Arms and the man.

The last ten years have seen the unstoppable rise of the “man hug”. It has quickly usurped the brisk handshake, yet I distinctly remember the man-to-man embrace being strictly the preserve of the criminal fraternity. When I was DJ-ing back in the 80s, most of the London clubs where I worked were owned by gangsters and I’d occasionally be hugged by one of “the chaps” if they happened to pay a visit. I found this simultaneously flattering and frightening. I was only there to play the records and had no desire to be embraced into their dark world either literally or metaphorically. I’ve moved with the times, however, and routinely hug male friends and acquaintances. Not to do so would now seem a bit stand-offish. And yet, each time I do, I still feel like I’m pretending to be one of those 1980s fun loving criminals.