Wednesday, February 13, 2019


Who says boys can't hug?

Guys shake hands to signify affection between them. But lately, some guys also hug to signify affection. In my case, I was raised to shake hands — hugging was not an option.

When I began socializing as a transwoman, I discovered that transwomen seldom shake hands.
Just as gals have more options when it comes to fashion, gals have more options when it comes to affection and transwomen follow their lead. Gals shake hands, hug, air kiss or kiss kiss to show affection and so do transwomen.

En femme, I have been hugged, air-kissed, kiss-kissed and even French-kissed by one particular transwoman who wanted to have her way with me. The French kiss was a little disconcerting, but I quickly got used to the other signs of affection and usually hug and occasionally air kiss when greeting gals and transwomen. With guys is something different.

When I came out to my ham radio group, I did so by e-mail because the group was scattered across the globe. However, the group met face-to-face twice a year and my coming out e-mail was sent a few weeks before one of our face-to-face meetings so as to prepare the group for my debut en femme.

When we show up at the face-to-face meetings, we greet each other (long time, no see!) Some shake hands, some do not. I was always a hand-shaker en homme, but not so much en femme.

When I showed up for that first face-to-face en femme, I was early and only one guy was present. I went up to him and without thinking about it, I gave him a hug as was my wont en femme when greeting people.

As I unhugged, he remarked, "So this is the way it's going to be."

Now he was a big supporter when I came out and has continued to be, but I did not know how to take his remark.

I'm probably read more into it than there is in it (I always do), but after that remark, I abandoned  hugging and shook hands when greeting guys who knew me as a guy before they knew me as a girl.

There are exceptions, but that is another story.

By the way, I know that the “boys” in the image at the top of the page are not really boys. Rather, they are female models who look boyish enough, at least for the purpose of the message.

Source: Rue La La
Wearing Sail to Sable (Source: Rue La La)

Femulator street-style, circa 1925
Femulator street-style, circa 1925


  1. A great post, I struggled with also when meeting people who had known me before transition. What became apparent to me was that people will subconsciously create their own boundaries for greeting. I would not worry about the remark, the important aspect, as you point out, is they are a firm supporter. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. The first time a t-girl hugged me, I thought "when in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in drag, do as the... dragons do?"

    I try to let the other take the lead, but I don't know why I do that. It's just habit, I suppose.

  3. I think the guy you hugged got caught off guard. For friends of mine when I came out, I was subconsciously still male even though they supported me. His statement "way it's going to be" was his surprise at being hugged instead of just a hand shake.

  4. Hug-or-handshake is also a matter of the time of year -- hugs instead of handshakes in cold/flu season, as that is less germ-ridden.

    Also, as a Southerner, I grew up hugging. That's not so much the automatic greeting for a Midwesterner or a Northerner. At least it wasn't when I lived in a community in Wisconsin, with a lot of transplanted New Englanders in the population.

  5. Makes perfect sense. I have 2 friends (female) who know me as both Julie and "Not Julie". When with them in male mode, a quick hug does happen, but not always. When Jule is with them, hugs abound as well as pecks on the cheek.

  6. To HUG or NOT..... As a person growing up in the -50's-60's, ONLY MOM gave us hugs. Hugs in the SOUTH- pre AirConditioning summertime South, that is were unwieldy, hot, close, sweaty not so comfortable affairs. Our family was not the hugging type.
    My wonderful, older sister, taught her 5 children to offer hugs, at least inside the immediate family. Her youngest child named them: "A hug and squeeze". Interestingly enough, somehow the NEW TERM took the social anxiety out of the whole family hugging 'thing'.
    Nowdays, men have evolved a hybridized cross involving a handshake and an offset hug, with the free hand flat on the others back, which I call the 'Bro-hug'.
    OUR CD-TS support group has hugs at the conclusion of the monthly meeting. I admit, I am not a natural hugger, and the hugs offered at the conclusion of the meeting has taken some courage and social conditioning to take part in this formality.
    At my first group meeting and having been offered hugs by most, I kinda hoped the experience would offer a more 'sensual' experience than a 'man hug', after all, most group participants (including me) were wearing breast forms, but such was not the case; kinda like two pairs of silicone 'bumpers' colliding.
    Perhaps women, with naturally more sensitive breasts than men, exchange a more meaningful sense of 'sisterhood' and closeness while hugging, more so than mere males could possibly experience. Perhaps this is why women are more prone to hug than men? Velma

    1. Velma
      Is you not being able to feel anything due to the "silicone bumpers preventing you natural breasts touching the person you are hugging?

    2. Come to think of it, my natural 'man breasts' dont feel much either when a hug is enacted; this is in spite of the 'natural sensitivity' of the male nipple--hey, I just checked through a silken polyester shirt! I am sure the silken interface of the garment assisted in the sensitivity. BTW, has anyone tried one of the 'flat panel (the satin panel is in place of the expected cup) man bra? Nice! Even more so when worn under a silk 'Winter Silks'(brand)'night shirt'. Wife liked it too!
      This relates a similar private discussion from a few days ago, when I questioned why there are NOT breast forms which offer some sort of mechanical link from the nipple on the form to the wearers nipple? I would propose a mechanical link between the two nipples consisting of a more dense grade of silicone which would transmit compression force and enhance sensitivity ... Perhaps, a small round object taped over ones nipple would enhance the force sensitivity? Time to experiment! To the labor-a-tory!
      Velma; nerd, femulator, former engineering person

  7. Hey Stana!(Big hug): What if l told you that here in Argentina a kiss in the cheek is the prevalent form of greeting among girls AND boys? Handshakes are rare. Only complete strangers might shake hands (in a formal setting), and even then...
    Visiting American guys look so stunned when first kissed by some friendy Argentinian male! Needless to say, gay guys have no problem getting used to it. Let's hope they spread our man-to-man kiss greeting culture once they get back home!
    Besos, besos!