January 13, 2008

No… to free kisses!

Posted in Life at 2:30 pm by pmatos

After reading the portuguese blog post on QNED about free hugs I can’t help but also give my oppinion about it.

For foreigner reader, let me add that the general portuguese culture is that men meet up and handshake each other (hugging is allowed for informal greetings to intimate friends) and women give two kisses to everyone (except, in professional settings).

Let me also add that it is not well seen if, for example, I present a female friend to someone and that female friend handshakes the other person. A lot of pressure is done for a kiss to happen. Even though it might not be a real kiss (in the sense that your lips might not touch the others cheek). I guess, the majority are just ‘cheek-to-cheek’ kisses.

I, fortunately, at least in this respect, am not a woman. I guess it is not very hygienic, or even nice to be touching cheek with every guy you meet, even if it is your friends best friend or even you friends cousin’s girlfriend or blablabla. It doesn’t really matter who it is, women should not just be pressured to meet with a kiss.  Men on the other hand can, in general, do as they like. This view of women of free-kissing just to be nice should stop now.

In the UK, (or at least here in Southampton) this doesn’t happen even among friends and I’m happy. I don’t even handshake people, except on very special occasions like Christmas. I guess having to kiss them, would be even worse. I’m quite happy to bring up this subject because it is the first time I’m discussing it and I wonder how many women feel like QNEDs author…



  1. Nelson SIlva said,

    The hygiene argument really does not work with this subject since you spread a lot more bacteria with a handshake than you do with a kiss :)

    Your hands touch all sorts of things during the day and so do the other people’s hands so the moment you give a handshake to someone means you two are on a way exchanging bacteria.

    That also happens with a kiss but on a much smaller degree because on a “normal” day your lips only touch food.

    So, if anything, the fact that woman kiss instead of giving handshakes means they are a lot more hygienic then we are.

  2. pmatos said,

    I guess you’re right on this one. Thanks for the tip on the hygiene being wrong. I did not think about it but it makes sense. Still, the point remains that a kiss always feels too personal. I’m not against the kiss itself but thinking out loud, fact is that the having to kiss everyone you meet just sucks.

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