Angles of the side hug.

14 Dec

I have been meaning to write about side hugs since practically the inception of this blog, but I never found quite the right angle to write from.  However, a recent side hug experience gave me (literally!) a good angle, so here goes.

First, let’s define the side hug.  If a regular hug is a full embrace, then the side hug is a half-embrace.  It involves one arm and one shoulder of each participant.  However, just as regular hugging has gradations of intimacy, I have found that the side hug does as well.

Second, side hugs are pertinent to discussion because they run quite rampant in Christian communities.  Average self-respecting (beta) church guys usually face the dilemma of not wanting to be seen as the pervy creeper (or borderline gay) who hugs all the girls in a big embrace, but also wanting to be seen as a friendly and encouraging guy (who also gets to touch women).  A regular hug is often too much, especially with jittery 20-something women.  This is where the side hug comes in:  a method for touching and conveying camaraderie and care, but not in a creepy way!

There are basically three different levels of side hugging.  Below I have listed the types and the associated romantic prognosis for each.

180-degree side hug:  In the 180-degree side hug, your shoulders and the hugger’s form a straight line.

Romantic prognosis:  Never going to happen.

Obtuse angle side hug:  The obtuse angle side hug shows a little more rapport between hugger and huggee.  This is the category into which a lot of church side hugs fall.

Romantic prognosis:  Getting warmer, but either the girl is putting on the brakes, or the guy is still too big of a beta.  Alternatively, the girl wants the guy, but she’s too chubby/frumpy/hasn’t otherwise passed the boner test…but he does think she’s a nice person.

Acute angle side hug:  The acute angle side hug is more or less just a second arm away from being an embrace.

Romantic prognosis:  Her hamster will go crazy wondering WHAT IT MEANS.  If you’re a guy who goes around giving acute angle side hugs to women, you probably have options.  Also, you could probably flip the acute angle side hug into a regular hug, and the woman would not object.  Works best if preceded by kino.

I hope this breakdown is beneficial to the readership.

ETA:  Have a good or bad side hug story?  Share it in the comments.  It’s almost Christmas, we can be a little social. :)

18 Responses to “Angles of the side hug.”

  1. Toz December 14, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Did someone get a hamsterific side-hug recently?

  2. FuriousFerret December 14, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    The whole purpose of a side hug is so absolutely not even a hint of breast touches a man, right?

  3. Aunt Haley December 14, 2012 at 9:47 am #


    A lady never side hugs and tells.


    That, too. The side hug is kind of a no-touching loophole, when you think of it. I mean, you would never read about side hugs in a Jane Austen novel.

  4. Natalie December 14, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    That first one also doubles as the pastor/elder hug. It’s safe because it’s obviously platonic. The third hug is only clergy appropriate if you haven’t seen the person in at least six months.

  5. haustin December 14, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    I’m going to venture there is boob smushing going on in the acute angle hug, correct?

  6. haustin December 14, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    Fellow here and not much of a hugger. Reasons being the girls most into the hugging seem a bit desperate (which is not my type) and so don’t want to encourage any sort of the wrong ideas going off in their heads (I guess what you refer to as the hamster.)

    Now why not hug the women I am attracted to? Two reasons, it would be strange to hug only the most attractive women, and hugging in general seems to be a very beta behavior.

  7. Toz December 14, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    BTW, there’s another dimension being left out of the more acute-angle hugs. Angle made by the torsos. even a full-on hug is innocuous with a large torso angle (aka A-frame hug). Obviously, an acute side-angle hug can also have a large torso angle, thus making it innocuous.

    Really, the better classification is in how much boob was avoided/felt.

  8. herbie31 December 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    What’s the policy on back hugs?

  9. FuriousFerret December 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm #


    Well man, this is a Christian forum, let’s not get pornographic here.


    Let’s really examine the whole post. Your hamster went nuts over a side hug that was a little bit unorthorodx! Ok, for men this is extremely in line with the omegeist of omega males. ‘She said Hi, she loves me. We’re going to live together forever”.

    I have a question, why don’t you just move to a favorable location to snag a husband? I don’t see how this any different from the guys that travel overseas to hook up because pretty women because there are more in abudance.

    The Washington DC area has the El Dorado of pseudo alphas for ‘normal’ women. The ratio is disgusting bad for men. There is a very good reason that players rate DC as the absolute worst city in the world and it’s because you can be some chubby 5 and get hit on by all these overachievers when you go anywhere. A 5 in DC thinks and gets treated like an 8 by guys that are in high powered positions. They also have a good abudance of right wing good old fashioned Christian American guy.

    Conversely, LA has to be the worst place in the world. I haven’t been there but I have heard that basically 27 and naturally attractive means that you should be buying some cats and taking whatever you can get.

  10. Aunt Haley December 14, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    I love how the conversation has basically devolved into an analysis of percentage of boob-touching.

    You had to be there.

  11. Jzb December 15, 2012 at 3:51 am #

    Back in my uber beta days there was a young woman I was “pursuing”. At any rate we went on a few dates and talked over the phone. We were both in the exploratory phase, however in retrospect I was way more into her than she was me.

    And what should’ve been the dead give away that she had no real romantic interest in me was the joke of a side hug she would give me every time we said hello/good bye.

    Take a side hug and try to make it 1000 times more intense in “I’m not trying to show you any bit of physical affection” angle. She would kick her hips to the opposite side of my body and ever so carefully lean in as to not actually allow her shoulder to touch mine. She would the lightly pat her arm on my far shoulder.

    It was so fricken awkward, I cringe at the fact that I even allowed it. I should’ve called her out and said “if you’re going to hug me like that I prefer we just rather greet each other with high fives or a hand shake. This is seriously awkward/ ridiculous/lame”.

    Needless to say at the end of my trip she wanted to LJBF me, I turned it down. If I wasn’t such a chump I would’ve not gone in the first place as her interest was minimal as indicated by the terrible side hug.

  12. y81 December 17, 2012 at 5:40 am #

    Hmm, I have never encountered this. People in New York, including at our church, usually kiss. There is a gradation, from where the cheeks don’t actually touch, just get within an inch while the parties make smooching sounds, to where the lips meet and linger (extremely flirtatious and not usually encountered at church. If the lips open, then we have left the realm of social kisses altogether.) But in any case, you can’t really have a “side hug” in this situation, because you have to be more or less face-to-face to get your cheeks even within an inch.

  13. andrewymoon December 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Hilarious video involving hugs, with some discussion of the side hug, in a secular context.

  14. Hana January 1, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    Lol at the above video – I’ve seen that posted before, on a friend’s Facebook, after an awkward hugging session. A rather nerdy guy who asked me out once (the story is somewhere on this blog) was at my Bible study when one of the girls said, to no one in particular, that she needed a hug. Nerdy guy felt guilty and, after a moment of nervous hesitation, walked haltingly up to her and tried to embrace her (full-on, not side-hug). It was so awkward that we had group hugging practice sessions for weeks afterwards. I don’t think my nerdy friend was *quite* as scared of hugs as the guy in the video, but he wasn’t too excited about them either…

  15. Tiffany April 5, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    ok, so on valentines day i made my crush a gift, we arent dating and he knows i like him but other people say he likes me. well after i gave him the gift he gave me an acute side hug but he was holding his books in his other hand. i would like to know if this means anything because he never said a word about it after yet he even asked “can i give you a hug?” and then when we pulled apart me and him were both smiling and couldn’t stop so i walked away. does this mean anything? or was he just hugging me because he thought it was a nice thing to do?

  16. Kyle July 14, 2018 at 9:34 pm #

    To keep it short, side hugs are basically just an indicator that a person is socially inept, not very confident and/or not very touchy-feely. While I’m not the huggiest person but I definitely avoid them because they’re awkward.


  1. Daily Linkage – December 15, 2012 | The Second Estate - December 15, 2012

    […] Angles of the side hug. « Haley’s Halo […]

  2. Lightning Round -2012/12/19 « Free Northerner - December 18, 2012

    […] Hehe… The side hug. I made the mistake of a sidehug at the end of my most recent date. I planned on a front hug but when the moment came automatically did an obtuse angle side-hug. I cursed myself out for my betaness on the way home. It’s something I need to work on. […]

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