History of Hugs

My parents never hugged me; they weren’t that kind of people. I didn’t think much of it; that was the normal for me.
When I was about 12 I went to visit relatives, and my slightly older female cousins hugged me. Since at that point I thought of hugs as something people do for romance—how much did I know about sex at that time?—I was quite shocked. But soon that became the new normal, at least for relatives other than my parents.
When I was in college I went on a field archaeology thing where we spent 3 months in Mexico. I made friends with a girl who was working at the local tourism office, and we hit it off so well we were instant BFFs. Most people thought we got romantic, but no, it wasn’t like that at all. At the end of the three months she came to visit me at the hotel as I was packing to leave, and that got real emotional, leading to—you guessed it—a hug. But then things really got strange. Here was Patty, who was curvy, and here I was, a horny just-past-teen boy, yet I never felt her body against me. Instead there was this warmth spreading through me, and when I closed my eyes I saw a yellow aura surrounding where she was standing.
Since then I’ve seen that aura and felt the warmth less than a dozen times in my life; every other time I felt the body.
Over the years I’ve become friends with many independent musicians, most of them who love to hug, even the first time they meet you. I’m thinking in particular about Marina V and Christiane Kinney, but there’s plenty others. One time Libbie Schrader hugged me from behind and I almost tossed her over my shoulder because my instincts thought I was being attacked; she never hugged me again.
Another hugging epiphany happened with Christiane’s husband Sean, since I’d never been hugged by a dude before. I must have looked surprised because Christiane went into heavy laughter, but after that it became normal too.
As I just mentioned, some people like Chris and Marina love to hug everyone. One of my favorite actresses, Daniela Ruah, hugged me when we first met, as did one of my favorite musicians, Lindsey Stirling. Another actress, Missy Peregrym, gave me a side half-hug, but that was because we were posing for a photo together. I suppose it depends on how you grew up, how your parents did it.
Which leads me full circle, as for some reason my mom hugged me today. And of course it felt weird more than anything else. . .

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