, even more than everyone else, need a little respect for their choices mixed with the offered affection.
I live in East Asia. Bow with me or fuck off.
For the people saying Jerry was rude, I really don't get it. Someone walked up, interrupted an interview, demanded a hug THREE TIMES, and then walked off wailing "he wouldn't give me a hug!!!" He was polite but firm, and laughed in response to her loud, mock sadness.
@28 -- She didn't "demand" a hug, she asked if she could have a hug, then followed up with a surprised "please?" She obviously wasn't expecting to be rejected. Again, I guarantee this was the type of event where everybody is walking around shaking hands and giving each other those phony double kisses on the cheek. Seinfeld isn't known for being especially cuddly or nice in real life. Not saying he's required to hug anyone, but that reputation is on full display here.
Everybody has a right to their own bodily agency. It doesn't matter if they're a celebrity and they're schmoozing with the *kiss kiss* crowd. He said 'no thank you', and she should have respected that, gdi.
"No thanks!" is a perfectly acceptable response to a stranger's request for a hug. I don't like hugging strangers, either, and repeated requests don't make me any friendlier. In addition to "no thanks!," I've also said,"I appreciate the thought but I am not a huggy person," "I don't hug strangers," "I'm sorry--who are you again?," and in one memorable instance, "No! Stop!" while evading a man who had decided he should chase me around the room, trying to hug me.

I'm totally cool with a fist bump or handshake.
Just because I attend a sex party doesn't mean I have to bang anybody who asks, and it sure doesn't mean they should ask in an entitled way that doesn't think no is a real possibility.

schmooze party = same thing.
For fuck's sake lady, if you really liked Seinfeld, you would remember the episode of "Seinfeld" about how he hates intimacy with strangers ("The Kiss Hello").
@29: She didn't take "no" for an answer. I bet that's something that actually does matter to you, in a different context. You don't get to dismiss someone's bodily autonomy because it's not convenient for you.
I miss the gooey hugs they give in Greece. I totally respect "no", just loved that general flexibility of personal space and spirit of "yes".
Thank you for saying this.

I feel part of the reason it's so hard to say no is that there is no canned response to say: "I share your enthusiasm, I'd love to share a bit more friendship & intimacy, but please find a way to do this that doesn't involve grabbing my body".
"uhh umm one sec" whip out a bottle of Purel, spray their hands, fasten a surgical mask over their face. "OK now." - that should drain the impulse.
@15: So in your estimation the asshole is the person who said "no thanks," not the person who barged into an interview, requested to tightly grip him and push their body against his, refused to take no for an answer, then stormed off in a huff?


On another note, that woman is Kesha, someone who should know all about consent and why no means no.
I'm a hugger but I would never hug a stranger, what is wrong with people?

Also, maybe this is very Minnesota of me but when you see a celebrity isn't the etiquette to pretend you don't recognize them?
SLOG commenters poll: people are icky.
Sorry Dan, but this is #FamousPeopleProblems. For most of us, this is a totally abstract concern, like how we would feel when total strangers offer us money. I have no idea, and somehow I don't think I'm gonna find out anytime soon.

But hey, I respect your position. You gotta do you.
@10 Undead, +1.
@9 Ricardo, if he accepted hugs, I'd offer.

@41 Lance Thrustwell, if you're viewed as female, people often go for hugs at limited acquaintance and without asking. You don't have to be famous. And as per @19 Raindrop, you learn fairly soon that some hugs are 'hugs'.

On the flipside, if you're viewed as female you're also usually taught that you initiating physical contact will be welcome or at least seen as unthreatening. Which isn't necessarily the case.
I am all about setting boundaries and clearly stating them, but I am also aware that abuse survivors, like Kesha, sometimes have difficulty discerning what is and is not appropriate touch.
I try to remember to go one step beyond saying, "Is it okay if I hug you?" because I have been on the other side of that question and I am a people-pleaser who would have a hard time saying no to even that. Only in my late 30's have I even gotten comfortable with replying, "Oh, you're so sweet but no, I'm just getting over a cold."

I am a hugger too (though I would never want to hug a stranger or distant acquaintance as a greeting). So when I am ending a conversation with someone, and I'm feeling warm and huggy, I try to make myself say, "It was SO fun to see/meet you! Are you more of a hugger, a fist bumper, or neither?" Some folks say neither, in which case I get that they're REALLY not into touch so I say, "Okay, well a happy wave then. Goodbye, can't wait to see you again!" and wave and walk away.
@15 The problem with being nice to people who are not taking no for an answer is that they continue to ignore the no. He may have been terse and direct, but that seems an appropriate response to someone displaying no awareness of societal niceties.
@41 No. It's not #famouspeoplesproblems. It's a problem a lot of people deal with. I'm guessing women more than men (just as often from other women, not picking on guys), though I couldn't say for sure. I don't like confrontation, so I almost always give way to the hugger, and it always makes me uncomfortable.
Honestly, I don't even love hugging my friends, although I do it anyway to show that I love them. I only truly feel comfortable hugging my family.

On a side note, one of my kids has Aspergers. She doesn't feel very comfortable even with hugs from me, and I *always* ask first. And if she's not feeling it, I say okay. That's my kid. I'd hug her all the time if I could. But I don't, because it's her body.
@20: So you touch strangers regularly without ever getting any acknowledgment of consent, and you never stop to think of what they think of unsolicited contact.
@42: It's creepy how someone giving you so much means that a person is entitled to ask more.

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