Back patting in a hug: 'let me go asshole,' or endearing gesture?

So. I read somewheres that when you hug someone, if they pat you on the back, it's a body language sign of saying, 'okay, that's enough. Please let me go'. Like 'tapping out'. I can't recall females ever doing this, to me it seems they just go all in with the hug thing, like octopuses.

And, of course, I don't hug many dudes, except with the whole half-dap to arm locked chest bump thing which has a standardized length equalling like a second. But, it got me thinking about this 'cause my father always tries to hug me, then basically immediately starts pounding on my back. Yes. Pounding. And he always initiates the hugs, so I'm like 'if you don't want to, then why do it?'

So, couple questions. 1. Is it a sign of 'lemme go,' or 'that's enough'? 2. Do females do it too? 3. Do you notice when you/other people do it?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • 1. Yes and no. It doesn't necessarily mean "let me go". The person who's doing it might still somewhat enjoy the hug but it is usually a sign of awkwardness or that you're kind of uncomfortable.
    2. No, I don't think girls do that. I've never ever encountered a woman who did that, neither old, nor young.
    3. I never do it because I think it's weird but I do notice when other men do it. It makes me feel uncomfortable.

    I should also say that this is partially a cultural thing. I've lived in America and noticed that American guys tend to be extremely awkward with body contact with other men. I'm not quite sure where this comes from and it never really made sense to me because American guys tend to be much more warm-hearted (when you talk to them) than for example the men in my country, who are extremely reserved in general.
    It has always seemed to be like American men have this strange obsession to do anything they can to possibly make sure that nobody would ever come on the idea that they might be gay. For example I've always thought this rule of not hugging for 2 or 3 seconds between guys was kinda weird. Or one time I talked to an African American guy in America that I had gotten to know earlier that day while in a public bathroom. I was standing at the mirror, facing him. He was standing at the urinal and peeing. When I kept talking and didn't turn away, he suddenly totally freaked out on my and was like "what the fuck is wrong with you? Are you a faggot or what?" I got so scared that I just left the bathroom and didn't talk to him anymore. Coming from western Europe, it simply didn't appear to me that this might come across as offensive. I mean... it's not like I was standing right next to him and staring at his dick. I guess I saw his penis but I was focusing on his face. It simply didn't cross my mind that he could be thinking that there's a sexual aspect to that.
    In my country, we tend to hug less easily then in America (it takes much longer until somebody trusts you enough to hug you) but when we do, we usually feel less awkward about it. I even lightly cuddle with my best guy friend sometimes and it doesn't have any sexual meaning. It's just us expressing our friendship-affection to each other. In countries like Greece, where my dad comes from, men even kiss each other on the cheek as a greeting. So I think what is "okay" and what isn't also has a lot to do with the culture you live in. In America, most guys don't seem to want to touch other guys.

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    • Oh yeah. Golden rule is don't talk to other people while you have your dick in your hand. haha. xD Yeah, that's sorta an unwritten rule, "no talking in the men's restroom," although, it's more specifically no talking at the urinals, since some people will still talk while washing their hands. Though, even I'm like, "Dude. Don't you know there's no talking in the men's restroom?" Especially black guys. They're generally even more off put by appearing to be gay in the slightest.

      But yeah. Male gayness is definitely seen as a lack of masculinity at minimum and outright disgusting weakness at max.

    • Well, what I never quite understood is this: 1. Why is it gay to talk to a guy who is standing at the urinal (or talk while you are peeing yourself)? I mean... you're peeing. How can that possibly be interpreted as a sexual act? I guess it's just a strange form of prudishness? And 2. I get how conservative guys would think being gay is a lack of masculinity (which is quite funny since the gay guys I know look like body builders and are more masculine than most straight guys I know ;-)) but why is it a problem to talk to them? I mean... you talk to women who are even less masculine. So why not gay guys? I don't really understand how this can make sense and I wonder if it actually can in some way or if it's just guys being emotional and stuck-up about it ;-).

    • Why do Japanese people peel all their fruit? Including grapes? Or The Day of the Geese: a Spanish tradition wheree a greased goose is suspended over water and young men jump from boats and attempt to rip off the head of the goose. Ya know. Different country's just have different culturally acceptable/unacceptable actions.

      And yeah. It's probably from the foundation of puritanism? I'm really not sure, tbh. It's just an unwritten rule. Like, in Japan not slurping your soup is considered highly rude. Or talking or messing with your phone on the train is considered the height of rudeness. It's just something that developed.

      I don't think non-conservative guys mind talking with gay guys. At the urinals, sure, they would be. It might be that having your dick out is a sign of vulnerability, too? Just showing weakness, I would guess mostly, though. It's different with women, since you wanna fuck them. It's just a cultural thing. Some people care, others don't. It's private: the bathroom

What Girls Said 1

  • Like you, I've never noticed any girl doing this ever.
    Guys - yeah, see it often. I guess it depends on the person whether it means 'okay, that's enough' or 'soooo good to see you again, friend'!
    I almost always took it as a sign that those guys are especially glad to see each other again. =)

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What Guys Said 1

  • Endearing gesture. If you hug a guy you kinda have to end it with a pat on the back.

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