Don’t touch me, I don’t know where you’ve been

BBC Magazine has run an article today that I can relate to: kissing etiquette.

It’s the unspoken dilemma dividing Britain – one kiss, or two. Once the preserve of family and close friends, the peck on the cheek is creeping into all walks of life. But no one is sure when it’s suitable, and how many are appropriate.

It’s not something I’ve ever been comfortable with myself. Not with loved ones, or close (female) friends obviously, but generally speaking. When is it appropriate? When is it necessary? I don’t want to lunge at people, nor do I want to appear remote (although I usually do, I just can’t help it). Kissing strangers or people I barely know makes me feel awkward. Unless I’m drunk, then I don’t tend to mind so much. But as a general rule, unless I’ve known you at least six months, I don’t want to go anywhere near your face. And as for kissing men, as mentioned in the article? No. I’m sorry. It’s all very well living in this supposed new touchy-feely age, and we’re all meant to be comfortable with our sexuality, blah, blah, blah, but that’s just not going to happen. I’m sure it’s all fine on the continent but I’m English, can’t we just shake hands? If you’re a close friend, and I’ve had a few drinks, then there’s a good chance (in fact, if I’m drunk, a very good chance) that you will get a man hug. But let’s just leave it there shall we?


Centrist. Atlanticist. Dry liberal. Anti-totalitarian. Post-ideological pragmatist. Child of The Enlightenment. Toucan.

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5 comments on “Don’t touch me, I don’t know where you’ve been
  1. ph says:

    Kissing should be restricted to kissing lovers, mothers, babies and pets

  2. PP says:

    Oh, sooo true! And when did it get to business meetings, like the one I had the other day with 4 strangers who were all greeting each other on both cheeks? Madness…

  3. ph says:

    kissing at business meetings – it devalues the currency of love. Save it for people who matter.

  4. Geoff Champagne says:

    We always have a little kiss when we say goodbye don’t we? Or have you chosen to forget these cherished, tender moments that we share? I always like to give my close man friends a farewell (and welcome) peck on the cheek. Nowt wrong with that.

  5. Geoff Champagne says:

    Who’s got my name?

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